Laundry ... Laundry is an enigmatic problem for the world traveler.
Handling Laundry Shows What Kind of Traveler You Are
How people manage their laundry is a "tell" about what kind of traveler they are, whether they have the ability to wander the entire planet or need to stick to 2-3 overly developed countries.
A. Travelers who need their mothers with them – These people travel with their friend, spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend and let this person figure out how to get things done for them. These two people can travel the world together because one person is capable of world travel. These people generally set up in expat colonies or other specific locations to keep the helpless member of the two from abusing the other, more capable person.
B. Travelers who can take care of themselves – These travelers find economical ways of having their laundry done. They can be independent world travelers, visit over 50 countries outside of Europe, and freely wander the planet.
C. Travelers who refuse to hand-wash their clothing – These people should travel only to resorts or on tours, and for vacations less than 10 days long.
I carry this bucket with me. It was a large vegetable oil container, and I cut the top off and put a rope on it to use as a handle. I have used this every day of my life for the last 8-10 years. There are so many things I use it for as a traveler, I would never leave home without it. And I would never buy a backpack that was not large enough to put this tub inside.
Non-Negotiable Travel Rules for Getting Your Laundry Done
1. Finding a place to do laundry economically starts on the first day you arrive at a destination, and you have only 5-10 days before you need to find a laundry for around five USD for all your clothes.
For having my laundry done by a machine or hand-washed by others, I budget 15-20 USD per month. If the cost will be higher than that or I will overrun my budget, I hand-wash my laundry myself. I refuse to pay 10 USD a load, for example, which comes out to 80 USD per month and 960 USD per year – the price of flying to anywhere on the planet one-way. This would require I work eight hours per day for laundry –not part of a savvy, world-traveler lifestyle.
As you can see, most people cannot afford to travel; they can only afford to work.
2. Weigh your clothes every chance you get. This will keep you from paying too much and being cheated when the scales weight cloths at double or triple their real weight. Generally, do not worry much about the weight, but do try to ensure you spending within your laundry budget for a load. For me, that it is 3-5 USD. Generally, I am the only tourist or traveler in my group of friends that gets this good deal. The others just use the most convenient laundry facility. I live a life of luxury and never wear dirty clothes. I can buy bright white and colorful clothing, never darks, because I know how to find budget pricing for laundry.
3. If you find a girlfriend in one of the 200 underdeveloped countries, you must allow her to do the laundry if she wants. To refuse her is to say she is not capable of being a good wife, and this is an insult.
4. If you friend needs help with laundry – a mother, wife, mate or someone to clean his or her clothing – leave this person because you are becoming that person’s cleaning person. Know your position in the relationship and do not become this person’s servant, unless this is really what you choose with open eyes. 80-90 percent of husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend relationships end when the couple go on a long-term, around-the-world trip. If you want to stay married, do not travel the planet together.
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Not being an absolute world traveler I dont have a reasl problem keeping clean clothes around. I was given a good tip for the 1st time I was going to Europe for 3 months with a wife.
We bought new wash and dry and basic jeans, etc. Washed a lot of things when taking a shower. It worked for us.
Summer in Europe was/is hot enough to dry things out overnight except heavier items. If anything was still not real dry we just put it in a plastic bag to carry.
We also would put some items under the matress to both dry and press.
We traveled heavy at 1st. After our landing and 2 nights of carrying suitcases around I finally was able to convince her that we pare down, put the 2 large suitcases in storage at the local train depot where we would return 3 months later to go home, bought 2 good backpacks and then really enjoyed our trip.
I have been traveling with a backpack ever since for over 40 years even when I drive somewhere.
Someone asked me why use a backpack when Im in a car. I told them it teaches you to pack only the essentials rather than everything you dont really need.
When I worked for a living I would often get some strange looks when I would walk into a hotel in a business suit with a backpack, LOL.
Everyone somehow has clothing to wear, some pay tons of money, others are never dirty, and many have the delusion they are clean. These rules are to optimize the life of luxury. I often hear travelers complaining about laundry, two people did it the other day in Sosua, DR. They took the clothes in the morning to the laundry, and needed the clothes that night. Plus, the one guy gave the lady all his clothing, when she did not finish them, he was complaining.
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