How to keep track of all things you are carrying in the luggage and where they are? mentions packing cubes and amenity kits. Can somebody explain or/and elaborate about what these are and how they help a traveler packing clothes?

  • I saw what packing cubes are but unable to understand their significance apart form the fact they are translucent and come in variety of sizes. What those pictures don't tell me is the fact whether these cubes go in a backpack or not ? – shirish May 12 '16 at 20:39
  • i am looking to understand both packing cubes and (dunno what they look-like) amenity kits and how they help a traveler in packing her/is clothes. – shirish May 12 '16 at 20:41
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    You can determine whether a packing cube goes in a backpack by comparing the packing cube's exterior dimensions to the interior dimensions of the backpack. An amenity kit is also known as a toilet kit, a shaving kit, a cosmetic kit, or, if given to you by an airline (nowadays usually only in premium classes) a goody bag. To know what these things look like, open the google search page and click the link saying "images for packing cube" (or "images for whatever-your-search-terms-were") – phoog May 12 '16 at 20:47
  • you can see a small packing cube (yellow rectangle with clear face) sitting on a larger (black mesh with something purple in it) one in the picture on my blog entry here transpacifictrip.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/gear-report if that helps – Kate Gregory May 12 '16 at 21:05
  • @KateGregory valid point, I've removed my comment! Apologies. – mts May 12 '16 at 21:13

A packing cube is a zippered bag (generally more of a rectangular cuboid than a cube if we want to get into it) for storing clothes and other supplies when traveling. One popular manufacturer is Eagle Creek; I have some Spacepack ones (which I don't think I paid nearly that much for) as well; those have a nice two-sided design so you can separate clean and dirty. A similar product is available in the form of packing folders, which work well for dress shirts, blazers, and slacks. Since they're roughly rectangular, you can pack several up together in a suitcase with minimal wasted space, filling in shoes, sweaters, and other items to occupy any gaps.

The idea is that you can fill them with neatly folded clothes (or tightly rolled up clothes if that takes less space) and other items (such as electronics, they make padded ones), then put the cubes into your bag. This avoids having a bag full of loose disorganized clothes, helping you find what you need and keeping it neat. I'll usually organize things into different cubes based on type: socks and underwear in one, t-shirts in another, button-down shirts and pants in a folder. Unpacking is as simple as pulling out the cubes and packing just involves putting the cubes back in your bag.

Amenity kits are small zippered bags often given by airlines to (usually international) first and business class passengers containing various travel supplies, such as a sleep mask, toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, socks, perhaps a comb and a small container of hand lotion, etc... The supplies are useful, but the bags they come in are also handy toiletry bags for future trips. If you don't happen to have your own collection of premium cabin amenity bags, you can buy a toiletry bag of your preferred design, which is what most people do.

  • Just curious, what can you do with packing cubes that you can't do with plastic carrier bags? A bonus of plastic bags is they can be made to fit any size and shape – user56reinstatemonica8 May 12 '16 at 22:12
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    @user568458 I mean there are some advantages, but plastic bags can work too. See Plastic Bags vs. Packing Cubes. Cubes are also breathable, closable, and look more professional than a heap of plastic bags, if you care. They also make compression bags for traveling, which are basically fancy plastic bags with one-way valves on the end so you can roll out all the air. These can be great for packing bulky sweaters and the like. – Zach Lipton May 12 '16 at 22:23

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