It's been just over a year since the entire world shut down due to Covid-19, but as more and more people become vaccinated, business and leisure travel is expected to return back to normal. If you've been anxiously waiting to hit the road, but don't want to pack your entire closet, we've got you covered. Today we'll discuss 5 tips for doing laundry while traveling this Spring.
1. Bring Your Own Detergent and Laundry Supplies
If you're planning to do laundry while traveling, make sure to bring your own laundry detergent. Even though you should be able to purchase laundry detergent when you reach your destination, rarely is laundry detergent sold in small quantities (and if it is, it's usually sold at a much higher price).
Saving money isn't the only reason you should bring your own detergent though. By bringing your own laundry detergent, you can confidently wash your clothes without worrying about whether or not the detergent will irritate your skin or effectively clean your clothing.
We recommend that you use powder detergent pods to avoid any bursting mishaps during travel. If they do burst, the powder pods are much easier to clean up than the liquid pods. Just grab enough for your trip and double pack them in ziplock bags (or any small watertight dry bag) to prevent them from damaging the rest of your luggage.
What about dryer sheets and a laundry bag? Go ahead and pack those too - why not!
Dryer sheets actually serve a dual purpose. While they are great to add to a load of laundry while drying, they can also make your luggage smell fresh. We also like tossing in a mesh laundry bag into our luggage to hold dirty laundry during the trip as well as transport it back and forth from the laundromat (or wherever you're doing laundry).
2. Book Lodging with Laundry Services
One of the easiest ways to do laundry while traveling is to book your accommodations in a place that offers a washer and dryer or laundromat on site. For example, if you plan to stay in an Airbnb, you can filter homes that include a washer and dryer.
Meanwhile, if you plan to stay in a hotel, you may want to check to see if self-serve guest laundry is an available amenity. Alternatively, most hotels offer some form of laundry service, but they tend to charge per piece of clothing which can really add up if you need more than a couple of pieces washed during your stay.
3. Use the Local Laundromat or Laundry Service
Another option for doing laundry while traveling is to use the local laundromat if there's one nearby. Depending on where you're traveling to, there may be multiple laundromats in town or none at all, so be sure to do your research before heading out of town. If you plan to do laundry this way, make sure you also bring plenty of change. While some travel destinations do have laundromat services, oftentimes they don't have functioning change machines or the latest and greatest in mobile payment services. This is also another reminder to make sure you bring your own laundry detergent.
Alternatively, you can use a local laundry service. These types of businesses will do your laundry for you and charge per load or by weight, and vary in payment procedures. For example, some require payment when taking your laundry, while others will request payment at delivery. Either way, hold onto your receipt. Also, make sure you inquire when your laundry will be done BEFORE handing it over. We've found that timeframes can vary dramatically - anything from a couple of hours to a week. The last thing you want is to leave your laundry thinking you'll have it back later that day only to find out that it won't be ready for pick-up until the end of the week.
4. Hand Wash Your Clothing
If you only plan to wash a few things (ex. underwear) while you're away, you may be able to get away with hand washing your clothing. There are three main ways to do laundry while traveling using a hand-wash approach: sink, shower, or portable wash bag.
Just pop one of your packed powder detergent pods, wash and rinse your items, then spread out the items on a bath towel. Then roll up the towel and twist it to get most of the moisture out of the items before hang drying. Some hotels may even have a drying rack available - just ask!
5. Pack Quick-Dry Clothing
Finally, if you're planning to do laundry while traveling this spring, you may want to pack quick-dry clothing. We all recognize that some fabrics take longer to dry than others. For example, cotton and denim dry very slowly while synthetic materials tend to dry quite fast.
We particularly love merino wool. Merino wool is quick to dry, doesn't easily absorb smells, and can be found in a variety of weights and warmth levels making it great for cold or warm-weather travel.
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