My Top Trick For Traveling Light & A Giveaway To Get You Started

I recently planned a two week trip to Bali and was determined to bring along only a carry-on backpack and a small day bag. Over the trip, I would stay I in seven different hotels or guest houses and was afraid of my bag getting out of control. I  wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish this initially but can now say I made it and was able to carry even more than I needed with me, all while staying organized. I’ve packed a carry on for a week with a 70-degree temperature change but this was my biggest traveling light challenge yet.

40 liters of space might not be a lot, but it was more than enough once I got one trick for traveling light covered – packing cubes! Leading up to the trip I reached out to eBags and asked if I could give their packing cubes a try, and even better to hold a giveaway for my readers after the trip.

I was able to pack over two weeks’ worth of clothes, with just a little washing needed, in a tiny space. This allowed me to easily stop in Sydney and explore the city in just six hours, hop on and off a boat when I was visiting Gili Trawangan no problem, and even have room for some souvenirs on my way home. My only question after the trip is how I ever traveled without them.

Note: Products were provided at no cost to the author for both use and the giveaway. As always all opinions remain my own. 

The Trick for Traveling Light – Packing Cubes

Whether I’m packing for a weekend away or two weeks abroad I typically try and find a way to get as much stuff in as small of a bag as possible. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist but I hate having large bags to lug around. I’d much rather bring one that’s easy to bring from place to place. I recently had a chance to try eBags Packing Cubes and they have made this goal so much easier to achieve.

The packing cubes allow you to compact everything you’re traveling with. All you do is roll your clothing like normal and then stuff them into these zipper cubes. It is easy to squeeze far more into each cube filling up all the dead space that happens while packing. Once you’ve packed each cube you just stuff them into your bags.

The packing cubes also allow you to separate your things whether it’s by when you’ll use them or different types. By the end of the trip, you can easily have a clean clothes cube and dirty clothes cube.

There are a variety of companies offering packing cubes but I was impressed by the quality and effectiveness of the eBags cubes. I definitely pushed what you can fit in the cubes and between the malleable shape and strong zippers, it was always easy to get the bag closed. They offer a variety of sizes allowing the packing cubes to fit into any bag you’re bringing and carry as much or as little as you need. On top of that, you have to love their color choices. I went with one that matched my bags, purple, but I know some folks will get a bright color that will stand out in what they own so they won’t leave anything behind.

Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

Two weeks around Bali in a 40-liter backpack was a breeze and it’s also easy to just pack a small one for an overnight trip and throw it in your day bag. The variety of sizes you can get make them perfect for every bag and every trip.

Pack More Items In Less Space

When I started pulling out all the things I wanted to take on my trip to Bali I initially thought there was no way I’d be able to fit it all into my small backpack. It wasn’t a lot for two weeks but it was a lot for the space. How would I fit what I needed for my two-day conference, my hiking shoes, a purse, a day bag, a travel pillow and all the other things I needed.

While I was certain I’d have to remove some items I was determined to give it a try and see how much of what I wanted could fit. I’m so glad I did since once I started in on the  packing cubes I was able to get everything thing in. And then all the cubes were able to squeeze (it was tight) into the bag.

To give you an idea of how big of a difference the packing cubes make I was sure to take before and after photos of everything I packed. Other than my laptop, one pair of shoes that I eventually got to fit in the cubes too, and some liquid toiletries I wanted to be able to pull out for TSA everything made it into the cubes.

From This

Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

To This

Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

Easy To Pack Into Your Bags

Whenever I travel I tend to explode all over the hotel room, and if I’m stopping more than one place repacking for me is almost as painful as packing in the first place. The eBag packing cubes were perfect for this. I had a technology cube, an undies and socks cube, a toiletries cube, a casual clothes cube and a nicer clothes cube. That made it so I only really had to pack these five cubes into my suitcase instead of the hundred or so individual items I was actually carrying.Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

For my small backpack, the cubes were easily moldable to squeeze in and the combination of sizes worked well to fill up the full space of the bag. In a more traditional suitcase, they fit even easier. The largest size fits right into the bottom of my carry on and then I can add a handful of the smaller cubes on top or just pack a few and have more space to throw in shoes or a hair dryer or whatever extra items I need.

Staying Organize As You Move

My trip was actually 2 1/2 weeks long since I had a conference to attend in Southern California before I flew off to Bali. One of the things I loved about the packing cubes was I could separate what I was wearing at the conference and not open most of the cubes on my first couple days. The shot below is all I needed for those days, just my toiletry bag and one cube. It was great to avoid digging into the rest of the bag and kept me organized. Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

The cubes also allowed me to always know where things were. Even when I spent almost a week in Ubud I still kept things in their assigned bag. This kept me from exploding all over my room like I normally do. Having less stuff to worry about and always knowing where it was removed one of the stresses of travel. Each time I was heading to a new spot I knew what belonged in each packing cube allowing me to easily recognize if I was missing something. After staying 7 different places I didn’t leave anything behind.

Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

The Giveaway – Win Your Own Set of Packing Cubes from eBags

If you haven’t tried packing cubes yet or if you need a few more for an upcoming trip here is your chance. eBags has graciously provided me with  a “Value Set” of packing cubes in the color of your choice to giveaway to a lucky reader. The set includes a small, medium and large packing cube as well as three of their slim cubes. Each size if good for different items and to fit into different types of bags, making the “Value Set” the perfect complete set for every traveler.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Even though it’s over don’t forget you can get your own set of eBags Packing Cubes, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and costs so you can find the perfect fit for you!

Top travel trick for packing light. Plus a giveaway to get you started! How packing cubes are the tip that will change how you travel.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the political world in California, but on evening and weekends spends time exploring the West Coast and more. All while encouraging others to join in on the adventures.

  • Maria Berneiser Haase

    Those cubes would come in so handy. I don’t have a problem with overpacking, usually a medium size bag is big enough for 10 days for my husband and I together. But I absolutely hear you on re-packing. I am married to one of those people, whose suitcase pukes all over the hotel room within 5 minutes, so this would be great for us 🙂

  • I never go anywhere without packing cubes. They’re especially amazing for long term travel!

  • I have those exact same bags. LOVE them!

  • Packing cubes seem extremely practical. Unfortunately, I’m not a practical packer and get really frustrated when my clothes are not in front of me and readily available. My backpack is always absolute chaos. Hopefully, one day I’ll learn a bit of organization and, when I do, organizers like these would surely come in handy. (though I’m sure they are generally more suitable for suitcases than backpacks).

  • I love packing cubes! Since I got a set, I’ve been using them religiously and not only for travel reasons too. They’re so handy. I don’t have any from eBags though. Wouldn’t pick picking up a few more either.

  • Hi Megan, thank you for sharing this. I’m planning a two-months trip and I was finding very difficult to pack everything I need in one single bag.

  • I’m with you! Packing a single bag is always my goal. Huge packing cube fan! My bags have never been better packed and organized.

  • I’ve heard of these packing cubes and they’re definitely worth getting from what I’ve heard from others. I’m moving to Canada in about 12 weeks and was thinking of buying some. Unfortunately I can’t enter the giveaway as I’m in Ireland ?

  • Travelling Chingrita

    i am obsessed with my packing cubes, they’re super helpful and when I backpack, it keeps me organized. I throw a dryer sheet that is ziplocked, just to keep it nice and fresh smelly. Sometimes there’s a weird musty smell that creeps into my bag in humid conditions. I actually want to buy them as gifts for friends who have just started the travel trail.

  • Winederlusting

    Great post on the practicality of packing cubes! My girlfriend swears by them, I still just pack light and roll things up real tight, but I know these are great for simplicity and organizing.

  • Great giveaway!! I definitely need some practical packing cubes!!
    Fingers crossed!!


  • Good idea. I, myself use something similar which is called a “Saree Cover” in India. and the small ones for all my electric chargers, external hard disks and adapters.

  • Elaine J Masters

    I need to graduate from the loose collection of parcels I pack. This organization would be soothing!

  • Packing cubes! Wow! I had never heard of these… I have two big trips coming up this summer and it’ll be my first time traveling with a baby so I see a use for these!!

  • How convenient and practical. What a great idea to reach to ebags. Love your pictures and can clearly see the space you saved. Do they have a bag for dirty clothes?

  • Carol Perehudoff

    I’ve got to finally try packing cubes – but even so I probably won’t be able to do carry on. It’s the shoes. The shoes!

  • Food Travelist

    We’re huge believers in not checking and in packing cubes. Makes packing so much easier. I haven’t seen those skinny slimline ones. Guess I’ll have to enter the contest! Great tips for packing.

  • I have seen these everywhere lately but never pulled apart so that I could see them all properly like you’ve done. They look awesome and you certainly get to put a lot of stuff in them. I think my brother is just the target market for these!

  • Ooh what a useful giveaway! I’ve been eyeing packing cubes since I have to pack for a 2 month trip soon! These would be incredibly useful!

  • Francesca

    Firstly, I’m happy to see your blog is back up and running 🙂 Secondly, I don’t know why I haven’t tried packing cubes yet. In all my years of traveling, I’ve consciously avoided them. Perhaps it’s time I just give in??

  • I have heard so much about packing cubes but personally have never tried them. Maybe it’s time. They look like a good way to sort my packing mess.

  • 2TravelDads

    Packing for kids, I feel like this is a great way to mitigate their need to bring tons of stuff, but then also be efficient with their choices.

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