Want to know one item I always travel with? Packing cubes! They are a game-changer when it comes to packing for travel, and I cannot imagine going on a trip without them. Packing with packing cubes has made my life so much easier. So, why use packing cubes? They help you organize your luggage and save space. Here are the details about why should be using packing cubes to travel.
What are Packing Cubes?
Packing cubes are zippered containers that help people organize their luggage or backpack when traveling. They come in a variety of sizes and have multiple uses. Travel packing cubes can be sold as a set of 4-5 with various sizes or
Many people may think why use packing cubes? What a waste of money! Admittedly, I was one of them, until I received my first set of packing cubes for Christmas and used it on a trip. Packing them was fun, kept everything organized, and allowed me to pack more into the same luggage.
Why Use Packing Cubes? – The Reasons
1. Organization of Items
Packing cubes are very handy to help you and your family organize your clothes, gear, and travel accessories. They are essentially drawers inside your luggage, and allow you to quickly take a cube, unzip it and find your item (no need to dig under piles of folded clothes anymore). Another benefit is that everything stays in one place and does not shift when the luggage gets rolled or thrown in a car or plane.
Ideas on how to pack with packing cubes
- By Item Type
This is usually how I pack. I used it for the first time when we went on our family road trip through Atlanta, Helen, and Greenville, and I am happy to report that I will not be traveling again without my packing cubes. I used one medium packing cube for shirts, another for shorts/pants, and a small one for shoes.
For those of you with small children, you can use them not only for clothes but for baby/toddler supplies. An idea could be using one packing cube for diapers, wipes and cream, another for small toys and books, and maybe a little one for snacks. In reality, the possibilities are endless!
- By Outfit
When we travel for one-night stays, like our last trip to Bonita Springs, we packed this way. I brought two medium packing cubes and a small packing cube. Since our plan was simply to hang out by the pool and relax at the hotel, we did not need much. We put our 4 bathing suits and day outfits in one, our pajamas and day 2 outfits in the next, and our sandals in the small packing cube. Using packing cubes for outfits can come in pretty handy on short trips.
- By Day
I have never done this, but I have read about families that pack with packing cubes by day when on a road trip. This means that you pack everyone’s clothes in one packing cube for Day 1, then another cube is packed with all your clothes for Day 2, etc… The purpose of this would be when you arrive at the hotel, you would only take out the 1 or 2 packing cubes you need for the night (not the entire family’s luggage).
It makes sense when you stop and think about it. You essentially pack what your family needs for the night and the following morning in one or two packing cubes. Then, you just take that packing cube up to your room (not the luggage). It would minimize all the rolling or carrying of everyone’s luggage each night. However, this packing method would only work if you are staying somewhere for a night or two. It seems a bit impractical for a longer hotel stay.
- By Family Member (color)
This method could work if you buy packing cubes of different colors. That way you assign a color to a specific family member and they pack their items in the assigned color. The idea is that you would all pack your cubes in one large suitcase. When you arrive at the hotel, each person has their “drawer” of items that are easily identifiable and neatly organized. Now that we have various packing cube sets, this option works for us.
Packing cubes can also be used to separate clean and dirty clothes or even to keep your dirty shoes away from clean clothes. You can also put miscellaneous travel items like charges, hair iron, brushes, or even snacks in the small packing cubes or the slim packing cubes. I usually bring a plastic garbage bag to put our family’s dirty clothes when we are on a road trip. When flying, I often use a large packing cube as the dirty clothes holder and then wash it later if necessary.
2. Saves Space
Why use packing cubes? They actually do let you pack more. Packing cubes save you space in your luggage! As a matter of fact, I believe it almost doubles it. I have used the same carry-on suitcase for the last 5 years. Since buying my 2 sets of packing cubes, I am positive that I have been able to fit more items into the same amount of space. Watch this video to see the difference between packing “normally” and packing with packing cubes.
How to roll your clothes for packing cubes
If I need to fit more items in my luggage, I found that rolling clothes is a trick that helps achieve even more space. Here’s what I do… I lay out all of the clothes I am going to pack on my bed and sort them into tops/bottoms. Then I roll them neatly (trying to smooth out any wrinkles). Rolling my clothes saves space and allows me to fit more items into the packing cube. Once it seems pretty full, I zip it up and see if there is any unused space. If there is, I open a corner of the cube and stuff in another rolled-up item or a pair of socks/underwear (maximizing even more space).
3. Easy and Worth
Why use packing cubes? Well, they are easy to use and not very expensive. Some people may feel that it is unnecessary to spend money on an organizational tool. To me, they are an easy and inexpensive way to organize your family’s travel gear. Once you buy a set or two, there really is no need to continue buying (unless you want a different size).
Check out: Best Packing Cubes for Travel
We have not been using them for very long, but now that I have discovered how magical they can be, I am never leaving home without them! If you would like some advice on which packing cubes I recommend, take a look at my post – Best Packing Cubes to Buy. Check out these tips on how to create great packing lists to help you organize your travel.
Where to Buy Packing Cubes?
I strongly recommend Amazon. They have a huge resource of sizes, colors and price ranges. The best packing cubes are a matter of personal preference and Amazon is a great place to do some research and get a packing cube set or browse to see what you like. They have cheap packing cubes, compression packing cubes, ultralight packing cubes, and even waterproof packing cubes all at different price points.
Use your packing cubes with my favorite carry on spinner luggage. The best travel packing cubes for carry on luggage are usually a set of various sizes. If you tend to over-pack, you may want to consider compression cubes which save even more space than regular packing cubes. Here are some tips on how to pack light and packing your suitcase like a pro. Click on the picture below to check out this great carry on luggage.
Bottom Line: Why Use Packing Cubes?
So, why use packing cubes? Bottom line is that they are are the best packing hack! For about $20 you get 4-5 cubes that last for years. You also have a way to organize your clothes so you can find them easier, save space and pack more. I honestly believe that they are a game-changing travel accessory and once you buy a set, you will feel the same way I do. I hope!
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17 thoughts on “Why Use Packing Cubes?”
We love packing cubes for family travel too! They are a lifesaver!
I just started using packing cubes when I was trying to fit winter gear for Iceland within a carry on. Now I’m obsessed with them too.
I just bought my first set of packing cubes and we are going to use them this week! I’m super excited, hee hee. I love being organized and I’m excited for everything to be more contained and/or separated from each other (being as I usually share a suitcase with the kids!). Great tips and advice, too!
We LOVE packing cubes! Great post!
Great post! We LOVE our packing cubes and it’s hard to believe we ever didn’t use them!
So true – packing cubes rock!! I love them by person and also I’ve used them by day for the kids like they are together in one cube for each day and when switching hotels a lot (we do this sometimes) it makes life SO MUCH EASIER
I’ve never used packing cubes, think I really need to take the plunge and try them out!
Take the plunge! You will be so happy!
I have never thought of using packing cubes in half these ways! Great post
Yes! They are the best! You really should give them a try!
I’ve heard nothing but good things about packing cubes. I think I need to invest!
I only recently discovered packing cubes and have to say that they are really helpful! I usually roll my clothes anyways but the cubes keep everything nice and tidy.
Packing cubes are a lifesaver, especially on return journeys!
This is such a great idea! May have to change how I pack now.
I use packing cubes for all my trips and they are lifesavers. Great post!
Oh, my goodness. My packing cubes might be the most important thing in my suitcase next to my passport! Thank you for these tips!
I’ll be honest, I’ve tried using packing cubes but I haven’t figured out how to get them to make my life easier lol. So far they’ve just been a hassle. But I’m willing to keep trying since everyone who uses them really loves them!