I love to travel light on the go. For several years, toting a baby and young kids made this challenging. Now that a diaper bag is far in my past I'm back to my minimal ways. I'm in love with my current purse and essentials situation and would love to share what's working for me.
When I've carried bigger purses before I would inevitably find a drift of random things in the bottom – a random toy, enough pens for an entire office, and trash like receipts, grocery lists, etc. Using a smaller purse means I literally cannot accumulate things I don't need. Even though they don't need diapers any more, I do bring a few extra things when the boys are with me, like water bottles and a snack. Maybe a pack of wipes if we'll be away from the car (I keep wipes in the car). To bring these I just grab a tote bag and throw things in there. I do this for the movies too when I always bring my own water bottle and usually my own snack. I like this tote "add-on" situation better than always carrying a bigger purse that will accommodate those things. This way when it's just me running an errand or meeting up with a friend I can be my true minimal self.
Here's what I'm currently carrying...
Fjällräven Pocket purse. This little purse was on my wish list and was a birthday gift from my mother-in-law last year. When she gave it to me she said it was much smaller than she imagined and asked if it's really what I wanted. I assured her it was! True to it's name, this pocket purse has just enough room and clever pockets for everything I need. This is the first cross-body bag that I've carried and I love that it keeps my hands free. Before I had this purse I didn't have a good purse to carry to the grocery store. So I would put my debit card in one back pocket, my phone in the other, and then detach my car key fob and put that in one front pocket. It helped me travel light but then my debit card would not end up back in my wallet and the key fob would be annoyingly disconnected from the rest of the key chain. Plus I felt like I had so much stuff in my pockets – because I did. All problems solved with my current purse.
Besu wallet. I've had this little fabric wallet for years and although it's probably time for an update it's served me so well. It has enough room for my ID; debit, credit, health insurance and library cards (the library card being the most essential!); and a few bucks (although I rarely have cash) but the slim size means I can't accumulate too many extras. See the theme here?
Zebra F-301 pen. I always have at least one in my purse. These are my very favorite pens and have been for a long time. This is a ballpoint pen with a fine tip and nice heft for a slim pen. I hate writing with anything else and you never know when you'll need to jot something down.
Sticky rainbow to do list. When I have lots of little things to do in a day or several errands to run I love to write them down on one of these cheery notes. It helps me stay focused and feel accomplished as I check things off.
Sunglasses. So essential in Arizona. Yes, these are the free sunglasses I got over a year ago at an event. And yes, I actually have two pairs. I know! It's so weirdly hard for me to replace some thing when the current version is fine...even if it's not great. (Classic underbuyer.)
Chapstick. Also essential in this dry dessert climate. I'm not loyal to the Chapstick brand, it just happens to be what I have right now.
Cough drop. Is there anything worse than being stuck somewhere and feeling the tickle in your throat that cannot be soothed? No there is not.
And two extras not pictured:
Hair elastic + bobby pin. I must have used the one I normally keep in my purse! I need to restock because it's definitely an essential. I just slip the bobby pin onto the hair elastic so they are always together.
Hydroflask. OK, this one does not fit in my tiny purse but I never leave the house without it. This time of year it's always filled to the brim with ice water before I go anywhere. Depending on my errands I'll leave it in the car and despite reaching 110+ degrees in the car I always return to ice water. Magic! (Or great engineering.)
What are your on-the-go essentials?