Monday, April 30, 2012

Laundry on a Road Trip: Pack an Extra Bag

My final tip for taming the travel laundry beast (see my post on organizing baby laundry here and coming home laundry-free here) is all about keeping tabs on the laundry while on a road trip.

Summer is the perfect time to hit the road for a lengthy vacation. If you're planning to be away for a week or more, the idea of handling all that laundry can be a bit overwhelming. I picked this tip up from my sister, a mom of two who traveled throughout Michigan for a week last summer. They visited several different areas of the state and stayed for a couple of nights in each place. Needless to say, there was a lot of packing and re-packing throughout.

Before they headed north, she threw an extra (empty) duffel bag in the car. As their trip progressed, each morning she put their laundry in that duffel. Then when they got home, it was the first bag she brought into the house and got to work on washing it all.

A few benefits of this method:
  • If you don't have time to unpack every bag upon arriving back home, you can at least get a load in the washer immediately without digging through bags.
  • Your other bags will stay organized and clutter-free throughout the trip. And you'll make room for a few souvenirs, too.
  • You won't have to try and remember which clothes your kids wore and got dirty.
  • The stinky stuff stays contained with the other stinky stuff (especially important in the hot summer).
My sister's beautiful family enjoying their week-long trip in Michigan. Bonus: Everyone is wearing clean clothes!

We're heading up to Michigan for a week this summer, and I can't wait to steal her idea. Thanks for the tip, sis!

This post is a part of Travel Tips Tuesday at Suitcases and Sippy Cups and Walkingon Travels.


  1. Great tips. Laundry is my least favorite aspect when it comes to traveling and I absolutely hate to seek out a laundrymat on the road! :( We've had a few horror stories here and there.
    My son just returned from a week long mission trip from NYC and mixed all of his clothes together. When he got home he was actually digging through, seperating the clean from the dirty. Ewww...I had to explain to him that at that point- it was all dirty. :)

  2. Keeping the dirty and clean clothes separate is a great idea! Laundry at the end of the trip is the one thing that I hate about traveling - sometimes I think it wouldn't be such a bad thing if the airline lost my bag on the way home! :)

  3. I do this too and love this method. However, let this be a cautionary tale-if you are staying at a super swanky hotel, don't leave your laundry bag behind. It's somewhat humbling to have to call and claim your dirty laundry luggage.:)

  4. Amen, sister! I just returned from an 8 day trip with my husband and toddler and could REALLY have used this tip. Smelly laundry mixed in with clean clothes in the suitcase = no fun when unpacking. Your blog is great!

  5. We carry the duffel bag too along with separate space bags for each one's dirty laundry =) We've also checked in the duffel bag with all our dirty clothes and only have souvenirs and some items we can't bear to lose in the carry-ons.