Laundry can be your best friend while traveling

With the different way airlines are bumping up prices, I had every intention to bring only my carry-on suitcase and a backpack on a three-and-half-week trip to both coasts this past summer, which meant being very strategic with my clothing needs including planning laundry time.

I know a fair amount of people dislike doing laundry for any number of reasons. Since I love clean clothes, I’m a fan of laundry. Whether I go away for a weekend or 2+ weeks, I use the same red carry-on suitcase. Not only I was strategic with packing, I also knew that I could do laundry when needed to. I had enough clothes to last me the entire hiking week.

Because it was during a heat wave, the laundry bag was growing daily. After camping for a number of days, we ended up staying in a youth hostel for one night and my eyes perked up seeing two huge washing machines and dryers. Combining my friend’s clothes and mine made it worthwhile to spend the money for clean clothes for the last couple days of the trip. We’d be fine waiting to do laundry at the end back at my friend’s home but it’s nicer to have more options of clean clothes to wear while hiking.

Of course, I did another load of wash before flying to the East Coast as I needed some of the clothes to wear to work with my clients once I’m there. That’s the other strategic part, packing multipurpose clothes that I can wear both for hiking and for when I work with clients, as appropriate. Thank goodness I do not need to wear a suit to work with clients.

What’s your favorite packing trick for carry-on when traveling to multiple cities?

Organizing your carry-on suitcase

Waterfall in lush forest area in the West Coast
West Coast

This summer I traveled to both coasts for three and half weeks with a carry-on suitcase and a backpack for my laptop. I needed clothes for hiking, clothes for when I work with my clients, fun night out and everything else in between. First trip was out to the West Coast hiking. Fortunately, it helps to have friends who live locally so I was lucky to be able to borrow camping gear from them. I didn’t need my laptop and work-related items while camping so that stayed behind at my friend’s place.

Initially from my suitcase I took out all what I needed for the camping trip and put them in a vertical duffle bag my friend loaned me. Moving from a horizontal suitcase to a vertical bag, I realized I’d struggle getting different items I need daily while camping. My friend suggested I switch to use my horizontal suitcase on the hiking trip. I’m so glad I took her suggestion! Because my suitcase was parked in the back seat of her car, all I had to do was open the lid to take out what I needed and put away without taking out the suitcase every day. It has pockets that I took advantage of to organize clothes by categories. Meanwhile my camping buddy has a totally different organizational set up. She used travel organizing cubes to organize her clothing articles by categories (all t-shirts in one cube, all pants in another cube etc.). Some people use the cubes to organize their outfits daily. This shows there are many ways to organize your packing. Choose one that best serves your needs.

Image of NYC skyline of tall buildings
East Coast

What’s your favorite packing product?