I’ll be taking part in the Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour later this fall & my intent is to pack minimally, to lighten my load as much as possible. As my trip isn’t until the fall, I’m still waiting on my guidebook & complete itinerary, but I’m curious if we’ll have time enough to do a load or two of laundry, whether at one of the hotels we stay at, or at some random coin-operated launderette we might encounter during our free time? Yes, we could always wear the same clothes two days in a row, but we’d rather not. Anyone with any experience on this tour, please let me know. Thanks!
I did this tour June 2014 and it was hot as heck, so I did more laundry than I thought I might. I did usually get 2 days out of my shirts and pants without offending either myself or others. You have free afternoons in Kinsale on Day 4, a whole free day in Dingle on Day 7 and then it gets tricky. There is some free time in Galway on Day 9 but it's at the end of the long day to the Aran Islands, then a one night stay in Westport. In Portrush on Day 11, it seems like we got there in time for a few free hours in the afternoon, then a mostly free afternoon on Day 12. I am not sure if this is usually the case as we had dreadful fog so you could not see much at the outdoor sites of Giant's Causeway, the rope bridge or the castle ruins.
I do my laundry in a 2 gal ziplock bag in the sink so I was doing it on the arrival nights of a 2 day stay with a fairly comprehensive wash in Dingle over the 3 night stay. I am sure the guide suggested coin laundry locations along the way but I just don't remember them nor do I remember if any hotels had laundry service. On several of the other RS tours I've been on the hotels did have laundry service.
Have a wonderful time! If you have the guide I had I suggest you pack extra packets of Kleenex. He told such great stories I laughed every day until I cried. I so looked forward to bus time!!!
Thanks for the reply! I'm really looking forward to the trip & even though I'm doing the solo room option, I'm hoping to manage with just about a week's worth of clothing (I'm doing a brief side trip to Liverpool before this tour begins & between that & 2 weeks in Ireland, I want to have ample room for souvenirs & the like) & with all the walking we'll probably be doing & whatnot, I just want to make sure I can spare my traveling companions any unpleasant aromas. Being more or less in the middle of the trip, the day in Dingle sounds like the best bet!
I appreciate your advice. This is my third time in Ireland, but only the first time I'll be stepping outside of the airport (previously did layovers to & from Paris), so I'm hoping to make the most of it!
I did this tour 2013 and there is an option to have your laundry done in Dingle. You drop off in the morning and you pick up in the afternoon. It is within walking distance of the two B&B's that are used. The two B&B's were across the road from each other and both are equally nice. There is much to do on this tour and we loved our days (and nights) in Dingle. We went to the Courthouse Pub both evenings and had a blast. A gentleman gave me a seat and we bought him a drink, from that point on we were included in the group. The next night husband offered his seat to a lady and we spent the rest of the night conversing with them. No need to drink, if not inclined.
We took this tour but did not need to go and do a load of laundry as we have not done on 13 RS tours. We also pack light taking 3 sets of clothing that can be sink washed and dry overnight every 5 days or so. Most all of out stuff is ExOfficio - expensive but durable and well worth the cost.
I've done this tour as well and several people had laundry done but I don't recall where. Personally I wouldn't give up a bit of my free time in Dingle to hang out in a laundromat - too much else to see/do/listen/drink. You can contact the RS office and ask if they can advise what hotels may offer service on your tour. But the best bet is to pack things you can hand wash and dry overnight. Also, every one else in the group is packing light and will be repeating their outfits - no one really notices and as long as you bring deodorant, you should be ok (especially on a fall tour, weather will not be warm). Also, if you're wanting to spare room for souvenirs, pack a lightweight compact bag (see examples here) - almost always you can "deep store" a bag on the bus with all your goodies. You can then use the bag as your carry on for the trip home (and check your bigger suitcase).
Like others, I do my laundry in the sink along the way - easy, fast, and free. Even if you can't get to it one night, there is no need to wear anything two days in a row. I pack for five days, no matter how long my trip is, so I always have something else clean to wear.
The only locations I remember for laundry on that tour was Dublin and Dingle (the facility in Dingle was a "service wash" place - drop the clothes off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon). There may have been others, but I'd have to go through my notes. I use the same technique as the others and sink wash under garments and sometimes shirts, as required. I use a lot of Tilley travel friendly clothing and it dries quickly.
We had laundry service in Dingle. We were asked to drop off our laundry with our tour guide on approximately day 7, and like magic it appeared the next day all clean and fresh - whether he spent his free time at the launderette doing our laundry or whether he delivered it to a service, nobody knows. It was wonderful to be taken care of that way.
Thanks, Ken & Birni!
I don't think I'll have the patience for doing it myself in the sink (& who really wants to work so hard at doing their own laundry while on vacation, right?) I hope that we'll have the opportunity in Dingle, whether at a drop-off, hotel or the good grace of a bored tour guide, as some have suggested, or at another hotel midway through the trip. These guys have been doing this for a while, advise their travelers to pack light & should know it's a concern.
Laundromats do not seem to be readily available in Ireland. We tried to find one in Tralee to no avail--people seemed to be unfamiliar with the concept. Your best best is to find a regular laundry. There is one in Dingle (I can't remember the exact location--I think it was next to a gas station). We dropped off our load around 10 on Saturday morning and picked it up at 4 in the afternoon--washed and folded. I remember thinking it was a little pricey, but worth it. It is closed on Sunday, so be sure you pick things up before closing on Saturday.
As the previous reply indicated, Laundromats may not be accessible in all locations, so sink washing may be necessary in some cases. The other aspect is cost, as the service wash places are often a bit pricey.
Of course, you could ignore the "pack light" philosophy and pack enough gear to last the entire trip without laundry, but keep in mind there are no Porters - you pack it, you carry it (and that may mean up four flights of stairs in a small hotel that doesn't have an elevator!!!
Yeah, I know it's all on us, & even though I'm sure I could manage packing enough to last the complete trip, I want to leave room for souvenirs for family & friends (& myself, of course) & lugging it up stairs & everything. I guess, as someone else pointed out to me in a private message, it's a question of cost vs creature comforts vs timing & that sort of thing. We do spend a fair amount of time in Dingle, so if things work out & we wind up near a laundromat or whatever the Irish equivalent is, that'd probably work out well for the rest of the trip. I think I should be ok maybe 8 or 9 changes of clothes to play it safe & then hope for the best in terms of what we come across in Dingle or Portrush or wherever we find ourselves with time to spare. If worse comes to worse, I have booked a solo stay, so I wouldn't be inconveniencing anyone if I had to resort to hanging my clothes up to dry overnight.
The laundry in Dingle was very nice. I on't remember it being super expensive, but not having to stand there and do it myself and feed coins into the machine made it worth the price. Dropped off in the morning and picked up that afternoon. Note that it was a simple wash, dry and fold operation. They did not starch or iron anything, which suited me and the clothes I had on that trip perfectly.
None of the other stops really worked for doing laundry due to the various tour activities.
OMG.... I year ago today, I was on the Best of Ireland 14days. I had a blast! As mentioned in previous replies. Yes, our laundry was done in Dingle. Pack minimal! as much as you can. It was a great trip. Have fun.