What's in my handbag
Some people take a backpack, but I find that when popping out of the car to explore a city, a handbag is much more realistic for long wanderings in terms of size and weight. While my handbag is very old, it has lasted me well over the years and is the perfect dimensions for me. You may need to downsize/upsize to fit your particular needs.
- iPad Mini, iPhone, wall charger and cables. As I use both the iPad Mini and iPhone while travelling, I've got a wall charger with two outlets so I can charge both devices via USB at once.
- A compact folding umbrella. You never know when the weather will turn!
- A reusable shopping bag. This can be rolled up tight and whipped out when you need a few ingredients from the grocery store or to carry surplus items that can't fit in your handbag.
- A pen or two
- A pouch for storing receipts. I tuck away receipts during the day and record my expenses every night. This is helpful for ensuring I stay on budget.
- Chapstick. I hate getting dry lips during the day, and with an SPF15 it keeps your lips sun protected as well.
- Sunscreen. This is top priority on sunny days, but don't forget to apply on cloudy days as well, as you can still burn under cloudcover. If it's thundering down with rain or you're heading out in the evening, feel free to leave this behind in the glove box.
- Travel tissues. A lifesaver when you've got a runny nose, whether it be from a cold wind or a spicy meal.
- Hair ties
- Hand sanitiser. At some point you'll probably use a public toilet which has run out of soap. It's always good to keep a small bottle of hand sanitiser available.
- Sugarfree gum. For that dreaded coffee breath, or those mornings when you forget to brush your teeth.
- Antiseptic cream and plasters. As I've learned well, you can never anticipate just when you'll be in need of a few plasters. Apply antiseptic cream to cuts to avoid infection.
- Painkillers. I bring a packet of Paracetamol tablets for sudden headaches, and Tiger Balm for insect bite relief.
- Gorillapod. This versatile little tripod is great for nighttime shots, so I don't carry it around all the time - just when venturing out after the sun has set.
- Earplugs. These are always kept on hand in case of noisy campsites or hotel rooms.
- Eye drops. As a contact lens wearer, my eyes get dry on occasion and eye drops are heaven.
- Sunglasses case. While not 100% necessary, if you want to avoid scratches on your glasses I'd recommend bringing a case.
What's in my money belt
Instead of carrying "all my eggs in one basket", I wear a money belt with important documents and spare cash in case of pickpocketers or bag snatchers. This is worn around around the hips and tucked into my shorts so it is never visible.
- Passport and driver's license
- Car registration and insurance papers
- At least €50 cash, in relevant currency depending on country
- My bank card for withdrawals
Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below and remember to always stay safe while travelling. Keep your possessions close and stay constantly vigilant of the situation around you.