my travel laundry kit

A few little travel essentials I never leave home without…

Clothing Care

Packing light usually means re-wearing pieces, which (depending on the length of your trip) may require a bit of laundering. While hotel laundries or spending a couple of hours at a laundromat are an option, I try to avoid either of those as much as possible. Unless your clothes get seriously soiled, sometimes a little freshening and spot cleaning are all that’s needed make a garment wearable for another day or four. I always travel with the following items in a little laundry kit:

  • Forever New Travel Packets. If you’re traveling carry-on, be sure to get the powder, not the liquid. 1/2 packet is enough for a sinkful of hand-washed items.
  • Janie Stick. Grease spots are the toughest to remove from fabrics. I’ve found this product gets them out 85% of the time.
  • Tide To Go pen. Red wine, coffee…this will get out those spots, or at least fade them enough to be unnoticeable.
  • Febreeze. Removes cigarette, perspiration, musty odors. (If you’ve ever been surrounded by chain smokers at a cafe, you know how annoying it is to realize your clothing has picked up the smell!) Spray until the garment is slightly damp, then hang in a spot with plenty of air circulation until dry. This counts as a liquid, so either include it in your carry-on liquids allowance, pack in a checked bag, or purchase once you get to your destination.
  • Microfiber travel towel. If you wash clothing in the hotel sink, this will help your items line dry faster. Just lay items flat on the towel, and roll up, squeezing as you go. The towel itself also dries quickly.
  • In a pinch, you can also use hotel shampoo (just a few drops) to hand wash clothing.

Odds & Ends

  • Zinc lozenges.* There are few things more annoying than coming down with a cold while you’re on vacation. These lozenges can help reduce the duration and intensity of a cold, and I’ll attest that I’ve actually avoided getting colds if I began dosing myself regularly at the first sign of a scratchy throat or nasal congestion.
  • Eye lubricant drops. I’ll use these a couple of times during long flights. Helps take the red eye out of the “Red Eye.” I like these single use droppers that take up almost no space in my TSA liquids bag.
  • Instant coffee packets. I know, I know, but in a pinch these are WAY better than the dishwater that some places serve up under the guise of “coffee.”
  • Friction block. Even the most well-broken-in shoes can sometimes start rubbing and irritating a new spot. I always carry this in my purse on sightseeing days; it can keep a blister from getting worse until I can apply a bandaid or some moleskin.

What travel essentials do you always pack?

*Be sure to check with a medical professional before taking any supplements or over-the-counter medications.

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