The One Little Thing: Grid-It Organizer

gift ideas for the carry-on traveler

This is a post in an ongoing feature on Her Packing List called “The One Little Thing“. Each week or two, I’ll be interviewing a traveling lady to find out the one little thing she just can’t travel without. This one is brought to you by Kristin Luna:

kristin lunaI’m a travel writer and photographer–I contribute regularly to multiple travel and women’s magazines, as well as pen a couple guidebooks a year, so I’m on the road (or in a plane) more often than not. I also write a blog, Camels & Chocolate, as well as create custom editorial content for travel companies and resorts and dabble in social media here and there.

What’s the one little thing you can’t travel without?

My Grid-It. I travel with two DSLRs, a GoPro, a Canon G12, a Kindle, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod, an iPhone and various other gadgets. Before I discovered the Grid-It–ironically, I first bought one for my sister when she was studying abroad, then quickly claimed one for myself not much later–all my cords, camera batteries and memory cards would get tangled up and lost in my seemingly bottomless carry-on.


>> Buy a Grid-It on Amazon

Why has this one item been so important to you?

I’m an organization freak, so it helps to keep all my belongings neat and tidy and easy to find.

How packable is it? Does it take up much room? Is it heavy?

It’s very slim and easy to slip in a bag. It takes up the small pocket in the front of my laptop bag (or the top pocket on my rolling carry-on suitcase if that’s my bag of choice for that particular trip). The weight depends on how many items you try to strap into it, but mine is always pretty light. My iPod, digital recorder and iPhone are the bulkiest items I store in it, and everything else is a mix of cords, batteries and memory cards.

Why would you recommend this to your travel friends?

It will make you a much more organized traveler. As someone who is very Type A (and borderline OCD when it comes to storing all of my belongings in an orderly fashion), it has been a savior!

Can you name one incident or situation where you were so happy to have this item with you?

Every time I’m in the airport and frantically digging around my bag to find my phone charger (which happens more often than not)!

How did you hear about this item?

I’m a big fan of the travel company Flight 001, and I happened to stumble upon it while shopping in the San Francisco store one day. But you can buy a number of Grid-It variations in different shapes and sizes from the company’s website.

What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?

The flashpacker (as much as I hate such travel cliches) or anyone who travels with a whole lot of gadgets.

Big thanks to Kristin for sharing her one little thing. It looks very handy, so I might have to pick one up myself!

UPDATE: We’ve had many women in our #HPLWorld Facebook group who have tried these and didn’t think they were worth it, especially for backpacks. They are bulky and add some weight, so you need to figure out if the extra organization is worth it for you. If you have a very large number of electronics and gadgets that need organized, then it’s probably useful. Otherwise, small zipper pouches, twist ties and rubber bands will help keep you together.

Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. AnitaMac says

    Very cool – thanks for sharing this tidbit! Travel so much between business and personal trips – need a simple organizational tool that can handle my stuff between the two types of trips! Nothing like coming home from a business trip to turn around for a fun weekend away, only to find the one thing you need is still in your work bag! This looks like an easy solution to the problem!

  2. Beth says

    This is such a cool product, but weight of the Grid-It is an issue. I think it is absolutely wonderful that you posted the update at the end of the article to reflect this drawback, and to then let your readers make a more informed decision before possibly purchasing it. This is the type of response that makes us trust you and your website. 🙂 Keep up the good work!


  1. […] Organize all those cords and chargers by tagging them with bread clips, denoting which cord goes with which device. Keep them untangled by banding them with binder clips, empty toilet paper rolls, rubber bands or even gardening velcro. You can also use Ziploc bags labeled by device or keep them all together on a Grid It. […]

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