Route 66 #1

Route 66 #1
Route 66 Museum

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Family Travel Must Haves: #2 Dirty Laundry Helpers

It’s the day before you leave on your big trip. You make sure all the laundry is done and that you have all the clothes you really want ready to go. You pick out the outfit you’re leaving in, and maybe something nice to wear after you get back till you can do the laundry again. You pack all the suitcases nicely, folding here, rolling there, and stuffing things in a bit too.
A day or two later you suddenly become terrified when you realize some of your nicely packed clean clothes are now dirty, and crumpled and having to share space in your suitcase with all your clean and folded items. Yes, dirty laundry is the scourge of any trip longer then a weekend, and so is managing dirty laundry while you travel. But, don’t worry I’m here to help with a few great suggestions and gadgets I know you’ll love.
Tip #1) Plan ahead for dirty laundry – Be sure to recognize that all those nice clean folded clothes will at some point, be the exact opposite and need cleaning. Then based on the length of your trip ask if its practical wait to get home to clean or clean on the road. For instance a trip of 4 days or less may allow you to just repack dirty clothes, but anything over that may mean odors from dirty clothes may affect your clean clothes.
Tip #2) Factor in the type of trip to your laundry dilemma – Going to a resort for seven days? Or since you’re on my blog can I anticipate that you’re in for a real road trip moving from place to place daily? These factors will allow you to decide how to keep dirty laundry stored. 
Tip #3) Accommodations – Some hotels offer laundry service, but it can be expensive and take a day or so to get clean clothes back. Most motels and hotels though do not offer laundry service but many have washers and dryers for guest to use. Based on your downtime at the motel and availability of these facilities they may be very convenient in getting a quick load, or all your laundry done.
Tip #4) Keep clothing cleaning supplies on hand – Laundromats and motel washer and dryer facilities have detergent and bleach available in vending machines, but the usual price is a $1+ for a small one load box. This is why you may want to consider bringing your own detergent and bleach. You can find small bottles of each at your local store, and although the small bottles may sell for as much as a larger one, odds are it will still be a cheaper option then buying your soap out of a vending machine. Just make sure you keep the bottle of bleach in a leak-proof bag in case it should somehow leak while you on the road.  Also, carrying stain treater’s with will help to keep stains at bay till you can wash your clothes, Oop’s, and All are just a few companies that sell travel stain treaters. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention change, getting a 1 or 2 $10 rolls of quarters from you bank will  be a great way of making sure you always have the change on hand to pay for washers and dryers at your motel or at a laundromat.
Tip #5) Watch where you put dirty laundry – Enclosed bags are OK, if you have an odor and moisture absorbing device you can place inside. But, my best suggestion is to choose a mesh container to put them in so smells and moisture can escape and not replicate in a small enclosed area.
Now Time for the Gadgets!
Mesh Containers
You have two travel friendly options, one is a mesh bag, and the second is a travel hamper.
Mesh bags are a great option if you’re traveling on a road trip like down Route 66. Essentially what you would want is a mesh duffle bag. Depending on whether you’re traveling by yourself or with your family the mesh bags come in a variety of sizes.

The mesh duffle bag gives you the ability to put dirty clothes in a breathable sack, therefore cutting down on odor and moisture. But the mesh duffle also has a few other bonus features as well, for instance they are enclosable meaning that a draw string or zipper will keep all your dirty laundry together and not floating around your car. Also the mesh duffle is flexible and can be smooshed, and stuffed into your vehicle in open spaces you may have, these may not save space but at least it is not ridged and needing a defined space.

Travel Hampers are very cool and can give you a lot of options in separating and cleaning your clothes. If you find yourself staying in one place for a few days they give you the ability to set one up in your motel room or bathroom to act like a regular hamper you have at home. If you’re on the road though these may not work, out but the travel hamper still can help you. Travel hampers can be used as makeshift laundry baskets to help you separate clothes when laundry time comes around. The best part is that these hampers have a wire inner structure that allows them to be folded down into hoops about 9” inches in diameters, and about ½” inches thick, small enough to hide in your suitcase. There is also a wide variety of travel hampers out there now too, some allowing you to separate clothes within two or three compartments in the hamper itself. Others come in sets where each hamper is a different color which may be great for presorting clothes or assigning everyone traveling with you their own hamper

Mesh laundry bags, and travel hampers can be found at stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and even Wal-mart. But for a really great selection I would suggest checking out, here are some links below to a few of the items I mentioned

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