You see, the thing that's better about BACKPACKS (over luggage), is that BACKPACKS go on your back. And while that sounds completely freaking OBVIOUS, it's not. Because where it makes a world of difference, is in places with charming old cobblestone streets, places with no elevators, and places that might or might not offer you that fancy thing some people call a "concierge".
Because while other travellers are dragging their suitcases along the street, FIGHTING with it every step of the way to have it NOT fall over, we're hauling ass comfortably down the street, fighting nothing. While other travellers are having a BITCH of a time hauling their suitcases up the FOUR flights of stairs to their room, we're climbing up quite easily. And while they're trying to communicate with the concierge in a language they don't speak, we're already checked in, and heading for the pool.
The problem however with backpacks, is that nothing really STAYS where you put it. Cuz no matter how TIGHTLY you pack it, or how many different ways you try to ORGANIZE it, your clothes, shoes, and everything else always end up at least SLIGHTLY jumbled. And for someone as anal as I am, that gets pretty tough.
Or at least it GOT tough, until I found these - Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes. For this last trip to China, Cambodia, and Thailand, we each bought one Double Cube and one Half Cube. And these things, they SAVED our lives. Well, they saved MY life, and the husband just thought they were pretty cool.
The cool thing with them is that you can SORT your stuff. In the little Half Cube, I had my bikini, underwear, bras, and bandanas - HE, on the ther hand, just jammed his full of underwear. In the Double Cube, we both put shirts, and cuz I'M the packer in the family, ours were both broken out the same way. On the ONE side, we had our cotton tees, tanks, polos, and on the other SEPARATE (its own zippered section), we both had our nicer button-up blouse type shirts.
And while I loved the whole "sorting" thing we had going on, where I could pull out a cube and have access to 4 shirts instantly, the thing I loved most was the lack of clutter. There was no digging through my whole pack, or holding my hand on one portion while pulling another - it was all just simple "slide-in" and "slide-out" kinda action.
Absolute and TOTAL thumbs up.