If you’re planning to be away from home more than a few days, and you don’t want to bring every item in your wardrobe, you have to plan for laundry while traveling. We used to leave home knowing that somewhere down the line we’d find a laundromat and figure it out. But then, when we got there, we found buying supplies was costly, and when the change machine was empty? Well that was downright maddening. So now, we plan ahead, and doing laundry while traveling is a snap.

We start with a lightweight bag.

travel laundry bag

We chose this one from The Container Store because of a few key features:

  • It’s made of a strong, lightweight material.
  • The bag packs inside itself.
  • It can be securely closed with a zipper to keep dirty clothes inside.
  • It has handles.
  • The bag has a pocket for supplies.

Here are a few other options: (You should know that as Amazon influencers, we earn from qualifying purchases.)


Plan ahead for laundry while traveling

Before we leave home, we put one scoop of powdered laundry detergent in snack-sized ziplock bags. To decide how many to take, we think about how long we’ll be gone and how much laundry we think we’ll need to do. Then, we put those mini-bags in a larger ziplock. This keeps the small bags of detergent together and provides a safety in case one of them accidentally opens. We also label our bag so a government inspector might have an idea of what it is (and is not).

laundry travel

But wait, there’s more! After putting the detergent in the larger bag, we add enough dryer sheets to the larger ziplock for our trip, as well. Now, we have a packet ready to go with the laundry supplies we’ll need. And bringing supplies from home is so much cheaper than buying them at the laundromat.


what you'll need to do laundry while traveling

We hear you say, “But I use liquid detergent at home.” No problem. You can still buy a small box of powder and keep it for when you travel. After all, it’s not going to spoil, and you can make sure you have the type of detergent you want for yourself and your family.

But there’s one more step. Find an empty pill bottle, and fill it with quarters. Now, gather all your goodies together and be ready to do laundry while traveling.

coins for laundry

Prep your laundry bag.

Now, just grab your lightweight bag that meets all the criteria above. When ours is folded in on itself, we can just slide the detergent and quarters inside it.

travel laundry bag

It really folds into a handy little package that fits nicely in your suitcase. The bag and enough detergent for five loads of laundry weighs o 1 lb., 1/2 oz. A pill bottle full of quarters weighs about 11 oz., but you can adjust that as needed.

The bag doesn’t stay like that for long, though. After all, we have dirty clothes the first night of our trip. So, we unfold the bag and start putting soiled items in it. Then, we move the detergent and quarters to the bag’s pocket and keep adding dirty clothes at the end of each day. Now, when it’s time for laundry, we just grab the bag and head to the laundry. Inside the bag is everything we need: our dirty (soon to be clean) clothes, quarters, detergent and even dryer sheets.

Yes, doing laundry while traveling isn’t necessarily what you want to do, but if you’re on the road long enough, it’s something you need to do. With a little preparation, the process is pretty painless.

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  • This is our Airbnb, Postcard Place. It's located right in Pawhuska, just a two and a half minute drive from the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. It even has its own Instagram account, @postcardplce. ⁣
Postcard Place can accommodate up to six people. With comfy bedding (including clean duvets for each new guest), USB ports by every bed, make-up remover wipes, comfy blankets for tv viewing, complimentary coffee/tea, creamer, full kitchen, soap, shampoo, hand lotion, and even a luggage scale, we've tried to think of everything you might want when spending a night away from home. Of course, we also provide stamped Pawhuska postcards so you can send greetings to those who couldn't come along on the trip.⁣
Find Postcard Place on Airbnb and book it for your next trip to Pawhuska and come @visittheosage.
  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.

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