Okay guys, yesterday I discovered my new favorite packing tool! In the past, I praised packing cubes as being my favorite packing invention. As of yesterday evening at 8:34pm, they have been dethroned.
A good friend of mine came to visit me in South Carolina from Chicago. She flew down with only a small duffle bag and backpack, both of which were pretty full. Packing for a trip to SC in winter can be a nightmare because you never know what the weather will do. Recently, we had 20 degree temperatures and 70 degree tempreatures in the same week!
During her time in South Carolina, my friend acquired two bulky, pastel, shoulder-pad-enabled pantsuits. They are glorious. Soon after purchasing them, we realized it would be hard to cram these garments into her full duffle bag for the flight home.
We toyed with the idea of mailing them, but that can get expensive. We also thought about those bags where you can remove the air with a vacuum hose, but that seemed obnoxious to deal with. And they aren’t the best for traveling. While its easy enough to vacuum pack things at home before leaving, few of us bring our vacuum on vacation to pack everything back up at the end. So we decided to do what my mom always had us do as kids: put everything in a regular plastic freezer bag and sit on it until you get all the air out. Then zip it up as fast as you can! Portable and (somewhat) effective!
We went to Walmart to find some normal plastic freezer bags and we stumbled upon what is now my favorite packing tool! They are Ziploc travel space bags, and they don’t require a vacuum but they somehow magically get all the air out.
We put all my friends clothes for a week, including the pantsuits, into two large bags. Seal the bag and sit, roll, squeeze, whatever it takes to get the air pushed out through the bottom seam. Somehow the seam defies all laws of physics and the universe and does not allow air back in the bag!
I am floored. How have I gone through my life not knowing these are a thing? In my post about packing cubes, I mentioned that one thing the packing cubes lack is compression. Well these bags take care of that. And a pack of five bags runs for about $10 at Walmart.
Here are a few real quotes my friend and I said while packing her duffle:
“I have more room now in this bag than I did before the pantsuits!”
“Think of the things I’m gonna be able to do with a suitcase! Why haven’t I been packing like this all along?”
“How did I not know about these when I moved? This is a game changer”
If you are looking for a simple and budget friendly way to get more space when you pack, check out Ziploc travel space bags! I can’t wait to use them myself on my next trip!