Having something in which to carry your money, travel documents, and other essentials is necessary when travelling, especially when you’re between accommodation and need to keep those personal items closest to you.
I’ve never been a fan of money belts. For one, thieves know about money belts. I’ve had friends had these belts knifed off of them. And though they’re great for storing your personals close to you, they’re hot, they’re bulky, and I find they make my lower abdomen look really bizarre. They’re also smaller than a purse when going through airport security which means that when it’s going through the conveyer belt, it’s much easier for someone to quickly snatch than my larger bag.
For me, I love my shoulder strap purse. LOVE it. Here’s my list of what I always pack in my purse.
WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR PURSE:
Here are the essential items that I always keep in my purse when travelling. I don’t even have to think when I get up in the morning about what I need – these items are always there. Please note that this is once you’ve checked into where you’re staying and have important documents like passport, money, hidden away at the hotel.
1. One piece of ID
2. Photocopy of your passport (original safely at the hotel; another photocopy with a family member back home)
3. Hand sanitizer
4. Package of Kleenexes (for nose blowing, no toilet paper washrooms, wiping wet seating areas, etc. etc.)
5. Business card/information for your hotel/guesthouse
6. Your personal business card (you never know who you’ll run into)
7. Your phone, with a downloaded language dictionary in case you need a quick translation
8. Map of city
9. Small notebook & pen
10. Small money in case taxi/small shops can’t change large amounts.
11. Some large bills separated from my small money, just in case.
12. A small snack (what if I can’t find anything gluten free? What if it’s 1:30 in Italy and everything is closed?)
13. Small sunscreen.
14. Small bugspray bottle, if necessary where you are.
15. A scarf: which becomes a blanket, a pillow, a warm shawl, or a cover if I’m entering a church, mosque or other area where it’s necessary to be more conservative.
16. Lipchap/lipstick (with SPF!)
17. A book/sketchpad or whatever you do if you’re stuck somewhere and need some entertainment…or if you just get inspired
18. An umbrella, if the weather necessitates
This might seem like a big list, but invest in small-size things: a travel umbrella, travel packs of Kleenex and hand sanitizer, etc. You don’t want to be walking around with a pound of bricks, and you always want extra room in case you buy something.