Someone recently asked what I carry around with me daily when traveling. On a standard trip when out and about all day, I usually have two bags on me. The first is a small cross body purse that never leaves my body. Let me say that again – never leaves my body! The second is a light backpack or tote back that is expendable in an emergency.
Cross Body Purse:
In a safe interior compartment that I don’t have to access often I keep my passport, credit card, and any large bills.
In the main compartment I keep a small change purse with local money, small notebook, pen, my travel notes / research, and my phone. If I used a small camera it would also go here.
Separate from both of the above I will keep a debit card (or a second credit card) and a little more money.
Tissues (or toilet paper) and hand sanitizer. This could go in the backpack, but because the way my current cross body purse is designed, I just keep it on me.
Light Backpack (sometimes a tote bag):
This is where I keep a light jacket, my umbrella, and a bottle of water. If for any reason I need extra clothes (hat, scarf, gloves, change of shoes etc…) they also go here. If spending time on a bus / plane I will also carry a book. Essentially this is where I put things I may need, but never anything I can’t live without. This bag also gives me room for any purchases I may make during the day.
As you can see, both bags are small and pretty light. Nothing cosmic. The right number of essentials and “just in case.”