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How to Repack Your Dirty Clothes on Vacation

Thanks to luggage weight, size and quantity restrictions on airlines, trains and buses, you likely pack just the necessities when you go on vacation. However, with only a single suitcase or backpack, you may wonder where to store your dirty clothes along the way.

If you choose to stay in one place on your trip, then you can use the furniture in the hotel to keep your clean and dirty clothes apart. But if you intend to bounce around, then you’ll need a separation strategy.

Laundry Bags and Pillow Cases

Some travellers carry plastic bags to transport their dirty clothes. Despite the convenience, this is ultimately a bad idea for two reasons:

  1. Plastic bags are not breathable, meaning any moisture trapped inside can produce harsh odours and encourage mold growth;
  2. Plastic bags are wasteful—you cannot wash them afterwards so you will just throw them out.

Reusable laundry bags and pillowcases solve both aforesaid problems. You can toss either into the washing machine at home and both use lightweight, stretchy fabrics to hold the clothes. However, this means that both let odours escape, so you’ll need to take care of particularly smell garments before storing them.

One technique for killing smells quickly is freezing the clothes overnight. Most hotels have mini-fridges and freezers, so this shouldn’t be a challenge.

Folding versus Bunching Used Clothes

Most of us only care about how we fold our clothes when they’re clean. After all, who wants to wear wrinkly clothes? That said, folding or rolling your clothes is not just a strategy for packing clean clothes, but also your dirty ones.

If you throw your used clothes into the suitcase, they will heap and consume more space than before. Consequently, you may find most of your stuff doesn’t find into the luggage anymore.