We have decided to challenge ourselves.
Can we pack everything we need for a two week getaway in two carry-on bags? Adding to the conundrum is the fact that the trip includes a cruise with a formal night.
That means this ain’t a throw a few tee shirts in a bag kind of a journey. On the other hand, we are loath to check a suitcase. So just how far will we go to avoid that?
Let’s find out.
Normally packing is not a problem for us; we do it all of the time. Depending on the trip, we just grab some jeans, shirts, and maybe some bike shorts or a bathing suit and we are pretty much ready to go. But this is journey will be a little different.
We are meeting up with our entire family, all three kids along with their significant others, for a cruise and sixtieth birthday celebration for David.
Not only will we need a suit and formal dress, along with the proper shoes, we are also going to Alaska. This means the weather could be anything from 30 to 80 degrees and sunny or pouring rain… maybe even a little snow, so we will be expected to have the ability to dress accordingly.
On a positive note, the ship does have laundry, so we can wash some things and won’t have to bring everything we require for the entire fortnight. That means we can get by with about half of some of the essentials that we otherwise would have needed for the whole time. Still, it’s a lot of stuff.
First we decided to lay out all of what we wanted to bring so we could eyeball it and develop a battle plan. Seeing it piled up, we were not feeling very optimistic about our prospects for success.
Looking at the Bagail six piece system, which includes two of each large (17.5” x 13.7” x 4”), medium (13.7” x 9.8” x 4”), and small (13.7” x 5” x 4”) cubes, we were definitely apprehensive, but hopeful they could somehow give us enough room.
To provide a little more space, we also had two medium Bagail Compression Packing Cubes. These feature a dual zipper system that compresses the clothes to about half of their original size once they are packed inside.
Still we have to admit that we were more than a little apprehensive about our chances of fitting all of this stuff into our little rolling bags.
While we began to formulate our ideas of what might go where, we happily noticed that the cubes fit perfectly into our suitcases. The large ones precisely fill the bottom of our carry-ons, with the medium and small stacking exactly on top, since the size of those two cubes equals the size of the large cube.
That should certainly make things easier, so now all we had to do was start stuffing these babies like a Thanksgiving turkey.
We both started by filling our large cubes with a remarkable amount of said stuffing. David’s easily held a suit, jeans, ties, and half a dozen dress shirts while Veronica had no trouble with two dresses, jeans, cargo pants, half a dozen shirts, and some jammies.
She then chose two bulky sweaters, which are normally a real pain when packing, to load into one of the compression cubes and was pleasantly surprised that they squished down with no problems.
Meanwhile, David fit all of his tee shirts and some flannel pajamas into the other compression bag.
With that accomplished we felt a rush of hope that we might just pull this off after all.
The medium sized cubes easily held two pairs of David’s pants, along with swimming trunks, shorts, a hoodie, and a heavy pullover. Veronica had no trouble putting three more dresses and, not to be caught off guard in case it gets pretty cold, a down parka in hers.
Socks and underwear all fit into the small cubes, so it looked like we got everything in, right?
But wait just a dad-blame minute. Not so fast there Gypsynesters.
Even with everything in the cubes, we were still faced with one last obstacle… shoes!
Well it turns out that the cubes indirectly helped with them too. Individual shoes slid nicely between the cubes throughout our suitcases and much to our surprise everything fit.
We did it!
We have to say that so far we are loving the Bagail Packing Cubes system. Without it there is no way we could have managed to bring everything without checking a suitcase, which would break our One Trip Rule.
So, two thumbs up.
Be sure to follow along with us while we cruise Alaska’s inside passage and celebrate David’s sixtieth.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
A big thank you to Bagail for providing the packing cubes for us to try and, as always, all opinions are our own.