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  1. #1
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    Laundry Issues for a large Family

    Hello all -

    Multiple trips coming up for my family of six (me, wife, 12, 9, 6, 3 yo kids). We have everything from flying to Florida for a 7 day Cruise to flying to Italy for a 17 day adventure of Italy.

    My plan has always been for each child to carry their own backpack with their own things. Everyone has a carry-on, everyone does 1-bag travel (except my wife).

    But, How should I handle Laundry?

    I initially planned to have every kid carry their own laundry in their bag. the LSS seems expensive, but I could use a packing cube or just a TSS for each kid. That way, they keep everything contained in their bag.

    But then, I realized, that is a lot of keeping things separate when in the end its all going to the same loads. And, when we take the laundry to do it do we want to have 6 TSS's to take?

    So, I thought, what about a Large Zip-Top Shop bag? As laundry builds up it could go in the shop bag (or two). Then, if we are traveling from place to place in Italy, I could just carry the Shop Bag along with my backpack (likely the Synik, would have been the Synapse). No problem carrying the extra tote. The Zip-top Shop Bag would also serve as a good transporting system when going to the laundry (whether its on a cruise ship, or in an Agriturismo in Tuscany).

    Since I don't own a Large Zip Top Shop Bag - how packable is it? Will it pack down very small so it's not taking up a bunch of space when not used? Since it's Halcyon without extra padding I figured it would but wanted to ask...

  2. #2
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    The large zip-top bag would be sturdy enough to actually tote to the laundromat, so that is one big advantage. It takes up some space but folds pretty well, and if you rinse it out, it could double as a shop bag (if you buy groceries or whatever).

    As an alternative, or in addition, give each kid a more lightweight, less expensive container. I have a thin nylon bag that cinches shut, which I use for my own laundry when I travel. It folds up to nothing (ie, would easily fit in the palm of my hand), but contains the smells and keeps my dirty clothes separate from the clean ones. I don't remember where I got it -- it may have been a freebie -- but they are not hard to find.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    How about a gallon-size freezer ziploc for each traveler to accumulate laundry in their own bag? Super cheap, easy to find, and small enough to pack some spares. I think ziploc makes even bigger sizes, if a gallon doesn't seem big enough. Plus, you can even get a little compression with them by rolling out the air. Smilie

    I don't have a Large Zip-Top Shop bag, but the LSB without a zipper isn't super packable compared to something like a Chico or Envirosax shopping bag. That said, it's a great thing to have with for grocery shopping, souvenir toting, pool-side necessities, etc. so it would be serving multiple purposes.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  4. #4
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    I'd say compromise by getting one large ZTSB because it's useful for some many other things on the trip.

    For each person, also get them one of these (they come in different colours & may be cheaper elsewhere)...basically what @bchaplin suggested:

    https://www.containerstore.com/s/rei...uctId=11001348

    They're about the size of a deck of cards when folded up.

    Each person uses the small nylon bag inside their bigger bag to accumulate laundry. When the time comes to do the wash, dump everything out, sort into the proper loads (hot/cold?) and use the ZTSB and maybe one of nylon bags to cart stuff to & fro... or put the sorted dirty in the nylon bags and use the ZTSB for the clean, whatever works.
    The nylon bags can be tossed into the cold wash loads and drip dry in your bathroom.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  5. #5
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    The shop bag is a fantastic idea. I have small zip top shop bags and large open top shop bags, and I've used both for laundry. They're great. As the others have said, they do take up some space when you pack them, but they're so useful for so many purposes that they're worth it.

    If it were me, and we were sharing a room with the kids, I'd keep the ZTSB in the hotel room like a hamper, and have all the kids load their laundry into it when they change into pajamas. (I would NOT trust kids under 14 to separate their own laundry unsupervised.) Then, as you said, it's easy to stuff in your bag when it's mostly empty, easy to carry on it's own as it gets full.

    This trip sounds like a blast!

  6. #6
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    Greetings,
    I pack my Shop Bag flat and it takes up nearly no space. In the Aeronaut, they lay flat on the bottom of the bag. In the Synapse25, I tuck it at the back of the main compartment, folded flat. Because of the pockets and the extra comfortable handles, I always bring a Shop Bag with me on every trip.

    At the moment I only have one Zip Top Shop Bag and it's dedicated for another use that doesn't involve traveling. When I get another Zip Top Shop Bag, I imagine it will be even more useful during travel.

    My Shop Bags are Halcyon, so they are lightweight and durable. elisa

  7. #7
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    Maybe just buy the bags they sell at Ikea for less than $2?

  8. #8
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    The Large Shop Bag is perfect for laundry.

