When trying to pack lightly for a vacation, one idea is to pack half of what you need and decide to do laundry part way through the vacation. That is what I did since we were flying Spirit and I knew that laundry would be cheaper than another suitcase. Planning ahead will make everything go much easier. I packed quarters and Tide Pods, which I had gotten as samples on Tide.
After we got back from Hollywood Studios, Derek got the kids ready for bed while I loaded all the dirty clothes into the suitcase. I grabbed my Rapid Fill cup and headed off to the laundry room. At All-Star Movies resort, it is located next to the pool area in its own little building. I was lucky to find two washing machines because a lot of them were being used. I got the laundry started, put the suitcase on top of the washer so it was out of the way and people would know it was being used, and then I headed to the food court. I filled up my cup with some Coke and sat by the pool for awhile texting my bestie back home about the weather. We hadn’t had great weather in Orlando, but back home it was negative 40 something with the windchill and lots of snow. (It sure is nice to have good friends who will check on your house and make sure the pipes aren’t frozen and then clear your super steep driveway for you!) Anyway, I think the most important thing about doing laundry on vacation is to bring everything you need so you don’t have to buy the overpriced (and not as good) detergent out of the vending machine. It was nice to walk in and get started right away and not have to mess with getting change either. The only thing I didn’t plan well enough was having a fully charged phone battery. I was mid conversation when my phone died and then I got bored waiting for the clothes. When the laundry was done, I just threw it back into the suitcase and folded it when I got back to the room. It really was quite easy and even somewhat relaxing!
Tip 1: I am finally going to tell you why I asked about old, worn out socks. Don’t throw them away! I know it sounds weird, but instead of putting them in the garbage, put them in your suitcase. To be honest, I do the same thing with underwear and tshirts that I am ready to get rid of. Here is why…next time you travel, pack what you need of the clothes you were ready to get rid of and then when you are at your destination, throw them away AFTER you wear them. This is a benefit for a few reasons. One is that you will have more room in your suitcase on your return for things like souvenirs. Another reason to do this is so that you have less laundry when you get home. After all, who wants to do a bunch of laundry when you already have the post vacation blues. It may not seem like a lot, but on our last trip to Disney World for 5 people, I had a plastic Walmart bag stuffed full of just socks and underwear.
Tip 2: Plastic Bags are your friends. Personally, I like Hefty slider bags. I use the 2.5 gallon size, gallon, quart, sandwich, and snack. The most important size that most people probably aren’t familiar with is the 2.5 gallon size. I use that size for clothes. On our last trip, I had an outfit for each of the (3) kids, and shirt and underclothes for Derek and myself in a bag. That way in the morning when it was time to get dressed, I just got out the bag and all the clothes were in it. Another way to do it would be to put all of one person’s shirts in one bag, pants in another, and so on. I like packing by the day, though, so that when I get to the last day, I won’t end up with tops and bottoms that don’t match. I like to label the bag with the day we will wear it or with the person’s name.
Tip 3: Start packing long before your trip. This would be the pre-packing step. I lay the clothes out in a place that won’t be in the way and then I have time to weed out what I don’t really need. Overpacking is a pain. Too many things get in the way for you to find what you really need and it makes the bags heavy. Also, many airlines charge for bags now, so the lighter you can pack, the cheaper it will be. I like to travel light so I don’t have to haul a bunch of stuff around.