How should I pack for my vacation or retreat?

I’ll admit it: I am a hardcore packing cube fan. I literally live out of them! You may have mastered the art of rolling and tucking and magically arranging your clothing in a suitcase, but the minute you take one thing out, chances are your whole system is thrown off, at least a bit.  Now that I live out of a suitcase year-round, I can’t imagine life without them!

What are packing cubes?

best way to packThink of packing cubes like drawers within your suitcase.  They come in various sizes and capacities, and you can use them any way you like. Personally, I keep my pants in one packet, my shirts in another, undergarments in a small one, even my vitamins and first aid kit in another.

I love the Eagle Creek brand. They come in different sizes and shapes and different colors, which helps me to immediately differentiate what items are in which cube. I like the ones that have an area that is a tight net, which allows for ventilation.  They also made padded pocketed ones for electronics and cords. You can also keep your shoes in one, although I’d recommend getting a solid one (without the netting); you don’t want any dirt from the soles of your shoes getting loose in your bag!

Once you get your cubes all packed, find the best way to arrange them in your bag. I can tell you from experience that proper Tetris-like arrangement can make a big difference.

What is the best way to pack toiletries?

I have an older version of this zippered pack, also from Eagle Creek (click here for a picture of the inside). It has a hook which is great for hanging over towel rods and shower rods or even just the back of the door. It has a mirror and several compartments to separate your creams & lotions & potions. I pack everything from my contact solution to my toothbrush to nail clippers and jewelry (in the little pockets).  If there is a spill at any point, you can wash the whole kit & caboodle. 

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