    As suggested by another poster, gather the items worn during the day from everyone, just before bed time and, place them in the Large Shop Bag.
    When the bag is full, it is time for laundry, it is easy to take the whole Shop Bag to the laundromat.
    Rinse it off on the laundromat sink, when the machines are cleaning the content, dry it with a clean microfiber towel or let it air dry, if Italy is still as hot as it is now.

    I would suggest a lingerie bag for delicate items and cold wash everything in two loads, one for lights and one for darks.
    In Europe, laundromats have little packets of Woolite.

    Do cruise ships have laundromat areas?

  9. #9
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    I think dirty laundry is a great use for those compression bags, particularly since they will do a better job segregating odors than other bags if you have to travel with dirty laundry. Large Ziploc bags can do this as well.

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys, lots of good info here. The big question was whether to have them carry their laundry, and I think that for the most part No is the best answer. I'll have them each have one of the inexpensive laundry bags that you all linked, but I'll pack a large ZTSB as well for laundry and other uses. I don't own one yet, so once I get one and see how well it packs down, that decision will be easier. I think it will be worth the packing weight and space though, as it can be used for other things too!

  11. #11
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    Hi, just come back on a 3 1/2 week train trip through Germany/Switzerland with four people - two adults and two kids (6 and 11). Laundry: I bought a Scrubba Wash Bag and a twisted elastic laundry line. Each of us parents was responsible for one of the kids, so we had two stuff sacks that we corralled dirty socks & underwear in every night. Worn t-shirts and shorts were re-folded and replaced in the cleans, unless they were really dirty (i.e. huge spill or accident). I then washed every other day in general, once in a while more often. But for you, with six, you might want to wash every day or take two clotheslines. Whenever I got somewhere with a real laundry or where we were going to stay for more than a couple of days, I washed as much as I thought possible - two or three Scrubba loads or a full laundry load. Things line dried quickly in the heat (very quickly). In Germany I never saw a laundromat and I know there are none in Sweden. I don't know about Italy but I wouldn't count on it being convenient. This way we each only took four pair of undies and socks -- two days of wear, one in the wash day, and one spare.

    Anyway, my recommendation is two lightweight stuff sacks and a Scrubba. Alternative emergency laundry solution is a rollable rubber washboard (like this https://www.amazon.com/ZSJZHB-Washbo...gateway&sr=8-1 - no affiliation but I have a similar one) and a sink stopper (I always travel with one of these anyway, this trip a great thing because there was a bathtub in one hotel with no stopper, plus a dish sink with no stopper at a campsite).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejvc View Post
    Hi, just come back on a 3 1/2 week train trip through Germany/Switzerland with four people - two adults and two kids (6 and 11). Laundry: I bought a Scrubba Wash Bag and a twisted elastic laundry line. Each of us parents was responsible for one of the kids, so we had two stuff sacks that we corralled dirty socks & underwear in every night. Worn t-shirts and shorts were re-folded and replaced in the cleans, unless they were really dirty (i.e. huge spill or accident). I then washed every other day in general, once in a while more often. But for you, with six, you might want to wash every day or take two clotheslines. Whenever I got somewhere with a real laundry or where we were going to stay for more than a couple of days, I washed as much as I thought possible - two or three Scrubba loads or a full laundry load. Things line dried quickly in the heat (very quickly). In Germany I never saw a laundromat and I know there are none in Sweden. I don't know about Italy but I wouldn't count on it being convenient. This way we each only took four pair of undies and socks -- two days of wear, one in the wash day, and one spare.

    Anyway, my recommendation is two lightweight stuff sacks and a Scrubba. Alternative emergency laundry solution is a rollable rubber washboard (like this https://www.amazon.com/ZSJZHB-Washbo...gateway&sr=8-1 - no affiliation but I have a similar one) and a sink stopper (I always travel with one of these anyway, this trip a great thing because there was a bathtub in one hotel with no stopper, plus a dish sink with no stopper at a campsite).
    Great info here. I hope your trip was great!!

    It sounds like youíre was quite different than ours. We are staying 3 days in once place, then 7 days, then 5 days. All of those places will have washers - so I donít think we have a need for the scrubba. Iíve heard great things about it though!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Hi! Well, if you are staying for a few days and there are washers then pile the laundry on the floor lol...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejvc View Post
    Hi! Well, if you are staying for a few days and there are washers then pile the laundry on the floor lol...
    That's been my travel laundry strategy for a couple decades. It still stands the test of time.
    DLBC (black Dyneema) **Missing Frown **, Synapse 25 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), Synapse 19 (Navy/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), PCBP for TriStar (Iberian), Synapse 19 (Navy/Solar), Ristretto for iPad (Black/Wasabi), Large Shop Bag (Island),mini Q-kit, various packing cubes, stuff sacks, and pouches.

    Retired but not forgotten: TriStar (Black/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Solar), Synapse 25 (French Blue/Steel).

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