Travel + Leisure

Traveling Professionally Taught Me How to Pack a Purse That’s Ready for Anything — Here’s What’s Inside 

Including one genius trick I learned from Samantha Brown.

By Kristy Alpert

There are many things I’ve learned since becoming a professional travel writer nearly 20 years ago; like the importance of saying “yes” more often to experiences that initially seem scary or daunting, but also how to be prepared for anything. Both lessons have slowly trickled into my daily life, whether on the road or not, and the proof is in my purse. 

Upon first glance, the contents of my purse may seem a bit strange. I mean, who carries a mini slab of duct tape with them? Me. I do. And this Samantha Brown-approved trick has come in handy more times than not. I carry some obvious essentials, too — like a personal safety alarm and scratch-resistant sunglasses (because I constantly forget to use a sunglass case) — because I like to be the girl who’s ready for anything, but does so with minimal bulk. 

 My travel purse isn’t huge, and I often just resort to a roomy crossbody or sling purse, but the few items I bring with me daily have purpose … many have multiple purposes. It’s important to me to always be ready, so I rarely carry anything with me that wouldn’t be allowed through TSA. Like me, my purse is always ready to go, whether I’m walking the sidewalks of my hometown or dodging mopeds in Hanoi.  

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