We always look forward to vacations, traveling is fun, but there could be a tedious task that comes along when we travel. If you are going on a trip for more than a week, would you bring several luggage bags or pack lightly and wash your clothes?
It could be difficult for some to decide on this matter. Some would want to have an extended wardrobe during their trip. But have you thought about the costs? Bringing a lot would cost a lot for baggage check-in.
What about packing lightly? Some would not prefer dealing with laundry on vacation, and they choose to pay the baggage fees. But, if you want to travel lightly and stick on a budget, we got your back.
Although it is your choice to bring more or to pack lightly, we have listed a guide on how you can wash your clothes while on travel. Whether you are a backpacker or a luxury traveler, we covered all the options for you.
Packing lightly is a real challenge for travelers, especially for the first-timers, as they could be quite excited. What more if you have to pack lightly and wash clothes while on travel at the same time!
One of the benefits of packing lightly is that you do not have to pay for excess baggage fees or have your luggage checked-in. Moreover, if you pack lightly you can visit places en route to your destination. You do not have to worry about large luggage.
Use Small Suitcase or Backpack
A small suitcase or backpack would force you only to pack the things you need for the trip. Do not overflow it with unnecessary things. Remind yourself that you only need a small suitcase to avoid bringing several clothes.
Bring Lightweight Fabrics
Limit bringing bulky clothes. If you are going to a destination with cold weather, use layering instead. If you cannot tolerate the cold well, you could bring one pair of jacket if possible. Also, jeans are not your best friend in packing. You could limit yourself to two pairs.
Do not pack more than a week’s worth of clothes. You can launder your clothes when on travel and keep them fresh. There are several ways you can wash your clothes. We will discuss it later on.
Toiletries or Laundry Essentials?
You can pack none for toiletries. It is a given that hotels offer basic toiletries for their guests. Instead of packing toiletries, pack laundry essentials since you plan to wash your clothes on your travel.
Also, you do not have to carry around dead weights of dirty laundry– pack light and wash clothes on travel.
The foundation of ultralight travel is to be an expert in the organization. After you have imposed all the folding, rolling, and compressing of your clothes and essentials, you are good to go!
Now, let’s head on how you can wash your clothes while on travel.
Ultimate Tips and Tricks of Washing Clothes While On Travel
There are several ways on how you can wash your laundry while traveling. It depends on your budget, travel destination, and style.
Use Laundry Services at the Hotel
If you booked in a hotel or cruise ship for your vacation, you might avail of their laundry services. Most hotels and cruise ships offer these services, including drying, ironing, and folding clothes. Some even offer dry cleaning services.
A laundry bag is available inside your hotel room or cabin room for cruises. You can place your dirty laundry inside the bag and call for hotel room service to have their services. All you need to do is fill-up the form and inform the staff. Their rates are stapled on the form sheet. Rates depend on the hotel, as some do not have in-house laundry equipment and outsource their service.
It is expected that laundry services at hotels and cruises are expensive. They might ask for per clothes, rather than having your laundry done at a laundromat. But, there is an upside to having the hotel laundry service. It is easy and convenient, and you can have an express same-day service, although you have to expect that it might cost more.
Although laundry services are cheaper in some countries than in some developing countries, you may have their services. However, if the hotel laundry service is relatively high at your travel destination, you could have another option on your budget.
Hand Wash Clothes in Sink or Bathtub in Hotels
If you have time after a long day on your trip, you can hand wash your dirty laundry in the hotel bathtub or sink. It is a simple method of cleaning your clothes. All you have to do is fill up the sink or bathtub with water, add laundry soap, and hand wash the dirty laundry. You can air dry your clothes over the bath or up the shower to dry.
Hand washing clothes is a great way to do for smaller items such as socks, tops, and underwear. However, it could be less effective if you hand wash larger and more soiled clothes. Also, it is only useful for clothes that are made of fabrics that are quick to dry. So, if you plan to do the hand wash method on your trip, we recommend packing clothes made of quick-dry fabrics.
Moreover, if you decide to do hand wash laundry, you have to bring small packs of laundry detergent and a sink stopper. You could ask hotels, motels, or places you will rent over your travel if they have a retractable clothesline installed in their bathroom. If not, you might have to look for a rental place with one or bring a travel clothesline.
You have to note that some hotels strongly discourage their guest from doing laundry in the sink and hanging clothes in the room. Hand washing clothes may be against their hotel policies. Most hotels are against this action as some guests create a wet mess all over the room, giving the housekeeping staff extra work, causing possible damages. Some of the damages pointed out are clogged drains because of cloth lint or damaged walls due to extra humidity.
