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100 Things to Put in Your Purse: Ultimate Guide for 2024!

What do you carry around in your purse? Chances are, it’s a lot more than just your wallet and phone.

In this ultimate guide to 100 things to put in your purse, I will cover everything from the basics like cash and cards to the more unique items like a passport or an emergency whistle.

Yes! An emergency whistle! 🙂

Whether you’re looking for ideas on what to pack for a weekend getaway or just curious about what other girls have in their everyday bags, keep reading for my top 100 things to put in your purse.

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100 things to put in your purse

The Everyday Purse, The On-go Bag, and the Travel Bag

Before we get into the 100 things to keep in your purse, let’s talk handbags!

To simplify it, I will break it into three categories: The everyday carry, the small purse (for essentials only), and the travel pack for road trips and travel days.

The Everyday Bag

This is your trusty sidekick. It’s the bag you reach for when heading out for work, a casual day out, or just about any regular day.

It’s roomy enough to hold your daily essentials – like a wallet, a small cosmetic bag (for quick touch-ups), a healthy snack, and even the book you can’t put down.

It’s usually durable because (think a leather bag), let’s face it; this bag sees a lot of action.

Whether it’s a tote, a satchel, or a hobo, it has a match most of your outfits and be ready for whatever your day throws at you.

Small On-The-Go Bag

This handbag fits only essentials. This bag has just enough room for a phone, a credit card, a lip balm or lipstick, and some breath mints.

It’s the bag you grab for a quick run to the store, a casual walk, or when your headed to a concert or for a date night out.

Crossbody bags and wristlets are often the go-to here.

Travel Carry-On Bag

The big kahuna! This is the bag you rely on when jet-setting or train-hopping.

It’s got to be spacious enough for carrying all the items you’ll need for a full day and maybe overnight of traveling.

Think essentials that make life easier and more comfy, like headphones, a neck pillow, snacks, a water bottle, and an extra pair of warm socks (my feet always get cold on a plane!)

It’s often a backpack or a more oversized tote with compartments to keep purse contents organized.

And let’s not forget it must be comfy to carry because nobody wants to be that person struggling with their bag while navigating the airport.

Alrighty then! Now that we’ve gone over the different types of purses you may be carrying, let’s dive into all the things to keep in your purse!

100 Things to Put in Your Purse: The Ultimate Guide

1. Passport

Don’t have a passport? Oh no! Get one as soon as possible!

You never know when you will have the opportunity to jump on a plane and travel the world!

2. Driver’s License

I still haven’t gotten my new fancy driver’s license. Have you?

3. Business Cards

Maybe I’m old school, but I still believe in the power of a good old business card. (especially for creatives)

Carrying your business cards in a nice carry case is even classier.

I use this business card holder to keep them from getting worn or dirty in the bottom of my purse.

4. Debit Cards and Credit Cards

God forbid I ever leave the house without my credit cards!

5. Cell Phone, Portable Phone Charger (+ a stylish phone case!)

You’ve got to have a cell phone in your bag.

Not only is a cell phone a must-have, but you’ve also got to have a portable phone charger or power bank!

Because a dead phone is, well, dead! It just can’t happen.

In addition to a portable phone charger, this power bank will ensure you’ve got enough juice to make it through the day and has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion!

 And while we’re talking cell phones and chargers, let’s not forget a stylish phone case.

Check out my new favorite phone case!– It’s got a built-in pop-socket, which I love.

things to keep in you purse or beach bag

6. Headphones

I love, love, love my AirPods!

I got them for Christmas; they are one of my favorite gadgets! The noise cancellation is the best part (when my husband snores!)

7. Earplugs

I always pack earplugs! They are a must for traveling. And if you’ve got a husband that snores! These loop earplugs are super comfy and are a game changer.

8. Wallet

Who remembers when we used to have huge wallets with checkbooks inside!? And about a thousand pictures of the kids!

Times have changed, but I still have a too big wallet!

Where else would I put my gift cards, loyalty cards, and all the old receipts I will probably never need?!

