Thursday, October 03, 2019

Why I’m a Fan of Packing Cubes

Years ago my family took a road trip vacation to several national parks.  We were changing hotels every few days so there would be no proper unpacking of our suitcases. Thank goodness I read a tip on a travel forum that suggested I pack each day’s outfits in clear oversized plastic bags so I could pull out what we would need on a given day without disrupting the rest of the contents. It kept me and the suitcases very organized that trip.

Fast forward to just a couple years ago when I discovered packing cubes.  What a game-changer! Packing cubes are fabric containers used for packing clothing. They zip closed and are small enough that you can fit several into a suitcase. You can purchase them in a range of sizes and are often sold as sets.  Here’s why I love them.

While I don’t pack each outfit in its own cube, I do separate my stuff by category.  I like the idea of moving the package of underwear, pajamas, workout clothes, or swimwear right into a drawer without having them actually touch the drawer.  It just feels more sanitary.

I have bags that hold shoes which I then lay at the bottom of my suitcase.  Again, it a cleanliness thing.  Who wants dirty shoes touching everything else?

Using packing cubes will actually condense your clothes and then they stack up nice and neat in your suitcase.  There are even special compression packing cubes which are great for when you really need to pack a lot of bulky items. Like for winter sweaters or maybe a jacket. Just remember, compressed or not, the weight of those things are not changing!
By filling packing cubes to capacity with tightly rolled clothing or neatly folded garments, you can actually minimize wrinkles (fold my things). I recently bought a new piece designed for shirts.  I think it’s actually called a packing folder. It comes with a folding board and when used correctly and secured tightly, my husband’s dress shirts looked great when I took them out to hang.

Packing cubes can provide protection and can save you some embarrassment if the TSA opens your bag for inspection. What if they open your bag and riffle through it and all your unmentionables fall out? Or your suitcase zipper fails and all the contents spill to the floor in the middle of the terminal?

I always use a packing cube in my carry-on with enough to wear just in case my suitcase doesn’t make it to my destination. Or if I’m cruising, I pack a bathing suit or a spare outfit since I never know when my suitcase will be delivered.

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