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Doing laundry on the road isn’t that difficult.  Packing a few key pieces of travel gear makes the job easier and reduces drying times.  Here are the items I pack when I’m on travel:

Inflateable hangers

Inflatable hangers are a great way to drip-dry clothing. When inflated, the width of the hangers causes the front and back of the shirt to separate. This allows for greater circulation of air, which means that the shirts dry faster. The hangers are light weight and easy to pack. I usually take two along and store them in the back pocket of my toilet kit. Most travel stores don’t carry the hangers. I bought mine off the internet. Brand is important – I bought mine from Household Essentials. I’ve had problems with both the Lewis N Clark and Travelon brands leaking.

inflatable hanger in use

The inflatable hanger in use. Note how the shirt front and back are separated from each other, allowing for air circulation.

surgical tubing clothes line

Doug Dyment of onebag.com recommended this Flex-O-Line elastic clothes line. It is the best one I’ve used. The clothes line surgical tubing is braided, not twisted. This design detail means that clothes will stay hanging, no matter how little or hard the clothes line stretches. The small S-biner that I added to the clothes line allows me to loop both ends around a fixed object when I want to use it. The clothes line is very small and compact – I store it in my toilet kit. I bought it off the internet.

travel clothes line in use

The travel clothes line in use. I have looped one end of the clothes line around the shower head. I looped the other end around the grab-bar and secured it with the S-biner. The clothing items are semi-dry after the water is squeezed out of them using a towel. The excess water can freely drip into the bath tub with no worries of damage to the hotel room.

plastic skirt hanger

Many less-expensive hotel rooms don’t carry skirt hangers, so I consider this travel item dual-purpose. Use this lightweight plastic skirt hangar to hang up skirts and pants after laundry. The white plastic is soft and slightly flexible. This hanger came from a big-box store. The cashier asked me if I wanted to keep it and of course I said “Yes!”. I store the hanger in the lid of my carry on bag.

skirt hanger in use

This is the plastic skirt hanger in use. Only clip the back part of the waist band. The garment hangs open for greater air circulation and faster drying time.

Le Crueset small hot pad.

The “Le Creuset” small hot pad is a triple use item. It works well as a sink stopper, a coaster, or a jar opener. I keep this in the back pocket of my toilet kit.

pack towl

Use a light weight pack towel to absorb excess water after laundry. I carry mine when I know that I’ll be staying in a private home or in a small hotel that provides a minimum number of towels. Pack towels become softer and more absorbent with multiple washings. I store my pack towel in the lid of my carry on bag.

jumbo zip-top plastic bag

When all else fails, an extra-large zip-top plastic bag doubles as a “sink”. Add water, soap, and a few clothing items. Zip the top and gently agitate the clothing. If you are doing laundry outside be careful about thorns and other sharp objects. I carry one of these in the lid of my carry on bag.