Cheaper Alternative to Packing Cubes: for Petite Women Travelers

My cheaper alternative to packing cubes is large (gallon size) re-sealable aka ziploc bags. This is a #TravelHack that works for petite women since our clothes are so small! I tried to pack my husband’s clothes in re-sealable bags too. It didn’t work.

So for all the elbows to the face while clubbing, having to stand on stools to reach our kitchen cabinets, and awkwardness getting on/off bar stools, this #TravelHack is a score for petite women!

I know the title of the article is “Cheaper Alternative to Packing Cubes”. And let me just put it out there that packing cubes are not expensive to begin with. They range from $10-$50 for a set. But they are a specialty item. Personally ever since I started traveling and being at my happiest living out of a backpack while traveling the globe, I’ve personally enjoyed cutting down on owning a lot of stuff at home.

I try to find solutions for things I need using items I already have, cheap, or can get easily and inexpensively…as long as the solution is effective.

So even though packing cubes are not expensive, that’s not really the point. My thing is, why not use an alternative solution that’s just as good, without having to go out and buy something?

The bag on the left contains 3 pairs of shorts; the bag on the right contains 1 short sleeve top, 2 tank tops and a dress.

And again as followers of this blog know I’m not about generalities. There’s a time and place for everything. I think this hack works when you’re going somewhere during the summer or dry season – basically when it’s hot because the clothes you’ll pack are smaller – sundresses, shorts, tank tops, flip flops etc.

It would’ve been a lot harder to fit heavy and bulky winter/warm weather clothes into re-sealable bags.

I packed my clothes in re-sealable bags for my trip to Costa Rica last year and it was awesome. I stayed organized and my clothes remained nicely folded. We stayed in Arenal for 3 nights. It was hot and we did mostly adventurous activities everyday. So I didn’t intend on wearing my sundresses or pants during my stay there. It was so easy to grab my baggies of tops and shorts and leave everything else nicely packed in my Osprey pack.

Alternatively for my two nights in Manuel Antonio I re-organized the bags to fit a combo of the clothes that I needed.

{Other Benefits of Re-Sealable Bags for Travel}

Transparent: Another reason I love re-sealable bags is because they’re transparent so I can easily see what’s inside. For some people the non-transparency of packing cubes might be attractive, if you’re staying in a dorm room in a hostel or for undergarments, for the privacy.

DIY: And to be honest I like the efficient, effective, DIY feel to this solution vs. going out and buying a speciality item.

Multi-purpose: Re-sealable bags are just useful in general – especially while traveling. As the trip progressed and I shifted my gear around, these bags came in really handy for storing and carrying stuff.

In the re-sealable bags I was able to fit:

  • 4 shirts
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 3 sundresses
  • 3 swimsuits + wrap
  • undergarments + 2 pairs of hiking socks


I travel either with my little Samsonsite suitcase or my Osprey backpack. Regardless I always take a carryon backpack as well. I decide which of these two – Osprey pack or suitcase – to travel with based on my itinerary. If I’m going to be moving a lot within a destination, as in staying in a different accommodation every 2-3 days then I prefer my Osprey pack because I like the mobility. But if I’m staying in a location for 4 days or longer I take my suitcase as I feel like that’s enough time to actually unpack.

Being American we don’t get more than 2-2.5 weeks off for vacation/holiday so if I’m staying in a destination for 4 days or longer that’s almost half of my trip. So it makes sense to fully unpack and get settled into a hotel room vs. in shorter stays where I tend to just unpack what I’ll need for those few days.


Packing for your next vacation or holiday is fun and exciting! Planning all the cute outfits to wear for each adventure and activity is fun (in my opinion). Staying organized while traveling just makes the whole experience better. And petite women are at an advantage in this regard in that we can pack our clothes in re-sealable bags.

They function just like packing cubes, without having to go out and buy packing cubes. As I stated above, I think this only works for warm weather/summer holidays where you’re packing light and small clothing anyway such as sundresses, shorts, and tank tops.

Packing cubes aren’t expensive but why not save $10 or even $50 bucks and apply that towards a cocktail on the plane or room service at your hotel?

Happy travels! Cheers to wonderful sights and adding more stamps in your PassportPages!

{About PassportPages}

I created the PassportPages travel blog, to provide nuanced, detailed travel advice, tips, and hacks for traveling all over the world — from a unique and different perspective than the other popular travel blogs. There aren’t as many travel blogs geared towards:

  • nuanced, detailed travel tips and advice
  • vegetarians/vegan travelers
  • ethnic Americans, Canadians, and others
  • women, especially petite women

{About Samta}

When I’m not traveling and/or adventuring (and even when I am), I operate my tech startup, ShaadiShop. ShaadiShop is a marketplace for Indian-friendly wedding venues in California.

During undergrad I decided to study abroad which triggered my travel passion. I lived in Adelaide, Australia for a year and after that, for the next 10 years I spent 1-2 months each year, traveling to various destinations around the globe, on my own while I managed my direct marketing company.

I think traveling solo, prepared me to become an entrepreneur – journeying into new experiences, figuring it out as I went, self-reliance, facing your fears head on, trying new things, and so much more!

Then I decided to get a Masters in Business Administration, and I met my husband. Now we travel around the globe together and often. I love backpacks, vegetarian and vegan cooking and of course planning our next trip. I’m also kinda addicted to blueberries. =p

Check in on the blog or better yet follow PassportPages to get travel info from around the world. And definitely post your questions and comments. I love hearing from our readers! Cheers!

Samta, Founder, PassportPages

Other PassportPages Articles You Might Like:

Stylish Outfits for Petite Women to Wear on Planes

Traveling With Eyeglasses: Hacks for Women

Staying Safe Rules for Solo Female Travelers

Ideal Crossbody Travel Bag for Petite Women



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