November 24, 2017

How Do You Deal with Laundry When You Travel?


When I first started planning our road trip from Washington, DC to Boston, I focused on the most important aspects, like where we would stay and what we would do, and even what we’d do on which days of the two-week vacation. Then, late in the planning process I realized I’d forgotten one very important consideration: laundry.

I like wearing clean clothes, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pack enough clothes for two weeks. Worse, the thought of washing clothes in the hotel bathtub was less than desirable (though many people are perfectly comfortable with this option).

I considered various options, and in the end, I sent the laundry out to a local wash-and-fold laundry service called Wash Cycle Laundry when we were staying in a hotel in Philadelphia. I’m in love and I may not ever be able to do my own laundry again.

For clean clothes, we didn’t need to sit in a laundromat for a few hours nor did we need to drop off and pick up our laundry at an off-site location. A man on a bicycle came to pick up our laundry (I had purchased a big, red laundry bag for our dirty clothes before we left for our trip) at the hotel while we were out sightseeing, and 24 hours later we had a bag full of clean, folded and possibly ironed clothes.

The fee was $1.25 per pound, so for our 25 pounds of dirty laundry, we paid just over $30, which was totally and completely worth it. No schlepping to the laundromat. No leaning over the bathtub to scrub any clothes, and then wait for them to dry. It was amazing. Isn’t it the little things sometimes that get you so excited?

We’re planning to send out our laundry again when we get to Boston, so we’ll see how that experience goes, and hopefully it will be just as good and convenient. It was easy to do, too. If you’re planning a trip where you’ll be away from a washer and dryer for more than a week, just go to any search engine and type in “laundry service,” the city where you’ll need to have your clothes washed, and voila. I’d do it again in a heartbeat (though I’d probably first try to book a vacation rental with a washer and dryer).

So, what do you do when you need to have your clothes washed while on vacation? Do you wash them yourself or send dirty clothes out to a laundry service? Or, do you try to book house or condo rentals where you can do your own laundry within the rental? Let me know in the comments section below.


  1. Most of the time I just bring enough clothes (as many as I need) for the trip! Although I’ve probably never been gone longer than 11 or so days. Sometimes we are lucky enough to get a place with a washer and dryer.


  2. Tonya @ The Traveling Praters says:

    Can’t we just buy new clothes on the trip??? I’m kidding. Well…maybe. 🙂

    Laundry on the road is the worst! I have so many stories about laundromats. When we traveled in our camper, my washer and dryer were the thing I missed more than anything else. Every week my husband and I would have a long drawnout discussion about how much I hated to do laundry.

    I love the idea of sending laundry out and may have to order laundry service one of these days. What you paid for the service certainly was not unreasonable. I would have expected the cost to be much higher.

  3. Dan Corry says:

    Probably a bit more for the solo traveler but I have found the Scrubba wash bag to be a great solution. Only takes a few minutes and the bag weighs only 5oz. The trick is that it has a flexible washboard inside so you just put everything in the bag and rub the clothes against the board for 30 seconds from the outside. Works well but I wouldn’t attempt to do 25 pounds of clothes.

  4. I have always just booked vacation rentals with a washer dryer. This makes sense for trips like snow vacations because you can dry all your snow clothes for the next days adventure, same with beach locations where you want to wash your towels. I don’t normally mind the extra cost of the rental but I have to say your option seems rather appealing!

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