Hand washing laundry is the most common method budget travelers do. However, you have to know the hotel policy and be a good guest. Do not hang your wet laundry anywhere that it might cause damage.
Book for Self-Service Laundry Option for Accommodation
If you want to do the laundry by yourself, but the hotel or motel does not allow hand washing, you might book lodging that offers a self-service laundry option. It could be an apartment, hostel, or campsite. These places offer free or require a small fee for their laundry facilities.
Meanwhile, there are apartments, room rentals, vacation homes, or other rental places that come with a washing machine and/or dryer in their place. These are free to use or coin-operated if shared with other guests. Also, there might be detergent and other laundry products left to help you do the laundry or bring some with you.
Booking with vacation rental companies is a good idea if you are looking for rooms or apartments with laundry facilities.
Find a Laundromat Near You
Today, most neighborhoods have available laundromats in the corners. You can either wash your laundry on your own or ask for professional help.
Laundromats offer self-service washing and drying machines, drop off laundry services, or laundry pickup services. These additional services help travelers enjoy their day by having their staff wash, dry, and fold their customers’ laundry.
Machines in laundromats work with coins or tokens. Some laundry services are equipped with the latest equipment that allows customers to pay using a phone app. Washing and drying machines can accommodate large loads, so you could do all your laundry in one setting.
Laundry shops offer some amenities to have you entertained if you choose to do the laundry by yourself.
Drop off option is suitable for travelers. You do not have to wait for your laundry. You only have to drop them at the shop and have the staff wash, dry, and fold the laundry for you. All you have to do is pick it back up at the end of the day. This service can cost you more than doing the laundry yourself. But, at least you can enjoy your day wandering around the place.
You have to do a quick search before you travel. Some destinations might not be familiar with laundromats.
The main reason why most laundromats prefer to have their laundry done at laundromats because they are inexpensive. It allows you to do a full load at once and asks at a cheaper rate, rather than hotel laundry services, that offer a per-piece rate.
However, there is a disadvantage of taking your laundry to the laundromat. It will take a fraction of your day going to the laundry, waiting for it to be done, and taking it back to your rental place unless the laundromat near your place offers laundry pickup and delivery service. It is a good idea to know their location and services first before deciding to have this option.
Must-Have Things for Washing Clothes
If you plan to wash your dirty laundry while traveling, you need to have these things with you. We recommend these must-have things to make it easier for you. Put the things in a lightweight travel bag. If you plan to use laundromats or hotel laundry service, you do not have to bring these laundry items.
Travel Laundry Bag
Of course, if you plan to do the laundry when traveling, you need to have a bag to place your dirty clothes. You need to separate your clean clothes and dirty laundry. Any bag or packing cube would do as long as it separates the clothes.
Packet-Sized Laundry Detergent
If you plan to do the laundry when you travel, you definitely need to bring pocket-sized laundry detergent. Some would tell you that hotel soaps can cut down your budget and help you travel more lightly. But in reality, hand soaps from hotels are not a great option to use for laundry. It would only leave soap residue on the fabric. Regular soaps take a long time to rinse out.
If you want to save more, you can repack existing laundry soap you have at home. It is the best option as you can bring the brand you trust or buy a travel-sized laundry detergent of the brand you rely on.
But, if you found a hotel that allows you to do the laundry in the bathtub or sink, then it would be best to bring a drain stopper. It will help you plug the drain and fill in water in the hotel bathtub or sink to wash your clothes. Although several hotels have a stopper, it would still be best to bring one as some may not have one.
If you plan on hand washing your clothes at the hotel or apartment, but you are not sure if they have a clothesline, you could bring one. However, this could be too bulky, especially if you want to travel light.
If you plan to use dryers during travels, you can pack along some dryer sheets. They only take minimal space and keep clothes soft and static-free. Moreover, they can freshen up the scent of the luggage.
Ensure that you choose a non-toxic or eco-friendly dryer sheet. Refrain from those brands that contain toxic substances. They could be carcinogenic.
If you want to explore more and enjoy your limited days in the place you like, pack lightly by washing clothes while traveling. Do not overpack or bring your wardrobe. Instead, pack lightly and keep your clothes fresh.
Do not be worried about packing lightly. A lighter bag means a light travel spirit. Go through the tips as you plan for your next vacation.