Packing Cubes vs. Rolling: Which is Best?

After our nearly two week road trip across Spain, I realized I can fly with just a carry-on. When it comes to flying carry-on only, every square inch of suitcase space counts. So if you want to maximize every corner of that bag, read some sound advice below.

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The Packing Cube

A packing cube set, like this set from Travel Wise can help you save almost as much space as folding, plus keep you significantly more organized. And this is why I love packing cubes. It makes my life so much easier on the road. Here is what I do. I pack my packing cubes and organize by clothing garment. So the basics like pants, shirts, bedtime outfits, etc. Fill in your shoes with items like socks and place them around the packing cubes, where the gaps are. Lastly, not everything needs a packing cube. You may want to lay thick sweaters or jackets flat.

Compression bags are similar to packing cubes, but allow you to get even more air out and make your clothing take up even less space. These ones from LeanTravel are particularly good for travel, as they don’t require the use of a vacuum. And, if you are traveling, a vacuum may not be something you have at your hotel, hostel or Airbnb. Just beware of over packing while using compression bags, as you can quickly exceed the weight limit of your bag by packing even more in.

Related: Top 10 Must Pack Carry-On Items

If you stick a travel size fabric softener in one of your shoes, you can use it at your destination to get out any wrinkles and keep your clothes smelling fresh.

The Secret Packing Cube Hack

Even if you’re set on packing cubes, you may want to hear me out on this next step. I sometimes like to combine my packing cubes with the rolling technique. Picture this; you have 10 t-shirts and laying them flat in the packing cube, they do not fit. So, I will roll the shirts and place them in the packing cubes. You get the best of both worlds. The cubes keep your shirts organized and separate from your pants and the rolling technique allows you to fit more inside the cube.

Traveler Tip: You can use packing cubes to separate your dirty clothing from your clean clothing

Related: My Favorite Travel Rewards Credit Cards

The Verdict

The verdict? Rolling clothes takes up less space than using packing cubes. However, rolling may not be the most organized method.

If you want to cram as much into your suitcase as possible, go for nothing but rolls of clothing. If you want to keep some delicate items wrinkle-free and stay organized without having to leave anything behind, opt for a combination of rolling and packing cubes.

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