This is my wallet, in case you are curious. I got it for Christmas last year. (Thanks, babe!)

I love it because it has a nice big coin purse to hold all that loose change, which is handy when you have Grandchildren. 

9. Keys

This is another thing that has changed for me in the past few years. My car has a fob, and my front door has a keypad. So I have only the key to the mailbox left.

I still have my big giant key chain hanging in the laundry room because I’m afraid to throw those old keys away!

10. Pepper Spray

This is a good one; you can’t be too careful nowadays. Just be extra cautious not to spray yourself. I did this once long ago, and it was a miserable experience.

11. Sunglasses

I have owned about a thousand pairs of sunglasses. I buy cheap ones and expensive ones, and the same thing happens. They disappear. Ugh.

I love oversized sunglasses these days (because they protect more of my face!), and they have many cute ones on Amazon.

12. Sunscreen

I live in Arizona, so sunscreen is a significant part of my life. So I’ve got sunscreen for my face, body, and lips in my bag.

I recently discovered this Sunscreen Powder and love it! You can reapply it right over your makeup! It’s SPF 50 and was recommended by my dermatologist.

13. Lip balm

I cannot survive without chapstick. It has to be the original.

At bedtime, I put on this yummy lip mask, my favorite part of my nighttime routine, and it keeps chapped lips at bay.

Ever wonder what the difference is between lip balm and chapstick? I did! So I did a little research, and this is what I found out!

14. Your Favorite Shade of Lipstick (or gloss)

I have a few favorites: Nars afterglow lip gloss/balm in the shade Orgasm and Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk.

15. Hand sanitizer

We have a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer. I may never need to repurchase it! I love these purse-size hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works because they smell oh-so-good!

100 things to keep in purse

16. Eye Mask

Great for on a plane! I love this silk eye mask. It’s gentle on the eyes and blocks out light like a dream.

17. Travel Tissues

I love these travel-size tissues that I found on Amazon. I have them in my purse, gym bag, and stashed in my car.

18. Reusable Water bottle

I love my Stanley! It keeps water cold for hours and hours, which is a plus here in Arizona!

I also like this foldable water bottle, which can be folded from 9.8” to 5.5”. It’s Super awesome for travel!

19. A Healthy Snack

It’s always a good idea to keep a healthy snack in your purse.  

A granola bar or a small bag of trail mix can save the day when you get stuck somewhere and you are starving!

I love to have these little Sahale nut snack packs in my purse. They are so yummy, a great protein hit, and satisfy my sweet tooth without being too sugary.

20. Protein bars

I love, love, love these FITCRUNCH protein bars! We discovered them at Costco but also have ordered them on Amazon.

These fit crunch bars taste like candy and are packed with protein and low in sugar! (16 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar!)

21. Gum or mints

I love Altoids, and these little tins are so dang cute!

I buy them in bulk once a year or so. They are on my desk, car, gym bag, and kitchen junk drawer.

You never know when you are going to need a breath mint. 

You never know when you are going to need a breath mint. If you prefer gum over breath mints, this is a perfect purse-size gum.

22. Smal Cosmetic bag or makeup bag

I use these little mesh zipper bags in my purse and travel bags to carry small items and essentials.  

I love these small bags because you can see right through them, and they lay flat in my bag.

23. Makeup

The only makeup I carry in a purse daily is lip balm and concealer.

If we’re talking about an overnight bag, I pack my travel-sized makeup essentials:

Compact mirror, travel-sized primer, cc cream, blush, concealer, eye-lash curler, mascara, small eye shadow palette, eyeliner, lip liner, lipstick, and setting spray.

Related: My Favorite Makeup + Beauty Articles

24. Small Facewash

I have used a thousand different face washes over the years. These days, I use Cerave’s hydrating cleanser, and I love it. It’s become my holy grail face wash.

If you are in a pinch, you can always use Cerave’s face wipes, which always come in handy!

25. Face Moisturizer

My dermatologist got me hooked on Cerave! I use Cerave’s nighttime face moisturizer both day and night. I love, love, love all of Cerave’s products.

