There is a lot that goes in to planning for a trip. In the hustle and bustle of packing for yourself and your kids, arranging care for pets or your home, and loading the car, the last thing you may be thinking about is how to do laundry while traveling.

While many destinations have laundry equipment on-site or nearby, if you’re heading somewhere without a washer and dryer or unexpected laundry occurs, you may have to do laundry in a pinch. Here are simple travel laundry tips that make on-the-go washing easy.

Travel Laundry Essentials

If you had planned to do laundry after your trip, food and drink spills, outdoor activities and inclement weather may cause a change in plans.  Put together a simple emergency laundry kit—we recommend items that don’t take up much room and will make it easy to do laundry no matter where you go:

  1. Mini laundry detergent. No need to purchase a special travel bottle of detergent. Simply pour some from your bottle at home into a container with a twist-on lid to use during your trip.
  2. Stain pre-treatment. For drips and dribbles that happen at inconvenient times, a travel-sized stain remover allows you to treat the stain now and do laundry later.
  3. Waterproof bag or dish tub. When you’re tight on space, a waterproof bag is a great solution for hand washing and doing laundry on the road. Items like dish tubs and plastic containers also do the trick.
  4. Travel clothesline. If you’ll have the space to hang one, a travel clothesline is a simple way to dry clothes while traveling.
  5. Laundry bag. When it’s not necessary to do laundry while you’re traveling, toss your items in a laundry bag to separate them from clean clothes.

Washing Made Easy

If you find yourself having to do laundry on the road, here are a few ways to put your laundry travel kit to use:   

  • Washing in a bag: To wash clothes in a waterproof bag, simply add your items, a small amount of detergent and either warm or cold water. Seal the bag according to its instructions and shake to create suds. Let the items soak for a few minutes and shake again. Drain dirty water and replace with clean water to rinse clothes out.
  • Washing in a bin: To wash clothes using a dish tub or other plastic bin, place items in the tub with a small amount of detergent and warm or cold water. Use your hands to swirl and massage clothes to create suds. Let the clothes soak for a few minutes and continue to swirl items. Drain dirty water and replace with clean water to rinse clothes out.
  • Air drying: After wringing or patting out as much water as possible, hang your clothes to dry. No clothesline? No problem. Commonly used items like chairs or tables covered with a towel serve as a simple clothesline alternative.

No matter where you go, laundry happens. Packing a few extra items for your trip eliminates the stress of dealing with stains and post-travel piles of laundry. Do you have more helpful travel laundry tips? Share them with us on Facebook.