If you’re anything like me, then you’ll really appreciate a well-organized suitcase while on vacation. I always did my best to keep things neat, but by the time my luggage went through TSA and I arrived at my destination, things ended up in a frustrating, jumbled mess. Luckily, a well-traveled friend of mine introduced me to packing cubes, and I’ve been using these awesome organizers ever since. Everything has a place, I feel less overwhelmed, and my suitcase stays perfectly organized- finally!
1. So you don’t miss out on any adventures
It’s happened to all of us before. You’re running around the hotel room trying to get the family ready for the day’s activities, yet you can’t seem to find your child’s missing sock or your bathing suit bottoms. It’s getting later and later, you’re getting more frazzled, and now you’re not even sure you’ll make it on time for the day’s excursion.
Luckily, all of this chaos can be easily avoided by organizing your suitcase with packing cubes. You’ll know where everything is—no last-minute scrambling.
2. To keep your day bag organized
You’ll likely need the same few items in your day bag no matter what you have planned each day. Think sunscreen, portable charger, wallet, phone, room key, water bottle, etc. Use a packing cube (or a few!) to store these things as well as excursion-specific items like what you’d need for a beach trip, a hike, or a city tour. You’ll be much more organized, and unpacking/packing will be a breeze. Just grab whatever packing cube you no longer need in your day bag and put it back in your suitcase. Or unpack and refill it with what you’ll need for tomorrow’s activities.
3. To separate clean and dirty clothes
One thing I seemed to always forget when traveling was a dirty laundry bag. Choose a packing cube set that comes with a dirty laundry bag (or two) or designate one of the cubes for dirty clothes. It’ll help keep your clean clothes smelling fresh and make it easy to find and wash your dirty clothes if you decide to do so while on vacation. I also find that they work great as shoe bags too. If you don’t want to mix muddy sneakers or hiking boots with your clean luggage, these handy laundry bags are an excellent way to separate them.
4. You are less likely to forget something
How many times do you or someone in your family leave things lying around the hotel room? Whenever I’m on vacation, it seems that all of our belongings end up on the floor, in the bed, or scattered around the bathroom. The last place I seem to find things is in our suitcases. This can make it really easy to forget something when it’s time to leave. If everyone has their own set of packing cubes, they’re more likely to stay accountable for their belongings since they’ll have an organized, designated space for their things.
The Best Packing Cube Sets
1. HERO Travel Supply Packing Cubes
(Best Overall — $$$)
Why it’s great: This set of five packing cubes plus two draw-string laundry or shoe bags are the highest-quality we tested and built to last. They are made with super tough ripstop nylon and reinforced stitching so they won’t rip or tear after years of travel. They even come with a lifetime guarantee and can be replaced if anything goes wrong. Each packing cube includes a built-in card holder on the outside so you can write down and know exactly what’s in each cube without having to open them.
Keep in mind: Three double-sided notecards are included in the cardholder section of each packing cube. When you eventually use them all, additional ones will need to be purchased or normal paper can be inserted into the cardholder to label the contents of each cube.
2. Veken Packing Cubes
(Most water resistant — $$)
Why it’s great: This six-piece packing set comes with four different sized packing cubes, a shoe bag, and a laundry bag. The material is made of durable nylon and is water resistant so in case your bag gets wet, your belongings inside the packing cubes can stay dry.
Keep in mind: The mesh portion of these cubes is smaller than most. While this helps with water resistance, it may decrease ventilation.
3. Amazon Basics Packing Cubes
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: This set comes with four packing cubes of equal sizes. They have a large mesh top for ventilation and easy identification of the packing cube’s contents. These simple packing cubes are easy to use and budget-friendly.
Keep in mind: A set of these packing cubes come with four cubes of the same size. There are three different size sets available (small, medium, or large), but if you want a variety of sizes then you will have to purchase multiple four-piece sets as each set contains only one size.
4. Shacke Pak Packing Cubes
(Seamless design — $$)
Why it’s great: With this set, you get four packing cubes of different sizes and a laundry bag that are designed to help you pack and stay organized for multi-day vacations and day trips alike.
Keep in mind: With only four packing cubes included, this set is one of the smallest. Keep this in mind if you’re someone who likes to pack a lot of things or enjoys bringing home souvenirs.
5. Bagail Packing Cubes
(Versatile color options — $$)
Why it’s great: Consisting of six packing cubes of three different sizes, this set is well-ventilated and will fit all of your travel necessities. The two unique, oblong-shaped cubes are perfect for undergarments or for items you need to take on a short day trip. The material comes in a variety of colors and is made of durable nylon.