26. Facial mist

Sometimes, you need a blast of facial mist! Am I right?! I love this travel-size facial mist. And since I live in Arizona, I reach for it often!

essentials to keep in your purse

27. Hair ties and bobby pins

I’ve probably got several hair ties and clips at the bottom of my purse.

I use these soft and silky hair ties daily and these hair clips. If you use bobby pins, this bobby pin case (with bobby pins, of course) is super handy.

28. Hair Brush and/or comb

I love Wet detangling brushes and swear by them. I carry this travel-sized wet detangling hairbrush in my purse.

29. Perfume or body spray

I have worn Happy by Clinique for years and years. It’s my signature fragrance! So I have this little Happy Travel perfume in my bag, and I love it.

30. Deodorant

I switched to natural deodorant about five years ago and have not looked back.

It took me a minute to find the right natural deodorant. Then, my daughter-in-law told me about Kopari natural deodorant, which I’ve used ever since!

31. Hand lotion

I never leave home without lotion and hand cream! It’s dry here in Arizona, so dry skin can be an issue.

32. Feminine products (tampons, pads, or menstrual cup)

 Feminine products are a must-have for any everyday bag.

These tampon storage containers for your purse hold two tampons, keeping them from being destroyed in the bottom of your purse.  

Have you never heard of a menstrual cup? It’s a new feminine hygiene product that’s all the rage nowadays.

You can click here to learn more if you’re curious. 

33. Pain reliever medication

I buy these little travel-sized Ibuprofen packs on Amazon. I’ve got one in every bag.

34. Vitamins or Medication

I love this little pill container! It has two sections, closes nicely and tight, and even has a small mirror inside. These containers are available in a ton of colors!


Never leave home without my EpiPen! I learned this one the hard way. If you need an EpiPen, ensure you have several ready!

36. First Aid kit (it’s always great to feel prepared!)

a small first aid kit can be a lifesaver! You never know when someone will need some TLC.

I love these little first-aid kits, but it’s easy to put a small first-aid kit together on your own.

Gather band-aids, alcohol wipes, anti-biotic cream, a small pill box with pain reliever and antihistamine, a tweezer (for splinters), and anything else you may need.

Put it all in a small container like this one, and you’re all set! 🙂

what to keep in your purse

37. Blister pads

These are a lifesaver! If you’re headed out with high heels or new shoes, ensure you have some blister pads ready.

38. Antacid tablets

Whenever I go on a vacation and don’t have my heartburn meds, I regret it and have to run out to find them. Heartburn is the worst! I love this small, travel-sized tums.

39. Motion sickness pills

Even if you think you won’t need Dramamine, take it anyway. You never know. Dramamine has saved the day for our family many times!

40. Cough drops or throat lozenges

It gets awkward if you cough or clear your throat in public these days! That said, Cough drops are a must!

41. Eye drops

I use eye drops about 100 times per day! I’ve got dry eyes and terrible seasonal allergies, so I am an eye drop expert!

I use Lumify eye drops to get the red out and Pataday allergy eye drops when I have itchy eyes. (Which is 99.9% of the time!).

The great thing about the Pataday drops is you only need to use them once daily!

42. Contact lenses and case

I found this excellent travel contact lens case on Amazon that I’m considering grabbing. It’s got everything you need, including tweezers. But who uses tweezers to remove contacts? I’m confused by that.

43. Eyeglasses or Blue glasses

Do you wear blue glasses when you are on screens? If not, it’s high time you grabbed yourself a pair! I have reader blue glasses all over the house and in my purse.

I get this five-pack on Amazon for under $15!

If you don’t wear blue light-blocking glasses? Check out my article all about blue light and the benefits of blue light glasses.

44. Eyeglasses wipes

We buy these eyeglasses wipes in bulk! There’s nothing worse than dirty glasses! Ewwww!

45. Travel sewing kit

I have this little sewing kit in my travel bag. My husband tends to lose buttons, so I’m always glad I have it.

46. Safety pins

Have you ever needed a safety pin and couldn’t find one to save your life? I have!

