Are packing cells really worth it?
This is the question I asked myself as I saw so many people talking about them online and even buying them from my Travel Store. In fact, they were selling like bottled water in a desert and I wondered what the fuss was all about.
What are packing cells, or packing cubes?
Packing cells are different sized (usually) nylon zip bags with see-through mesh at the top for you to separate your clothes into, see at a glance, and keep everything nice and neat in your suitcase.
I hadn’t tried them, but for about a year I was reading the reviews from others who were proclaiming their benefits. To be honest, I just thought they were a nice-to-have for people with OCD!
And then I tried them myself on our three-week trip to Italy. Oh my. I got it. I’m a convert and here’s why.
Easy to find things
I take four or five different sizes and colours (I now have several sets!) and in one I pack underwear, another has my leggings/pants/shorts, another has tops/tunics and in another I might have dresses, a skirt or maybe a cardigan and a light jacket. It depends on where I’m going of course.
But that means at a glance I can see where my knickers are instead of rummaging through my suitcase and throwing socks and leggings aside and generally making a shambles until I come to pack up and leave the hotel.
Easy to pack a tidy suitcase
How I pack is I lay my clothes on the bed up to a few days before I leave (in the spare room!) so I can then see what I’ve got, what I need to add, what needs washing to join the holiday, and which items I am going to pair together.
Then when I have culled down (see my 6 tips for how to pack light here >>) I pop them into their appropriate cell. Then they simply fit into my suitcase like a jigsaw and being squishy I can add my hair straighteners or a multiboard (I take one universal adapter plug a multiboard to charge everything at once) and they are cushioned by the clothes.
Easy to unpack in hotels
Another great thing about packing cells is how quick and easy it is to unpack in your hotel or cruise ship and not have to live out of your suitcase. Just pop them in the drawers and you can put your suitcase away.
7 reasons why packing cells (or packing cubes) are a traveling game-changer:
- Pack your items neatly by type
- Know where everything is at a glance (including kids clothes, your tops v bottoms, day wear v evening wear, gym gear etc)
- You can itemise by outfit with the top, bottom and accessories all packed together if you’re that organised!
- Unpack into your hotel or cruise cabin by simply placing the cells in the drawers
- If you’re having a stopover, use one for those clothes that might be a different climate
- Repack in under 5 minutes!
- Use one for items that might need declaring to make it easy at Customs
Where to buy packing cells
I have different versions in the Travel Store for shipping New Zealand-wide. If they need washing just hand wash them.
If you just want to start out with one to give it a go, try these ones that are sold separately. They also make a great Secret Santa gift as they’re under $10!
Or this set of five that are cheap and cheerful and do the job nicely. These are good if you’re not a frequent traveller as they are not as robust as the top quality ones, however I have been using these ones for about six trips over the last year and they’re doing fine 😀
But if you want the best, then you can’t go past these ones. Made of durable fabric and mesh with top quality zips, these come in sets of four and in four colours too.
Visit the TravelStore.co.nz if you’d like to see more. We can only ship NZ-wide at this stage, sorry!