[015] Packing One Bag, Under 10 Pounds, to Costa Rica with Gena Urowsky

Episode 015: Packing One Bag Under 10 Pounds for Costa Rica

The “one bag” part of this interview isn’t what’s impressive. It’s the fact that Gena Urowsky traveled to Costa Rica for nearly 2 weeks with a bag under 10 pounds in weight!

With just a school backpack as luggage, Gena nailed her one bag experiment and takes the time today to share her successes and one small regret on The HPL Podcast.

In this episode, we discuss the following:

  • Gena’s inspiration to travel with just a school backpack for nearly 2 weeks in Costa Rica
  • The difficulties involved with packing under 10 pounds
  • The benefits of packing light as a woman abroad
  • The buy-it-there mindset and what Gena bought abroad
  • Gena’s biggest packing regret on her trip
  • Gena’s best tip for those wanting to have a one bag travel experience but are still apprehensive

Gena’s Inspiration:

Gena Traveling with a School Backpack:

Gena Urowsky Packing Small

Links of Interest:

If you have a minute…

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Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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