This is a pain in the ass. But it is a travel essential. We need to wash our clothes and do our laundry, so today on Tuesday’s Travel Essentials, I’m going to share my top 11 tips for doing your laundry, these tips will save you time and money. I’ve been using them for years so check them out:
1. Sleep in the buff (i.e. naked)
The idea is to wear less clothes and wear clothes less often, which when done over a prolonged period of time will save you money on washing and make your clothes last a few more days before having to wash them. So sleep naked, but beware some people freak out. This happened to me in Berlin in 2007 when about 6 Canadian backpackers were shocked at a penis sighting in their hostel dorm. I’ve seen loads of boobs and penises in hostels – it’s part of the travel lifestyle. Take your pants off so you don’t sweat in your sleep. But try to cover your parts with sheets and quilts so you don’t freak out the roommates!!
2. Wear your smelly stuff hiking
When you’re about to start a long hike, put your dirtiest clothes on. They’re going to get even dirtier and smellier and you’ll wash them afterwards so there’s no point in putting fresh ones on. You’re travel buddies are not going to be bothered if you smell a bit when you get to the top of a mountain with epic views!
3. Full loads
Bung the washing machine full when you get round to washing your clothes, saving time and money. This is an obvious thing, but I still am baffled by people who put a wash on for about 3 or 4 items. POINTLESS!
4. Double up shorts as underwear
Guys and girls can both get away with this. If you’re out walking round a city you need actually always need to wear underwear. Just wear a pair of shorts. You’ve saved time and money on your washing! Or pick up a pair of pink ladies pants instead…
5. Free Laundry
Check out one of my Monday’s Money Saving Tips here on how to get FREE laundry – I tactic I’ve used a lot and a bit of a “backpacker secret”.
6. Handwashing Your Clothes
Find a sink and some soap and was your clothes yourself by hand. Hot water is better and you’ll need somewhere to hang them up. A quick and easy way to keep your clothes clean. All long term backpackers use this technique so get into the habit of it.
7. Limit wearing socks
Socks are great to wear and provide comfort and protection for your feet but sometimes you just don’t need them. Why wear socks to the beach when you’ll take them off later? Same goes for swimming pool. Limit the times you wear your socks and they’ll last longer.
8. Don’t use your own towel UNLESS you can’t find another towel
Hostels, hotels and other places often have their own towels so don’t feel the need to always use your towel. I’ve gone weeks without having to wash my towel before.
9. Share washing with your partner/travel buddies
If you really can’t fill a full load why not just go halfers with your partner or travel buddy. Also saves you time – you can take it to the laundrette/washing machine and sort it out, they can take it out and hang them up and you can collect them.
10. Wear baggy t-shirts
Why wear skin tight t-shirts and sweat all the time – just wear a baggy t-shirt. As I said before this ain’t no fashion contest and if it is – there’s plenty of flights to Milan.
11. Maximise Washing Machine Use When You Have It
This is actually the most obvious one, but I stay with friends a lot on my travels and they’ll often totally allow you to do as much washing as you want when you’re there so honestly – maximise it and take advantage of a washing machine while you have one. Make sure everything is clean before heading to your next place!
That’s my 11 tips for doing washing on your travels, hope they come in handy – let me know in the comments section of any other tips you have!
With my endless travel tips and stories, I want to inspire you all to head out there and see the world! Check my advertising page if you have an idea for a product for my Tuesday’s Travel Essentials, and don’t forget I welcome free computers, hard drives and cameras as the ones I have always break…