What Does a Traveler’s Packing Style Say About Their Travel Behavior?

We outline a few classic “types” of packers and what this can teach us about their travel habits.


Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure (and sometimes the horror) of observing how those close to us pack for trips near and far. As pre-meditated packers ourselves, we find it continually fascinating to see both what and how the people around us pack, and also what we can infer about their personalities from these packing style “quirks.” However, this isn’t only fascinating from a sociological perspective. Travel companies of all shapes and sizes can leverage these packing insights as a way in to better and more personally serve their customers, with the end goal of making their trips more memorable across the board. Curated based on years of insights, we broke it down to the top six discernible types of packers, and all of the learnings that come along with them.


The List-Maker

A tightly-edited selection is the name of the game for the list-maker. This person creates their packing list weeks in advance, editing and culling it down to their final list that they eventually pack from. Spontaneity is not the list-maker’s strong suit — this packer is a planner through-and-through. Expect this packer to have an equally detailed itinerary that they are working off of, with little room for deviation.

The Monochrome Packer

Black, white, heather grey. You only have to take one look at this suitcase to know that this packer is both modern and savvy. They create the palette as their structure, and then have room to play within those confines. Everything works together in this packer’s suitcase — they don’t have to think about specific outfits in advance because they know that there are endless combinations that inherently go together. Expect a general itinerary from this packer, but also room to play — if they find a great coffee shop or gallery, they may throw the itinerary to the wind in favor of living in the moment in that newly discovered place.

The Overpacker

What if I need to go rock climbing? What is there’s a surprise opening gala? The overpacker feels compelled to pack for every possible scenario, not matter how far-fetched. Have you ever seen someone sit on their suitcase in order to close it? That is the overpacker. There is something ethereal and creative about this packer, and organization and structure is not their strong suit. This packer may have an overly-detailed list of places to visit that is not plausible given the current space time continuum. Even if it may not make much logical sense, this packer is trying to fit it all in, with both their suitcase and their schedule.

The Clothing Roller

Let’s take a poll — rolling one’s clothing in their suitcase: act of genius, or someone who needs to get their head checked out? With the clothing roller, it’s less about the content of their suitcase than about how these items are packed. Neatness and cleanliness are of the utmost importance to the clothing roller, both in the suitcase and beyond. This is the person who brings their own pillowcase to stay at a hotel, and won’t walk on the carpet without socks on. They like having information and feeling prepared, which makes them feel safe and in control.

The Last Minute Packer

Picture this: the flight’s leaving in three hours, and the suitcase is empty. For some, this is a travel worst nightmare. For others, this is just your average day, pre-trip. Either way, the last minute packer is certainly not making a packing list. They are operating fully last-minute, throwing things in their bag and hoping it’s all there and that some things match. Hey, they figure, I can always grab something while there if I’m missing anything! This is our spontaneous packer, and spontaneous traveler. Expect them to have no discernible itinerary and plan to completely “wing it.”

The Carry On-Only Packer

Rule number one: never check a bag, always carry on. This is the first and most crucial travel mantra of the carry on-only packer. For them, it is all about stripping it down to the essentials, and not being overburdened by “stuff.” They value their time and their mobility — who wants to wait at baggage claim when they can hop off the plane and go? Expect this traveler to be efficient and well-prepared in all things.


Want to learn more about how you can gain deeper insights into your customers’ travel behavior? Emadri allows you to help your customers with packing, while simultaneously gathering valuable business insights. To learn more, reach out to us at info@emadri.com.