Question: Laundry abroad?

Yo Yo! Sup Sup!?

It’s getting closer. Only 2 weeks until I get on an airplane and fly across an ocean. NO BIG DEAL!

I’m definitely becoming more excited as it gets closer. Look at me Mom, I’m a big girl now!

Anyways, I realized today that there are a few things that I still don’t know about travelling solo. For instance: how easy is it to access free WiFi? How do I get money–an ATM, a bank? How am I going to wash my clothing?

So many questions still unanswered.

Laundry is a big one. Growing up, there was a running joke in my family (at least I hope it was a joke) that when my Aunt travelled, she needed only 1 pair of underwear for 2 days: just flip them inside out. Um, no thank-you. I would have to be stranded on a remote island for this to ever happen, and even then I think I would just opt to go commando.

So how do you do laundry abroad? Ok, don’t be a smart-ass and say “In the sink – duh!”. Yes, I know how to laundry, but I still want to know what other people have done, what products they used, and tips and tricks. So, like the researcher I am, I went perusing the internet to find out some handy tips.

What did i find?

Detergent/Soap

Tide Travel Sink Packets: What did travellers do before this invention? I think I’ll need to pick up some of these before I leave.

Wrinkle Releaser: I hate wrinkled clothing! And, travelling out of a backpack I’m sure some of my clothes will have to suffer. But, if I can find myself a product like this I don’t need to fret!

Bounce Dryer Sheets: Not only can I use these at a local laundromat, but I can use them to freshen the smell of my clothes while they’re in my bag! A fellow traveller recommended putting some in a ziploc-bag for my travels. Done and done!

Clothesline

I read on a few sites that this is a necessity. I’m not sure where I can find one though. Any thoughts?

Laundromats

Expensive city = wash in your sink. Inexpensive = leave it to the professionals. Most sites recommended using professional cleaning services (usually take 1 business day) as using local laundromats is time-consuming. I’ll let you know my verdict when try it out! I have a feeling that I’ll enjoy the laundromat. Sit with a coffee, write in my journal, look at pictures, plan my next destination. Three or four hours of “down-time” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

And there you have it. That is what my research provided me with. I hate doing laundry at my own house so I don’t imagine to enjoy it any more or less abroad. I guess there are certain responsibilities (ahem, hygiene) that one can’t escape even when you leave your life behind.

Related links:

Traveling by Numbers: 4 Tips for Doing Laundry Abroad

Cheapoair.ca: Gear for doing laundry abroad

Onebag.com (great site!)

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3 thoughts on “Question: Laundry abroad?

  1. In my experience: free wifi can vary greatly from city to city/county to country. Some cafes you have to “be a member” to get the password for their wifi. However, sometimes it’s free to be a member, you just have to ask.

    Hostels usually have very convenient laundry machines to use. Whether you pay a one time fee or put coins in and go, if you’re staying in a hostel it’s definitely worth it to ask what/if they charge and if it’s any better than a laundromat, go for it. If you’re staying at a hotel ask the guy at the desk, and put it on the bill.

    I want to say I read you use TD Bank? Or Canadian TD. I have a US account and I get the best exchange rate by just using an ATM to withdraw money in different countries. It’s worth checking your banks rule/regulations/rates on this though, because my Swedish bank can charge a rude exchange fee at times. I still tend to withdraw larger amounts on longer intervals from my TD to avoid fluctuating rates. But this may not be best for you depending on your travel plans.

    Maybe some of that helped!

    • Thanks Meredith!
      Yeah, I need to set up a meeting with a TD adviser to help me out with the details! As for the laundry and WiFi — thanks for the tips 🙂 I can’t imagine not having wifi access (I’m spoiled here in Canada), and I know it will be a shock the moment I can’t access the internet for more than 2 hours!

  2. In my experience: free wifi can vary greatly from city to city/county to country. Some cafes you have to “be a member” to get the password for their wifi. However, sometimes it’s free to be a member, you just have to ask.

    Hostels usually have very convenient laundry machines to use. Whether you pay a one time fee or put coins in and go, if you’re staying in a hostel it’s definitely worth it to ask what/if they charge and if it’s any better than a laundromat, go for it. If you’re staying at a hotel ask the guy at the desk, and put it on the bill.

    I want to say I read you use TD Bank? Or Canadian TD. I have a US account and I get the best exchange rate by just using an ATM to withdraw money in different countries. It’s worth checking your banks rule/regulations/rates on this though, because my Swedish bank can charge a rude exchange fee at times. I still tend to withdraw larger amounts on longer intervals from my TD to avoid fluctuating rates. But this may not be best for you depending on your travel plans.

    Maybe some of that helped!

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