15 Top Travel Bloggers Reveal How They Organize Their Packing Cubes
A staple for any frequent traveler, the humble packing cube is a hero product that takes the stress out of organizing and transporting your stuff. Whether you’re backpacking, flashpacking, or enjoying a resort stay, using packing organizers will help you keep your belongings in check both on route, and while at your destination.
Having spent seven years traveling full-time and living out of a 90L backpack that was stuffed to the brim with packing cubes, I can attest to their organizational power. However, in the interest of providing a comprehensive overview of how best to use a packing cube—and as a travel blogger myself—I’ve asked my favorite travel bloggers to share their top packing cube tips with you.
Here’s what they had to say.
Segment Small Electricals
Eagle Creek Ambassador Ben Horton uses packing cubes to segment small electricals.
“I use small and medium packing cubes to organize my camera cables and batteries when I don’t want to take a whole camera bag out on location with me. It means I can travel light and grab small accessories with ease instead of having to empty the contents of my pack in order to find things.”
Reduce Plastic Waste
Meg of MappingMegan.com uses packing cubes to reduce plastic waste.
“I love my water-resistant packing cubes, which protect the other contents of my luggage. If you spill anything on or soil your cubes they can be easily washed and dried, so they won’t need to be replaced which is fabulous. And I use them to reduce plastic waste. You might be tempted to separate your dirty clothing, toiletries, or other items in plastic bags, only to discard them once you have used them. But this kind of usage of plastic bags causes so much waste and it is becoming an increasingly prevalent environmental problem. Use packing cubes and sacs instead!”
Read more about Eagle Creek’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing and waste reduction in this article covering our use of bluesign® certified fabrics.
Organize Camera Equipment
Jeremy who blogs as Travel Freak opts to organize camera equipment in his packing cubes.
“Camera lenses will fit inside medium-sized packing cubes. And for an extra layer of protection, you can wrap the lenses in a scarf or soft T-shirt before storing them in your bag. Large packing cubes can be used to pack your camera body or any other valuables that you may need while traveling. Don’t forget; never pack expensive equipment in your check-in luggage. You should always keep your valuables in your carry-on.”
Protect Fragile Devices
WIll from The Broke Backpacker suggests using velcro dividers to protect fragile devices.
“When using packing cubes for camera gear or fragile electricals, it's key to have some good stiff Velcro dividers which you can buy online and integrate into your packing cubes. Use these dividers to create separate compartments within your cubes for each piece of equipment.”
Organize Your Toiletries
Travel writer Tim Leffel utilizes a toiletry organizer when on the road.
“I've been using Eagle Creek gear since I first went backpacking around the world in the mid-90s, including one of their hanging travel toiletry kits to keep those items organized and hang them up in bathrooms without enough counter space. I still use a lighter version of one of those today, 25 years later.”
Stay in Shape
Storyteller Emily Lush uses packing cubes to stay in shape.
“I actually have a rather unusual use for my packing cubes—I weight them with toiletries and use them as dumbbells when I'm traveling. Each morning I do reps of different exercises to strengthen and tone. As a long-term traveler, it's been an important part of my routine to keep fit on the road.”
Color-Code Your Packing System
Jarryd and Alesha from Nomadasaurus have a color-code to organize their packing cubes.
"Having lived out of a backpack for the better part of a decade, packing cubes are absolutely essential to how we organize our gear. It might seem a little obbsessive, but we have different colored cubes for various items. Blue cubes for underwear and socks, green for shirts, red for pants and shorts, and black for cold-weather gear such as a fleece, thermals, gloves, and a hat. All of our clothing is rolled and stored neatly in cubes to maximize the space in our backpacks.”
Just Say Yes to Wrinkle-Free Clothes
Maggie from blog The World Was Here First layers clothing in packing cubes to avoid creasing.
“My partner and I both use and love the Eagle Creek Compression Specter Cubes. One thing that works best for me when it comes to getting the most out of those specific cubes is to make sure my things inside are as flat as can be. I notice that many other people suggest rolling clothes to maximize space in the cubes, however, I have found this not to be nearly as effective as folding them flat and stacking them instead. It helps with the compression, maximizing space, and also limits the number of wrinkles I get in my clothes.”
