Doing laundry while traveling can be a challenge, but sometimes you just HAVE to get some done. We’re going to go over exactly how to do laundry while traveling.
Whether you are traveling with a carry-on only or spent a day in the mud with elephants (which everyone should try at least once), we’ll go over your options for getting your laundry done on the road.
We traveled full-time for over three years and have had to do countless loads of laundry. We’ve tried it all, from a small load in the sink to getting it washed, dried, ironed, folded, and delivered (like dang royalty). This post will go over all your options so you can prepare to pack less and re-wear more!
We’ll cover how to do laundry while traveling, how to dry clothes while traveling, how to wash clothes in a hotel room, and more!
This post is about how to do laundry while traveling.
How to Do Laundry While Traveling:
Best travel Laundry kit
No matter what method below you’ll end up doing laundry on your next trip, it’s best to be prepared with the proper laundry kit for travel. We always travel with a dirty clothes bag so we can separate our clean clothes, and easily carry all our dirty clothes to the laundromat or to the delivery person.
We also always have some sort of laundry soap on us. This allows us to be able to do laundry in our hotel room whether in the sink or washing machine or visit a laundromat quickly. These are eco-friendly options and take up very little space in our bags. We personally prefer the laundry sheets the best for traveling.
The best travel laundry soap:
1. Book Accommodations with Laundry
If you’re traveling for an extended period, it’s always good to look for accommodations with laundry facilities. This is the easiest and most convenient way to do your laundry while traveling. However, keep in mind that it can be more expensive and harder to find. If you’re staying in an Airbnb, you have the option to add a filter to your search for “washer and dryer.” If you’re staying in a hotel, search for some reviews on Google or TripAdvisor that mention “laundry” or “washer” facilities. Even if you do find a location with a washer, it’s pretty normal for there to be no dryer and you’ll have to hang dry your clothes. Easy enough on a hot, dry summer day, and a little more difficult during the winter or in humidity.
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2. Find a Local Laundromat
If you’re unable to book a place with laundry facilities, the next best option is to find a local laundromat. While this option can be expensive, it’s still a great way to do your laundry while on the go. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to factor in transportation costs to and from the laundromat depending on how far it is. You will also need cash and likely small change. If you can, try to buy detergent and other laundry supplies at a convenience store to save some money instead of at the machines in the laundromat. And depending on the location, you may have to wait for laundry there, taking up more of your time.
3. Hire a Laundry Service
In many parts of the world, hiring a laundry service can be surprisingly cheap. You can save a lot of time and effort by letting someone else take care of your laundry. They will separate colors, dry, fold, and sometimes even iron your clothes for you! Additionally, many places offer delivery services, which is perfect if you don’t have transportation. However, be careful about hiring a laundry service through your hotel or resort, as they often have high rates. Instead, try asking for recommendations from locals or online travel forums. We usually just search “laundry” on Google Maps and try to WhatsApp the number to see if they offer laundry services and delivery.
If you do get a laundry service, be sure to ask when it will be done. Some can offer express service in about four hours or some may take over a day to get back to you. The best way to pay for this service is by the kilo where they will have a set price (normally between $1-$2 USD per kilogram) and weigh your laundry and charge accordingly. Some places charge by the item and that can add up much quicker, especially in warm weather places where the clothing is lighter and smaller. It’s also a good idea to compare prices and services from different places before making a decision.
Pro Tip: Laundry Bag
Using a laundry bag can help you keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones. It is also a perfect way to get your laundry picked up and delivered without wasting more plastic.
OUR FAVORITE travel laundry bags:
4. Sink Laundry
If you’re on a tight budget or in a remote location, sometimes the only option to do your laundry while traveling is by doing it yourself in your hotel room. You can use laundry pods, sheets, or even bar soap to wash your clothes in the shower or sink. However, keep in mind that there is no dryer available, so you’ll need to air-dry your clothes. It’s not ideal, but we have certainly done it before.
If you are planning on hiking or really looking to travel remote, you could also purchase one of the Scrubba Wash Bags. They are basically portable washing “machines” that work great to get small loads clean quickly and with little resources. It acts a washboard and you need to add water and detergent and scrub the clothes clean.
top portable washing bags
Pro Tip: Pack Smart
Bring clothes that are easy to wash and dry. Opt for quick-drying fabrics like polyester, nylon, and merino wool. Avoid packing clothes that wrinkle easily or require ironing.