I am the type of person that unpacks immediately. I arrive in my hotel room and everything is either hung up or put away into drawers. I like to make myself right out home – fast. This was not a viable option on our trip to Spain and Portugal: we were moving often. No time to fully unpack. I quickly realized I needed to find a way to make this packing/unpacking routine more efficient. I cannot tell you how many different packing techniques I have tried. I have watched videos, read blog posts and asked for advice from fellow travellers. This begged the question: do packing cubes work? On this trip, I decided to give it a try.
Little did I know what I was getting into when I decided to take the plunge. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find good quality cubes at first. There are many options online (Eagle Creek, Bagail, eBags etc.) but I wanted to keep it simple and local. I went to my local Winners/Marshals/TJMaxx and purchased a couple of different versions.
I bought a grouping of three seethrough, mesh cubes with piping to help them keep their shape. These are a bit more high end than the soft free flow ones. With the wired piping in the seams, it keeps the shape and lets me believe that they will last longer. They are also cubes of varying size that are each a perfect fraction of the others to ensure easy stacking in your typical carry-on suitcase.
I also bought a larger two-compartment compression cube. It is a clam-shape with a cover in the middle so that you can separate the items. At first, I thought this was unnecessary but in fact, it was very useful keeping items separate. I am able to set aside clothes that I will not be using at the beginning. The separate compartments could also be used when you want to separate clean closes from soiled ones.
The compression component lets me stuff the cube and then zip it up to compress it further. On my trip, I managed to use the extra room for items I had bought along the way.
I put together a video to discuss what I bring with me on a 12 day Girl’s Getaway trip. How I packed it and why I found packing cubes useful. Be sure and subscribe if you want more instructional videos for travel.
Do Packing Cubes work? YES!
UPDATE: After my trip, I can let you know that I have fallen in LOVE with packing cubes. It let me keep very organized when I moved every two nights. It also kept my clothes relatively wrinkle-free. I thought this would not be the case but I only had to iron one linen shirt once.
I love the compression cube, although I may want to search out smaller ones which will stack up. I did not like that I could not see what was in the cube but had to open it to figure out whether it was the pants or the tops.
I would also bring fewer clothes. As per the usual, I did buy a few new pieces and I added one pair of boots which meant I had to make room for an extra pair of shoes. No problem. I came home with everything and then some. Be sure and follow along with the blog post from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.