Iron and cotton clothes

We are going on RS Germany, Switzerland, Austria tour trip in July. Do any of those hotels on the 14 day trip have irons? Non cotton clothes are too hot and cotton clothes wrinkle when hand washed and dried as suggested. HELP!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5640 posts

I have never stayed anywhere in Europe that had an iron.

Posted by Sarah
United States
218 posts

Arneda: I think that you won't find an iron. I grew up in the Southern US. After a week of no woven cottons, I am so very sick of knits. Here's the solution, in my mind, anyway: seersucker. It has to be unlined or lined with a breathable fabric (rare). Seersucker comes in all manner of quality. If you search 'seersucker' on the internet, you'll get high-end ready to wear as well as some odd manufacturers. If you get lightweight easy to wear slacks, they double nicely as pajama bottoms. None of the other millions of tourists have irons, either. You'll blend right in!

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3691 posts

I've stayed in lots of hotels that had irons, if not in the room, then at the front desk. But no way to know if the ones you're staying in will have one unless you get the names of the hotels from ETBD and ask the hotels directly. I often bring a small, lightweight travel iron with me b/c when it's hot out I only wear 100% cotton - nothing else is comfortable for me. My iron's quick and easy to use and I don't have to rely on the hotel having one.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
4006 posts

Keep trying with different cotton pieces - that's pretty much all I take, particularly in tops. I hand wash all of them, and they come out fine - even after being rolled up in a towel, placed on the floor, and stood on for a minute or so. Even my husband's Dockers come out looking good. And I'm not talking about 'looks-good-wrinkled' necessarily...although that would be a bonus.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5640 posts

Susan has a point...I have never had an iron in my room, but I have never asked at the desk either. I try to be as low maintenance as possible when traveling.

Posted by Irv
Beverly Hills, MI
470 posts

Our solution has been a cotton-polyester blend. It only takes about 30% poly to keep the wrinkles under control. The fabrics also are extremely durable. It's a hard material to find but it we set it aside for our travel wardrobe.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2725 posts

Before travel, we always send our cotton clothes to the dry cleaners and have everything starched, including jeans. Starched clothes just travel so well in the suitcase, especially when wrapped in plastic sheets. And no ironing is required to keep them that way.
You'd be surprised how many days you can wear starched clothes.

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
762 posts

I agree with David. I too have my cotton khakis (what I like to wear when traveling) professionally pressed before a trip and they hold out pretty well. I take three/four pairs (different fun colors), and wear them repeatedly with little wrinkling. I don't wash them on the trip, so if I wear each one three to four times, they are retired to the suitcase and a new one comes out. Works for me and they do not take up that much room (I carry-on almost exclusively).
Otherwise, ask the front desk. Almost always an iron can be produced if you give enough notice.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1705 posts

I use Eddie Bauer 100% cotton shirts exclusively. The model Relaxed Fit Wrinkle Resistant is sink washable, hang dryable, and always presentable. There are long lseeved and short sleeved models. I take four per trip. As we travel light the weight of trousers is important. I use nylon pants that are sink washable, and none weigh over nine ounces. Several brand names I have are Railriders and Royal Robbins. Both these have models with inside zipper pockets. Tilley makes several kinds of travel pants and I have one pair. Their security pocket is deep inside the left front pocket and closes with hook and loop which is difficult to maneuver open.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
853 posts

Much of our clothing is cotton or cotton blends made by Patagonia, Columbia, Eddie Bauer et al. They work well during our travels. A newer (at least to me) fabric is cocona....impressive.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8718 posts

Arneda. I have taken a RS tour, and no, no hotels will have irons in rooms, but some may have one for you to use .. but do not count on it. Also you won't want to waste time ironing every other day, and since you have to repack and move every 2 days you had better learn how to pack cotton so its not too wrinkly or buy cottons that do not show wrinkles ( I took a cotton eyelet blouse that looked fine with just being folded and packed carefully) Theres also the lightweight gauzy cotton that they make peasant type blouses with that just can be hung in a steamy shower. And finally , you likely aren't going to be dying of heat in any of those places, in fact make sure you pack a good lightweight rain/wind jacket and a fleece or sweater, its cooler up in mountains sometimes.. was when we went and that was at end of July a few years ago.
I think if you check the average temperatures for your destinations you may find that a cotton blend will be absolutely fine. Now if you were going it Italy this would be a different kettle of fish, that's where its hot in the summer,, not Austria , you will likely enjoy some pleasant weather, 65-75 degrees..

