The items you carefully arrange in your suitcase before a trip rarely remain as such when you’re on the go. Clothes, toiletries, and electronic chargers become one jumbled mess, making it difficult to locate what you need when you need it. This is particularly true on a trip to South America involving frequent unpacking (and then re-packing) at different destinations.
Packing cubes are an easy way to solve qualms you have with suitcase organization. They serve a simple, yet important function and do their job well.
The 5-piece TravelWise packing cube set that our friends at EatSmart Products sent us to try out comes with three different sized rectangular bags. The set includes two large pouches, two medium ones, and a small one. Each cube is made of durable nylon material and zips-up for easy accessibility. When filled, the cubes can be stowed in a roller bag or backpack.
Packing cubes are particularly convenient on trips with multiple stops. A Machu Picchu tour, for instance, usually includes overnights in Cusco, Aguas Calientes, and the Sacred Valley. Instead of rummaging through your bag filled with loose articles of clothing and other vacation essentials, organizer bags make unpacking and re-packing a breeze. All you need to do at each new destination is remove the cubes from your suitcase and put them in drawers until it is time to move on. The mesh cover design of each TravelWise cube makes it easy to identify what’s in each pouch, may that be shirts, pants, swimwear or underwear.
It is not uncommon to get carried away and cram too much into your bag when planning for your trip. If you have ever returned from vacation realizing half the items in your suitcase went unused, you’re not alone! A good “smart packing” exercise is trying to fit everything you’d like to bring in the TravelWise packing cubes. The largest packing cube (17.5” x 12.75” x 4”) may not look very spacious, but you’ll be surprised how much can actually fit inside. And remember that a lot of hotels offer laundry service for their guests, so you can pack lightly knowing that there will be an opportunity to wash your clothes during your trip.
The TravelWise packing cubes come with instructions to roll your clothes to minimize wrinkling. This method won’t prevent every crease, but it’s a good trick and keeps your things nice and tidy.
Naturally, what you decide to put in each cube is your choice. Some people prefer to allocate different ones for a particular article of clothing while others may use them to pack different outfits for various climates or occasions. Shoes are a must on any trip and you may decide to put them in one of your cubes. If you do so, I recommend putting each pair of shoes in a plastic bag tied shut (or ziplock baggie) before storing it in the cube. The mesh lining of each TravelWise cube makes it convenient to see what’s in it, but won’t protect the rest of the items in your suitcase from the unpleasant odor of a pair of shoes you have worn multiple days hiking the Inca Trail.
Suitcase organizing cubes are available in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes. TravelWise Packing Cubes can be purchased on Amazon and the EatSmart Products website. Currently, the 5-piece set is $29.95, and the smaller 3-piece weekender set is $21.95. Color options include purple, turquoise, red, gray and black.
TravelWise packing cubes are a really helpful addition to your suitcase, and a reusable organization tool that will come in handy in many future adventures. For additional travel packing tips, read our Tech Tuesday review for the Precision Voyager luggage scale, another EatSmart Product.
Are you ready to pack your bags for a South America adventure? Let our team of travel experts plan a customized dream trip for you. Give us a call.
Britt is a California native with a passion for globe-trotting. She left home for South America in 2013 and now has a family and permanent address in Peru.