This sounds incredibly simple, but my absolute all-time-favorite travel hack is packing cubes! They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and prices ranges. Keeping up with a youngster in an airport is no small feat; knowing exactly where everything is in my luggage makes me feel like a Super Mom. Where’s the pacifier? Right here. Where’s the snack my child has to have NOW? Oh, it’s right here. With so many options out there, here are a few considerations to keep in mind when looking for that perfect packing cube:
Frequency of travel.
Are you traveling once a year or once a month? Once a week? We travel about once a month, so I want something that won’t break the bank but can also keep up with us at the airport.
I prefer to have lots of different sizes and styles, so I tend to buy cubes that cost less than $10 per pack. I have the best luck at T.J. Maxx finding affordable, durable cubes that come in multipacks. If you want something more sturdy and durable, there are definitely pricier options out there. My dream packing cube line is by Peak Design (my favorite camera gear brand designed for traveling photographers) and cost about $30 per cube.
I have multiple packing cubes of every size because I like to have options. When I’m traveling alone, I can get away with two large or two medium for my clothing, one small cube for undergarments, two xxsmall for my toiletry bag, and one small for keeping my snacks organized. When I travel with my son, I usually add three more medium cubes, using two for his clothing and one for his snacks.
Every brand uses a different measuring guideline, so always double check your measurements before purchasing. If you don’t have a ruler or measuring tape handy, just imagine the size of a piece of paper (8.5″x11″) and how big/little that is in comparison to the cube’s size.
I have standard zipper-style packing cubes that have little handles on the end for easy grab-and-go capabilities, but you can also purchase compression packing cubes to really maximize space in your luggage. If I’m short on space, I will travel with compression stuff sacks that I would otherwise use for backpacking. Sometimes the clothes get incredibly wrinkly, so not a great idea to use if I have somewhere important to be! Think about where you’re going, what kind of clothing you’ll need, and make your selection based on your trip’s needs. You can also purchase expandable packing cubes that have an extra zipper, giving you even greater sizing options within one cube.
I love cleaning and organizing. I’m weird, I know. When it comes to packing for a trip and sorting what will go in each cube, here are two options to get you started:
- Sort by clothing type. Think one cube for tees, one for pants, one for pajamas, one for undergarments, etc.
- Sort by outfit. Use one cube per outfit, or one cube per day. This becomes especially handy in the event overhead bin space is full and you have to check your bag unexpectedly. You can grab one cube by the handle and be prepared in the event your luggage gets lost or delayed.
Are you convinced?
I’ll be sharing more this week on Instagram about what goes in my cubes, what my bag looks like when I’ve got all the cubes sorted, and more about why I love packing cubes in general!