Do yourself a favor and put a few in your makeup bag or toiletry bag! I grabbed these assorted safety pins so that I have a few sizes to choose from.

47. Travel-Sized Lint Roller

Investing in a small travel-sized lint roller is a good idea. These days I have a ton of hair fall out, and when we go out to eat, I get lint from the white cloth napkins all over my mostly black clothing. 🙂

100 things to put in your purse

48. Stain remover wipes or Tide to-go pen

I’ve carried these around for years! When I think, “I don’t need this in my purse,”- I need it! Tide-to-go pens are the best.

49. Travel-size Wrinkle releaser spray

Praise be for wrinkle release spray!

I hardly iron anymore! Between this wrinkle-release spray and my clothes steamer, the iron only comes out yearly to iron napkins for Thanksgiving.

50. Static guard

I don’t know about you, but static is a pain in the butt. I hate when my hair is flying up in the air with static. Travel-size Static guard to the rescue!

51. Change of Clothes

I have a change of clothes stashed in my gym bag, just in case. Sometimes I think I will be going straight home after, but plans change. So it’s nice to be prepared!

52. Personal Wipes or Baby Wipes

Life is too short to use scratchy toilet paper, so God made Cottonelle flushable wipes! They are great for my purse, gym bag, and travel bag.

53. CBD Pen or Gummies

I love CBD for stress and anxiety. For example, I use a CBD pen or CBD gummies when I’m going to fly because I get super stressed out when I fly.

54. Sweater or light Jacket

No matter the season, I need to have a sweater or light jacket with me. I get cold!

And hey! You never know when you must tie it around your waist and walk backward out the door! (one of my most embarrassing teenage memories!)

55. Travel Clothes Steamer

Clothes steamer– I love my little travel steamer! It has changed my life. Ironing is terrible enough, but ironing at a hotel with the iron spitting hot yucky water all over your clothes is the worst!

56. Flask

Having a nice flask for that rare occasion, you might need one is not bad. Me? I have run into an event or two when I have needed one!

I love this Stanley flask! I put ice-cold vodka or tequila in it, and it stays cold for hours and hours!

57. Fashion Tape

Want to avoid a wardrobe malfunction!? Then you need to keep fashion tape in your purse at all times!

Fashion tape has saved my butt a time or two! Fashion tape is double-sided strips for wardrobe mishaps!

Also, perfect for quick hemming and other emergency repairs.

58. Clear Nail Polish

Back in the day, I would NEVER leave home without clear nail polish to fix those pesky runs in my nylons!

59. Nail Care Kit

This little nail care kit will be your best friend in a nail emergency! I just ordered this cute nail care kit.

It’s got everything you need to touch up nails in a cute pink case. You never know when you will need a nail file, the rough edge off of a broken nail.

60. Hair Straightener or curling iron

This is my new favorite hair tool! I doubt I will ever go back to using a blow dryer and brush to style my hair again! It drys, straightens, and curls my hair! It’s the bomb!

61. Travel Hairspray

Who remembers big hair in the 80s?!

Thank God those days are gone. But they were a lot of fun, am I right?! I love this hair spray and see no reason to switch now. I’ve used it for years and years.

62. Dry Shampoo

Can I get a big YES and AMEN for dry shampoo!? YES. I thank the good Lord above for dry shampoo every chance I get.

I love this four-pack of Batiste Mini dry shampoos!

They are the perfect size for a purse, overnight bag, or suitcase.

63. Styling Mousse or Gel

Styling gel or mousse– I use Root Boost to add volume to my hair. Root boost works great on my fine hair- it helps add volume without weighing my hair down. Good stuff.

64. Leave in Conditioner

Since my Son is a hairstylist, I’ve got the skinny on all things hair. Since my hair is color-treated, I use Olaplex to deep condition my hair. I

t’s the best stuff in the world. Get you some.

65. Travel-Sized Shaving Cream

If you don’t have space for shaving cream, or you forget it-shave with conditioner! It is almost better than shaving cream for a smooth shave!

66. Razor

Razor– I found the best razor! It shaves both ways! That’s right.

