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Germany trip clothes/packing/laundry

A recent post about laundromats in Germany started me thinking about our upcoming trip to Germany/Austria. We will be there for 17 days. While not just packing a carryon – I and my husband were each just planning on taking clothes for about 5 days worth of traveling, so I'll need to wash about three times. And I didn't even consider that I couldn't just sightsee all day, and find somewhere in the evening to wash. I'm planning on sitting down with Google, and looking around, but I thought I'd list our itinerary, and if someone has stayed in these places/areas and has some recommendations, I'd love to hear it. We will have a car for the whole trip –about the only time we will be on the train system is when we go into Munich on Days 9/10, but will have have pretty packed days. What's the usual pricing if not doing the clothes yourself in a laundramat? Day 1 - Cologne ( arrival day) Day 2, 3, 4 - Bacharach, Im Malerwinkel (Arrive late on Day2) Day 5 - Burg Colmberg Hotel – Colmberg – about 11 miles outside Rothenburg Day 6 - Füssen - Vital Hotel Wiedemann Day 7 8 9 10 11 – Hotel Waldhof , Hohenkammer, Germany (staying about 30 miles from Munich- day tripping around) Day 12, 13, 14, 15 - Hotel Rauriserhof, Rauris, Austria
Day 16 – 17 - Altstadthotel Weisse Taube, Salzburg, Austria

Posted by
8666 posts

Some hotels will take care of your laundry for you, at a price. We were in Germany with my sister and BIL and they had one of our hotels take care of their laundry. This was 6 years ago and I recall it being about 30€. You can contact your hotels and inquire if they do laundry and ask what they charge. My husband and I handwash our clothes. It is much less expensive and doesn't eat into our touring time.

Posted by
8666 posts

Handwashing clothes is not exactly rocket science. Put soap in water, add clothes. After swishing your clothes around in the water you rinse them and hang them to dry. I use a microfiber towel to get as much moisture as possible out of the clothes and I use inflatable hangers to separate the front from the back for faster drying. Doing this is quite a bit less expensive than throwing away soiled clothes and buying new ones along the way. Not that most people would consider doing that. Even better, I rent apartments with a washer and hopefully a dryer.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm not planning on disposible clothes! That's not in my vacation budget - plus I hate shopping for clothes. Any vacation that revolves around shopping is NOT for me. I like a mix of sightseeing, museums and active stuff like moderate hiking. I don't mind doing handwashing for underwear/bra/socks type of clothing - that's easy enough to do in a sink and hang to dry in the shower area. Don't know if I'll have a bathtub, and washing slacks and shirts is a pain in a sink - and most places don't appreciate you dripping all over their floors.
My first choice would be to use my downtime in the evenings after dinner ( since I'm not the nightclubbing type) to grab a book, and head to a laundramat and wash/dry my clothes. Since it's only a couple of times, I could probably deal with the expense of dropping clothes off somewhere in the morning, and picking them up the next day if necessary - I just wasn't sure how much that'd be - I do all my own laundry here at home - I've only used a dry cleaner a few times for coats or comforters.

Posted by
8666 posts

Yes Lori, you are indeed a trooper for washing your clothes as opposed to disposing of them after wearing and then spending valuable vacation time shopping for new ones. Why don't more people think of that?

Posted by
2966 posts

Andrea, you crack me up. Lori - in my experience, hotel laundry services in Germany is fairly pricey, and only larger hotels are going to have those services, although I am sure any hotel can refer you to a laundry service in town. But since as you said, your evenings will be free, you might just want to use Google to find out which towns you're staying in have laundromats (smaller towns may not) and plan in advance where you're going to do your laundry. Keep in mind that German washing machines tend to take a little longer than U.S. ones, although some have a button to cut down the wash time by a little. A Wäscherei can either be a place that does your laundry for you OR a laundromat, and a Waschsalon is always a laundromat. Sometimes they are also called laundromats too! Munich has one that is a cafe/lounge in addition to having washing machines, might make for a pleasant evening. http://wash-coffee.com/

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks - I will try to do my online homework - Since I'm not staying in the larger towns, sometimes those smaller type places don't have much of a web presence, so I was hoping that the travelers here might have some 1st person accounts. ( Other than great places to buy new clothes - :) ) Looking at my schedule - it looks like I'm going to need plan to wash either in Bacharach at the end of day 4, or wait until I'm in Fussen on day 6 - which will impact how much I need to pack. I know I'm only overnight in Rothenburg -and that's one night I will be out late, going to try to do the Night Watchman tour. Maybe I'll get lucky at Hotel Waldhof, but it's in kind of a real small town, but maybe because of that, there will be someone who provides this service to tourists.
At least online, both Hotel Waldhof, and Hotel Rauiserhof look like great places to stay, and convenent for the areas I want to visit, but neither list anything about laundry services. I guess I'll send some emails and find out.

