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May I look into your purse or wallet?

I use my Baggalini cross body purse daily because I am used to its organizational systems; clips for keys, phone pouches, zippered compartments, credit card slots etc. When I get ready to travel one of the last things I do is have the "big changeover" to lighten my load and leave behind everything that I won't need in (or on the way to) Europe.

I take out all of the gift cards, coupons, and credit cards for local businesses. I take out all keys except my house key.

I take 1 or 2 credit cards in my purse, insurance cards, DL, pen/tiny note pad, mints, cloth zippered bag for euros, tissues, spare glasses, small sunscreen, phone that substitutes as a flashlight, kindle, magnifying glass and camera.

What do you take or leave behind from your purse or wallet?

Posted by
544 posts

I leave everything at home from my wallet except

-Driver's License, but only if I'm planning to rent a car
-Debit Card
-Visa Card
-AMEX Card
-$100 in $20 bills US

In my phone I have copies of everything above and a copy of my glasses and contacts Rx just in case.

It's shocking how much stuff I end up carrying around in my wallet day-to-day at home. I wish I could travel as light at home as when I'm out and about in the world. No keys, no work credit cards, no costco card, the list goes on and on it seems!

Posted by
14269 posts

I take:
-passport which gets transferred to my money belt when I can hit a bathroom after Immigration
-Drivers License since I have a 40 mile drive to the airport
-about $100
-however much leftover € or £ from the last trip
-2 debit cards
-2 credit cards (and I wound up taking the Costco AMEX card last time as my Skymiles AMEX was compromised just 2 days before departure. I actually took the compromised one as well since I had purchased my Eurostar ticket on it in case anyone needed to see it for some reason.)
-Health insurance cards (for when I am still in the US and the supplemental covers out of the country)
-Travel insurance printout
-Teeny tub of Vaseline
-Teeny tub of mentholatum
-Olbas Pastilles cough drops
-Plastic envelope with paperwork/2 pens/1 pencil/postit notes/couple of paper clips

I leave behind
-27 different Chapstick/lipbalms
-Old grocery lists
-Old grocery receipts
-All the other credit/insurance cards
-Spiral calendar/memo book
-17 pens, pencils and assorted writing utensils

Posted by
1057 posts

The annoying things I need room for are the extra specs. I'm extremely myopic and also can't wear progressives. So I have the distance glasses, the reading glasses (so I can figure out what I'm eating 😝) and the prescription sunglasses. One set on my face, the other two in my purse at all times. Also, for Europe I always have one or two of those tiny stuffable nylon shopping bags in my purse for those frequent market stops. For next summer's trip, I've decided to live with just iPhone photos, no camera. Then just the basics: tissues, Chapstick, small wallet clipped inside purse. A fold-up water pouch to fill at fountains as needed, drink, and refold. Stuffable rain jacket if needed.

Last trip, I took the Civita day bag. Ended up looking and feeling like an overloaded Sherpa, with the bag stuffed with his 'n hers water bottles (because my bag had two bottle holders and husband's camera bag had none) and everything else he couldn't carry in his role as official photographer, including both rain jackets. It was too much for non-travel days. Less is more.

At home I use a tiny organizer bag with the built-in card slots, but I want a little extra security for my cards and cash so I went for the zipped and clipped separate wallet.

Posted by
19170 posts

Everything of importance for me goes in my money belt - passport, drivers license (useful for getting audio guides without leaving your passport), all credit cards, and most of my foreign currency. The only US currency I have with me is just enough for incidental expenses in the US before departure and after arrival; I also take along several hundred euro, brought back from my last trip, so I will be assured of having some euro when I arrive without relying on an ATM. After I arrive, I will put a little foreign cash, enough for a day, possibly one credit card, and maybe my drivers license in an old wallet I should throw away. I take the few things I will need over there out of my everyday wallet and leave the whole thing at home.

As for taking US currency, the days of Europeans loving American dollars is over. If you want $100 US as backup, and you didn't bring 100€ home from the last trip, get it from Wells Fargo before you leave. Put it where you would put the $100 and don't use it except for an emergency. Then, if you need it, you won't have to hunt around for someone willing to take your "funny money".

Posted by
2487 posts

Cash for the day. Photocopy of passport. Bank card for ATM.
The rest - excess cash, passport, credit card, train or plane tickets - is safely at the hotel.

Posted by
368 posts

Hi Mona:
I carry a very small cross body bag. I have a small wallet, bought for travel,with cash for the day, my medical insurance card, driver's license and a debit card. My iPod for pictures and email access, a few hard candies, a fan (I am going through many hot flashes), Kleenex, pages from my guide book and a map. I also take a card from my hotel in case the feet give out and I want to take a taxi back. If I remember I put in chapstick. I have an umbrella that can clip onto the strap and take that if it looks like rain. Everything else is in the money belt, or if the hotel has a room safe it goes there.

