People, it’s time to talk about packing. When you’ve been traveling between continents for nearly three decades you learn a lot about the art of packing. And believe me it is an art! Deciding what to bring is only half the battle. You also need to pack your belongings in an efficient way so, as the saying goes, you have a place for everything and everything in its place.
One of my favorite packing “secrets” which I will share with you is to use packing cubes. What did we do without them? Before these luggage organizers came along no matter how strategically I packed, no matter how expertly I mapped out where to put the contents of my suitcase, I arrived at my destination only to discover a tousled mess. These space-saving individual compartments make packing and unpacking so much easier!
What Are Packing Cubes?
So what exactly are these miracle space savers? They are individual zippered containers, in various sizes, that make it easy to compartmentalize and organize the contents of your luggage. With some packing cubes you’re able to compress your clothing and create more space inside your suitcase and who couldn’t use more space? You know you’ll be bringing home some souvenirs to remember your wonderful trip.
What to Look For When Buying Packing Cubes
In my opinion the best packing cube has a sturdy zipper and a handle. A strong zipper, especially for compression packing cubes, is a must. You know baggage handlers are not known for being gentle with your luggage and as things get jostled around you don’t want your packing cube to pop open. It defeats the purpose!
I use medium and small cubes. The smaller sizes may appear too small to you but, believe me, they are more than enough. See below how I have packed six dresses in a medium packing cube.
You may select one color for you packing cubes or all different colors. Families and couples may assign each person a color of packing cube so as not to confuse their belongings. Others opt for different colors for category of contents such as blue for intimates, red for everyday, white for evening casual, etc.
There are many different brands available online and in department stores. My personal favorite? PRO Packing Cubes.
The Advantages of Packing Cubes
Packing cubes come in different sizes which help you stay organized so you can make the most of your trip. You are able to group your clothes together for their intended purpose-comfortable clothing for sightseeing together in one cube, dressier items for special evenings, etc.
You can use the smaller cubes to store your power cords, chargers, converters so they don’t get lost amidst your other belongings. Place all your liquids in a waterproof packing cube in case of any spills and your clothes and other belongings will arrive unscathed in the event of breakage.
You’ll always know where everything is when you use packing cubes in a coordinated way. Being able to find things easily means you don’t go rummaging through your clothes and disrupting your organizational efforts.
How to Use Your Packing Cubes
While using packing cubes isn’t rocket science there is a good way and a better way to get the most out of these organizational wonders.
First, decide how you wish to categorize your clothes. You can pack by category such as intimates in a small bag, casual wear in another, etc. Or you can pack according to outfit with your complete ensemble for the days’ events such as hiking clothes-pants, top, socks, in one cube, casual outfits with accessories for a shopping day, comfortable clothes for sightseeing, and so on.
If you’re going to multiple cities you can separate your clothes into cubes earmarked for each city based on your itinerary.
Now fold or roll your clothes and put them in the cube. Placing the bulkier items in first, like jeans, oversized sweaters or outerwear, provides more stability to the cube. Once your cube is filled, zip it up and place it in your suitcase. One of the better non-compression cube sets comes from TravelWise Luggage.
Packing cubes designed for compression typically have a second zipper to squeeze your items down further and provide more space in your luggage. Eagle Creek makes great compression packing cubes. And if you travel frequently the investment is worth it as they have a lifetime warranty.
In order to pack efficiently it may be necessary to arrange your cubes either horizontally or vertically. If you ever played Tetris your skills will come in handy now.
Voila! You are packed and your suitcase is organized! Now it’s time to experience some of the most wonderful food and wine vacations you can imagine!
Pack with Confidence
Packing cubes are a life-and wardrobe-saver! Whether traveling for that once in a lifetime vacation to the Greek Isles, sunny Provence or the Amalfi Coast or enjoying a long weekend somewhere closer, packing cubes will make your trip much easier. You can use the cubes with your checked bags and carry-on luggage. Packing cubes make for happy traveling!