My dad has over 50 years of jet-setting under his belt, but a relatively new purchase transformed how he travels

Lauren Edmonds and parents
Insider's Lauren Edmonds and her dad.Lauren Edmonds/Insider
  • My father is a lifelong traveler, from a childhood trip to Mexico to a family vacation in the Bahamas. 

  • He purchased packing cubes two years ago and says they've improved how he travels. 

  • "I don't have to dig through different parts of the luggage to find something," he said.

One of the first things my dad showed me after we reunited in New York City last week was his luggage.

The conversation about his luggage sparked while my parents and I sipped cocktails at a Manhattan rooftop bar. Hours before, they had flown from our home state of Florida to visit me in New York City, where I moved five years ago after college.

"How was the flight?" I asked them, although I knew it was a cakewalk for my dad, Kevin.

Lauren Edmonds and parents
Lauren Edmonds and her parents in New York City.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

By now, he's a well-versed traveler who can navigate most situations.

His first major trip was a family vacation to Mexico when he was six years old, and he hasn't slowed down since. Whether it be a weeklong vacation in the Bahamas or flitting between cities on the East Coast for my summer lacrosse tournaments, he's always been organized, punctual, and prepared.

But even he struggled with packing.

"I've tried all the different ways," he told me. "I've tried rolling clothes, folding clothes, packing the heaviest at the bottom, but it just really never works."

Fortunately, he's found a time-saving, mess-free hack: packing cubes.

He purchased packing cubes on a whim 2 years ago and says they've greatly improved the way he travels

Packing cubes.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

After drinks, we stopped by my parents' hotel room, where my dad unzipped his luggage and showed me the $22 packing cubes. Packing cubes, or packing squares, are small to medium-sized bags meant to compartmentalize clothes inside a luggage bag.

My dad stumbled upon them in 2021 while scrolling through Amazon and decided to try them despite being on the fence initially. Now, he never travels without them.

"I don't have to dig through different parts of the luggage to find something," he told me. "When I get somewhere, I can pull the cubes out and put them in the hotel dressers."

He said there are a lot of perks to using packing cubes

He added that his clothes tend to be less wrinkled, the packing cubes take up less space in his luggage, and they save him time because he doesn't have to rummage through piles of clothes.

My dad also enjoys that packing squares can be used for shoes because "You don't want the bottom of your shoes all over your clothes."

Packing Cubes
A look inside a packing cube.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Unlike my mom and I, my dad begins packing days before we leave for a trip by incrementally placing items in his suitcase. He said packing cubes has made that process even easier.

"If there are clothes that you know you're going to take with you and you're not going to wear before you leave, you can pack those several days in advance," he said. "So, when it's time to pack your bag, you can just drop the cube in."

He's already bought my mom a set of packing cubes, and after seeing how my dad used his, I'm going to get some, too.

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