A beloved icon within the travel industry especially when it comes to connecting women travellers, Journeywoman has remained a leading online travel magazine, and Matador caught up with the ever charming force behind Journeywoman, Evelyn Hannon, for a quick peek in her bag.

Evelyn’s words below

Chicken Bullion Cubes




My Jewish grandmother always said that her chicken soup was a cure-all for everything from the sniffles to a broken heart. Granny is gone now but her cure-all lives on.

I always carry a tiny box of chicken bullion cubes. Just add hot water and you’re ready to fight a sore throat, combat hunger pangs, or ease a disappointment on the road.

Barrettes & Pins

I pack light but need to be ready to dress up when necessary. Whether going out for dinner or to the opera, I simply concentrate on adding the tiniest glimpse of glitz.

A dime-store rhinestone barrette or sparkly pin in my hair works wonders with basic black shirt and dark jeans. Add a shawl and you’re good to go.

Emergency Contact Sheet

Yes, all your important contacts are in your iPhone or Blackberry. However, what happens if you misplace your phone or it gives you problems? Call me Miss Girl Guide but I carry a simple backup in my bag.

It’s one small sheet of paper with the heading: ‘In Case of Emergency Call Sheet.’ On that list are my three main contacts, their phone numbers and email addresses. I feel secure knowing they are there. Period.

Vitamin C / Piggy Bank

Every time I travel, I pop a bottle of Vitamin C into my bag. That bottle is not really my vitamin supply. It’s where I stash my emergency cash. Typically, I leave enough pills in so that they make a noise when you shake the bottle. Then I roll up five $20.00 bills and tuck them in. Voila, instant traveling piggy bank.

Electrical Tape

A small roll of electrical tape has a myriad of uses. A skirt or trouser hem come down? Tape it up in a pinch. Leaving your luggage at the hostel for a few days? Tape everything closed so nothing can be slipped in or out. Shipping a box home or want to put souvenirs into your journal. Simply tape, tape, tape.

Chinese Newspaper

Having to deal with touts in railroad and bus stations is a real chore.
By trial and error I’ve found my best defense. I pack the front page of a Chinese newspaper. When someone invades my personal space, I pretend that I don’t understand English and absorb myself in my Chinese reading material.

It works like a charm.

More on Evelyn Hannon

Evelyn Hannon put a backpack on for the first time in 1982 and travelled solo for five weeks. That initial journey was the catalyst in 1997 for creating her pioneering website, Journeywoman.com, an online travel resource for women.

Today at 70, Evelyn is known as the “Grandmother of Women’s Travel.’ She’s appeared on Good Morning America, been featured in PEOPLE Magazine, and for the work she’s done on behalf of women and travel, TIME Magazine chose her ‘one of this century’s most innovative thinkers’.

On any given day you can follow Evelyn on Twitter (@journeywoman) where she inspires females to travel safely and well.

Peek into more backpacks under our What’s In Your Backpack? series.