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If you’re traveling for more than one or two weeks, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to do laundry on the road, especially if you want to pack light.
Whether you’re going on a one week trekking adventure, two week beach vacation, or 12 month round the world journey there’s usually easy access to clean clothes just around the corner. TFG shows you how to do laundry while traveling with three easy options.
How to do Laundry while Traveling – 3 Options!
As a long term traveler, I count on the widely available services to do my laundry while traveling. You’d be surprised how readily available and cost effective laundry washing services are around the world.
From busy tourist towns like Cusco, Peru to small camps in Tanzania and backpacker cities like Bangkok; it’s possible to find places that will wash your dirty laundry starting at rates for as low as $1 a kilo.
How your clothing is washed varies from place to place. Many will hand wash your clothes and some use machines. For the most part, your clothing is hung to dry so you can expect about a 24 hour turnaround time.
Inquire about rates and carefully note down what you gave them to avoid problems with missing items. If there’s a special item with specific instructions, let them know or hand wash it yourself.
Many hostels and hotels have laundry room with coin operates machines making it a breeze to do laundry while traveling.
When traveling the USA, I choose hotels like Holiday Inn Express that have convenient laundry rooms for travelers. In Europe, Australia, and New Zealand the majority if hostels where I’ve stayed also offer basic washing and drying machines for backpackers. You should research your accommodation’s amenities before booking. For hostels, I use HostelWorld.com.
These accommodation options also tend to sell individual packs of laundry detergent and softener so that you don’t have to add extra weight to your bag.
If you’re on a short trip, pack a couple of single use detergent packs like these Lewis N. Clark packs to get you through your travels. For longer travels, always buy as you go.
A popular choice for budget travelers is hand washing and can be done no matter where you’re staying. This is where the fabrics you choose plays an important role as synthetics dry much quicker than comfortable cotton.
Read about How to Choose the Best Fabrics for Travel.
A universal sink plug such as the one featured in the Lewis N. Clark Laundry Kit is essential so you can wash in any sink around the world.
To hang your clothes, pack a travel clothes line like the one by Rick Steves or a simple string can be used to dry your clothing indoors or outdoors. Buy detergent locally. Otherwise shampoo, a bar of soap, or body wash does the job too.
This is a step by step guide for how to hand wash clothing when traveling.
When it comes to doing laundry while traveling, you can get creative when you’re on the road. Some wash their clothes in plastic bags, others in locally purchased buckets, and I personally like washing some items like travel underwear in my dive mask’s plastic case. You’d be surprised how long you can make your clothes last between washes when you’re on the road for a while. You really get to know yourself in a whole new light.
What are you tips on how to do laundry while traveling?
Please read How to Choose Travel Clothing for more details on choosing the best clothing options for your trip.