How often have you found yourself in desperate need of a washing machine, but the concept of a laundromat just never occurred to the citizens of the country in which you’re travelling?

If you’re staying in hostels, it’s not usually so bad, as they generally have a washing machine and dryer, but pensions and hotels can often be another matter altogether; if they provide a washing service at all, it’s usually incredibly expensive and has a turnaround of several days. And then there’s the risk that your favourite t-shirt just might not make it back to you.

At times like these, the only real option is to make use of the hotel’s bathroom sink to wash your clothes. The bathroom soap isn’t ideal, but it’s a better option than carrying a tube of detergent and risking it leaking (I learned that one the hard way).

A must-carry item is the elastic washing line. I’m not sure the suction-cups on the line pictured here would be much use, especially with heavy, wet clothing on it, but the hooks ought to be good enough. The design removes the need use pegs; instead, you can push the clothing through the elastic-twists.

It might be an idea, however, to keep it discreet. Hotels often don’t like guests doing their washing in their rooms, and they certainly don’t like clothes being draped out on balconies; so hide your damp clothing until after the room-service has made up your room.

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