How to use packing cubes for a cruise and a test to see how much space they really save

How to use Packing Cubes for a Cruise {Pack like a pro}

Packing for a cruise can be a daunting task, especially if you’re someone who wants to make sure everything is organized and easily accessible during your trip. One of the best solutions for keeping your belongings in order is by using packing cubes.

Not only do these handy cubes help maximize space in your luggage, but they also make unpacking and repacking a breeze. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using packing cubes and provide tips on how to use packing cubes for a cruise effectively, as well as test whether packing cubes really are worth it.

How to use packing cubes for a cruise including the benefits and a test of how much space it really saves

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In this article we are going to cover:

  • Do packing cubes really save space?
  • How to use packing cubes for a cruise
  • The benefits of using packing cubes on your next cruise

Do packing cubes really save space?

I have read a lot of hype about packing cubes and honestly had wondered if they were worth it. My biggest question was, do they really save space? Prior to my last cruise vacation, Well Traveled, was kind enough to gift me their 8 piece packing cube set to test out.

I first pulled out the clothes I intended to pack for our 7-night Caribbean cruise. I used the rolling method and placed the clothing items in my suitcase as I normally would. How cute are my hedgehog pajama pants 🙂

Suitcase with clothes rolled
Rolled clothes packed without using packing cubes

I then put the same rolled clothes into 3 of Well Traveled’s packing cubes. I chose a large cube, medium cube and one of the smaller sizes. The really great thing about these packing cubes is that they are compression packing cubes. The large and medium cubes can be used as regular packing cubes or as compression packing cubes. For the first test I used them as regular packing cubes. I wanted to see if compression packing cubes really made a difference.

Suitcase packed using regular packing cubes
Suitcase packed using the same clothes in regular packing cubes

As you can see, there definitely is space saved using regular packing cubes. I next wanted to see if using them as compression packing cubes made an even greater difference. The next image is the same clothes in the same packing cubes, but this time with them compressed.

There is a separate zipper that when done up compresses the clothes in the cubes.

Suitcase packed using compression packing cubes
Same clothes in the same packing cubes, but the packing cubes were compressed

You can click to find these packing cubes on Amazon.

Wow, right!?!? With the packing cubes compressed I was able to turn one on it’s side to fit nicely that freed up a considerable amount of space. I was actually really impressed with the amount of space these compression packing cubes saved.

How to use packing cubes for a cruise

Before getting to the other benefits of using packing cubes when traveling, lets look at how to best use packing cubes for a cruise.

How to use packing cubes for a cruise

1. Choose a good quality set of compression cubes

As you can see, compression cubes are the best packing cubes for saving precious suitcase space. With the space you save you can either pack more, have room for souvenirs, or maybe even allow you to downsize to a carry-on suitcase.

Choose a set that has several different-sized cubes and is made from durable materials.

I like that this set also comes with a drawstring bag that can be used as a shoe bag or a small laundry bag.

2. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on

Use a small cube to pack a change of clothes in your airline carry-on bag. This is a smart cruise packing tip. If your luggage is lost or delayed, you at least have a change of clothes to help get you by until your luggage arrives.

I include a bathing suit, sundress, and undies. I then keep this packing cube in my cruise carry on bag since you often don’t have access to your luggage or stateroom until later in the afternoon. What to pack in your cruise carry on lists the other items you should have in your bag.

3. Pack you pre-cruise hotel clothes together

Use one packing cube to keep the clothes you will need in your pre-cruise hotel room. Not only is this way more convenient, it allows for easy access and keeps the rest of your suitcase organized.

4. Pack in each others suitcase

Another packing hack is to use a small packing cube to pack a couple different outfits and put that in your travel partner’s suitcase. This provides a bit of protection incase one person’s suitcase is lost.

5. Pack the clothes you will hang up in one larger packing cube

For your remaining clothes, I pack the clothes that I will hang up together in one cube. This makes unpacking easier.

6. Pack the clothes you will keep in drawers together

For clothes you don’t intend to hang up, such as shorts and t-shirts, keep these together in one packing cube. Unpacking in your cruise cabin becomes super easy as you can simply open the packing cube, decompress, and place the whole packing cube in the drawer.

7. Differentiate each family member’s packing cubes

To use packing cubes most efficiently, use packing cubes of different colors for each family member, or if you have this set, fill in the luggage tags with the name and what is included.

8. Keep your cruise essentials in one packing cube

Packing cubes are a great way to organize your cruise essentials and additional items such as magnetic hooks, lanyard, towel clips, etc. A complete list of cruise essentials can be found here. You can even use your packing cube to store these items in one place at home.

9. Repack clean clothes in one packing cube

At the end of your cruise vacation, if you are like me, you always have an outfit or two or three, that you didn’t wear. Put these clean clothes together in one packing cube. It will keep your clothes clean and away from your dirty clothes. This saves you time and energy when you are home as you don’t have to wash clothes you didn’t wear.

You will find that some people use a different packing cube system. Some choose to pack outfits together, while others fill the cubes with similar items (same type of clothing – shorts in one, shirts in another, etc.). Some will use a medium packing cube as a toiletry bag or to hold a pair of shoes or two.

In the end, the best ways to use packing cubes is what ever works for you.

We have covered how to use packing cubes for cruise vacations, now lets look at the other benefits of using travel cubes.

The best way to use packing cubes for a cruise vacation

Benefits of using packing cubes for a cruise

1. Maximize luggage space

We have already demonstrated that compression packing cubes can save a lot of space in your suitcase, but you can’t have a list of packing cube benefits and not include the fact that they free up extra space.

2. Organization

Packing cubes are a great way to organize your luggage and keep items separated when you use different cubes of different sizes. They allow you to easily locate items you need pre-cruise without making a mess of your entire suitcase.

3. Easy unpacking

With packing cubes, unpacking is a breeze. For clothes you intend to put in drawers, place your whole unpacked cube in the drawer. Just open it up and unzip the compression zipper. This saves time and reduces the stress of having to rummage through your luggage to find what you need.

Packing cubes make it easy to unpack, place the full opened packing cube in a drawer

4. Keeps clothes from getting wrinkled

Packing cubes help keep clothes from sliding around your suitcase getting wrinkled.

5. Protects clean clothes

At the end of your vacation, place any unworn clothes in one packing cube, this will keep it separated from your dirty clothes. This eliminates having to wash clothes unnecessarily.

Overall, using travel packing cubes can make your trip more organized, less stressful, and more enjoyable. Whether you are planning your first cruise or are a seasoned cruiser, a set of packing cubes is a great investment.

If you would like to take a closer look at the packing cubes I have, thanks to Well Traveled, you can find them on Amazon here.

Now that you see the benefit of using packing cubes, you might be wondering what to pack for a Caribbean cruise or what to bring on a cruise to Mexico. These highlighted articles can help with your packing list.

Our printable Cruise Planner & Journal can help you stay organized both planning your family cruise as well as while on the the cruise ship.

Cruise planner and journal printable - ink friendly version

Other cruise related articles you may find helpful are:

How to pack light for a cruise - 11 smart tips. Image is of a carry on sized suitcase

How to pack light for a cruise

The ultimate cruise toiletries packing list includes personal hyigiene items to bring on a cruise and travel first aid items,. Add these cruise toiletries to your cruise packing list. This post also includes frequently asked cruise toiletries packing questions such as can you bring full sized shampoo on a cruise.

Ultimate cruise toiletries packing list

Cruise cabin organization tips and hacks

Cruise ship stateroom organization tips