Keep in mind: This set is exclusively made of zippered, mesh packing cubes and doesn’t include separate draw-string laundry bags or toiletry bags like other sets.
6. Gonex Compression Packing Cubes
(Extra space saving — $$$)
Why it’s great: Compression cubes take the space-saving wonders of packing cubes to the next level by compressing and zipping the expandable part shut so that they pack down even slimmer. These come with five compression cubes and a laundry bag.
Keep in mind: If you want to be able to fully compress these cubes then you likely won’t be able to pack them as full as other non-compressible packing cubes.
7. Yamiu Packing Cubes
(Most pieces — $)
Why it’s great: With seven pieces included, this packing cube set is the one that comes with the most bags. Not only does it have four packing cubes, but it also includes a shoe bag, and two clear, TSA-approved toiletry bags. With this complete packing set, you’ll have space for your shoes, clothing, toiletries, and more.
Keep in mind: If you are someone who tends to pack light or doesn’t usually go on longer trips, this seven-piece set might be more than you would need.
1. Neck Wallet
I find a neck wallet to be the most convenient and secure way to carry my valuables when traveling. For me, it’s important to have one that will carry my phone, bank cards, passport, and cash comfortably when I’m out and about. I’m able to wear it discreetly under my shirt or wear it across my body like a satchel.
2. Hanging Toiletry Bag
If you need additional storage space for your toiletry items then a hanging toiletry bag is a must. The different zippered, plastic compartments make it easy to organize things and protect the rest of your luggage in case something leaks. You can easily find what you packed thanks to the clear compartments and the ability to hang the bag vertically.
3. Quick-Dry Travel Towel
A travel towel comes in handy in so many situations when traveling. I use mine frequently not only to dry off after showers or swimming but also to wipe away sweat when hiking, as a picnic or beach blanket, and clean up the kids’ messes on the go. They’re fast-drying, compact, and odor-resistant!
4. Foldable Day Pack
A day pack that folds into its own zippered pocket makes a great addition to your organized luggage. Although this day pack is super compact when folded, it has a 35-liter capacity when expanded. A few packing cubes would fit perfectly in it to help keep you organized during the day too.
5. Luggage Locks
Whenever your suitcase is in transit or left in the hotel room while you’re out exploring, a luggage lock will secure it and help keep your belongings safe. They are also great for locking hostel lockers and backpacks. The easily programmable four-digit code makes it a hard one to crack. Your combination will be one of 10,000 possibilities. This pack of two luggage locks is TSA-approved and super durable.
Whenever you travel, it’s always a good idea to keep your digital information safe from hackers. When connected to public wifi, there’s always a chance your passwords, bank information, or credit card numbers could get stolen. The best way to prevent your digital information from being hacked is using a VPN like NordVPN. I use them personally when traveling and always connect to my secure VPN before logging on to public wifi.
7. Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is so helpful in many unpredictable events that pop up while traveling. We like to use TravelInsurance.com to find a plan that will cover us in the case of sickness or accidents, cancellations, and lost or stolen items. Every traveler has different needs, so this is a great site to compare policies from top companies to find one that best suits you.
FAQs about Packing Cubes
1. How many days worth of clothes can I fit in a set of packing cubes?
Most people can fit about two weeks’ worth of clothing in a set of four or five packing cubes. If you are someone that likes to pack more then consider buying multiple sets or purchasing a set that comes with six or seven cubes.
2. Are packing cubes useful in other situations besides travel?
Packing cubes are great at keeping your things organized when you’re traveling and when at home. They’re useful for anything like camping, daily storage, day trips, and the gym. Packing cubes are super versatile and can be used in just about any situation where you could use some extra organization.
3. How many packing cubes can I fit in my suitcase?
Firstly, it depends on the size of your suitcase. For a carry-on, you can usually fit a set of five packing cubes. With a checked bag, you’ll have room for two or maybe even three sets of packing cubes. The great thing about packing cubes is that they are space-efficient and will easily fit into any size suitcase.
4. Who are packing cubes for?
Everyone can benefit from using packing cubes! Disorganized folks will love how easy it is to keep things in order and the organized-obsessed will equally appreciate packing cubes because they help achieve what already comes as second nature to them.
All members of the family, no matter their age, will benefit from having their things stored in packing cubes, especially if sharing a suitcase. A great tip is to get each family member a different colored packing cube set to make it easy to know whose cubes are whose.
Packing and living out of a suitcase when traveling became so much more enjoyable once I started using packing cubes. I love being able to look inside my suitcase and see that it’s organized and my things are easy to find. Once you travel with a set of packing cubes you’ll never want to go anywhere without them, I know I sure don’t!