There are several different packing methods to choose from, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It all comes down to what type of items you’re packing.
One method we stand by is the use of packing cubes. While you may have seen or heard about these handy packing bags, perhaps you’re not privy to how they’re used and the excellent benefits they have. Not too worry. Here’s everything you need to know so you can make packing — and unpacking — as stress-free as possible.
What Are Packing Cubes and How Are They Used?
Packing cubes are flexible, soft, compact containers that are typically square or rectangular. The idea is that you’ll be able to fit several of these travel cubes into your carry-on, checked bag, or even backpack. While packing cubes won’t necessarily save you space, they will help you keep your clothing organized. Not to mention, they can be used in combination with other packing methods. For example, you can bundle or roll your clothing but then put them into a packing cube. The best packing methods are combined, and it makes it much easier to keep your outfits together.
When it comes to the best way to pack a suitcase using packing cubes, there is no right or wrong way! Once you have your packing cubes filled (but not overfilled — more on that in a bit), strategically place them in your luggage so that everything fits together like a well-constructed puzzle. If you don’t think you’ll remember what’s in each bag, consider attaching a Post-it to each cube, or make a note on your phone. This way, you can quickly and easily find what you need.
Benefits of Packing Cubes
Aside from keeping your clothing organized, packing cubes have a few other notable benefits, such as:
- Less Wrinkling: Packing cubes help keep clothes neat and minimize wrinkles — we say minimize because it’s impossible to ensure that everything will be 100% wrinkle-free! Even so, choosing a proper packing method versus just tossing everything in a travel cube is still a good idea. The bonus is that everything will be kept neatly in place since it won’t be shifting around in your suitcase during transit.
- Streamlined: Packing isn’t always an enjoyable process, but packing cubes make the process easier because they help you organize everything from the get-go. The cubes also force you to put together outfits in advance, so you’re only taking what you really need. Upon arrival, you’ll know exactly what’s in each cube, so you don’t have to go rifling through your suitcase to find the pair of jeans and sweater you want to wear.
- Versatility: While packing cubes were designed for clothing, who says they can’t be used for something else? We’re talking about a cosmetics or toiletries bag; extra storage for your electronic devices, chargers, and cables; or a laundry bag for dirty clothing. Just don’t forget to toss in a few dryer sheets to help keep your suitcase smelling fresh.
- Time Saver: There are some clothing and accessories that you may only take along with you when you travel, so there’s no need to unpack them. Simply keep them in your packing cubes, and you’ll be a step ahead next time you’re ready to skip town.
How to Choose the Best Packing Cubes for You
Briggs & Riley offers two sets of packing cubes, a small collection and a large one. Both come with three different sized bags. The small set is best used in a Briggs & Riley carry-on bag, whereas the more extensive collection is more suitable for one of our checked bags. Whichever you choose, you can expect integrated webbing carrying handles on each cube and double zipper pulls for smooth zipper action. Also, the cubes are machine washable (use low or delicate setting), so you can freshen them up in between your travels.
Mistakes to Avoid When Using Packing Cubes
By now, you know that the goal of packing cubes is to help you stay organized and as wrinkle-free as possible, right? So, to pull this off, avoid making these packing cube missteps.
- Bringing too many cubes: Packing too many cubes means you’re likely overpacking in general, so minimize the number of cubes you bring so that you’re only taking what you need. Less is more, and you’re more apt to stay more organized to boot.
- Forgoing organization: Don’t use these travel cubes as an excuse to stuff a bunch of stuff into your suitcase because it’s compacted. For starters, nobody likes to pay an extra fee for overweight luggage and remember the main goal: organization. Focus more on rolling matching outfits together and strategically packing each cube to fit your needs than to take more pieces that you most likely won’t use.
- Under or overfilling: Take too little, and you run the risk of clothing shifting around and getting wrinkled. Taking too much won’t help you stay organized, and repacking will be more difficult. Not to mention, the cubes may be hard to close shut. You’ll know when you’ve found the right balance when the bags aren’t bulging, yet everything fits nicely without much wiggle room.