I'm a digital nomad. I earn my income online, so I can work anywhere – as long as there's decent Wi-Fi and a full charge on my laptop. I've been to 46 countries so far, from Sri Lanka to Spain, and plan to live in many more.
Being constantly on the move, however, means organisation is a must, whether that's by staying on top of your Slack messages or sticking to your Google Calendar schedule. After months of streamlining my workflow, I finally felt I was reaching the ultimate sweet spot in productivity.
Sorting out my belongings, on the other hand, was a different story. I was constantly rummaging through my backpack to find everything from my moisturiser to the charging cable I needed right now for my laptop.
That was until I discovered packing cubes.
I’m not usually big into travel accessories, but these awesome stackable travel cells I bought from Zoomlite have made such a difference. Because I love them so much, I wrote this guide on how to use packing cubes – and 5 reasons why you shouldn’t travel without them.
1. They’re a Mini Wardrobe in a Bag
Your home has storage solutions, so you can easily separate your toothbrush from your socks for easy dressing. But even if you’re packing light, this isn’t a luxury you have when you’re travelling – especially on a multi-destination trip where emptying your bag for a one-night stay is a waste of time. Zoomlite's packing cells are awesome because they act as dedicated spaces for your stuff so you can spread them around your room without making a mess.
Some bloggers, like Travel Fashion Girl, even put a different outfit in every cube for each day of their itinerary. Spending a day at the pool? Put your bikini, beach towel and suncream in a cube. Going trekking the next? Pack your hiking trousers, a baseball cap and mosquito spray.
2. They’re Easy to Access on the Go
Because packing cubes come in different sizes, you'll know exactly where to find your underwear or your long-sleeved tops in an instant. It’s always good to fill a pack with toiletries as it’s the one you’ll likely need to access the most often. You can buy Zoomlite’s cubes in a set of 4, or you can mix and match different colours or patterns (the pinkstripe ones are awesome) to help remember exactly where your items are.
3. They Save on Space
I used to roll my eyes instead of my clothes when I kept hearing that it’s the best way to save on space in your luggage. I usually travel with a backpack, which means your bag gets messy as soon as you have to try finding one thing. It’s time-consuming to have to keep rolling up your clothing, like Cosmo suggests, after you’ve emptied your bag.
That’s where cubes come in! Their rectangular shape allows you to keep all your stuff in the same position you packed it in. Zoomlite’s cubes also have a mesh panel that means air can escape, making it easy to squish in more stuff. It also means they’re breathable to avoid those funky backpack smells.
4. They Keep Your Most Important – or Expensive – Belongings Separate
I need to be able to access my work kit quickly when I’m on the go. This includes my laptop, my chargers, my smartphone and my notebooks. I find it invaluable to have all those items together to yank out of my bag once I find a café to work in. Keeping your electronics in an easy-to-find pack is also super useful at airport security or if you want to keep your valuables on your person instead of putting them in the hold on that overnight bus in India.
5. They Stack Away Neatly When You're Not on a Trip
As a digital nomad, I don't have a permanent home and keep the minimal belongings I didn’t sell on eBay at my parents’ house. Because of this, I don't buy too much stuff that takes up space. Packing cubes stack inside one another like Russian dolls and can be hidden in the corner until I'm off again. But even if you’re not a remote worker and do have lots of storage space, it’s always good practice to downscale. With estimates showing there'll be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035, maybe someday you’ll be jetting off on a never-ending trip, too.
by Loren C
Loren is a writer and editor who's living the dream by working and travelling full time. She loves exploring new places and trying out the local cuisine. Her favourite countries are Sri Lanka, Turkey and Thailand.