how to do laundry while traveling: a comprehensive guide

laundromat laundry while traveling machine

Traveling can be an incredible adventure, but one of the less glamorous aspects of hitting the road is dealing with dirty laundry.

Whether you’re backpacking across Europe or enjoying a luxury cruise, figuring out how to keep your clothes clean can be a challenge.

Here, I’ll share tips and tricks for doing laundry while traveling, so you can stay fresh and clean without breaking a sweat.

Table of Contents

1. packing smart

1. packing smart

Before you even embark on your journey, the way you pack can make a big difference in how you manage your laundry. Here are some packing tips to help you minimize your laundry needs:

  • Choose quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant fabrics like synthetic blends and merino wool
  • Pack clothes in similar colors to reduce the number of separate washes
  • Bring multi-purpose garments like convertible pants or a sarong that can double as a towel
  • Pack a travel-sized laundry kit with detergent, a sink stopper, and a clothesline

2. hand washing

2. hand washing

Hand washing is a convenient and cost-effective method for doing laundry while traveling. All you need is a sink or a basin, some detergent, and a little bit of time.

  • Use sink or basin in your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb
  • Wash clothes with mild detergent or shampoo
  • Gently agitate and soak garments for 15-30 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water

3. the laundromat

3. the laundromat

laundromat laundry machine

Laundromats are a common sight in many cities and towns, making them a practical option for doing laundry while traveling.

  • Use coin-operated machines to wash and dry your clothes
  • Bring your own detergent or purchase it from a vending machine
  • Take advantage of free Wi-Fi or explore nearby attractions while you wait

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4. hotel and hostel laundry services

4. hotel and hostel laundry services

Many hotels and hostels offer laundry services, either in-house or through an external provider. While this option can be more expensive, it’s a convenient way to get your laundry done without any hassle.

  • Inquire about laundry services at the reception desk
  • Fill out a laundry slip and place it in the provided laundry bag
  • Expect to pay a per-item fee or a flat rate for a bag of laundry

5. dry cleaning

5. dry cleaning

If you’re traveling with delicate or formal clothing that requires special care, dry cleaning can be a helpful option.

  • Locate a local dry cleaner in the area you’re visiting
  • Keep in mind that turnaround times can vary, so plan accordingly
  • Be prepared to pay a premium price for the specialized service

6. portable washing machines and scrubba bags

6. portable washing machines and scrubba bags

For those who want a more efficient and portable way to do laundry while traveling, there are some innovative products available.

  • Portable washing machines are compact devices that use ultrasonic technology to clean clothes in a small amount of water
  • The Scrubba wash bag is a lightweight, flexible bag with an internal washboard that allows you to wash clothes anywhere

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7. freshening up your clothes

7. freshening up your clothes

Sometimes, all you need is a quick refresh to make your clothes feel clean and fresh. Here are some laundry hacks for travelers:

  • Use a fabric refresher spray to eliminate odors and refresh fabrics
  • Hang clothes up in a well-ventilated area or in the sun to air them out
  • Place dryer sheets in your suitcase to keep clothes smelling fresh
  • Use a clothes steamer or a hot shower to release wrinkles from garments

8. planning your laundry schedule

8. planning your laundry schedule

To make laundry less of a chore while traveling, try to plan a schedule that works best for you.

  • Plan to do laundry at regular intervals during your trip
  • Make use of downtime or rest days to tackle laundry tasks
  • Consider incorporating laundry facilities into your accommodation choices

9. embracing local laundry customs

9. embracing local laundry customs

In some countries, doing laundry can be a unique cultural experience. Embrace the local customs and try something new.

  • Use public washing stations in countries like India and Nepal
  • Try out traditional laundry techniques such as beating clothes on rocks in rivers
  • Learn about local laundry customs and share your experiences with fellow travelers

keeping your clothes clean while traveling

Doing laundry while traveling doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

By packing smart, choosing the right methods for washing your clothes, and planning a laundry schedule, you can keep your garments clean and fresh throughout your journey.

So go ahead, embrace the adventure, and enjoy the satisfaction of clean clothes no matter where your travels take you.

Happy travels!

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