When aspirational ads for Away bags first showed up in my Facebook feed, I may have actually swooned a little bit. A suitcase guaranteed to fit in all overhead compartments that also promised to charge my phone in a aesthetically inoffensive yet distinctive colorway? Just tell me where to enter my credit card information.
And yet, the first time I took my bag out into the world, I realized something: Without exterior zippered pockets, my neatly-packed suitcase turned into a mess within a day of arriving at my destination. Before a long sojourn in England last summer, I decided that I needed to go into this trip with a better organizational game plan. Cue: The purchase of these packing cubes.
If you’re not familiar, packing cubes are the travel must-have of the obsessive personality who wants to know exactly where every sock she brought with her is and make sure it doesn’t get mixed up with her exercise clothes. They’re also for anyone trying to fit more stuff into a smaller suitcase and generally avoiding baggage claim at all costs—and they work brilliantly on both fronts. Personally, I follow the Marie Kondo school of rolling my clothes up so they remain less wrinkled, and my packing cubes make that easy and keep everything snug. The mesh tops make it easier to see everything you’ve got with you, and the trio of laundry pouches make it easy to separate your delicates and socks from everything else, in case you want to really dial up the O.C.D.
In the 10 days my packing cube and I spent tooling around England, I fell in love with the countryside and, yes, even all the touristy trap stuff in London. But it was these $14 packing cubes that truly stole my heart, by storing my stuff in a way that didn’t make me feel insane after a few days. Now, I can’t imagine going anywhere without them.
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