Yes, I admit it. That last example came right out of left field. But I’ve found I can't live without these little lifesavers when I travel. They pack a punch when it comes to organization, not to mention maximizing space inside the ever shrinking piece of luggage that provides the bare bones of my life on the road. That transformation over the last few years of travel has been liberating to say the least. No more albatross to slow me down.
I wasn’t sure I’d like the seemingly spineless compression cube in comparison to the more rigid non-compression packing cubes out there, but what my choice lacked in character it made up for in versatility. Even 4 ounces more per rigid cube amounts to another pound in packaging rather than clothing when it’s all said and done. For me, packing light is still a work in progress.
What’s one more pound, you ask? My luggage was two pounds overweight several years ago for an international flight. Before I could complete my check-in, I had to transfer two pounds of clothing from my checked luggage to the backpack serving as my carry-on. Not my idea of a bon voyage.
The humiliating task, performed right there on the floor in front of the airline counter (didn’t want to lose my place in line), would actually have been considerably easier had packing cubes been part of the picture.
I’ll stick with my Lewis & Clark spineless variety, thank you very much, although like the other brands, Lewis & Clark also offers packing cubes with more rigid construction, although their choice of colors is limited. Most customers seemed to prefer packing cubes with a little more oomph. I worried the rigid construction might make squeezing the packing cubes into my luggage (and risk being damaged) more of a challenge.
Organization is obviously the biggest selling point when it comes to packing cubes, but I’ve discovered a few more benefits to these accessories since giving up my two-gallon Ziploc bags (they don't offer any ventilation, but they are good for wet bathing suits and towels and items that might leak during the flight) six months ago. With packing cubes, it’s much easier to live out of my suitcase when I’m on the move. There’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place. Used to be by day three or four, everything was a complete mess. Not now! Specific items are easily accessible and don’t require rummaging through the entire contents of my luggage to locate.
I often pack an empty packing cube with a dryer sheet inside for my dirty laundry. Fortunately my packing cubes are washable. They’re much more environmentally friendly, too, compared to Ziploc plastic bags. And there’s no need to restrict packing cubes to checked baggage. On those long international overnight flights, a packing cube inside a carry-on allows the same easy access for essential items like noise-reducing headphones or malleable earplugs, a sleep mask, a neck pillow and a cover-up. In fact, in a pinch, a packing cube could serve as a pillow if sufficiently stuffed. No problem there.
It's bye bye, Big Bertha! Hello, Baby Bel!
One of these days I'm hoping to take Baby Bel along for the domestic ride, Bountiful Bess internationally. I think a little motivation might be in order. What do you think?