Budget Long Term Senior Travel

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Use a Packing Organizer System in Your Suitcase

14-Apr-2017

One of the most helpful pieces of advice I can give you regarding long-term travel is to get your suitcase well organized and keep it that way! Doing that efficiently and easily absolutely requires using a packing organizer system. And the more often and longer you travel, the more important this is.

Maybe you need that extra pen you remember packing, your battery charger, a snack bar or spare dental floss. It’s a great feeling be able to locate it instantly without a frustrating time-consuming search. You’ll know at a glance where all your items are and exactly what’s in each little storage bag.

Some packing hints

  1. Use a packing organizer system
    This is a set of multi-sized inner storage bags designed to organize your items and be easily arranged inside your suitcase. They keep your clothing as wrinkle free as possible. Using them saves space. Most people use some type of smaller storage bags for their stuff. However, I’m not talking about using zip-lock baggies, an odd collection of old toiletry bags or some re-used shopping bags to toss your things into. I’m talking about a system that has been specifically designed for this purpose.
  2. Pick a popular brand
    There are many packing organizer systems available nowadays. There’s TravelWise, Shacke, eBags, Bagail, Mossio, Gonex, REI, Hopsooken, and I’m sure many more that I haven’t named. Even Amazon has it’s own brand called Amazon Basics. But the packing cube pioneer and grand-daddy of them all is Eagle Creek. (More about them later below.)
  3. Pick a brand with a large selection and ongoing innovation
    This may sound like over-kill for something as seemingly simple as a packing system. But I know from experience this is important. When you start buying these inner bags they can be a bit pricey. Prices from $10 to $30 per bag are not uncommon. Most people start small with just a bag or two. Subsequently, as they use them, they discover what else they need and buy another. Then another. By the time you’ve got 6 or 10 of these storage bags, you’ve invested a goodly amount. So the company/brand you select should:

    • Offer a large variety of options so you can choose the exact style and features right for you.
    • Be a here-to-stay dependable company with a track record of high quality and service. No fly-by-night, jump-on-the-bandwagon companies just out for the quick buck. Because you want merchandise that will really last.
    • Not rest on their laurels. They’ll keep on researching new and better fabrics with advanced features. They’ll listen to their customers to find out they really need.
  4. Be consistent
    After you’ve selected your packing system and you’re happy with them, stick with them. They’ll have full-bags, half-bags, quarter-bags, long skinny bags, etc.  And the different sizes will fit together quite neatly in your suitcase like tightly fitted mosaic tiles. If you start mix-and-matching different manufacturers, they’ll have different ideas on what the best sizes are and your suitcase will end up with a lot of unused gaps and wasted space.
  5. Color coding helps
    Hopefully the system you choose offers bags in a variety of colors. Because if you open your suitcase and you see all blue storage bags, all the same size, you’re going to become quite frustrated with it. Your brain can easily remember color, size and shape, but you’ve got to mix it up. Maybe first order a blue set, multiple sizes. Then next time order some orange ones, or a long shaped white one. Figure out which of your items fit in which bags and always pack them in the same one. You will be surprised how easy and automatic it is to remember that your underwear is in the medium orange bag, your shirts in the large blue one and your electronics are in the tall skinny white one.

See ONLY Pack-It Products

Browse through only the Eagle Creek Pack-It organizer items.

Eagle Creek packing organizer systems

You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m partial to the Eagle Creek packing organizer systems. I started out using their packing cubes many years ago. I love being organized and fell in love with their zippered cubes. Then just a few years ago I saw they had come out with some newer light weight cubes and bags. As a result, I bought a few of the new ones since I was now really focused on getting my luggage weight as low as possible. I love my new bags even more!

And just today I went to the Eagle Creek website and see that they made another major improvement. The latest ones are even lighter, stronger, better zippers, open wider and are translucent. You can easily see what’s inside without even opening the bag. Wow! I may have to go shopping again soon.

Because Eagle Creek offers so many luggage and travel products, and now multiple styles of packing organizers, it can be a little overwhelming to make sense of it all. Yes, in addition to the organizers, Eagle Creek offers luggage, backpacks, duffels, wallets, money belts, everyday bags, briefcases and much more. But I can’t go into all this here. You can visit their site and explore on your own.

What I will do is give you a very short summary of the 4 different “Pack It” systems. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to decide what to order. Especially when you see all the items coming up in a huge long list on Amazon.

The 4 main Pack-It™ systems

  1. Pack-It Original
    These are the first packing cubes I bought. They’re washable and very sturdy. One of their cubes has two separate compartments, with separate zippers. One side is open to the air via a breathable mesh. The other side is coated in plastic inside and is good for packing damp and/or dirty clothes without them messing up your clean things. The disadvantage of the older style is that they’re a lot heavier. The advantage is that they are cheaper. For example, the clean/dirty cube I just told you about in the original style weighs 6oz and costs about $23. The equivalent in the newer Spector style weighs only 2oz and costs about $30.
  2. Pack-It Specter 
    This is the next line of packing cubes to come out. The colors are vibrant and made with amazingly lightweight ripstop nylon. They also have a “compression” cube. It’s just like the standard cube but with an extra zipper. It’s just like the extra zipper in a lot of suitcases. You can unzip for more storage space, or zip it up to compress everything down into the smallest space possible. The only thing I don’t like about this line of cubes is that they don’t open up fully. Totally unzipped is only about 3/4 away around the cube. So you still have to dig around a bit to get to your things in the far corner of the bag. Regardless, I still like these a lot better than the old original style.
  3. Pack-It Specter Tech
    This is the latest and greatest line. The cubes now open up fully. (Yippee!) The handles are better, the material stronger. Better water and stain repellent properties. The fabric is translucent so you don’t even have to unzip it to know what’s inside. Since this line is new, it doesn’t have absolutely every style and design as the other Specter line. But it has all the basics. If given a choice, I’d buy the Spector Tech version over the Specter version of any given cube.
  4. Pack-It Sport
    I’ve included this only because it’s named “Pack-It”. This line of packing cubes is designed for people who go back and forth to the gym and need an easy way to carry their fitness clothes, shoes, toiletries, and other workout items.

See ALL Eagle Creek products

Browse through all items, including luggage, duffels, backpacks, toiletry organizers, money belts and more. Over 300 items.

How to get the best deals

I know I’ve given you a lot of information here, a lot to digest. Fortunately, there’s an easy simple way to proceed to get what you need at the best price.

  1. First of all, go to the Eagle Creek website and browse through their packing organizer products. Since you now know a little bit about the different lines it should be much easier to narrow in on what you like best.
  2. Make a note of each item you want, which line, the style, the color, and the suggested retail price. Note that the prices here will be the highest since it’s the company site.
  3. Finally, hop on over to Amazon and start serious comparison shopping. Search on the exact item you want and compare the price to suggested retail. You should be able to get everything on Amazon cheaper. In addition, pay close attention to the sizes and full descriptions on Amazon to make sure you’re getting what you really want.

See ONLY Pack-It Products

Browse through only the Eagle Creek Pack-It organizer items.
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