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Laundry on longer Rick Steves Tour

Hello Everyone, we are so excited to be traveling to Europe this summer. We have signed up for a RS tour for 14 days. We will be extending our stay for an additional 4 days. We are planning to travel light. We are wondering if there are laundry facilities or laundry services in the hotels RS tours stay? We won't be staying very long in each city. We would love to hear what others have experienced. Thank you!

Posted by
4017 posts

It may depend on the tour and the time you take it. I say that because hotels usually send your laundry out and if it's a weekend or a holiday that will delay things or make it impossible to get it done for you in time.

On the Village Italy tour there was only one place with time and proximity to the hotel for us to do laundry. I think it was in Lucca.

On the Best of Scandinavia one, it was the same story. That was in AErøskøbing on Aerø Island in Denmark.

The rest of the time I did sink washing. You have to take clothes that will dry quickly and do that when you have 2 or more nights in one place.

When I've traveled on my own, I usually could find a place to do it for me. I've even stayed in hotels where they'd do it for me in one big load. If you have it done like that, the price is usually very reasonable. Just a caution about having anyone do it for you anywhere, sometimes the staff spaces out and forgets to dry it, so it's not ready when you need it.

I like doing my own laundry at a laundromat because it's a very interesting experience and not the waste of time most folks think it is. Some of our best fun stories have to do with laundromats and the people we met there.

Posted by
7562 posts

You will get a better answer if you can state which tour you are taking.

On Paris and the Heart of France, one hotel did a basket of laundry (same day service) for 15 euros. I also do sink washing as needed.

Posted by
2424 posts

I have been on 6 RS tours and all of them provide specific information when and where is a good time to have your laundry done. I would call the RS office and inquire regarding your specific tour which you didn’t share in your original question. In my experience, it’s usually roughly midways in the tour. Or your guide will mention it once your tour is underway.

Posted by
2108 posts

On the Eastern France tour in October, 2 laundromats were pointed out on our orientation walk in Chamonix. This was my first longer RS tour, and I assume laundry possibilities are discussed on all the longer tours.

BTW, the Chamonix laundromat might have been my favorite ever: clean, easy instructions, fast equipment. As another poster, I enjoy doing laundry on vacation. 😀

Posted by
8079 posts

Its a common question to be asked at your orientation meeting the first day. If you want the hotel to do it, I think its best at any stop that is at last three nights, but as was mentioned, weekends and holidays can interfere.

Posted by
3494 posts

On every RS tour I have taken, there is always an opportunity to do laundry or have it done for you near the halfway point.

Depending on the tour and what is available, there will either be launderettes near the hotel where you can do the washing yourself (or pay a little more to have them do it for you) or the tour has an agreement with the hotel to do a fixed amount of washing per tour member for a very reasonable price. Note that all of this washing is very basic when done for you: wash everything you give them in one load, and dry it. Your laundry items are folded neatly. There is no ironing done, they do not separate colors, there is no special wash cycle, they use the same industrial grade detergent they use on their bed sheets. So I have found it is usually best to bring items that can take a rough washing and don't fade. In other words, leave the dry clean only items at home.

I usually pay the extra at the launderettes for them to do the wash and dry if that option is offered. I am only there for a limited time and would rather spend that time out exploring the town, not staring at my clothes tumbling in a machine. The price difference has almost always been around €5, sometime even the same price. That said, I had a wonderful time at the launderette in Prague doing my own laundry and talking with some college students from the US taking classes there (the price differential was a lot more than €5 in this case). The launderette provided coffee, tea, and cookies while you waited at no extra charge.

The hotels will do the laundry fast when the tour has it set up with them. For my tours, Cinque Terre hold the record at 3 hours. Others have been 4 to 6 hours and a couple were overnight. If there is no laundry plan between the tour and hotel, it will take a similar amount of time to what you experience in the US (a day or more), along with a similar cost per item.

Some people do laundry in their rooms in the bathroom sink. That has never worked for me on a large scale. I have never been able to get things to feel clean enough. And there is the possibility that some items just won't dry fast enough and end up having to be packed in your suitcase wet. But I guess if you are running short on a couple items, it is still a possibility.

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you everyone for your advice and tips! We are taking the family tour from Amsterdam to Rome for 14 days. I will keep all of your suggestions in mind.

Posted by
3679 posts

Many European hotels have the floor to ceiling towel warmers, which serve as great drying racks. I like doing laundry as we go: socks and underwear each night, if it's a two-day stay at the hotel. Pants and shirts we wash in the sink midway thru the trip, again at a hotel where you have at least a two-day stay.
Pack clothes with a faster-drying fabric, which is why most folks here don't pack denim.

Posted by
3898 posts

mmendoza74, what did the RS tour office say about laundry facilities when you asked them?