How to Survive Vacation Laundry With Children

Before we get down to business with the specifics of the solution, let’s define it in broad terms. This will aid you in selecting the appropriate advice later on.

In the first situation, you pack as few items as possible to address the problem effectively. However, this method may only help you for short trips. In addition, it’s usually tricky to handle when traveling with children.

The second is that you shouldn’t be restricted in any way, but then you have to deal with laundry issues that are simple to solve at home but can become costly on a journey.

Many of you know that I like to pack light for vacation. This has nothing to do with our flying, so we have to check our bags. But some things should stay home because they will not fit in a bag. So we take less luggage, I don’t have to do laundry every night, it’s all good. It’s all good.

Even with that method, my family still cleans itself every day; we just don’t pack socks in all possible colors and uses 🙂

But let me share my little tips in a vacation laundry battle. I hope this will save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.

For short, Trips Use a Laundry Bag

This is very important for short trips. You either pack less or use a laundry bag. I prefer the latter because it takes up less space than dirty clothes and you don’t have to carry it around everywhere you go, just throw it in your luggage. You can get one at any travel store.

If you use this method, I suggest keeping the dirty clothes in clear bags, so you don’t have to unpack everything just to find something dirty. However, some people like me prefer using these plastic baggies explicitly made for this purpose. They keep the dirt separate, and they’re easier to open.

If you forget your laundry bag or just can’t find one that suits your taste, I suggest using a pillowcase.

For Longer Trips Prepare Smaller Bags

If you’re going for a more extended trip, prepare smaller bags beforehand and put them inside your suitcase, so they don’t take up much space. I use my daughter’s old baby ones since they have a lot of space and are easy to carry around.

I put the dirty ones on one side of my suitcase while I place the clean ones on top or inside another bag that is easy to pack and unpack (a plastic baggy will work as well). So then, all you have to do is take out one small bag at a time and avoid taking your clean clothes out of the suitcase (unless you’re already in the hotel).

If your kids are older, they can work on their own laundry. For example, you can get them some separate bags and show them how. Or, if they insist on helping out, make sure they know how to separate dirty clothes from clean ones without mixing them up.

Look for Laundry Services in the Area Before Traveling. 

If the laundry is unavoidable, be ready. Before we leave the house, I look online and see if there are places to do laundry in our destination. This way, when it’s time to do our own laundry, we can find a good service for it before arriving so we don’t have to drive around when we get there.

In addition, you can ask your hotel if they have a laundry service. Then, if you’re not on a tight budget, you can get them to do it for you once and take the bag when it’s ready. This way, we just avoid taking our dirty clothes with us.

It also helps to know how much money you are ready to spend because different services charge differently. If this is your first time traveling with kids or doing your own laundry, I suggest that you start by asking your service in advance and check the price so you know what to pay.

Save on Laundry Supplies

Before you go on a trip, I recommend buying certain things if you do your own laundry. It isn’t a significant expenditure regardless of how many children you have, and it is well worth the time.

I suggest you buy a laundry ball; these are great because they last for many uses and work even in the worst water conditions.

Some laundry services don’t have detergent, or the price is unreasonable. So, I suggest you buy some triple concentrated detergent before your trip or at any grocery store locally (which you can also do before your trip). In addition, I suggest buying a small bottle of fabric softener.

Another essential supply is chlorine for cases when the water is not drinkable or has an unpleasant smell. You can find this at any supermarket or grocery store.

Lastly, suppose you are using a washer. In that case, I suggest getting two wet bags for sensitive clothes because some washing machines have an unpleasant smell. These are great because they’re made specifically for the washer and dryer, so your clothes don’t get ruined by mold or fungus over time.

Suppose you don’t want to repackage your own laundry detergent and fabric softener or worry about what the TSA will think of your goods. In that case, travel-sized laundry products are the way to go. One-use washing detergent packets for on the go are available from several brands. Detergent pods, for example, are a convenient alternative.

DIY Laundry in a Sink

If all of the above options do not suit you or have a very tight budget for outside spending, you can use the old-fashioned method. Washing in the sink!

There are no hard and fast rules for doing laundry in a sink; it can be done quickly by hand or with a spin dryer if the item is small enough to fit into one of these. Again, the supplies are not expensive, but it depends on your budget.

You can use hotel soap as a detergent. Still, there are some considerations to consider when doing your laundry in a sink.

First, many hotel soaps are designed not to leave any suds in the water after use because they know that guests will be washing their clothes in the sink with this product. If you’re concerned about having suds left in your clothes, consider using shampoo instead of soap. However, if you have a sink, I’m confident that there is a grocery store nearby where you may get some low-cost laundry detergent instead of washing with a shampoo 🙂


Laundry can take up a significant amount of time when traveling. If you’re not on a tight budget, I propose asking your hosts (hotel or Airbnb) for a laundry that washes, dries, and folds for a charge. You don’t miss out on any sightseeing opportunity, and the cost is usually quite reasonable.

When you are on vacation, do not be cheap with doing laundry. If you are too cheap, then you will ruin your vacation. Better yet, pay a little extra to have all your clothes clean and fold them with care, so they stay wrinkle-free.

I hope my tips help you save money and time when doing laundry while traveling with children 🙂

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