Packing cubes – Really a travel essential?
If you’re a semi seasoned traveller by now, you would have heard some of the tips coming from other travellers, like roll your clothes, or use a packing cube to pack. I thought it would be good to dispel some myths about this.
Honestly, you think you may be using this all the time, but the truth is for me personally, this wasn’t a helpful tool. I actually do own packing cubes. Four of them in fact. In varying sizes going from small to large.
People will tell you that it would help to separate your clothes. The truth is, this is only true if you’re using a backpack. Not so if you’re using a suitcase. With a backpack you’re talking about single opening at the top and barely any visibility to the bottom of the bag. You’re talking about trying to rummage through to find that one clean underwear stuck somewhere in the bag while you’re in a dorm room filled with college boys. Trying to find your clothes has to be easy, and quick, and in the event that you’re not so clear where everything is, you can just pull out a bag and see if your top is in there without having to haul everything that you own out in public.
Packing cubes are also good for small spaces where you won’t really be able to lay out all your clothes or move them into closets. You might not even be able to really open your luggage. It would be helpful then to have packing cubes to help separate and help you find your goods.
You could also use the packing cubes if you’re notorious about sticking to the outfit game plan while travelling. Instead of packing all bottoms together and all tops together, you could actually separate them according to outfits. This would also make it easier for when you want to get dressed. It’s like walking into your very own Pinterest wall.
Overall, I have found that the packing cube is only useful in those instances. And perhaps the only cube I would really use and be lost without is the smallest of the bunch for my lingerie. Because after all you don’t really want anyone to be able to see all those undies you packed when you’re requested by airport security to open your bag. To really optimize a packing cube, you actually need to stuff it full. Otherwise honestly, your’re just stuffing some semi rolled clothes into a cube that has enough space that it would unroll in a not so neat state (something that would drive an OCD like me mad when opening a bag)
For everything else, I would recommend rolling your clothes if you’re opting for space. Pack them with bottoms on one side of the bag and tops to the other. You could keep them easily separated by packing your other items – i.e. shoes, right down the middle for easy packing. What Iv’e found is that once I reach a destination, I tend to unroll everything and keep it nice and folded in your suitcase as you would if it was in your dresser. It makes for easy access, and easy visual reminder of what you have. If backpacking? And especially for a long period of time, sure go ahead and test out the packing cube. You won’t be disappointed.