What does your suitcase style say about you? Credit: Getty Images
You’ve booked your vacation — congratulations! Now it’s time to pack — ugh! Some people dread this task, while others have it down to a fine art. The travel experts at CheapFlights.com, the online leader in finding travel deals, have delved into the psychology of what your suitcase says about you and compiled a list of 11 packing personalities. 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 burdened down Over-Packers or the procrastinating Eleventh-Hour Power Packers? Here are the first five on the list; check out the other six on CheapFlights.com.
The (Holy) Roller — You’ve seen this packing personality type many times. In fact, you’re probably a “roller,” too, because one day, long ago, you read somewhere that rolling your clothes before putting them in your suitcase mitigates wrinkles and saves space. Who wouldn’t want a little extra wiggle room? With its cult-like following and tried-and-true reputation, rolling is nothing new. Its practitioners stand by their packing strategy with unmatched ferocity, religiously rolling shirt after shirt and pair of jeans after pair of jeans, until all those clothing coils are tucked in tight next to one another. It’s safe to say that 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 — 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 off into the sunset — er, toward the terminal — while others look on in amazement trying to figure out how long it takes to get to the items at the bottom. Back-Packers go against the grain: Often adventurous nature-seekers who laugh in the face of traditional rolling bags, they always appear to be fresh off the Appalachian Trail and ready to set up shop 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, probably with a few stories tucked away, too.
The Over-Packer — 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 to and from the airport with a heavy bag in tow. Have you ever unzipped your suitcase at the check-in desk to remove a few items and lighten your load? (You know who you are.) Over-Packers prefer to have options on vacation; they 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 a human sitting on it to zip all the way. They’re also no strangers to carting home a suitcase at least half full of unworn clothes. But, hey, at least there were plenty of options.
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. No suitcase nook or cranny has been left unturned and 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. They might even have a vacuum pack or two up their sleeves. Carry-On Connoisseurs are also planners: When they get up to the front of the security line, you can bet your bottom dollar 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 — Warning: The Master of Many Mini Bags may be under the impression he is actually a Carry-On Connoisseur, but he would be wrong. The packing process starts out innocently enough with The Master aiming to fit everything into one super-small bag. Diligently making like a (Holy) Roller, he fits an impressive amount of threads into one mini bag and gives himself a pat on the back for being the best packer in the history of travelers. But, wait, that was only The Master's clothing. There are still things like shoes, bathroom products and that suit bag hanging in the closet. Looks like a second mini bag will be in order. And so they multiply. A bit scatterbrained and impractical yet carefree and adaptable, The Master of Many Mini Bags is always up for a challenge or new adventure — even if it doesn’t work out as planned.
If you didn’t see yourself in any of the above packer personalities, check out these next personas to make the list: The Parental Packer; the Artist on the Go; the Hack-er Packer; the No-Nonsense Nomad; the Well Equipped Explorer; and the Eleventh-Hour Power Packer.