5 Points to Ponder When Planning Your Travel Wardrobe

Copious amounts of steam are emanating from my jeans as I attempt to iron them dry.  I feel as if I’m getting a facial at the spa except I’m doing all the work and having none of the fun.  Sadly I under packed for my 9 day voyage to Ireland with my Mother, and have resorted to washing my pants and shirts in the tub. Between the hair dryer and the iron I’ve spent the past few hours drying 8 articles of clothing in a damp and dank climate.  I should have put more thought into my travel wardrobe.

5 Points to Ponder When Planning Your Travel Wardrobe

5 points to ponder when planning your travel wardrobe. Killarney National Park, near the town of Killarney, County Kerry, was the first national park in Ireland,
5 points to ponder when planning your travel wardrobe. Killarney National Park, near the town of Killarney, County Kerry, was the first national park in Ireland,

My mother looks at me and says “well at least you’ll have the best pressed pants in town”.  Her comments, while comical are not how I envisioned spending a relaxing afternoon.  After sleeping on the plane in one pair of duds and soiling the others with mud, I literally now have nothing to wear to go outside.  Either I dry these garments now or we’re stuck in this room indefinitely.

Most people suffer from overpacking syndrome, leaving insufficient room for purchased souvenirs, returning home with a plenitude of parcels to make any child on Christmas envious.  On the other hand I tend to be an efficient packer.  I bring just enough for the trip, taking into account laundering options for longer voyages.  Unfortunately on this trip I neglected to take into consideration a few points.

5 points to ponder when planning your travel wardrobe. The Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle, Ireland. I just bent over backwards to kiss the stone which is behind my head, and I've got a bit of a head rush.
5 points to ponder when planning your travel wardrobe. The Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle, Ireland. I just bent over backwards to kiss the stone which is behind my head, and I’ve got a bit of a head rush.

1 – We are not staying anywhere more than 24 hours = bad for travel wardrobe.

With Ireland’s long days, it doesn’t get dark till after 9:30pm.  This means we’re leaving one location mid-afternoon and checking into another just before 9pm.  Between editing photos, checking emails, writing in my blog and sleeping, there really is no time to wash anything.  And there’s no time to send out anything to be laundered.  You need at least 24 hours or the ability to drop off your garments in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.  I strike out on both of these factors.

2 – Our accommodations don’t come with washers and dryers = bad for travel wardrobe.

Normally I might book a condo or house with a washer and dryer when traveling since I own a vacation rental company in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  You get more of the feel of the local culture in a rental rather than a hotel, plus I’m supporting my industry.  However with my Mom being in a wheelchair, hotels are normally handicapped accessible while private residences in Europe are not.  Unfortunately most hotels don’t allow you to wash your own clothing, and there is no time to have them washed for me.

5 points to ponder when planning your travel wardrobe. Blarney Castle, Ireland. I'm wearing the same green pants that I later slipped on at the Cliffs of Moher. The stains eventually came out (thankfully) so they are still part of my normal travel wardrobe.
5 points to ponder when planning your travel wardrobe. Blarney Castle, Ireland. I’m wearing the same green pants that I later slipped on at the Cliffs of Moher. The stains eventually came out (thankfully) so they are still part of my normal travel wardrobe.

3 – An overnight on the plane dirties your clothes faster= bad for travel wardrobe.

There’s just something about sleeping in your clothes on a long flight that makes them feel yucky.  It’s hard to get that feeling out of your attire without laundering.

4 – I underestimated my level of activity = bad for travel wardrobe.

On most trips I’m quite active walking around and exploring, but not enough to sweat through my clothes.  On this trip I’m pushing my mother in a wheelchair up hills.  Perspiration is great for my waistline not so much for my wardrobe.

5 – I didn’t factor in the climate = bad for travel wardrobe.

Ireland is typically rainy and wet.  I don’t enjoy walking around in damp clothes caked in mud.  Although it’s been sunny for most of our trip, one rainy day soiled one change of duds.

Thankfully I did successful dry all my clothes in time to head out the next day.  Unfortunately catching the sunset on the Cliffs of Moher I slipped on the mud and stained one of my 2 pairs of pants again.  They are now sitting in a bag with laundry soap generously applied.  There is little time to wash them again, and even less desire.  I’ll just have to wait till I get home tomorrow.

Hopefully on your next trip you won’t be like me and waste half a day playing chamber maid.  Let me make all the mistakes so you don’t have to.  Erring is human – and it certainly makes for good stories.   Happy travels.

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee
Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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