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Wearing your clothing more than once may be out of the question at home but for seasoned travelers, it’s our secret to packing light. We pack less of the right things and re-wear them as needed until we have time to do laundry.
Let’s just say that long term travelers and backpackers especially get to know themselves on a whole other level and are accustomed to the classic “sniff test” to ensure clothing is still wearable for one more day.
If you’re not used to wearing your clothing more than once and are wondering how to make clothes smell fresh on the go, here are six dirty little secrets travelers use to re-wear clothing and pack light!
How to Make Clothes Smell Fresh on the Go
Travel Fashion Help! Reader asks:
I’m traveling to Spain and Italy for 11 days and want to travel light and only pack in a carry on suitcase. With this post on mixing and matching outfits I’m assuming you wear clothing several times without washing them. Do you have any tips on how to make clothes smell fresh on the go? I know it’s an odd question but just thought I would ask. This is going to be my first travel experience.
This was a great question and I’ve been meaning to address this subject for a while. The answer is yes. You would re-wear some clothing but you can also do laundry half way through your trip if needed. Start by reading these tips on how to do laundry when traveling and a hand-washing tutorial. Next, follow these steps to help you keep your clothes smelling fresh!
Hang up your clothing
One of the best ways to help avoid scents when rewearing clothing is to hang them up and letting them air out. I find this works particularly well when you have to re-use clothing in hot climates or when being active. Sometimes you just don’t have the opportunity to wash your clothing in these situations.
Spritz a bit of freshener
If you have a bit of room for liquids, take a travel-size bottle of Febreze for a quick fix. Don’t spray delicate fabrics or clothes that can stain easily. Do a spot test just case! However, if you don’t have any room or weight to spare, the next item is a good option:
Fabric Softener Sheets
One of my favorite ways to keep my clothes and luggage smelling fresh is to add a dryer sheet in between items! This helps dirty laundry smell better, clean clothing can still smell clean, and it also adds a fresh scent to your luggage. I put one in between clothing and one loose in my luggage. Remember, be careful with delicate items!
Some of the best fabrics for travel are athletic inspired pieces that are made to repel sweat and have antimicrobial properties. Do your best to choose at least a couple of items like this that don’t absorb sweat and scents so you have at least one “emergency” travel outfit.
For more tips read this guide on how o choose the best fabrics for travel!
Tops vs. Bottoms
As a general rule, packing more tops than bottoms is helpful when you’re creating a capsule travel wardrobe. It helps you maximize travel outfits while giving the illusion of completely different looks. As a bonus, it’s easier to re-wear bottoms without washing just avoid light colors.
If traveling in the summer, take dresses! They’re an easy, breezy travel outfit solution. Look for light fabrics not heavy ones that won’t cling to your skin making them easier to re-wear. And because they make a full outfit on their own, you can easily pack seven pieces for a one week trip and not have to wear anything more than once!
It’s the season for easy breezy vacation style! We’ve got a round up of twenty beautiful summer maxi dresses!
If you’re only spending one or two nights in each city and doing laundry is difficult:
For cold weather travel, wear merino wool thermals under everything – they can be worn for days and won’t absorb scents so you’ll only need one or two pairs. Since they’re closest to you skin you won’t need to wash the rest of your clothing.
The secret to cold weather travel is thermal underwear! Read this to discover our top ten brands for thermal underwear for women!
For two week trips in hot weather travel, clothing is lighter so you can pack 3-4 bottoms and 11 tops and not do any laundry at all. That’s the Maximista size capsule wardrobe and should still fit into a carry-on with packing cubes.+
Watch this video tutorial to learn how you can compress the space in your luggage, making it easier to travel carry-on only!
For a one week trip (depending on the time of year you’re traveling) you could take 3 bottoms + 7 tops and wash at the end of the first week if your trip is longer without having to re-wear tops.
What are your tips on how to make clothes smell fresh on the go? Please comment below!
For more packing tips, please read:
- Plus Size Packing Tips: How to Rock a Carry-on Wardrobe
- Traveling With Jewelry: 10 DIY Packing Tips & Tricks
- Top 7 Carryon Luggage Packing Tips for Women
- How to Avoid Overpacking with 20 Awesome Tips