As travelers, we’re forever looking for hacks to make the process simpler, more efficient and stress free. Whether its hours of pain staking research on what is the best backpack to take with you, where’s the cheapest place to get vaccinations or which transport is best for what journey. There are never too many ways to save hassle.
So, with the above in mind, it’s time to hack the most frustrating part of traveling: packing cubes ! Welcome to your new travel best friend – the packing cube. You may never have heard of these little bundles of joy and simplicity, but let it be known that today, this day, that changes.
Packing cubes are the ultimate in travel storage; from clothes to cosmetics, you’ll be able to organise your stuff in a way you never dreamed possible. Whether you’re the queen of clean or the king of clutter, packing cubes will keep your things exactly where you want them, for whenever you need them.
So, when you’re ready to find out how to use packing cubes, let’s begin.
Packing cubes were created to slightly compress your clothes and keep your clothes organised. They are rectangular fabric containers that come in a number of different sizes and are used for packing and organising clothing and other essentials for your trip. They‘re zippered and are often pretty small meaning you can fit rather a few of them into your backpack or day bag.
Although mostly rectangular, the cubes are actually available in a number of shapes and sizes – some are square, or there are longer, tube-like shapes . Some options include extra compression zippers, and some are even divided, which is super useful for separating dirty laundry from clean laundry. All these options make it easy to source the right ones to slot perfectly into whatever type of backpack or suitcase you have with you.
As much as it’s fair to say that you can pack relatively well without the need for packing cubes, as I have done on many trips, as soon as you introduce them to your packing arsenal, you’ll never, ever look back.
“So?”, you ask, “you’ve talked a good game, but what about some examples of WHY packing cubes are so great?”
Excellent question, mon ami, here’s why:
Okay, so you’ve bought your packing cubes, now what? Here written is a blow-by-blow of how to make the most of your newfound travel buddy.
Before you go throwing clothes into your cubes willy nilly, have a plan together. Have a quick play around with how best your cubes actually fit in your luggage and then decide which items will go in each cube (most frequently used things being nearer the top of your bag, for example).
Sorry for sounding like your mum, but this is a genuinely useful tip. If you’re not too fussy about your clothes being iron-straight (which, let’s face it, when you’re traveling you generally aren’t within 100 miles of an iron) rolling up your clothes in your packing cubes will save you much more space than folding them super neat and tidy.
Sounds simple, and truly is, but zipping your packing cubes up keeps the air out and therefore, the bags as compressed as possible. The cubes’ zips are durable and allow you to throw a lot of clothes in there whilst remaining air-tight.
Make sure you’re not wasting space by using the different sizes available to you in the most efficient way you can.
Big cubes – fill these with clothes such as jumpers, jackets, jeans waterproofs and other larger items. You’ll get more in and be able to slot smaller cubes around the bigger ones.
Medium cubes – use for T-shirts, shorts, underwear, socks and other small-medium sized pieces of clothing. You should be able to cram quite a few articles into each one.
Small cubes – use the smaller cubes for electricals, toiletries/medicine/first aid and accessories. These cubes take up minimal space so are good for miscellaneous items that could leak or tangle.
Buying too many – as much as they’re designed to give you more space, you can also be falsely lured into buying so many that your backpack is completely full. Which defeats the object of trying to pack efficiently.
Under or over filling – equally as inefficient as the other, if you over fill your cubes you might struggle to repack once you’re on your trip, and if you under fill the cubes, your clothes may unravel, and more than that it’s likely that you’re wasting space for other cubes at the same time.
Using too many big cubes – big cubes take up a huge amount of space, whilst I recommend taking one with you, I’d suggest taking no more than one. Use it for your bulkiest items only, of which you probably won’t have many.
So, now you’re a packing cube convert and wondering what on earth you were possibly thinking before this absolute and utter revelation.
If you were already a packing cube user, and you think I’ve missed anything vitally important in this ‘how to’, drop a little comment below!