How to do Laundry While Travelling – 8 Smart Tips and Hacks

by | Last updated Jul 15, 2022 | Beauty, Fitness & Health, Gear, Luggage + Packing, Live Work Play Travel, Trip Planning

How to do your laundry while travelling – visit a laundromat is one option


You probably haven’t thought about doing laundry while travelling, I know I don’t think about it until I actually have to do it! But you should give it some consideration during the planning of your trip. If you are just travelling for a week you can get away with not washing during your trip. A holiday any longer than a week, you should consider your options to get your clothes washed. While doing laundry while travelling may sound annoying, frustrating and so NOT exciting, it doesn’t have to be. From my years of travelling I have uncovered some tricks and tips that I’m going to share here to help doing laundry while travelling less of a chore. 

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Why do Laundry While Travelling?


I think this question has a pretty obvious answer. if your clothes get dirty or smelly you will want to freshen them up, right? But you may also be thinking “Why would I want to do laundry while on holiday?’. Well, it will depend on how long you are travelling for and how many clothes you have with you. If you are holidaying for only a week, as I mentioned before, you could get away with not washing. It is when your holiday becomes longer than a week that you will need to freshen them up. No-one wants to sit next to a smelly person on that long bus or train trip, right? So here are some options to wash your clothes while travelling.


Have a Dedicated Laundry Bag for Dirty Clothing


This goes without saying, keep your dirty clothes separately from clean clothes. This way, when it is time to do laundry you can find your dirty clothes quickly. I suggest having a specific bag or a packing cube to keep your dirty washing in. This set of packing cubes has a laundry bag included in its set.


Laundry Bag

Having a dedicated laundry bag will help to keep dirty washing from clean clothes. 


Hand Wash Your Clothes in the Sink


I have seen many a traveller wash their dirty laundry in the sink at their accommodation. Particularly when they are on a jam packed travel schedule like on a tour. It is a good option if you don’t have much to wash or have the time to wash and want to ensure your smaller items such as underwear, socks and the like are clean. Washing these clothes in the sink, leaving them out to dry overnight and hoping they will be dry in the morning is a good way to save money on doing laundry when travelling. To wash my clothes in the sink in my accommodation I ensure I travel with the following things:

Sink Hole Plug + Laundry Soap + Clothes Line  = Clean and Dry Clothes


Sink Plug

A sink plug is a great addition to any luggage. It is great for sinks where you need to block the flow of water. If you will be doing washing in a sink during your travels, don’t forget a sink plug.


Laundry Detergent Eco Strips

No need to carry liquid laundry detergent these earth friendly biodegradable eco strips will wash your clothes. 


Travel Clothes Line

Don’t fight over who is going to throw their washing over the central heating again. This clothes line is easy to carry and easy to hang to let your washing dry.


Take Advantage of hostel/hotel Laundry Services


If your hostel or hotel has a laundry service, don’t hesitate to use it. Although it can be a little on the expensive side, it can be worth it. By using the service, that usually includes washing, drying, hanging, ironing or folding your clothes you can do something else while your laundry is being done. Generally, the laundry will take about 24 hours to be done so ensure you allow this time in your travel plans so you get your clean clothes back before you check out.


Find a Laundromat


Simple, find a laundromat in the city you are in and get your clothes washed and dry. Not always as simple as it sounds. First, you need to find a laundromat and that can be hard in a new city where you don’t speak the language. Check out Google Maps to find the nearest laundromat in your area. Typically, public laundromats offer self-service however, sometimes there is staff and you can pay to have them do your laundry for you. The do-it-yourself model of laundromat is cheaper but you will need coins to operate the machines and detergent, like the eco strips mentioned above. You will also need coins for the dryer. The biggest delay by doing washing your clothes in the laundromat is the time. But what is an hour or two out of your day!


Book Accommodation with a Washing Machine


For a long term stay, an Airbnb or apartment can be a great option to help you do your laundry as it should have a washing machine. Check the listing of services of the property before you book. With access to a washing machine you will be able to wash whenever you want. And having access to the amenities will ensure you will still have a wonderful holiday, doing laundry or not! This is often my preferred option as I work and travel and live out of my luggage for weeks on end. Check out for accommodation with a washing machine so you can do your washing while travelling.


Pack Clothes that require less Washing and Drying


People often say pack cotton clothes because the material breathes better, however, it is not fast drying. You may want to pack clothes made from fabrics that dry quickly and don’t need to be washed often. Or pack clothes that you don’t wash after every wear or two like denim jeans or woollen jumper.


Carry and Use a Travel Laundry Wash Bag


Travel wash bags are an all-in-one solution to doing your laundry while travelling. They are ideal for small items, like a load of underwear that you can throw in the wash bag, and wash the clothes in the comfort of your hostel or hotel room. The Scrubba Portable Wash Bag is one of my personal favourites. It is a simply DIY solution and doesn’t take up much room in my luggage either. 


Scrubba Portable Wash Bag

This is a personal fave of mine and is great to keep underwear, socks and other small items clean. When not in use it packs up small and easily fits into luggage.


Pack Laundry Accessories


Having some laundry accessories with you will help the process of doing your laundry. I’ve already mentioned them, but here are a couple more items to help do your laundry while you travel. A stain remover and a portable mini washing machine. keep your dirty clothes separate to your clean clothes in a laundry bag. Hand washing in the sink is popular so carry a plug, detergent and something to hang your clothes. Another useful item is a stain remover (Tide Pen or Shout Stain Remover Wipes), a portable mini washing machine that you can put in a sink or a collapsable bucket. And don’t forget the detergent (sink Suds).


Stain Remover

Remove stains from your clothes with a stain remover.


Mini Portable Washing Machine

This great little device, a mini portable washing machine, when placed in a sink or bucket of water spins the water and soap to wash your clothes.


How to Do Laundry When Travelling Summary


Doing your laundry while travelling needn’t be a stressful chore. Doing a little research as to what type of laundry you will need doing while travelling should be factored into your holiday to help the whole process be less stressful. So just factor it in to your travel plans and take the necessary accessories. I hope the above tips help you to launder your clothes without too much fuss. Let me know if you have any other tips or how you launder your clothes while travelling in the comments following.


Doing Laundry While Travelling Shouldn't Be a Chore. Here's My Tips  How You Can Do Laundry while Travelling Just Like This Lady Carrying Her laundry In A Laundry Basket.

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Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to get the live work play travel lifestyle with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.



    Very helpful post. I am going to buy a travel clothesline right away.

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Glad you think so. I’m sure the clothesline will be very handy. And it doesn’t take up much room in your luggage either – a pair of underpants would take up more room! LOL.


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