How To Plan For Traveling

You’re about to leave on your own adventure, it’s coming up soon and you have yet to pack. Never mind about packing, you don’t even know what to pack… well maybe you do. It’s tedious to pack the same bag or suitcase over and over again and stressing that you will forget something. Before you start packing, you should figure out what style of traveling you will be doing. There are probably hundreds of different styles, but you should really only worry about three. Each style has their own pros and cons, but they also define the type of traveling you will be doing. Planning is essential to actually enjoying yourself. After all that’s what a vacation is for, right?

Here are three packing styles that you can follow: ·

  • The Suitcase Traveler
  • The Backpacking Traveler (urban and rural)
  • The Weekend/Duffle Bag Traveler
Photo by Michael Crowley

The Suitcase Traveler – Some probably see this as the standard model for traveling, others may think this is the only model for traveling. With the suitcase model you are free to pack all of your clothes and essentials as well as have extra space for anything you wish to bring back (in another post I will explain why that’s not a good habit to have). Using a suitcase however indicates that you should be staying at a single place of residence for the remainder of the trip, maybe with one or two exchanges half way. You don’t want to travel around lugging the suitcase or having to wheel it through a crowd of people in the street. Especially if your destination is in a winter or a wet season. It’s also good to use suitcases when using trains and planes for traveling. Suitcases always (or should always) stay their shape, that way you don’t have to panic about carry-on policies, or space issues. Let’s summarize now:


  • Best for staying in one or two locations during the trip
  • Always one shape and size (this is obviously assumed)
  • Easy for storage on trains, planes and buses


  • limited access to items on the go
  • Size and shape is constricted
  • On the go traveling is difficult (especially with crowds)

The Backpacker – This type of traveler can be distinguished between an urban backpacker or a back-country backpacker. What’s the difference? An urban backpacker will be those who will be traveling from city to city, or town to town, even country to country within a reasonable time frame. Often staying at hostels or an AirBnB. While on the other hand, a back-country backpacker will have all of their needs for their journey. Not just clothes, but the gear that is essential to their trip too. These types of travelers will often travel in less urban areas, more likely to be camping in a tent. Backpacking is for those always on the move, constantly exploring.


  • Easy to change locations at any time
  • Able to pack a variety of needs with different shapes
  • Carrying is easy (on your back leaving your hands free)
  • Shape and size is slightly tangible.


  • Not all bags can be brought on planes (shape and size restrictions)
  • Reliability on bag resistance/stress
  • More likely to be targets of pickpockets (urban areas)
  • Cost (high quality bags are expensive, especially nature resistance or weather proofing)
Photo by Rain Reinauer

The Weekend/Duffle Bag Traveler – Lastly, the long weekends that most people look forward to, in order to satisfy their “vacation” urges. This type of traveling in actuality is very beneficial for most people, plus most people have a duffle bag or small backpack. This style allows a stress-free escape from the real world. It provides people with variety, the ability to connect with other people, and even be introduced to new cultures. A long weekend trip doesn’t have to be very far, nor very close. Sometimes leaving on a Friday night, and driving for a few hours to spend the whole weekend somewhere new is worth it. Just throw a weekends worth of clothes, your toothbrush and some hair products in bag and start driving.

Even when you feel there are no places that are hot spots for everyone else, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything out there. For an example, being in New England provides tons of possibilities for outdoor activities. The White Mountains, Acadia, and most of Vermont can provide a quick opportunity for campers, or hikers. You could even explore the water activities on the rivers and lakes. There is also an urban opportunity that gives people just enough variety. Boston isn’t too far for most people in New England, where a whole variety of culture exists. Plus, professional sporting events take place in the city too. For those that find Boston out of reach have a great opportunity in Canada, too. Montreal is fantastic city.


  • Low cost (optional)
  • A passport generally isn’t needed
  • Doesn’t take long to pack
  • Lighter luggage (preferred)
  • Duffle bag or small backpack can be used


  • Waiting for the weekend
  • Possible driving for long periods
  • Weather restriction


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