I’d like to say that I’m a truly minimalist traveler. I board the plane with only my passport and my camera. Ha!
I have managed to lessen the amount of clothes and toiletries I take each trip, but when it comes to my purse when traveling, I try to prepare for every situation. Even for short two hour flights, I like to have my comforts with me. You never know when a two hour flight might turn into a two hour delay on the tarmac. Not that it’s ever happened to us, of course. If it did, however, I would be completely ready.
First, I like to have a cross body purse almost all the time, but especially for traveling. It doesn’t fall off my shoulder; it’s more difficult to steal; and it keeps my hands free for photography. My purse is always the fullest when we are on our flights. When walking around and exploring, I minimize it as much as possible.
So, what do I require for every flight?
- Camera equipment. I always take a lot of pictures when we first arrive at a place, so I have my camera (Canon EOS M), both lenses (18-55mm and 22mm), an extra battery, and a lens brush.
- Passport holder with two passports and cash. I prefer to use this slim Coach passport holder as a wallet when I travel. It’s small, and it holds everything I need. I have to carry two passports, which is very weird and confusing at times. One I use just for entering and exiting Korea; it has my SOFA stamp in it. I never show the Korean immigration officials my other passport because it just confuses everyone. My other passport is the one that I use everywhere else. It has all my beautiful travel stamps in it. I never show other countries my SOFA passport because it just confuses everyone. It took a few travels for me to figure out this system. I always carry cash when we travel. It’s just a good thing to have on hand. I make sure to tuck away enough for us to take the airport bus home on our return journey.
- Sunglasses. So I can look fabulous when I arrive.
- Snacks. You’d think I am some severely overweight food hoarder the way I stock up on snacks before I board a plane. However, granola bars and crackers have come in very handy on some of our travels. We have been shocked that some airports have no food or restaurants once you get through security. I always worry that I am not going to like the airline food (not an irrational fear), and like to have backup sustenance. I always take my own water on the plane, because the dry air makes me so thirsty, and they never give you enough to drink.
- A small arsenal of toiletries. Tissues, because, in Asia, you just never know what the bathroom might be like. That goes for the hand sanitizer, as well. I know it was a small airport, but the airport in Coron, Philippines had nothing. In fact, I had to scoop water from a bucket to make the toilet flush. Luckily, I was prepared. I also take my most essential essential oils- OnGuard (because there are too many germs for me to fight on my own), and peppermint (fresh breath!) I have little powder energy sticks to mix in with my bottle of water, and an array of medicine that I wrongly mix together in one convenient bottle. The air on planes really does dry me out, I pack hand lotion (that does not have a snap top, which will cause lotion to explode on you in a pressurized cabin), lip balm, and one-time use eye drops to combat the air. Perfume rollerballs are perfect for helping you freshen up after a long, stale flight, and a hair band and bobby pins are always needed. I usually have small bags that I shove all of this in to keep my purse organized.
- Entertainment. You can only people watch for so long. I always bring my phone (not pictured), headphones, iPad, travel journal, and a book. Sometimes, I download books on my iPad and leave the hard copies at home. Jared got me a keychain Mophie charger for Christmas that can charge both my phone and iPad (always be prepared!) I always have a tiny address book where I write the most important addresses I need for postcards. It’s helpful to have the pen for my journal because we always have customs and immigration forms to fill out, and flight attendants can be a little stingy with theirs. I always keep a travel journal, and I most often write in it during flights.
It might seem like a lot, but it packs down pretty nicely, and it is hard to imagine what I would leave behind. I’ve stopped packing 2-3 magazines, my planner, and extra socks; so this really is an improvement!