Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere // Packing a Purse or Personal Item

One week from today I'll be touching down in London! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am! I thought I would talk about my tips on packing a personal item as my last travel post before I leave the the blog is quiet. This was a huge trial and error for me to get to this and I hope I can save you some time and stress. I wasn't so fortunate and made a lot of annoying, not to mention heavy, mistakes but I digress.

So this is my final post in regards to packing tips is the personal item. (If you want to check out my checked bag post and carry on packing tips check out the links.) Listen, I have had a different purse/tote on every trip I've taken. I have yet to find an airplane purse/personal item that works for me. One day I will, it is my solemn vow. Until then I will tell you what I found the be essential in the overall packing process and planning your personal item. I finally figured out on my last trip that less really is more and by that I mean pack your carry-on backpack with all your 'must-needs to survive' essentials like we talked about and use a medium sized cross-body purse or tote to keep with you that has all your plane ride must-haves. Make it light. No joke, guys. Do not make your purse heavy or carry a huge tote with you. I've made this mistake and not only does it cut down on leg room because you have to shove it under the seat but it gets awkward to carry on your shoulder or elbow. A cross-body bag leave you hands free to find your passport, take out essential documents, and grab your luggage.

What Goes in My Purse
Boarding Pass--duh
iPod--Yes, I am old school and do, in fact, still use an iPod. I feel that it save son my phone battery and I can put a lot more music on my iPod than take up precious photo space on my phone
Kindle--to load up with as many ebooks as your little heart desires
1 Physical Book-For me, this is always The Bronze Horseman and--good pick, Kel--because it's a tome. However, it's a comfort read. I take it with me on every trip and because it's so long it lasts me in between Kindle books or if I don't have electricity to charge my Kindle. Tip: My advice is to pack ONE and only one physical book. My rational the first time I packed this was when I went to Africa. I didn't know how often I would be able to charge my Kindle so I wanted a large book that would keep me occupied when my Kindle wasn't in use. Now for all those same reasons I still take it with me. It's a perfect travel companion albeit it is large.
Wallet--ID, cash, credit cards, debit cards. I want these within my sight at all times. Like I said, I trust no one ever anywhere.
Glasses and Pre-Filled Contact Case--Overnight flights must-have. I put my glasses and contact case within reach when I'm ready to go to sleep. And yes, I pre-fill the case with contact solution prior to leaving as to avoid awkwardly trying to do it mid-flight
Hand Sanitizer--Planes and airports are dirty. And it always feels better to have fresh feeling clean hands.
Gum--Fresh breath is never a bad idea...ever
Meds--Not only am I prone to migraines and need meds for that but I always take an aspirin before a long flight as well as a Benadryl once the meal is over to help me sleep
Super Hydrating Face Moisturizer--I take my makeup off once I settle in on the plane. The air is so dry and gross that makeup will wreak havoc on your skin. After that I moisturize my face throughout the flight just to help my skin stay hydrated and healthy. I switch back and forth between Glam Girl Thirsty Mud Mask and Clinique Moisture Surge. I love them both and haven't decided which one I'll take with me yet. Decisions...
Journal--I'll usually start writing an entry at the airport on the plane so I like to have this within reach and can usually just slide in behind stuff.

This system was so perfect for me and my last trip. It gave me so much more leg room under the seat for me to stretch my legs underneath. The smaller purse with the ultimate essentials of essentials was small and so easy to carry. The only mistake I made was not testing the bag before I used it. It ended up being much smaller than I anticipated and my bag was Tetris'd perfectly but it was annoying not having a little wiggle room. When I find the perfect travel purse, y'all will be the first to know. Until that day, I usually buy a new one each trip. I'm hoping the next trip will have the winner now that I know what I'm looking for.
What are your on-board essentials?
Do you have a specific purse or tote you always take?
Or a favorite book that accompanies you?
Passport and Journal

Don't forget to post on Instagram with the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday! It can be anything--a throwback travel photo of a place you've been, a Google image of where you want to go, an inspirational quote, a travel themed trinket you have, anything that inspires your wanderlust.


  1. I absolutely agree with the "less is more" philosophy when it comes to packing, but most especially when it comes to packing my personal items. I just want everything within reach, and I don't want to overpack! I've pretty much perfected my system (and we have very similar ones, except that I carry my contacts and usually just wear glasses) :)

    1. You are a BOSS at packing! I know this for a fact and I know you're like me with less is more! <3

  2. I'm all about the cross-body bag + backpack! I've been bringing my LV Neverfull tote on most plane trips and I can't count how many times I've spilled its content while trying to grab my suitcase from baggage claim.

    1. Yes!! My bag HAS to have a zipper because of that reason! Then I can just shove it under the seat and hope for the best haha

  3. Loved this, Kelly! As often as I travel, I feel so silly for not having thought of a cross-body medium bag + backpack. I tend to have a medium shoulder purse to shove under the seat and a larger tote to put overhead. Good thinking. It's genius.

    I, too, carry my glasses and pre-filled contacts case with my personal item bag. Moisturizer was a recent add-on to the list, as I'd always wash my face and brush my teeth but never had something to keep my face hydrated.

    Where we DO differ is the entertainment. Phone, iPod (me too!), ereader, book...yes. But I tend to bring two paperbacks. Granted, they're thinner together than Bronze Horseman alone, but I'm always picky about what to pack and my indecisiveness takes over. Even though I do this, I still wouldn't recommend it (hahaha). It requires a lot of packing (and re-packing) engineering...

    1. Great minds think alike! And so true about your TWO books being less space than my one haha. If I didn't pack an 800 page tome I would probably pack 2 different smaller paperbacks, too just for variety! I always find it hard to figure out what books to dl for my Kindle, too but I always figure it out somehow! :)


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