DIPLO TRAVEL: It’s All in the Packing Cubes

You might have noticed that TD and are frequent budget flyers. I always jokingly tell our friends that TD is addicted to Air Asia promo fares. (Most definitely half meant!) And thank goodness for the amazing invention of Packing Cubes (also called packing blocks) which has made the stressful task of packing and repacking less daunting!

via

Diplo Big Brother-in-law (DBB), expert diplomat and traveler that he is, has been a fan of packing cubes for the longest time. He first introduced it to use by giving us a set for Christmas. Yet we didn’t really know what to do with it, and it was relegated to holding tennis balls and occasionally shoes for travel.

Then I read this Facebook Note by the Permanent Nomad and it made me realize how much we underutilized them! Now I am a believer and I totally pack everything in packing cubes! So easy and no more wrinkled clothes! YAY!

It’s all in the Packing (cubes)

by Permanent Nomad on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 8:08pm

I am a permanent nomad, right? That means, I am also a professional packer. I claim that title with pride. During our last family trip (without child number 2), I managed to squeeze in all our belongings for a 7-day trip to Japan (for 3 people, mind you) in 1 big suitcase and a small trolley. The small trolley was even empty since I had reserved it for shopping. People couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw all that I had planned to bring. We took Cebu Pacific and we didn’t get charged for excess baggage- not even on our trip back. I looked over my photos to see if there was evidence of my under packing- did we look remotely unfashionable? Nope! Did we seem unkempt and in need of a shave/shampoo? Nope! Infact, we looked pretty well-dressed for tourists with limited outfit choices. So what’s the secret?

It’s all about the packing cubes! I know, I know- these things have been around forever but forgive me- I used to raise my eyebrows in suspicion whenever I would see friends buying these packing cubes in bulk. I would wonder- why the heck would I need to spend even more money after I’ve shelled out enough to buy a decent suitcase, right? Well, I made a trip to Beabi (this ultra addicting organizing store with branches in Trinoma and Greenbelt 5- they could have more that I’m not aware of, though) one afternoon and decided to get a couple for our trip to Hong Kong with the whole caboodle (child number 2 and yaya included). They were so cute and reasonably priced (and color coded) that I couldn’t resist buying a couple. I hurriedly paid for my purchases and returned home wondering if what I had just bought would really help me solve my packing dilemma- Cebu Pacific- Hong Kong for 5 days- with a baby!

Well, what do you know? Them packing cubes really do work! I hate folding clothes inside suitcases only to have them slip and slide all over the place once I put the suitcases upright. With these packing cubes, problems of slipping and sliding clothes are practically non-existent. I used the biggest packing cubes for heavier garments- jeans, trousers, jackets, the medium-sized ones for shirts, jersey dresses, blouses and the smallest ones for underwear, swimwear and socks. Once they‘re all neatly folded, packed and zipped up in the cubes, they stay that way- until you open them! The cubes also compress your clothes and make them thinner and easier to “pack in.” Amazing! Another neat thing is that on your way home, you can pack your dirty clothes back in the same cubes so you avoid having to bring a separate laundry bag. I tell you, packing for trips has gotten more pleasant ever since I got these packing cubes. I don’t know what I ever did without them in the first place.

 With my frequent trips to Ho Chi Minh in the coming months, I think I’m going to go back to Beabi and get myself a couple more :)

Thanks for letting me repost this Permanent Nomad!

This is how my packing looks for me now that I use packing cubes. The best thing about it is that when I unpack in the hotel, I can directly place the cubes into the drawer and my clothes don’t come into contact with (sometimes) dusty hotel drawers.

I’ll be honest with you, most of my packing cubes are Beabi because they are the cheapest. They are not the best quality and not as thick and sturdy as Eagle Creak, but they do the job. My only complaint is that the thread around the zippers get frayed and caught up in the zipper – I just cut it off to free the zipper. I bear with it though because cost is an important factor for me. Fraying isn’t a deal breaker. I wonder if they have nice packing cubes in Landmark too? Here are the brands that I know of:

  • Beabi – cheap but frays
  • Eagle Creek – nice and thick but expensive
  • Samsonite – it has that paper-cloth material which I feel iffy about washing
  • Muji – looks like Beabi but not sure if it has the same flaw
  • MakeRoom
Please do share with me if you have tried or recommend any of other brands! I would love to get your feedback on quality and price. =) Super thanks!
Packing cubes also come in different colors and designs (images: via & via)

I definitely want to get Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders for TD, who travels a lot for meetings. It’s better for packing his work shirts so that they stay nice and crisply folded! Each one below can accommodate up to 5 shirts. (image via)
And how awesome is this packing cube back pack?? Turn it inside out to convert into an emergency backpack for times that you over shop! (found via)

*DIPLO TIP: If you are traveling with 1 or more family members, you can color code the packing cubes of each family member so that it’s easy to identify whose clothes went where in your massive luggage!

Related Reads:

  • Click here for how to use packing cubes
  • Click here to get awesome tips for packing and traveling
  • Click here for how to roll clothes minimize wrinkling

Lovely comments

  1. khoLEEN says

    I have to agree that eagle creek are really sturdy. :)

    I bought them one at a time every payday. Now I have them in 12 different sizes in red. If I need to open my luggage at the airport, my stuff looks neat and organized. :)

    • says

      So true! Nothing is more embarrassing than having to open your luggage at the airport and exposing all your stuff to the world!

      Wow I wish that I was as methodical as you in collecting my packing cubes! Go you! I think I will do the same and buy 1 or 2 every time I go to Manila. Thanks for the idea and for dropping me all these wonderful comments. It always makes my day when readers take the time to drop me a line! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday!

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