Travel Laundry Tips

The comfort of freshly laundered clothes is something we often assume we have to give up while traveling. Living out of a suitcase might be OK for short trips, but dealing with laundry on long journeys can feel like a losing battle. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the comfort of freshly laundered clothes, even while you’re on the road.

With more people catching the travel bug, the question of how to stay fresh while traveling is a common one. Luckily, you can keep some quick and easy travel laundry tips in mind for your next trip around the world.

Organize Your Travel Clothes

Believe it or not, dealing with laundry on long trips begins with packing your suitcase. Which clothes you bring along will impact everything from your baggage weight to how often you’ll need to stop to do a wash.

While washing clothes as you travel is becoming more common, it’s not a sure thing, especially depending on where you’re visiting. For example, if you’re journeying within North America, you’re likely to find laundry services you’re already familiar with, such as laundromats or in-house washing machines and dryers. But some places turn to old-fashioned handwashing for their laundry needs, so you may end up having to follow the customs of the country in which you find yourself.

Wash the clothes you plan to pack for your trip so you have a fresh set to wear and can go a little longer without needing to scramble for a laundry service while traveling. In addition to that, it’s a good idea to pack clothes that you know can handle a lot of wear and tear. Delicate materials like silk or satin, which need special care when washing, are not a good idea while traveling because you may not always have access to a dry cleaning service while abroad.

Packing clothing that holds moisture is also not a great idea for extended trips. Even if you can handwash them regularly, they take much longer to dry, especially if there’s no direct sunlight under which to dry them. Most human-made materials are ideal for traveling, since they’re less prone to hold moisture and will dry faster.

Store and Sort Your Dirty Laundry

While you’re waiting for the opportunity to get your clothes washed, you may have to worry about storing your dirty clothes in your suitcase. The last thing you want is your dirty clothing soiling the clean items. A simple bag is all you need to keep your dirty laundry away from clean clothes.

For shorter trips, a drawstring or mesh bag will do. But if you’re on an extended trip and need to keep your dirty laundry separate, investing in an odor-proof bag is a good idea. These bags not only keep your dirty laundry in one place, but also prevent the rest of your suitcase from getting smelly thanks to the stinky laundry.

If the odor is still a problem even on short trips, try adding dryer sheets or sachets of lavender in your suitcase to freshen it up.

The rules of washing clothes still apply when you’re traveling, so you’ll need to sort colors and delicates. A smart tip is to pack only dark colors, so you can wash them all together without much worry. Avoid packing light-colored clothes, so you don’t have to do separate washes.

Washing Laundry While Traveling

There are several ways you can get your clothes clean while on the road. Sometimes it depends on where you’re traveling and where you’re staying, such as in a hostel versus a hotel. There are also bags designed so you can store and wash your laundry in the same container. But unless you’re a seasoned traveler, such an investment may not be worth it, so here’s how to stay fresh while traveling.

  • Use hotel services: The best way of cleaning clothes in hotels is to take advantage of any available laundry services. If you’re staying at a hotel that provides this amenity, it may be worthwhile to pay a little extra and enjoy the comfort of professionally cleaned clothes.
  • Use hostel services: While a hostel isn’t likely to offer top-tier laundering services as a hotel may, hostels often have a communal coin-operated washing machine that guests can use if they need to. Depending on the hostel’s location, it may also offer a rooftop clothesline, so you can dry your clothes under a blazing sun.
  • Visit a laundromat: Chances are, if your hostel doesn’t have a washing machine on the premises, the staff can refer you to a laundromat where you can get your clothes cleaned. Laundromats are likely to be cheaper than hotel laundering services, so you may opt for them even if your hotel offers a laundry service.
  • Visit a local dry cleaner: Wherever in the world you travel, there’s a good chance a local dry cleaning service will become your best friend, especially if you’re on a long trip. Dry cleaners don’t have a locals-only rule, so if you find yourself in a city like Harrisburg, PA, you can take advantage of local dry cleaners, like Classic Drycleaners, to get your stuff professionally washed, dried and folded. Some of these places even offer pickup service for your laundry.
  • Handwash in a sink or tub: When all else fails, you can always fill up a sink or a bathtub and wash your clothes by hand. You can often buy single-use packets of detergent, but, in a pinch, even regular soap will do. The main issue with handwashing clothes, especially in a hostel, is ensuring they have enough time to fully dry before packing them up again.

Washing clothes is just one part of doing laundry while traveling. Drying can be an issue if you’re washing clothes yourself. Using a local dry cleaning service is the best way to go, especially if you take the time to do some research before your trip to find top-rated dry cleaners in the cities you plan to visit.

Get a Full-Service Clean at Classic Drycleaners

Don’t let laundry become a point of stress on your vacation or business trip. If you’re visiting central Pennsylvania, Classic Drycleaners is happy to help you with all your laundry needs — from washing and folding to repairs and alterations, we’re truly a one-stop shop for all your laundry needs. Contact us online or call us at (717) 730-6777

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