Regular readers of travel blogs across the internet will has come across the space saving convenience that is the packing cube.. A regular travellers dream, these lightweight containers bring calm and control to an otherwise unruly backpack and briefcase and – used correctly – can help to avoid wrinkles, create space where originally you were running out and can help any speed up the process of any security gate inspections you may come under with it’s ease of unpacking.

But there’s more to packing cubes than pristine storage.

With a little thought there’s no end to the alternative travel hacks you can use with any item in your backpack, but in the case of these packing cubes; there’s three we regularly use.

1 – Portable Cinema

We’ve all been there; tired and with nothing on your mind other than sitting in bed and watching a film whilst the world carries on around you. It’s perfectly normal.

As I said, whilst travelling 24/7 and around the world it’s perfectly normal to want to stay in bed and watch a film with your earphones in as others around you in your hostel dorm slumber away – but it’s really uncomfortable lying on your side with your head in your hand as you slowly lose the feeling in your arm.

Our fix: Take all of your packing cubes out of your backpack, pile them up on top of each other like a pyramid, stick your earphones in and lie back in comfort with a pillow behind your head as you stuff freshly microwaved popcorn into your mouth.

2 – A Pillow

No matter if you’re slumbering at a Couchsurfers house who’s nothing but a sleeping bag and the floor to keep you warm, or if you’re having to sleep overnight at the airport in order to get that budget flight at 6am the next morning and you’ve decided to make any spare stretch of floor yours – grabbing out one of your packing cubes makes for a fantastic pillow compared to the cold concrete-floored alternative.

Catching Zzzs

photo by nibaq, on Flickr (cc)

3 – Use One As A Desk

How?“, is most likely your first thought. Your second thought is probably how useful this can be when you’re sitting on your hostel or hotel room bed and you’re desperate for the comfort of taking your laptop off your knees and onto a better position for typical your latest email home or article for your blog.

Rather than burning your thighs with the heat of your laptops fan trying to cool down, why not grab out your largest and flattest packing cube and lay it across your lap? Doing the same thing, I not only had space for my laptop, but also for my computer mouse so that I could do much quicker and more precise work for the Travel Do It Facebook Page.

What other hacks can you think of?