Posted by
1346 posts

Both Rick Steve's Guide and Lonely Planet Guide often mention laundries for cities that they cover. Hotel laundry service is not only expensive but sometimes takes quite a bit of time to get your clothes back to you, so ask early in a stay if you decide to take that route. "Hotel Reservation Service list" (HRS.com) list types of services offered. I just checked "Weisse Taube" in Salzburg - we are there in December - and they do not have laundry service. You can try to check others. Regards, Gary

Posted by
1631 posts

Actually, for 17 days you might be able to avoid washing any clothes. For 5 weeks, we took three carry-on size pieces of luggage. We each have our own piece of luggage for our clothes. Using packing cubes and rolling our clothes, we have enough undergarments, socks, shirts and slacks to last the whole trip. We each take three pairs of slacks and about 5-6 tops interchanging them daily. My husband and I like to wear lightweight nylon type of slacks, no jeans. We'll also bring a rain jacket that folds into its own pocket. We each have a toiletry bag, one bag for electronic stuff, and a bag of first aid type stuff. We do take a chance by wearing and taking one pair of shoes, however, I feel if I need another pair, I'll buy them there. My husband brings his slippers. We also drive and have driven extensively in the areas you are staying. I haven't seen laundromats and really don't want to spend my time in one. A trial packing might surprise you on how much you can fit in your luggage. By the way, you can buy packing cubes on this website in the travel store. Have a great trip.

Posted by
64 posts

Many places have same day laundry service. We just dropped off our laundry in the morning, they washed, dried and folded it and we picked it up in the evening. 3 loads for about 30e. May be pricey but I would much rather spend the time sightseeing than watching laundry spin. Look up places before you go, so you can plan. If you do it yourself, that can be an enlightening experience as well. A chance to talk with other travelers doing the same thing.

Posted by
24 posts

Emailed some of the hotels, not everyone's responded yet - Here's a few: From Hotel Waldhof "Hallo from Bavaria, Thank you for your e-mail. Usually in the hotel there is no possibility to do laundry. The next place will be 15 km away, more places are directly in munich. I think you will travel without car? So in emergancy cases we will find a possibility in the hotel for doing your laundry." Pension Im Malerwinkel "Here are no washing facilities. Yours sincerely Daniela Vollmer Pension Im Malerwinkel" Vitalhotel Wiedemann "thank you for your email. In the town we just have a chemical laundry calls Krüger. http://www.krueger-fuessen.de/waescherei.html Beside this one, there is no one in town. I hope I could help. Have a nice day!" But when I emailed Krüger "You can hand wash with us, this will take about 3 days and is individually Piecewise calculated. In Füssen, there is no laundromat. The next one is in Munich."
Unfortunately, we are only in Fussen overnight. So I've struck out at least until day 7 - since we have a car 15 km isn't a problem - I think we will just keep a bag with the dirty clothes in it in the trunk and keep our eyes open. Right now, I'll try to pack at least 8 days worth of clothes and keep my fingers crossed! Worst case, I'll be washing in the sink. Thanks for all the responses - now I just have to worry if Lufthansa's labor problems will derail the start of our vacation. We are supposed to leave on the 16th.

Posted by
2966 posts

Wow Ralph. You gave advice that doesn't make sense (throw away dirty clothes, spend a fortune and valuable time on Jack Wolfskin outdoor gear to replace it) got called out on it, and now refer to Andrea as a tourist from Sactown as if your advice vis a vis living here is better. Andrea clearly has more knowledge and good advice about traveling in Europe than you do. She may be a "tourist" but she has common sense, which is more important than where you live. You know, when I first came on this board, I thought being an American living in Europe meant I knew more than "tourists" too. I made a few mistakes and quickly realized there were people living in the U.S. who knew more about traveling in Europe than I did. Any American can get assigned to a job in Europe, that does not mean they will have good travel skills or good information to give. Quite the opposite, I know people who have lived here 3, 5, 10 years who still don't understand basic ideas like "buying a train ticket in advance saves you money". Your living here doesn't give you - or me - an automatic one up. Giving good advice does, that's all that matters here. ~Sactown native OUT~

Posted by
27426 posts

Ralph, Why do I care where you wash your car? You probably throw it in the river when it gets dirty and then hunt around for a nice new clean one to buy, if that's how you treat your clothes. It keeps the wheels of industry turning...

Posted by
2966 posts

I don't really buy into the "tourist" vs "traveler" distinction, actually. I think most people think of themselves as "travelers" and "tourists" as the less-couth people. I rarely find it's a helpful distinction, but regardless, you called Andrea a tourist, so... Lori - Sorry to hear the hotels you're going to aren't going to have laundry or laundromats nearby. One of the downsides of "back-door" small town traveling, as lovely as it will be. Since you'll have a car, I would honestly just consider packing more, maybe enough clothes for at least half your trip, and only doing laundry once, or if you can afford it, maybe purchasing a few basic items designed for traveling that wash easily and dry quickly for bathroom sink laundry. I'll be going on my first "long" trip - 13 days - in years and I'm already panicking a little about the laundry situation as well. Turns out "packing light" is easy for 4 days, but 13? Oy vey.

