Do any of the six packing styles below sound familiar?
Here are our favorite packing personalities revealed.
By Melisse Hinkle, Cheapflights Travel Expert
Images courtesy of Cheapflights.ca
You’ve booked your vacation and now it’s time to pack. Some people dread this task with all their might while others have it down to a fine art. What does your suitcase and how you pack it say about you? Do you fall on the highly organized side of the scale with the likes of the Carry-On Connoisseur or the (Holy) Roller, or are you aligned with the heavily-burdened Over-Packers or the procrastinating Eleventh-Hour Power Packers? Let’s delve into the psychology of packing and the personalities that match them.
The (Holy) Roller
You read somewhere that rolling your clothes before putting them in your suitcase stops wrinkles and saves space. Who wouldn’t want a little extra wiggle room? With its cult-like following and tried-and-true reputation, rolling practitioners stand by their packing strategy with unmatched ferocity, religiously rolling every item until all those clothing coils are tucked in tight next to one another. It’s safe to say if you roll you’re not necessarily a travel trend-setter, but you’ve been around the block (or maybe around the world) and you will keep on rolling right through every trip because, “If it’s not broken, why fix it?”
The Back-Packer stands out like a sore thumb. After all, only a few die-hards still prefer to sling a rucksack over their shoulder and cart it through the terminal – while other travelers look on trying to figure out how long it takes to get to the items at the bottom end of the pack. Back-Packers go against the grain: often adventurous nature-seekers, they always appear to be fresh off the eastern U.S. Appalachian Trail or Spain’s Camino de Santiago (left) and ready to set up for the night just about anywhere. Outdoor enthusiasts, students heading on a semester abroad, and those who’ve quit their jobs to travel the world are all likely Back-Packer candidates. It’s also a safe bet that they are more likely to be staying in hostels than hotels.
An Over-Packer’s mind is chock full of “what ifs”: “What if I go horseback riding?” “What if we go out to fancy dinners eight nights in a row?” “What if I go running and walking? Surely, I’ll need two sets of sneakers.” These hypothetical scenarios can lead to an entire closet’s worth of items taking up residence in a suitcase, not to mention some potential overweight baggage fees and an exhausting trek through the airport with a heavy bag in tow. Over-Packers want all the comforts of home at their disposal. Cutting back isn’t their strong suit, and even when they think they’ve weeded out every possible unnecessary item, their bags still require the weight of an adult human sitting on it to zip all the way. They’re also no strangers to carting home a suitcase half full of unworn clothes.
The Carry-On Connoisseur
Checked bags (and their fees) are for the birds — at least, that’s The Carry-On Connoisseur’s mantra. This efficient traveler has perfected the art of traveling light and sashaying through airports with the greatest of ease. For this traveler, no trip is long enough to require a big bag. Organized, practical and minimalistic, Carry-On Connoisseurs know how to make the most of a small amount of versatile clothing. They own travel-sized everything, have no problem trimming the proverbial fat from their packing list and they are pros at maximizing suitcase space. Carry-On Connoisseurs are also planners: when they get up to the front of the security line, you can bet they have their electronics in an easily accessible pocket and their plastic bag of gels and liquids at the ready.
The Master of Many Mini Bags
The Master or Mistress of Many Mini Bags may be under the impression he/she is actually a Carry-On Connoisseur, but that would be a wrong assumption. The packing process starts out innocently enough with this person aiming to fit everything into one super-small bag. Diligently making like a (Holy) Roller, he/she fits an impressive amount into one mini bag, self-satisfied to be a candidate for being the best packer in travel history. But, wait, that was only the clothing. There are still things like shoes, bathroom products and that suit bag to carry on. Looks like another mini bag will be in order. And so they multiply …
The Eleventh Hour Power Packer
No organized piles or itemized lists here. The Eleventh Hour Power Packer is a whirlwind in the packing department, running around at, well, the eleventh hour throwing almost anything and everything into a suitcase. The end result could be wonderful or utterly disastrous, with these travelers preferring to live on the edge, be spontaneous and procrastinate. You’ll spot Power Packers at the security line reaching for a free plastic bag from a dispenser and digging around for all their liquids, gels and valuables. Life’s too short and too busy to worry about being completely organized.
If you didn’t see yourself in any of the above packer personalities, check out the remaining five personas that made the list – The Parental Packer; the Artist on the Go; the Hack-er Packer; the No-Nonsense Nomad; and the Well Equipped Explorer – on the Cheapflights.ca website.
As part of the Momondo Group which is an online travel media and technology company, Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996. Today it is an online leader in locating and publishing travel deals. The Group now delivers travel search and inspiration to over 15 million visitors a month – plus seven million travel newsletter subscribers – via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.ca) and Momondo (www.momondo.com) brands. The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with users worldwide.