What’s in your purse?

I was talking to a friend after my recent trip to Chicago, and she said to me, “You only take a suitcase and one carry-on bag? How is that possible? What goes in your purse??”  I’ve already told you what I pack in my suitcase for a typical trip, and now, for my friend, I will tell you what I have in my purse when I travel.

The trick is to put everything you don’t need on the plane into your suitcase. This includes umbrellas, jackets, chargers for laptops or phones, extra books, etc.

The purse carries:

iPhone. I used to have a cell phone, a GPS unit, and an MP3 player. Then the geniuses at Apple came out the something that would do all of those functions! Brilliant. And it sure did make my packing easier.

Wallet. Duh. Of course I have my wallet, with my ID, credit cards, and money.

Boarding pass. Print this out ahead of time so you can just fly through security. So much faster!

Make-up. I keep my make-up with me so that I can touch up when I arrive, if necessary.

Kindle. It used to be a book (or two or three), but now that I have the Kindle my purse is much lighter. And easier to put stuff into.

Laptop. For work, it’s a necessity. If I’m not staying overnight, and therefore traveling without my suitcase, I will also keep my charger in here.

Knitting. Just because I love to knit! I don’t always feel like working or reading, and knitting is a great way to pass the time.

Notepad. I love writing lists, and my little notebook holds them all. I have to keep it around in case I have a stroke of brilliance!

Ziploc of teabags, Splenda, and Emergen-C. In case I need a pick-me-up, or the hotel doesn’t have Splenda or a good teabag. Little comforts can make being away from home much easier.

Plastic bag of toiletries. I will keep this in my purse until I get through security, and then throw it in my suitcase.

Keep it simple! Only keep the necessities. Clean your purse out before every trip so you’re not carrying around receipts, old boarding passes, or other unnecessary junk. This way you can find everything you need as soon as you need it, and travel easier.


  1. Cleaning out the purse before every trip is a huge necessity. Boarding passes and receipts seem to accumulate very quickly.

  2. Could you tell us more about your ‘purse’? eg size, shape?

    My ‘purse’ is a Pacsafe wallet, which only holds cash, credit cards, ID cards, etc. My ‘handbag’ is bigger, holding the wallet, a lipstick, pen, Moleskine, sunglasses, and keys, but no more. There’s no way my ‘purse’ or ‘handbag’ could hold my laptop!!


  3. Question: How does security look at knitting needles? I crossstich but don’t travel with it because I didn’t think my needles (and for sure my small scissors) would get through security.

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