Posted by
8666 posts

@ Ralph - I don't know how YOU decide if someone is a tourist as opposed to a traveler. If the distinction is that someone is a tourist if they are traveling outside of their own area, then we are all tourists including yourself. Or is the distinction that a traveler navigates on their own as opposed to taking a tour? In that case, people who take bus tours, let's say to Rome, or people who take cruises, would also be considered tourists. But really, who cares whether we are called travelers or tourists? I guess only people who think that "tourist" is negative term and that somehow if he can consider himself a "traveler" that makes them superior in their own minds.

Posted by
8666 posts

@ Sarah - It's not that hard to travel with a carry on for an extended period. I have done it for 3-4 weeks multiple times. Just make sure your clothes mix and match so you can get more outfits out of what you bring. I bring tops that can be washed and hung to dry overnight. I don't know where you are going, or if you will be traveling around. If you are traveling around, try to get an apartment with a washer mid-way through so you can do a real wash. I have rented apartments for as few as 2 nights. Especially in the off season people are willing to do shorter rentals. IMO if staying in a location for an extended period, apartments are always the way to go. Have fun!!

Posted by
18228 posts

I remember my first trip to Europe (Brussels, 1987). It was a business trip, and the company had advised me to send my laundry out with the hotel's service. I sent out five days worth, and the laundry cost about what my hotel room cost for a night. (Of course, the company paid for it.) Once I started traveling with a carry on (2000), I would take about half as many clothes as I needed for two weeks, wash out my underwear each night, and wear the rest of my clothes two times if I couldn't find a laundromat. I never found one. I started taking fewer and fewer clothes and washing more. Now I just take enough clothing so that I will have enough to wear if something doesn't dry overnight. I've spent extra money to get cotton polyester blend underwear and shirts so they will dry overnight. I'm certainly not going to throw those away. Anyway, if I just took enough old clothes for the trip and threw them away, I would have to start with a lot of clothes and have a heavy carry-on. I start out washing every night, and I always look forward to the day that I realize I have enough clean clothes to make it the rest of the way. Hotels with laundry service cost a lot more than I want to spend. Recently, I've stayed in a lot of private home which undoubtedly have their own laundry equipment, but with so few clothes to wash each night, it's just easier for me to do it myself.

Posted by
3696 posts

So am I a traveler or a tourist if I take pictures??? Actually I just want to be called a photographer on vacation:))

Posted by
2966 posts

James - you may be a brat but you always make me laugh, even when I'm the target of your ire. Lee and Andrea - Good tips. I think I'm going to invest in a traveler's clothesline. We are checking luggage - horrors, I know! - but Ryanair's carryon is so strict we didn't want to risk it. I can't imagine spending our time, personally, doing laundry, and I doubt we will be staying anywhere with laundry service, so we'll just have to bite the bullet and use a combination of careful clothes planning and sink washing. I posted about my upcoming trip on the "to the east" forum - going to eastern europe, gonna try to cram as much in as possible realistically, so apartments are probably out as i doubt we will be anywhere for more than 3 nights. will probably even do a few dreaded 1 night stays! Ralph - you're still really hung up on the "i'm in Europe and you're not" mindset. It's so weird. It's just another place, surely living here you realize that. I love living here, hope to stay here for another few years, but even I miss the bounty and delicious food of Sactown (or more specifically, my home town of Woodland - Andrea will know where it is!) I'm proud to be from where I am, why the hate?

Posted by
8666 posts

I don't use my clothesline for anything besides underclothes typically. I use inflatable hangers for shirts. If you can't find those, just bring a few plastic hangers. I usually leave them behind at my last place. I also bring a few hangers that have clips on them for pants or skirts. Yes, it adds a little extra weight to bring the hangers, but it helps me bring less clothing when I have a way to clean them. Those hangers are for both me and my husband. We also travel with clothing that dries overnight. I didn't realize you were from this area Sarah. Yes, there are many good things about living here. The same can be said about many areas. As for military people who are stationed in Europe...it won't last forever and then what will there be to brag about Ralph? Of course you are from Texas, so that explains a lot about you.

Posted by
18228 posts

Like Andrea, I use inflatable hangers for shirts. They are wide enough to allow air to circulate between the layers, aiding drying. I also use clothespin hooks (you'll find them as "drip-dry hangers" for underwear. They fit nicely on the towel rack. For years I carried a twisted clothesline, one with hooks, but I could never find places to hook it the right distance apart. I finally got a line with suction cups. It sticks anywhere to a tile wall. I've only used it one time because the other means (inflatable and drip-dry hangers) work so well.

Posted by
11 posts

On our longest Euro trip (about 2 weeks) we played it by ear. If we found a laundromat and we had time, we used it. We also used Rick's twisty clothesline and washed/dried things in our room, but as someone mentioned, it was often hard to find places to hook it. The suction cup version would be better! I like the inflatable hanger idea too. We're planning to do the 14-day GAS tour next fall so I've been thinking about the same issues (never too soon to start trip planning, right?). Has anyone ever tried the disposable garment guards? I may have to buy some to see if they are comfortable. Would help clothes stay a little fresher maybe. Otherwise, I just remind myself that I'm not likely to run into anyone I know and will likely never see my tour partners again. If they remember me as "the stinky lady," so be it! Deb
Arkansas USA 9/06/12