Packing cubes are great, but there are other ways to organise your suitcase.
Packing cubes are great, but there are other ways to organise your suitcase.

This $2 suitcase hack has travellers hooked

Packing cubes are the life-changing suitcase hack travellers are all talking about at the moment - but forking out for brand name travel accessories can be a costly exercise.

Yes, there are Kmart versions that can save you big bucks - but why buy something new when you already own household items that work just as well?

Escape's readers love to travel almost as much as they love a bargain, and these inventive packers have discovered everyday substitutes for packing cubes that are just as good - and way cheaper.

 

From $2 mesh laundry bags to ziploc bags, here are seven tips for alternatives to compartmentalise your luggage - without spending a fortune.

1. LAUNDRY BAGS

I love using my packing cells while travelling as it makes it so easy to find what I am looking for but they can be quite expensive to buy. A cheap alternative is to buy different sized net washing bags from a $2 shop and these serve the purpose of sorting and organising your gear neatly.

- Patricia Merrick

Instead of buying packing cubes I use laundry net washing bags. They are cheap and come in many sizes and can be used at home when not travelling.

- Margaret Harrison

On a recent month long trip around the UK I used the zipped nylon mesh bags (a pack of two costs $2.50 at discount shops) to pack everything. I roll my clothes and put underwear and socks in one bag, jeans in another and so on. I also bought a large mesh laundry bag to pack my rolled up jackets, jumpers, and hoodie. When you need to find something you just lift one bag out instead of rummaging right through your suitcase. Simple but effective.

- Margaret Pittaway

Mesh laundry bags are a cheap alternative to popular packing cubes.
Mesh laundry bags are a cheap alternative to popular packing cubes.

 

2. ZIPLOC BAGS

A lot has been written about packing cells. I use ziploc bags. I fold the clothes neatly and carefully slip them the in bag avoiding creases and press the air out of the bag and close the bag. A good way to remove the air is to lay the bag flat on the bed and sit on it while closing the bag. This takes up little room and keeps them safe in the suitcase

- Vince Cusack

Before packing I buy zip seal bags from Ikea, available in about six sizes - plus find a few drinking straws. The Ikea bags are more robust, inexpensive and double seal much better that most cheap zip seal bags available in supermarkets. I still have many that I have put back in service after numerous trips. I partly close the zip seal and insert a straw (to allow air to escape), then sit on the filled bags on a chair and expel all the air and remove the straw to complete the double seal. When the luggage is required to be opened for inspection, the individual bags and contents are easily viewed.

- Bob Sommerville

3. SHOE BOXES

When travelling, I use shoe boxes in my large suitcase, in which I put items I don't want squashed. I fill the boxes tightly as well, so that no space is wasted. The last time I travelled, I took Tim Tams overseas to my relatives, as they love them. The biscuits fit snugly into a shoebox, and arrived in perfect condition. On the way back, I used the shoebox for breakable souvenirs, wrapped in my small items of clothing. Perfect!

- Patty Panagiotopoulos

4. A SARONG

My best travel tip is to wrap your neatly folded or rolled clothing in a sarong which you then tie the ends securely together. It stops your clothing from getting tossed all over the suitcase and you can then use the sarong in your travels. No need to buy packing cubes.

- Beth Murphy

A sarong can be used to separate your luggage — and to wear on the beach.
A sarong can be used to separate your luggage — and to wear on the beach.

5. BED LINEN BAGS

When I buy sheets, pillow cases, mattress protectors in a plastic bag with zips I keep them for packing my clothes etc. in a suitcase instead of buying special expensive dividers and always travel with a cardboard cylinder for breakables to go in. It can be stuffed with socks or undies to stop them moving around.

- Kaye Champion

6. SPACE BAGS

I think my best ever travel tip is to use space bags when you pack to go overseas. So if you leave here in summer to go to say the UK, pack a big parka in a space bag - when you get off and it is cold you have a jacket ready to put on. I actually packed a sleeping bag and it condensed down to 5cm in my suitcase

- Sue Sharp

7. HANGERS AND BAGS

I pack my clothes on coat hangers eg slacks, tops, jackets etc then cover each coat hanger with dry cleaning plastic. On arrival to our accommodation all I have to do is pick up the coat hangers and hang up in the cupboard. Quick and easy. I also have a number of bags labelled underwear, nightwear, etc enabling me to find everything easily.

- Pamela Sansom

Got your own travel tip to share? Email us at escape@news.com.au for your chance to win our monthly reader prize.

For more travel news and inspiration sign up to Escape's newsletter.


Don’t fall into tax cuts trap

Don’t fall into tax cuts trap

Don't get caught up in the excitement of tax time

The Vikings know how to make the most of winter fashion

The Vikings know how to make the most of winter fashion

There's not much time to indulge in some winter fashion in Lismore

Here's to the next 25 years of light and friendship

Here's to the next 25 years of light and friendship

Lismore attracts thousands to its lantern and friendship festival