You can safely shave forward and backward. It’s a great shave and a fast shave! You’ve got to check it out.

67. Tweezers

I can’t live without my tweezers!

I always carry a pair with me because if you don’t, you will need to tweeze your eyebrows while in the pick-up line, and you won’t have them.

Raise your hand if you know that the best place to tweeze your brows is in the car?! The light is perfect.

68. Mini Mouthwash

I can’t leave home without travel mouthwash in my bag.

You never know when you might need to freshen up your breath and listen!-gum and mints help, but they don’t cut the mustard after Thai food!

69. Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste

It’s good to carry a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste whenever possible.

They also have these cool disposal toothbrushes called Wisps that are a great addition to a cosmetics bag—ever heard of them? So handy!

70. Floss

Not having dental floss when you need floss is such a drag! If you love to floss, great, but I recommend the dental floss picks instead.

71. Dental floss pick

These dental floss picks are much better than old-school dental floss!

Like everything I like and use daily, I buy these glide dental floss picks in bulk. (Glide is the best!- The other brands bend and break.)

I also love this dental floss pick case for in my purse and gym bag.

72. Whitening Strips

These Crest whitening strips will whiten your teeth 20 levels in just 22 days!

73. Hat or Viseor

I don’t look good in hats! But! If I’m at the beach hanging by the pool or gardening. I wear one.

This hat is fantastic for on the go because you can roll it up and stash it in your purse or travel bag. Genius!

74. Swimsuit

I was shopping around on Amazon, and I can’t believe how many cute one-piece swimsuits (with tummy control) they have this season!

75. Swimsuit Cover-up

I have several swimsuit cover-ups, but I always keep my eyes peeled for new ones!

76. Sandals of Flip-flops

I would rather be barefoot, but since I have to wear shoes, I wear flip-flops as often as I can and Reef flig-flops are my absolute favorite flip flops on the planet!

And I love how I can throw them into my bag.

77. Travel Makeup Remover Wipes

Worth their weight in gold! I love these travel-sized Neutrogena Makeup Remover Facial Cleansing Towelettes! They are individually wrapped, perfect for my purse, gym bag, and vacations!

78. Foldable Beach Bag

This beach bag is great because you can fold it up to bring your purse or suitcase!

things to pack in your purse

79. Beach Towel

You’ll need a good beach towel if we’re talking beach bag.

These Turkish cotton beach towels are the best! I promise you!

They are lightweight and roll up great to fit in your bag; you can quickly shake off the sand and dry super fast!

80. Small Insect Repellent

I lived in Texas for nine years, and I always, WITHOUT FAIL, had insect repellent in my bag! Have you seen the bugs in Texas?

100 things to put in your purse

81. Picnic or Beach Blanket

This beach blanket is like this one that folds up and fits into its own little bag. We’ve had this blanket forever, and I swear by it! It washes up like brand new every time!

82. A Good Book

Don’t you love a good book?

You know, the kind you just can’t put down!? My two current favorite authors are Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkins Reid.

I just finished Malibu Rising and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. So good!

Do yourself a favor and grab a paperback for your bag!

Related: Inspirational Books for Women and Books for Overthinkers

83. Bookmark

I love these magnetic bookmarkers! I love them so much that I put them in everyone’s Easter baskets this year!

84. Kindle or e-reader

I don’t use a Kindle, but my sister swears by hers, so I think I will try one soon. I look at the feel of a book, but the Kindle is so convenient to use and more cost-effective than buying books.

*** UPDATE: My daughter bought me this small Kindle for my 61st birthday and I love it! It fits in my small cross-over bag which makes it super easy to take absoulty everywhere!

85. Journal

I love journaling! So much so that I have four different kinds of journals. I have a morning pages journal, a gratitude journal, a five-year journal, and an art journal!

Related: Checke out my article about Journaling here.

86. A Good Pen

You must find your favorite pen and then buy them in bulk!

87. Highlighter Pen

I like to highlight things as I read. I have these super cool pens that are a pen, a highlighter, and small little flags all in one!

