If you read my last packing tips post then you’ll know that packing cubes are my new best friends.
Word is definitely spreading! Over the past month coworkers, friends, and family have rushed out in droves to purchase these handy packing aids and the verdict is in: AMAZING!
I’m still getting a lot of questions so here is a simple guide to help you through this packing cube craze!
What are packing cubes?
By definition, packing cubes are “cube-shaped bags designed to fit inside luggage and hold and protect clothing, shoes and other small or large items. Packing cubes are great for preventing wrinkles, keeping organized, and fitting more clothing in each piece of luggage,” according to the eBags blog.
The concept is really quite simple and doesn’t seem revolutionary at all. Oh but it is!
Why should I use packing cubes?
It’s no secret to those that know me that I’m a bit OCD when it comes to organization. But, it is such a challenge to stay that way on the road. I hate living out of a suitcase – and worse a backpack! – so when I discovered these amazing, light weight travel accessories, I knew I had found my perfect solution. Packing cubes are an incredible way to keep your clothes organized and reduce the amount of space they take up in your suitcase. They come in all different shapes and sizes so they fit into just about any bag. By rolling and compressing your clothes into packing cubes you can squeeze in so much more! And with checked bag fees on the rise – this is a major cost saver! I am a huge proponent of carry on only travel and packing cubes make it so easy.
When should I use packing cubes?
To cube or not to cube? It’s true that packing cubes are most useful on slightly longer trips where you will be heading to multiple locations and required to unpack and repack frequently.
That being said, packing cubes are also useful for single destination trips. My parents recently went to Thailand and stayed in a gorgeous resort where they had hoped to unpack but alas their hotel had no dresser drawers. My mom had wisely chosen to use packing cubes and found them to be the perfect way to keep her clothes organized while living out of suitcase. My father, on the other hand, did not use packing cubes and boy did he wish he had. He was continually fussing with his bag and spending way too much time searching for the right item. By the end of the trip he was completely converted!
Personally, I prefer to use packing cubes on any trip longer than 4 days. If I’m just going away for the weekend, then it doesn’t seem worth the effort to roll and strategically pack my clothes. I’m probably only bringing a couple of things and it’s just easier to squish it all into a backpack or duffle. But, for longer trips the benefit is truly incomparable. Packing cubes all the way!
What kind of packing cubes should I buy?
The rule of thumb here is to use multiple small cubes. Most packing cubes come in sets with various sizes. I find that I never use the largest size because sometimes they don’t even fit inside my suitcase. I try to look for small to medium cubes that I can arrange like a jigsaw puzzle inside my bag, using all the little nooks and crannies. In this case, good things come in small packages :)
Other details that I look for are mesh tops and secondary compartments. The mesh top allows you to see exactly what is inside an individual cube (ie. shirts or pants) at a glance. I also like using cubes that have a second compartment where I can shove dirty laundry.
How should I use packing cubes?
I encourage you to use packing cubes however works best for you. That being said, if the motivation is to stay organized then I have a few tips. I usually travel with 3-4 cubes. One for tops, One for bottoms, One for bulkier clothing, and one for delicates (read: underwear). I also prefer to roll my clothes because I find that it is easier to see each item and it fits better.
Where can I purchase packing cubes?
You can find them almost anywhere at this point. I usually like to check out my local travel store – Wanderlust (can’t beat the name!) but they probably don’t have the cheapest prices. Eagle Creek is a great brand and you can find them online. I know that Wal-Mart sells packing cubes and I even scored a set using my credit card points.
So that’s what I know. Send in any more questions you may have in the comments.
Take my advice… If there is one thing you purchase before your next trip, let it be packing cubes!