Keep Essentials in Your Carry-On
Amber from FoodDrinkDestinations.com keeps a packing cube of travel essentials in her carry-on.
“We bought an Eagle Creek packing cube in 2008 before our first round-the-world-trip. Since that time, we place the same packing cube carefully in one of our carry-on bags. We refer to it affectionately as The Cube. Inside we store all the small, but often important, stuff that we don’t want to lose. At any one time The Cube safely holds a bag of random currencies from around the world, transit cards from cities we frequent, random mobile sim cards, a portable wifi device, ear plugs, headphones, business cards, extra photos for visa applications, immunization records, a backup credit card, and anything else small. The handle makes it easy to slip in and out of the carry-on bag. And, because it is a soft packing cube it doesn’t take up a ton of space. We never leave home without The Cube!”
Separate Seasonal Clothing
Sustainable travelers Max & Oksana from DrinkTeaTravel.com use packing cubes to categorize winter and summer clothing.
“As full-time travelers, we learned the value of our Eagle Creek packing cubes many years ago and now don’t go anywhere without them. As we often travel for long periods of time and in different climates, sometimes, half way through the trip, we’ll reorganize our folder packing cubes. We’ll put away our “winter” clothes in one cube and tuck them deep in our suitcase and keep all the “summer” clothes in another one. This keeps our suitcases neat and tidy!”
Pair Packing Cubes with Rubber Bands
Kimmie of Adventures & Sunsets maximizes space in her packing cubes with rubber bands.
“Packing cubes have been my lifeblood while traveling and backpacking through 65+ countries. I travel with two large cubes and one smaller one, which I find fit perfectly, vertically in my 65L backpack. This packing cube tip is actually from my mom who works as a flight attendant; to fit as much as possible in your packing cubes try rolling clothes up with rubber bands! I keep a stash of rubber bands with me and roll all my clothes up tightly and place them like Tetris into my packing cubes. This allows me to have a view of all my options when opening my cube, and also helps me save space by making sure everything takes up the smallest amount of space possible.”
Keep Delicates Separate & Safe
Bruna, travel blogger at Maps ‘N Bags separates her delicates in small packing cubes.
“I usually travel with three packing cubes. One for tops, another for bottoms, and a third packing cube for socks, underwear, and bras. Because the last one is the smallest I have, and I don’t want to damage my underwired-bras, I tuck the cups inside of each other and stack them. Finally, I put the socks at the bottom, inside the cup to hold its form. It works like a charm.”
Organize Your Road Trip Supplies
“I love using packing cubes for road trips. Before leaving, I organize outfits and what I need for the night like pajamas and my toothbrush in my packing cubes accordingly. I also have a cube for toiletries and one for medicines and first aid supplies. Then, instead of a suitcase or a large bag that takes up so much space, I use a trunk organizer, a bin or drawers to store my packing cubes in my vehicle. Because everything is separated, I can pick and choose what I take into a hotel or unpack in a tent. It’s much easier than hauling a suitcase in and out of the car every day.”
Keep Your Cruise Cabin Tidy
Sandy from Boulevardsandbyways.com keeps her cruise cabin tidy by using packing cubes.
“When packing for a recent 10-day cruise to the Caribbean I decided to purchase a set of packing cubes. The lack of drawer space in small cruise cabins always throws me into chaos during a trip, despite my efforts to stay organized. However, with packing cubes in hand I organized the different types of clothing I’d wear at various times during the cruise. Bathing suits and cover ups went in one, dressy tops and slacks in another. Shorts, t-shirts and tank tops filled larger packing cubes, and bras and underwear fit in a smaller sized cube. Because of the lack of drawer space, I kept the filled cubes in my suitcase. Whenever I needed an item, I’d pull my suitcase out from under the bed, pluck out the needed items and I was ready to go.”
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By Charli Moore on January 29, 2020