folding my own laundry

The Costs of Clean Laundry while Traveling

The scent of fresh laundry is to be savored if you’re on an extended trip living out of a backpack. 4 days in the same underwear? The same tshirt 3-4 times? Leads to going a few weeks without clean clothes. Sure, its not ideal. But sometimes necessary due to the fact that laundry often takes more than 24 hours from the time you drop it off to the time you can pick it up because it usually air dried. The challenge with that, for me, is that I generally do all my clothes at once, which leaves me only what I’m wearing that day (I often try to make it a bathing suit) until I pick up my laundry and can change my clothes. Particularly when you are on the go every few days, timing of actually having a 24-48 hour window is challenging.

What does clean laundry cost while traveling?

It varies greatly depending on location. In Noordwijk, an hour outside of Amsterdam, I paid 10 Euro for one load of laundry. They didn’t even fold the laundry (shame on them). That’s the most I’ve ever paid abroad.

My unfolded travel laundry

I had to fold it myself

In Chiang Mai, that same load of Laundry would have costs about 90 Thai baht. The equivalent of about $3. It would have been folded neatly, and smelled better than the pile they returned to me in Noordwijk.

In Barcelona, my friend paid 4 Euro to run her clothes through the washing machine at a laundromat. Plus another 1 Euro for 15 minutes of dryer time.

So your range is somewhere from a few US Dollars to upwards of $10 or $15. Don’t ask me what dry cleaning abroad costs, as I’ve never done it.

PS: I still think the Scubba Wash Bag would be a great investment.

More reading on doing your laundry here.

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Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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