When I start planning a long solo trip, two questions came to mind: do I want the hassle of checked luggage, and if not, how would I manage laundry while on the road?
Hand Luggage vs Checked Luggage
The two decisions are closely connected. Choosing to check-in luggage delays the need for laundry, but increases time hanging around at luggage carousels or problems with tight connections. Transit like buses and trains becomes a bit more difficult and steps in stations problematic. For this trip, I decided to go with the maximum size rucksack that would fit on all my flights (I checked the hand luggage policy with every airline), the Osprey Farpoint 40 litre.
Committing to Travel Laundry
There is a commitment to travelling with only hand luggage. Laundry. It has to happen once a week (ten days at most if using up my ’emergency clothes’!). No matter where I am in the world, I need to find a laundromat.
I prefer to do my own laundry – I get to control what happens with the machines and – although it takes longer – by the time I leave the laundromat, everything is completely dry and folded in a way that prepares me for packing.
This bag represents a typical large load. I tend to travel with only dark clothes so everything can be put in together. Here’s a reason why. I stayed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, right before the trip to Chile and I could find only a service wash option at the laundromat. There, both white t-shirts that I had with me were badly marked by the addition of bleach, causing big pinkish stripes to appear on the material. Both had to be recycled 🙁
The Astra, Santiago
The Astra was the laundry closest to the Ibis Hotel in Providencia. As in Argentina, there was no option to do my own laundry this close to the hotel. A single load was comparatively expensive at around £14.
Laundry may seem an odd topic for this blog, but the reality is hand luggage means washing everything once a week! Real life travel tips here on Planet Patrick!