Pack light: Travel Laundry Tips

Pack Light: Travel Laundry Tips

When you daydream about a vacation, do you daydream about the laundry you’ll do? No? Neither do I! It is so tempting to pack enough clothes to take you through the entire vacation without having to do laundry.  Mr. Bean is on to you!!

Travel Laundry Tips

Don’t do it!! Don’t even think about overpacking! Instead, pack smart, pack light and breathe freely with just small bags – hands free to hold a coffee or your childs’ hand and room in the bags for souvenirs! How to do laundry on the fly? How to have clean clothes without wasting a lot of time, energy, or money?

Travel Laundry Tips

Travel Laundry Tips #1: Pack washable clothing.

Travel friendly clothing is available everywhere! Travel brands like Travel Smith, Magellan, ExOfficio, Columbia make great travel gear, but you can find travel friendly stuff at most any store and probably in your own closet. Think polyester. In my humble traveling opinion, it is the greatest travel fabric ever made!! You can wear travel gear and look cute: read how here.

Travel Laundry Tips #2: Test it at home.

Give it a test run by washing in the sink and hanging it to drip dry overnight. I usually hang in the shower which catches the drips. Be sure to wash it in the sink. It isn’t a fair test if you use the washing machine because it wrings out the drips better than you can.  You’ll need to know NOW if something wrinkles like crazy or doesn’t dry quickly enough so you can leave that piece of clothing at home!

Our favorites are made of wicking material or polyester. REI, Academy, Dicks Sporting Goods all carry great options. Dressier options can be found in golf clothing with trousers and skirts and polo type shirts. All are easy wear, comfortable in warmer weather, and easy wash in the sink and drip dry.

In the morning inspect clothing. It is dry? It is wrinkled too much to wear?

Travel laundry tips

Travel Laundry Tips #3: Pack sink stopper and travel soap.

You can buy a sink stopper at any drug store like Walgreens and CVS.  This is an extremely valuable piece of plastic. Sometimes they are missing from a hotel sink. I suspect because the hotel folk don’t really want you washing your clothes in the sink. Why? Because some rotten person washed their clothes and did something stupid and disrespectful like hanging their soaking wet clothes to drip over the bed or carpet.

So, bring the little plastic stopper, wash your clothes in the sink and then do what EVERY traveler should do with wet drippy things and hang them over the bathtub or in the shower. Really, DUH!!!

You can bring official ‘clothes soap’ but I use a few drops of whatever we have like shampoo or face soap. It is all soap, it all cleans and it all works!  REI and other camping places sell very concentrated liquid soap just for traveling. You can also buy single use packets from Woolite. Another option is soap papers that dissolve in water. I like this option so you have less spilling to worry about in your bags, but ANY soap will do – kitchen, shampoo, body….just use a little drop. No need for major suds.

Travel laundry tips

Travel Laundry Tips #4:  Easy and quick wash in the sink.

Put item in sink and fill with water. Add drop of soap. Squish and swirl. Pull plug to empty water and refill. So easy…. even the kids can do it. BUT, if you convince them to do their own laundry, please leave me a comment on how. LOL!

Seriously, I do all of our laundry myself and it just takes a few minutes each night. Swish in the sink after everyone has showered and hang stuff up to dry. I do laundry while everyone chats about the day and gets stuff ready for the next day. A nice way to unwind, really.

Travel laundry tips

Travel Laundry Tips #5: Plan for drying overnight.

The key to having something dry over night is to squeeze out as much water as possible.  After wringing out in the sink as much as you can, use a towel you have already used for showering.  Roll up the item in a towel to help get out even more water. I lay the roll on the ground and kneel on it to get all the drips!

Travel laundry tips

Before you hang to dry, put on a hanger and gently swing back and forth. This will help smooth out the wrinkles. Hang to dry. Be a considerate traveler and hang it where any drips will not damage whatever is beneath.

Travel laundry tips

Travel Laundry Tips #7: Pat yourself on the back for packing LIGHT!

Smile about packing light. Enjoy all the room you have in your suitcase to bring back souvenirs!! One of my favorite quotes from travel guru, Rick Steves, says “No one brags – Every year I pack more.” So true!!

In my humble traveling opinion, I think a hat is an important part of your traveling wardrobe. Read my post on Choosing the Right Travel Hat.

The Educational Tourist at Hawaiian National Park, travel tips for moms,

Happy travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist


The Educational Tourist logo, travel laundry tips,

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4 Responses

  1. July 27, 2014

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