88. Sticky Notes

Sticky notes– I love me some sticky notes! And I don’t leave home without them.

89. Nail Glue

Now, this is a good one. It’s never a good time to bust a nail, but it’s worse if you don’t have nail glue ready!

90. Puzzle Book

I love my cryptogram puzzle book with me on vacation! Cryptogram puzzles are so good for your brain! I love it.

My and my newest puzzle? Wordle! Do you Wordle?

91. Pistol

I don’t own a pistol, but one of my best friends reminded me to include this on the list! It’s a crazy, mixed-up world out there, so if you are inclined to carry a pistol, do it!

92. Mini Notebook

Mini notebook– I use notes on my phone these days, but having paper and a pen handy is nice. You never know!

93. Address Book

I still have my old address book. I don’t have the heart to get rid of it, even though all my contacts are on my phone.

What happens if we can’t access the cloud one day? If you are looking for a cute address book that will fit in your purse, this is a super cute one and comes in several different colors.

94. Daily Planner

I still use a daily paper planner because I love the old-school way of planning my day. Nothing like a good old-fashioned to-do list!

I have used many, many different brands of daily planners over the years. This is the one I’m using now and I really like it.

95. Shopping list

If you’re anything like me, I make a shopping list at home and forget it. I have to call my husband and ask him to take a picture of it. HA!

96. Tablet or Laptop

I take my laptop almost everywhere since I’m a blogger.

I just bought myself this quilted Calia tote, and I love it! It serves double duty as a purse and a computer bag.

It’s got a pocket for my phone and a full-sized water bottle!

97. Swiss Army Knife

Okay, this might sound a bit out there, but hear me out.

A Swiss Army Knife is like the multi-tasking superhero of tools. Need to snip a loose thread? Gotcha. Open a bottle? No problemo. Need a nail file? You betcha.

This small army knife is compact, super handy, and can bail you out of many mini-emergencies.

things to put in your purse

98. Camera

Most of us use our phones to take pictures these days, but I still bring my small digital camera or my big camera on trips or special occasions.

99. Travel Umbrella

I love this little travel umbrella! It fits in my large purse or my backpack with ease, and it’s nice and sturdy.

100. Small tape measure

This is a must! I cannot tell you how many times I needed a tape measure while out shopping!

Pro tip: It’s also good to put measurements into your notes on your phone if you find that perfect entry table while you’re out and about! 100 Things to put in your purse

As if 100 things to put in your purse isn’t enough? Here’s one more for good measure! (pun intended)

101. Emergency Whistle

Emergency whistle! (I couldn’t forget that one!) But this personal safety alarm is better than an emergency whistle!

My daughter is a nurse and has one on her keychain. In the world we live in today, it’s more than worth the $20 investment!

Makes a great gift, too. 🙂

Related: Fun + creative hobbies for women

Shop: 100 Things to put in your purse

Phew! 100 Things to Put in Your Purse!

So there you have it – 100 things to put in your purse.

Some of these 100 things to put in your purse are essential, while others are just for fun.

Let me know in the comments which of these 100 essential items you always carry around with you and whether I missed anything.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

XO, Christine

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

Want to learn more about me? 100 Random Things About Me (Just for fun)

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  1. I loved this post lol. My husband always laughs at me and says that I must have 100 things in my purse … now I actually can 😉

  2. Thanks for some new ideas for my already burgeoning purse 😂 I especially love the mesh zippable bags you shared, it’s helpful to be able to see where things are!

  3. Great article!! So many things, but you’d need a suitcase to bring them all. Lol
    Great ideas though! 😊

  4. What a great list! Some things I have in my purse, but a lot of things I didn’t even think about. Thanks for the thorough list!

      1. What purse do you own and can you put that on the article so we can get a purse that can actually hold all this

        1. Hi there! You are right! I forgot to add my purse/overnight bag/Beach bag Links! I will work on that and send you an update asap. Thanks for stopping by! XO, Christine

  5. What a great list! And now I need to see how you organize all that in your purse because I lose my phone in mine and it’s one of the biggest things in there! 🙂

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