How To Do Laundry When Traveling

How To Do Laundry When Traveling

With airlines now charging to stow bags, travelers around the world have taken up the challenge to pack light and avoid extra costs. However, not only does that limit what you can take it also creates another dilemma, what to do with your laundry when you are on the road. If you have fewer clothes won’t they need washing more often?

No one wants to do this when you are on that much-needed break, however, with a little bit of forethought you’ll not only save on luggage fees, you’ll save on time too!

If you are away for a few days or just a week then you’ll probably give no thought to doing laundry on your trip, if you’ve traveled for 6 weeks through Europe as I did then you’ll need to have a plan as taking 6 weeks of clothing is not an option!

Throughout Europe, I used a variety of the following options and continue to do so depending on where I am and what is available. No matter where I am there are some items that I ALWAYS wash and that’s my underwear. I usually take it in the shower with me as it’s just a quick wash and rinse.

How To Do Travel Laundry – 3 Options

how to do travel laundry


After 4 nights in Madrid and an overnight train trip and arriving in Paris once I’d checked into my hotel I was in need of a laundromat. The weather was chilly so I’d been wearing jeans, etc for warmth so hand washing wasn’t an option.

The only problem was it was raining! Plus the laundromat was a good 1/2 hours walk away! Then there was a wait time while my clothes washed and dried!

Count on losing a good four hours if you are planning to go to the laundromat yourself which is fine if you have plenty of time, but lets face it even if you have 4 hours is a lot of time to waste when you are in a new town or city, there’s an adventure out there waiting to happen!

Laundry Services

Wherever you travel there will be a laundry service some will be cheap and some won’t. Take the cost factor out and then consider if you are prepared to A) have your item returned to you a couple of sizes smaller or B) lost.

I’ve had both happen with A) being the most come, especially in Asian countries.

The best price for laundry when you are traveling is always on the street. Your hotel will have a laundry option too, but the chances are that they send it out to a laundry service elsewhere and charge you for the privilege.

Do Your Own Laundry

Hand washing sounds worse than it actually is. When I’m taking a shower I just throw whatever needs washing on the floor, shower then use the shower or bath gel supplied and pour over the clothes.

I individually wash each item, concentrating on the areas that need it most, e.g. under the arms of T-shirts, rinse then place in a towel and wring to take out the excess moisture.

With T-shirt and shirts, I’ll hang on coat hangers and if there is a balcony or outside area (and it is fine weather) I’ll hang outside.

Note* Some hotels, etc, don’t like your balcony looking like a Chinese laundromat and forbid you to hang clothes out to dry, just be discreet and you won’t have a problem!

3 Essentials To Pack For Doing Laundry On The Road

3 essentials to pack for doing laundry on the road

I came across this smart invention, Scrubba Wash Bag – The Portable Laundry System Bag that according to its maker was born out of necessity from a trip he made to Mt Kilimanjaro! While I haven’t used it (yet) it has some rave reviews and make sense when you understand the simple technology of mimicking an old fashion scrubbing board (inside) and a simple waterproof bag. Beats imitating grape stomping in the shower!

Scrubba the portable washing machine

A pegless washing line is definite for your suitcase, it takes up little space (you can store it in your suitcase pocket) and you’ll be surprised how much you will use it. It’s easily strung up as it has hooks on either end and you won’t need pegs, bonus!

Pegless washingline


Apart from a sink plug (if you are staying in hostels this will be a must) the only other item you’ll need to do laundry on the road is a microfiber towel. These take up little space, are light-weight and work like magic evaporating moisture. Use them to wring out your washed items as I described above.

Sunland Microfiber Towel Ultra Compact Absorbent and Fast Drying Travel Sports Towels

With a little planning doing the laundry on vacation needn’t be time-consuming or costly. If you a little every day in the shower, wring and hang it will take just a few minutes then you can get on with the most important part of your trip, relaxing! Do you have any laundry tips to share that work for you when you are on vacation?

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