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Wash Your Laundry While You Shower

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Laundry piles up. No matter how dirty a vagabond you are, and no matter how little clothing you carry with you, a bag full of soiled laundry is not fun to lug around, and it is a daunting task to clean an entire load at one time (what would wear if you are washing all of your clothes?). It is also a drain on your travel funds to always have to pay someone else to clean your clothing for you- and laundry service is often times ridiculously expensive no matter what country you are in. To subvert this end, I have devise a little rule that I follow diligently:

Always wash your clothes while you shower.

So every time that I go into a shower to clean my body, I bring a couple articles of clothing to wash as well. It is not too difficult. I simply use the same bar soap that I use for my skin and I wash my clothing like it was another part of my body: arms, legs, shirt, pants . . .

If you shower once every two to three days then you will only have to clean a couple articles of clothing at a time, which is not too much work and takes little more time than washing your body alone. In this way, your laundry load is perpetually going through a wash cycle and you never have to delay your travels with a “laundry day” or the hassle of finding a cleaning lady.

Also, another word of advice: don’t ask for permission to clean your clothes at hostels or hotels EVER. For whatever reason, lodging houses often do not like for travellers to clean their own clothing (often times it is because they like to charge you 5-10 dollars for this service). Just bring a few pieces of clothing in with you when you shower and then indiscreetly hang them out to dry in your own room (use a bed post, a doorframe, widow sill, coat hooks etc . . .). If you are only washing a few things at a time then this will not be a problem.

Doing a little bit of work everyday also helps to keep your spirits up while travelling long hauls On the Road. You don’t feel as lazy or burdened by the knowledge that you are eventually going to have to wash that ever accumulating bundle of laundry in the bottom of your rucksack. Plus, you always have clean clothes to wear!

So this is my piece of advice to all of you beat and battered wanderers.

As always, take it or leave it.

Walk Slow,

Wade from Vagabond

Wade P. Shepard has been on a continuous vagabond journey around the world for more than eight years- over thirty countries on five continents. He has wandered into the outback of Mongolia, lived in a monastery in Tibet, ate a puppy in China, danced with mystics in India, thought he was a gardener in Ireland, braved the souqs of North Africa, and got really lost in Patagonia. Throughout all of this, he has been working diligently on his website Vagabond, at:, and Song of the Open Road at, as well as pawning off various travel articles to unsuspecting magazines for food. 
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