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The Question That Can Change Your Packing Style

travel purpose

Why do you travel?

Some people travel for food, some people explore the culture and history, and others, they want a piece of the great outdoors that can only be obtained in other parts of the world.

For me personally, I travel to see life as it is lived on different continents. I travel to see friends and family across the globe. Travel is magical, immersive, and done with wide-eyes.

I travel for many reasons, but you might notice that I didn’t say any of the following:

  • to stand out from the crowd
  • to impress random people
  • to look different in all my travel photos

Why do you travel?

This Helps My Packing

With that in mind, packing for most adventures is a breeze. Why?

Because my clothes- they aren’t the focus of my travels. They aren’t the reason I hop on a plane and fly for 20 hours from point A to B. So, it’s easier for me to pick clothes that serve the function of protecting my body and staying modest, and ultimately, for packing less.

What’s the real focus of your travels?

Once you’re clear with the intention of your travels and what you plan to get out of it all, you might find that it’s easier to pack, and perhaps pack lighter.

Now, I understand that some trips are made for shopping. Some trips might have a focus of seeing the nightlife or fancy events. If that is the case, packing smaller and smarter might come down to following other packing tips that we have listed on the site, as well as the mindset shift that being seen in the same outfit a couple of times is not the end of the world.

It’s a simple tip; it never hurts to be mindful and clear on purpose so you can better focus your time on packing truly what you need.

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 planning adventures or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use

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Speakeasy Hidden Pocket Scarves


Splice Jaisalmer Reversible Tunic
Splice Reversible Jaisalmer Tunic


Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes
Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes


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Tom Bihn 3D Organizer Cube


Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack - Fits in the palm of your hand!
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack


Turkish Travel Towels


Travel Resources

HPL Learnables

Handbag Packing Masterclass – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing class run by HPL founder, Brooke.

Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)

Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe. – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

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

Reader Interactions


  1. Rena says

    Thank you, Brooke, for addressing this. I think it is the MOST important way to approach trip planning. I always start with the “feeling” of the of the trip, and then pick the shoes. 🙂 And go from there. I’m currently planning on a month long Prague to Dubrovnik in one carry-on size bag, which will have a very different feel than an all Italy trip in one carry-on.

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