Despite the negative connotations I find the man purse a very important part of travelling (for me of course) – equal to the purse for women. It’s more subdued than the siren light that comes with the “fanny pack” screaming tourist. I would say it is even less obvious than the back pack albeit probably less secure. But don’t count it out just yet, walking the streets of Milan or Paris, it is a better choice than the backpack and more accessible. In some places it could be a liability especially in less developed areas, however it is as at home in Singapore, Seoul and Honk Kong as it is in New York, Melbourne or London.
Essentials for the man-purse, or any purse, back pack, and yes even – dare I say it – the fanny pack for that matter:
Power bank – phones are essential travel safety and fun equipment. It’s your phone for emergency, mp3 player, camera and GPS guide all in one. Having it work at all times is essential . Just make sure your power bank is fully charged, otherwise it’s an extra piece of nothing that you carry around with no power.
A black and white copy of your passport – a colour one, if stolen can be manipulated more easily than a monochromatic version. Black and white is just as useful and has all the information you would need for emergencies.
A pen – this is more useful than you think it is, even if you don’t have a paper to write on, the pen itself is more important.
Refillable bottle of water – ideally a collapsible one to save space when it’s done. You might not be able to find a local supermarket or fountain to drink fresh water, or even have the right change (which gives ample opportunity to be shafted by the seller).
Hotel/hostel Card – Especially if it’s in a language you don’t understand have it with you in case you need a ride back and the driver isn’t able to speak English. Should have the address and phone number.
Basic First Aid – If you can fit them – and you should, a couple of band aids and cotton balls, especially in lesser developed areas. Don’t need to bring back any infections with you if you can avoid it.
Those can all easily fit into your bag (yes even the fanny pack), so next time you can have slightly more ease of mind as you go out exploring.