How to do the laundry while traveling ?

The backpacker doesn’t always smell good, it is true and even if he’s doing his laundry. It also true that we also would like to avoid this chore, but unless you want to throw your clothes every day and buy new ones, you cannot get around.

The solutions

The “MacGyverish” way

The first option, and probably the cheapest one is to do the laundry by yourself, in a sink or a bucket. Doing it every day or every two day is wise to avoid big batches of clothes to wash, but a bit annoying though.
Another option, which is in my sense more convenient is to use laundry bag. You just stuff your dirty clothes in the soap and water mixture, and this is by far less painful than doing your laundry in a sink because, when you only have a shared bathroom you cannot leave your clothes for long. And you are gonna need a sink blocker as well, and you gotta be careful with that because once out of two times, your water will go away x)

The stuff you need :

  • Concentrated detergent or soap that you would make lather and which is sometimes included with your room
  • A bucket, a sink, or a laundry bag
  • sink blocker (very few sinks have it, or let the water through)
  • A strong string or a travel laundry rope
  • Some elbow grease

Once your batch of laundry washed and wringed, you are just going to have to hang it in your room. Normally, it should be dry overnight, with the ambiant heat and the fan, it us usually enough to make it dry the next morning.

Don’t forget to wash and hang your clothes inside out.

The aircon does a very good job at drying clothes despite the cold air, because the air is very dry and absorbs the humidity

Hanging clothes after laundry

Hanging clothes after laundry

The lazy way

The second option, and quiet more convenient is to simple get our laundry washed. In pretty much every guesthouse, they offer this service, and they charge you per kilogram.

It costs from 20 to 40 baht per kilo in Thailand, 10000 to 15000 kips per kilo in Laos, and about $1 per kilo  in Cambodia.

The clothes have a better smell it is true, but it costs more money and you need to anticipate to have your clothes washed.

The right thing to do is to alternate between the two options, depending on how much motivation you’ve got (or the lack of motivation as a matter of fact).

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