Posted by
1625 posts

I found a Baggalini for $20.00 just before our trip, perfect size bag. I take my real wallet with me , it has all credit cards not in use (back ups), insurance cards, 100.00 dollars, and it gets kinda cleaned out from receipts and old gift cards. My real wallet will live in my black Kipling Sherpa carry on bag along with our car keys throughout the trip.
In the wallet that goes in my Beggalini is:
- My Euros
-ATM card
-2 credit cards
-all receipts collected through the day
-Subway pass
-Museum pass

In the purse itself:
-sun glasses
-hand sanitizer
-Kleenex (I used this many times for toilet paper or to line a toilet throughout the trip)
-Any tickets for the day
-pages from the guidebook to be used for the day
-passport (always in a rained one day and it got all bent out of shape)
-maps for subways or for the city (picked up in the city)

I don't use a money belt. I use a cross body purse in my daily life and naturally my hand goes over the opening so I just do this when I travel and have had no problem. I also usually tie a scarf around the strap on the outside of the bag and sometimes even a rain coat ( I don't like things tied around my waist). I even have a hard time getting into the purse sometimes with all the stuff hanging off of it!

Posted by
11613 posts

I am a big fan of the cross-body bag, here or while traveling. My Mandarina Duck microfiber cross-body bag holds: neck wallet pinned to the cloth lining at the bottom of the bag when it's not around my neck (which holds passport, euro, change, photo id for renting headphones, etc., credit cards and debit card), water bottle, iPad mini, dumb phone I bought specifically for travel, tickets or vouchers for the day, small notebook and pen. Maybe my small point-and-shoot, but I generally default to the iPad mini for taking photos.

Posted by
4535 posts

As for taking US currency, the days of Europeans loving American dollars is over. If you want $100 US as backup, and you didn't bring 100€ home from the last trip, get it from Wells Fargo before you leave. Put it where you would put the $100 and don't use it except for an emergency. Then, if you need it, you won't have to hunt around for someone willing to take your "funny money".

I disagree. Having a $100 or more in US dollars (assuming you are American - insert home currency otherwise) is a good emergency plan. It costs you nothing to bring it and nothing if you don't spend it. It DOES cost you money to get euro beforehand and bring with you. If you wind up needing to use the dollars, currency exchanges are still quite common. Just exchange what you need (albeit at a high rate). No one is suggesting that you try and spend US dollars in a store.

Posted by
2633 posts

My regular wallet is big and rather heavy so no way I'm taking it. I instead use a zippered cloth wristlet-type pouch that has a loop and is clipped inside my cross-body bag down at the bottom, no way it's leaving my purse unless I remove it, but I can still access if needed.

Inside I have daily cash, 1 credit card and coins--debit card, extra credit card, health insurance card, driver's license, passport and excess cash go in belt loop pouch.

Purse for daily use is a cross-body messenger bag, medium-sized and perfect for travel; contains phone, camera, sunglasses, small sunscreen, small makeup pouch, tissues, ibuprofen, gum, roll of tape and band-aids in case of blister emergency (didn't need last trip but better safe than sorry!), map, sometimes guidebook, also room for a Lara bar or similar snack and water bottle, and a travel umbrella and light sweater if need be.

Posted by
92 posts

I just got back from a trip to London. My travel purse, which I carried every day in London (my husband had a small day pack) contained:

-Oyster card (that's the London transit card)
-a small wallet, containing US driver's license, ATM card, 2 credit cards, health insurance card, and Royal Historic Palaces member card
-some cash (always some change in case of a pay toilet)
-a small Tube map, the paper kind they give you
-feminine hygiene products as needed
-a couple of band-aids
-a snack-sized Ziploc bag with a tiny container of hand lotion and lip balm
-a small plastic container for any meds I might need that day, plus Tylenol and ibuprofen just in case
-my set of keys to the flat we'd rented
-one of those skinny Kleenex purse packs

And that's it. My husband carried the map, list of information, water bottle, pencil, snacks, umbrella when needed, a plastic carrier bag (plastic grocery bag), and whatever else he had (mostly stuff we'd picked up that day, like a gallery map or the odd purchase) in the day bag.

My travel purse is a $20 black fake leather one I got at Target. It's smaller and lighter than any other purse I own, has an outside zippered pocket for my travel card, and one main zippered pocket for everything else. I can wear it cross-body (this is more for not having it slip off my shoulder or leaving it behind, than worrying about theft) and did I mention it's light? It was inexpensive enough I wouldn't care if anything happened to it. I found out on this trip that getting soaking wet in the rain doesn't hurt whatever it's made of!

Note: for London, I didn't bother with hand sanitizer and extra Kleenex for emergency toilet paper. In other places, I have and would again!

Posted by
1221 posts

Another person who uses cross body bags as an everyday purse. Currently I'm going back and forth between a Red Oxx Chica and a Tom Bihn Cafe bag depending on the day's wardrobe choice.

I've got an oversized wallet packed to the gills with travel debris and I probably should do a purge of it but then I think of how if I'm only digging for a stamp and find myself smiling because in the process of the hunt, I've turned up a used Paris Metro ticket, a 2013 US National Parks Pass Card, a key card from the Hyatt House Boulder and another one from a Courtyard in Utah, and parking receipts from a garage in Salzburg and a lot on Konigsee and I find myself smiling and wondering what the next adventure could be.

Posted by
2531 posts

In: cash, an ATM card, a credit card if a large purchase is contemplated and my driver's license. Out: everything else, with some in deep storage (e.g. health insurance card).