The longer you travel, the more likely you'll need to wash your clothes. You can:
- Use a laundromat (if available) - common in Europe, but not so common in Asia and South America
- Use the hotel's laundry service (often expensive)
- Pay some locals to wash them for you
- Wash them yourself - e.g. in the hotel bathroom (some don't allow this)
Note that if you are charged by the kilo and the clothing is already wet, you'll pay a whole lot more. Allow the items to dry out first, or negotiate a lower rate.
The cheapest way to do your laundry (albeit not the most thorough) is to do it yourself. If staying at a hotel, make sure this is not against the rules.
- In the bathroom, fill the sink or bathtub with water, some sort of soap (or shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent), and your dirty clothes. You can use a universal sink stopper or just a dirty sock.
- Let it soak for about 15 minutes
- Swish the clothes around. Scrub each item individually by rubbing the cloth together, concentrating on areas such as the armpits and stains. Apply additional soap as needed.
- Rinse each item under a faucet (e.g. the shower) until the water runs out clean, not soapy.
- Wring the excess water out of the item.
- Hang up your clothes: outside is best or use a portable clothes line. Try to let them dry as long as possible, e.g. overnight, or if you're in the same room for several days, for a full day. In some countries during the rainy season, drying clothes can be a major challenge, even with the fan on all night.
- You can also try using a hairdryer, if available, but be careful not to allow fabric to become too hot (which can cause shrinkage, or in extreme cases, scorch.)
- Some hotel bathrooms have electric heaters designed for drying towels. They may be used to dry the laundry, but are often quite small.
- If your clothes are still wet, pack them in a separate, plastic bag.