The answer to packing light: pack for a week and do laundry. Whether I’m traveling for one week or a month, I pack the same amount of clothes. This not only makes it easier to pack light, it saves on baggage fees as well. My secret? I turn a Ziploc® bag into a travel washing machine.
The definition of “doing laundry” can mean many things. From finding a laundromat to sending it out to utilizing your sink in your room; it all depends on your preference. For some travelers it’s worth the extra money to have someone do it for them. For me? The majority of the time I prefer to save valuable vacation dollars and do some hand wash along the way. Here’s how I do it.
Step 1: Pack a Travel Laundry Kit
- 2-gallon Ziploc® plastic bag
- Travel laundry soap
- Braided elastic laundry line
Step 2: Make a Travel Washing Machine
When it comes to doing laundry in the sink, do you ever wonder how clean the sink really is? Here’s my solution: I turn a 2-gallon Ziploc® bag into a mini-travel-washing machine.
First fill the bag ½ way with water & add travel soap (shampoo works in a pinch) then toss in socks/underwear/etc. & agitate and repeat. If things need to soak, you can zip the top shut and move to the counter so you can still use the sink for other things (especially handy if you’re sharing a room and someone else who needs the sink). To rinse, simply fill it a few times with clean water. Once items are clean, wring them out & roll them in a towel to absorb the moisture (they’ll dry faster).
Step 3: Use a Travel Laundry Line
Hang items to dry on a travel laundry line. Most items dry in a few hours as the air can circulate. By using a braided laundry line which grips the items (instead of a single cord) you don’t have to pack clothes pins, saving space in your bag.
I’m sure I’ve saved not only hundreds of dollars over the years by using my “travel washing machine” but I’ve also saved hundreds of hours that I was able to be out enjoying the destination and not searching for a laundry mat.