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Tips for Doing Laundry on Vacation :: A to Z Packing Tips

Allison headshotA big welcome to Allison from Tips for Family Trips who is taking part in our A to Z packing tips series and sharing her thoughts for simplifying laundry on vacation!

You don’t go on vacation so you can cook and clean and do laundry. Staying at a resort eliminates the cooking and most of the cleaning, but I have found that doing the occasional load of laundry is worthwhile on longer vacations. Why? Because if you’re willing to do a little laundry once a week, you can travel indefinitely with less luggage, and avoid hefty baggage and laundry service fees.

Here are my tips for keeping laundry simple on your next vacation.

Make vacation laundry easier and pack less!

Pack these 2 things

These two items take almost no space in a suitcase and should get you through at least one trip to the guest laundry or laundromat.

  • Roll of quarters
  • 3 ounce travel bottle full of liquid laundry detergent

The detergent should take care of 2-3 full loads, or use just a few drops to clean delicates or single items in your room sink. Even on weekend getaways, I usually toss the detergent bottle in with my shampoo, just in case.

Pack light

I have found that we can get by with packing 2-3 casual, easy care outfits per person, plus what we wear on the day we leave home. We can wear most things twice, and it helps if everything can be mixed and matched. I pack extra socks and underwear, because they don’t take much space and those are items we don’t want to wear twice.

If you can keep your wardrobe simple and wear things more than once, you can live out of a carry-on without doing any laundry more than once a week. Most of my family’s trips last a week or less, so laundry is usually something I don’t worry about until after we get home. Check out this post from my blog for more tips for packing light.

Book a hotel or vacation rental with a guest laundry

Many hotels, resorts and vacation homes that cater to families offer a guest laundry. Most hotels have just a couple of coin operated washers and driers, but that’s usually all I need to get a load done while we hang out at the hotel in the evening.

I have seen a couple of family-friendly hotels with exceptional guest laundries. The Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel just outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah had the largest guest laundry room I’ve ever seen, with at least half a dozen sets of washers and driers. Frenchy’s Oasis Motel in Clearwater Beach, Florida had a guest laundry room that was completely free. No quarters required, and detergent was provided.

Get it done fast in a laundromat

Sometimes we aren’t able to get a guest laundry at the hotel, but I have found that most front desk clerks know where to find the nearest laundromat. Laundromats are convenient because you can use as many machines as you need at one time, and they typically finish a cycle faster than my machine at home. Since the whole family doesn’t need to come with me, I bring a book and enjoy some much needed alone time.

About Allison Laypath

Allison is a writer and founder of the family travel blog Tips for Family Trips at She believes that travel makes families stronger, smarter and happier, whether you are visiting exotic locales or exploring your own hometown. Allison’s work has been featured on ABC’s The Lookout, The Huffington Post and on Studio 5 on KSL-TV. Allison has an MBA from the University of Utah. She is a married mom of two, ages 11 and 8, and lives near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Thanks so much Allison! Now check out the other helpful posts in our A to Z Packing Tips series!
[table th=”0″]
Alcohol & Wine, Building Lists & Plans, Chargers are a Must
D’s to Remember, Embark on a Cruise, First Aid Kits
Games for Any Family Trip, Hiking with Dogs, Inside My Bag
Jewelry Packing Tips, Kids Travel Bag Activities

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Wednesday 23rd of September 2015

This is such a cool series. I am so happy I found your blog! Keep up the amazing work ;)

x, Juliet


Thursday 24th of September 2015

Thank you so much Juliet! I really appreciate the compliment, and I'm glad you're enjoying the series!