Posted by Rose
922 posts

The Jones New York 'Signature' line includes several 'Easycare' blouses that are 100% Cotton but do not wrinkle at all. I found them once at Ross and bought several in various colors and patterns. Took them on 2 European trips and they lived up to their promise - stayed crisp and wrinkle-free. They were great to mix and match with black slacks. See: They're pricey at full-price, but I think I paid $19.99 each at Ross. Of course, Ross is always a crap shoot - here today, gone tomorrow. Other brands also have wrinkle-free clothing. Try a Google search for 'wrinkle free travel clothes'.

Posted by Paula
Arlington, TX, USA
280 posts

Arneda, I think it is possible to travel using cotton without ironing but if you feel you must, TARGET has a itty-bitty iron in the travel section. I think it is a CONAIR. The price was about $15-20. Wouldn't you rather not have the additional weight of the iron and send a couple of items out for laundry? Or, wash,shake and shake again, then after the item dries fold it and sit on it
For a few minutes. The heat from your body will press the item. Try it at home before your trip and see if it works for you.

Posted by Susan
Columbus, USA
95 posts

Downey has a spray wrinkle releaser that i think works really well. Just a thought.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12948 posts

Another vote for cotton-polyester blend (underwear and golf shirts). I wash them out each night and roll them in the bathmat to soak up most of the water. I hang the shirts on inflatable hangers; they're dry by morning. And I bring along three pair of wash pants (khakis) which I don't wash.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8718 posts

Note, many hotels FORBID you to iron in the room, its considered a fire hazard and they are tired of marks left on furniture and floors from people trying to iron stuff without an ironing board.
Some places even has signs in the room asking you not to iron, no way would I haul the weight around with you.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1456 posts

All I can say is: the words iron and vacation don't belong in the same sentence.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5379 posts

Fold the clothes nicely and put them under your mattress at night. Wake up in the morning, clothes are neatly pressed. Well, sort of.

Posted by Arneda
Garnet Valley, PA Pennsyl, United States
2 posts

Thanks so much for all your wonderful and varied suggestions. It has helped me to make better decisions of what to take. Love the seersucker idea (Lands End has a nice pair of capris) I've learned; never thought of starched items, will have to test out the clothes under mattress or sitting on them to press them flat idea. You all have helped me and I thank you for your time and thoughts. Agree that the temps might allow a blend of cotton and polyester for comfort. We are now experiencing those temps now and think that blends might work. Thanks!!!!

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

You can also steam clothes a bit if you hand them in the bathroom while you shower. This is not a great method, but it works a bit if you sprinkle some water on the clothes (or you a spray bottle) first.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
4006 posts

Oh, yeah - I guess I assumed the ol' spray bottle of water was in the picture (pack it empty, of course)! I know the fabric softener/Downy spray was mentioned earlier...Even so, I still rarely need to use my water bottle. It sounds like you want to bring broadcloth-type blouses, etc., and less nice T-shirt/knitted fabrics? The HUGE key is to smooth out that fabric as much as possible while wet! That's your window of opportunity. After that, you've got wrinkles :-(

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7866 posts

Many small hotels, that don't have irons in every room, will let you borrow one from the front desk. I typically just bring clothes that travel well, some blends but mostly non-cotton. I've found some synthetics are comfortable in hot weather while others are miserable. If it feels iffy when I try it on in a store, I don't buy it - but I'll always wear things at home before they are eligible for my pack list.

Posted by Rebecca
Nashville, TN, USA
1068 posts

If your hotel, B&B, or apartment has a laundry room, put the items in the dryer, tumble for a few minutes, wrinkles sometimes fall out.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
820 posts

All I did was e-mail the various hotels we were going to stay in. I was then advised of the hotels, which had irons in the rooms. Sometimes I just had to ask housekeeping and they brought me an iron and an ironing board.