The Unexpected Item I’ll Always Pack in My Luggage

published May 29, 2024
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unpacking suitcase

Last year, our family went on an epic trip that included a visit to Olympic National Park and an Alaska cruise. As you can imagine, the preparation for that trip was nothing short of extremely complicated. I had to make sure that all seven of us were prepared not only for over two weeks of travel, but also for a range of activities from swimming and hiking to a formal dinner as well as unpredictable weather and temperatures. It was a job — one that I attempted to make manageable with multiple lists, setting aside items in a paper grocery bag with each person’s name on it, and starting the whole thing several weeks before it was time to take off. 

Having ample time to research and shop for items that we needed had the unexpected benefit of exposing me to new and convenient travel gear. In addition to all the cruise accessories I learned about, I also came across an item that I was surprised I’d never considered before: a drawstring travel laundry bag. 

We used the laundry bags on our trip and I quickly realized that they would become a travel necessity for every trip moving forward. Using them has made every one of our trips — and coming home from them — so much easier! 

Having a dedicated laundry bag during travel allows us to separate dirty clothes from clean clothes — something that’s simultaneously important and tricky when you’re living out of a suitcase. No one wants to put their sweaty T-shirt in with their clean dress clothes. What would usually happen on our trips is that we’d have a dirty clothes pile in a corner that would get shoved into our suitcases at the end of our trip or when we were headed to our next spot. Not ideal. 

Having a travel laundry bag has been a game-changer. First off, we have a place to stash our dirty clothes, so our room stays much tidier. Additionally, even if both dirty and clean clothes end up in the same suitcase at some point, clean clothes stay fresh. If there’s an opportunity to do laundry during the trip, having all our dirty clothes separated out and in a convenient carry bag makes this easy.

The best part of using travel laundry bags, however, happens when we get back from our trips. I’m a huge fan of easing the transition back into regular life by getting dirty clothes in the washer immediately upon returning home. Using a laundry bag makes starting vacation laundry right away an absolute breeze. Having that laundry humming in the background helps us get back into the swing of our home life routine and gives us a jumpstart on unpacking the rest of our luggage. For me, avoiding the “unpacked suitcase in the bedroom” problem is one of the best ways to diminish the post-vacay blues.

Whether it’s a personal laundry bag that fits in each person’s suitcase or a family laundry bag that can be stuffed in the car when traveling by car, a travel laundry bag makes trips more restful and returning from them less painful. I’ll never be without one.

Buy: Sylfairy 2 Pack Extra Large Travel Laundry Bag, $7.98 (normally $15.99)