Most women wouldn’t be without their handbags, but when you’re travelling, the rules change completely. Items you might normally consider a handbag essential turn into a handbag-don’t, and you’ll need things to hand that you’d never normally consider carrying around… Guest blog by Susannah Perez
Here are five essential items that you should keep in your bag at all times…
Not an item that many would think to take, but it’s a multipurpose essential. It can do everything, from being an extra layer in cold weather to shading your skin from the tropical sun, and from covering you up when visiting places of worship to acting as a pillow on long journeys!
2. Hand Sanitizer
Many foreign countries don’t stock up their facilities with soap, so if you’re planning to use the loo any place other than your hotel it’s a good idea to carry a large bottle of sanitizer. Remember that many times you won’t be around running water before eating, and hygiene standards won’t always be what you’re used to, so giving your hands a quick spritz can help ensure you’ll avoid the tummy troubles!
3. Bottled Water
Anyone who’s travelled will know the effects of drinking tap water from a place with different water sanitation standards! Stay on the safe side by bringing at least two bottles of water with you (more if you’ll be away from the shops for a few hours, or are going on a hike).
4. First Aid Kit
Make sure you take a full first aid kit with you at all times, including antibacterial wipes, waterproof plasters, good blister plasters, painkillers and healing cream. It’s also sensible to bring medications like thrush and cystitis treatments with you, as a pharmacy may not always be within reach and medications like this may be tricky to find – or cost a small fortune!
5. Tissues/Toilet Tissue
It’s not something we want to think about, but there are certain countries where toilet tissue isn’t widely used, so make sure you always keep some to hand.
And five items that you should take out of there ASAP!
Never carry any substantial amount of money in your handbag, as it makes easy pickings for thieves – even if you’re staying at a developed resort in luxury chalets! A better option is to use a travel card to take cash out abroad and then store the money in several different places – a note or two in your purse, one in your bra and the rest in the safe at the hotel!
2. Travel Documents
Always make sure to carry these on your person – a fanny pack is a good idea; if your handbag is lost or stolen it could ruin your whole trip. Another good idea is to photocopy all important documents and keep each set in a different place, and to be really safe email yourself an electronic copy too.
3. Expensive Phones
Yes, your iPhone or Blackberry may be an extension of your arm, but they’re also exceptionally desirable to thieves, and if you flash it about it may result in your whole bag being snatched. Leave your smartphone at home and purchase a cheap, no-frills, pay-as-you go phone instead, with a SIM activated for travel.
4. Expensive Camera
Cameras are also very desirable to thieves and generally not worth the hassle of taking abroad. Leave your DSLR at home and take a cheap compact camera to record your memories. Disposable cameras are a great choice and you can always have the photos put on a CD when you come home.
5. Alcohol or Drugs
Every country has different laws regulating alcohol and drugs, but it’s safest not to bring any alcohol at all. Always make sure that any prescription drugs you are carrying are in their original container and make sure that you have your prescription to hand. Don’t even think about bringing anything that’s illegal.
What do you always pack in your handbag when you travel, ladies?
Are you guilty of carrying anything on my ‘shouldn’t’ list?!
Susannah Perez is a keen traveller whose handbag has been around the world and back! Currently she writes for Dynamic Lives with all the travel tips you could need.