By definition, traveling means giving up certain comforts of home life. Unless you’re in the habit of taking luxury vacations, things like laundry, cleaning supplies, and even a decent bathtub can be hard to come by. Inevitably when I get back from a trip, I feel like walking straight to the shower and putting all my clothes and even shoes in the washing machine.
Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks for keeping yourself, your stuff, and your suitcase a little cleaner and your trip a little more comfortable. These hacks might not always be necessary, but at least you’ll have an ace up your sleeve in case you need it.
1. Laundry day
If you’re traveling for a few weeks at a time, try to do laundry. If you’re in a place with easy access to laundry facilities, power to you. If you need to find a laundromat, take the time, it’ll make the rest of your trip so much better.
Only have a sink? Pack along some eco-friendly and multipurpose soap. You can use this soap for dishes, your body, your shoes, cleaning a questionable motel room, and hand washing your laundry. Bring a travel clothesline to dry your clothing anywhere!
2. Separate your dirt
If you’re working with a small suitcase or backpack, don’t let your smelly, dirty clothes and shoes ruin the rest of your gear. Bring a bag designed to keep dirt contained. Whether for your shoes, your workout gear, or just a regular washable bag.
3. Putting on the spritz
Sometimes, you can’t shake the “travel” smell. Clothing packed into a small space, worn items, maybe you skipped a shower, or your hostel smells funky…An all-purpose spray deodorizer is a quick fix for a lot of these problems. You can also throw some odor absorbers in your bag, or my cheap hack, some dryer sheets with a spritz of perfume.
4. Waterless cleaning
This isn’t my favourite solution because it’s not very eco friendly, but wipes are a quick fix for most messes. Wipes are TSA-friendly and you can get some for makeup, salt-damaged or muddy boots, and general messes. I’ve reached for these while camping and at music festivals (highly recommended). My neat-freak friends use these to wipe down their iffy motel rooms.
5. Start fresh
Alas, if you spilled mustard on a white shirt hours before a party while on a road trip (as I have, no joke), sometimes you just have to throw it in the trash and buy something new on the spot. Wasteful, yes, but up to you if it’s worth the time you could be spending sightseeing or enjoying a fun activity. I also never hesitate buying things like fresh socks and underwear in a pinch. You’ll be happier, trust me.