Women with small, empty handbags make me nervous. What are you carrying around in there? More importantly, what are you not carrying around in there? I love a designer handbag that will carry me through decades of time, and when my twins were born making my family a family of six, I knew I needed the biggest handbag of all time. That lead me to choose the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, and I needed the GM. It’s the biggest of the three Neverfull bags, and it’s been my saving grace. I can carry all our carry-on stuff in it on any flight. I can make it a diaper bag and a handbag, I can put my groceries in it. I could put the twins in it. It’s large, and it’s always full.
I have so much stuff to carry around that I need on a daily basis and no matter how much I try to keep it as empty as possible, I need every single thing I carry. At this particular moment in time, my bag has a makeup bag, my wallet, my brush, lotion, hand sanitizer, a pack of Pampers Baby Wipes, six diapers, one change of clothes for each of the twins, their snack cups, additional snacks, my checkbook, pens, my iPad pro and even my phone. I still have ample room.
As I depart for NYC in just a few days on a fun girls’ grip, I have more to put in there (and I’ll take the diapers out). My husband is not attending my trip with me – which is a big deal since we have never traveled apart in 15 years together. I’m only going to be gone one night, but I already miss him. He’s worried about me, as he is such a gentleman, and he continuously reminds me of the many things I need to keep in my handbag while I’m gone. He wants me to remember to keep it closed, he wants me to carry Mase, he wants me to remember this and that and a changer and everything under the sun. It made me think about how many items we ladies keep in our bags regularly, and how there are a few things we simply cannot go without in our handbags.
If you’re not sure what you need, what you don’t need and what can go, think twice. Do you need something you’re not carrying, or is that item something more important than it seems? There are a few things we all need in our handbags, and I have them right here for you.
You don’t have to carry a lot. I always keep at least $20 on me, however. I like to do this because you never know when something might happen. My debit card was all I carried with me at one point, and then I realized that it was a bad idea. I ordered new annual passes from Disney’s website one afternoon before running quickly to the store to grab a package of diapers on the way to get my hair done. When I went to pay for my hair, my card did not work. Apparently, my bank decided that it was suspicious activity to go from Disney to the store to the salon, and they deactivated my card. My $20 wouldn’t cover my hair, but you need cash because you never know what might happen to your cards.
Feminine Hygiene Products
Ladies, this goes without saying; or so I thought. You should always have at least one lady product in your bag even when it’s not your time. There will always be that one time you start early, forget you’re starting or you are gone longer than you thought. Besides, what if it happens to an empty-handed friend? You should be there to save the day. I also like a spare pair of underpants, too, just in case (that’s a long story from a short flight a few years back…I never travel without them anymore).
A Phone Charger
You might not care too much if your phone dies while you’re out, but you need to avoid that. If something happens to you, charging your phone is something you will wish you’d done. If you break down, you will need a charger if you can get to public location nearby. If you are lost, being able to charge your phone and call for help is a good idea.
An Emergency Contact
Ladies, something in your bag that tells the world who to call in case of an emergency is a good idea. If your phone has a lock on it and no one can get it, it makes things hard. I like a laminated personal contact sheet in case of emergencies. It has my husband’s name and his number, my parents, our kids and our doctors.
Emergency Medical Cards
If you have health issues, be sure your emergency cards are always in your bag and on your person. These will save your life if something is to happen to you and you don’t have a way to let doctors know you are allergic to anything or that there is an issue.
Photo by Getty Images