A Budget-Traveling TikToker Shows Her Genius Laundry Method To Save So Much Money

Cheap transportation and shoestring accommodations can go far when traveling on a budget, but sometimes, it's the little costs that end up breaking the bank. For campers, backpackers, and digital nomads, one of those sneaky costs is the price of doing laundry. Whether you're staying in the great outdoors or a swanky hotel room, dirty clothes can spoil your fun — and lead to an undesirable stench. Not to mention that unwashed laundry can be contaminated with E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, and other harmful microbes, according to WebMD. Clearly, regularly washing your clothes is essential, but how can you do it without paying for overpriced laundromats or hotel cleaning services?

One travel TikToker named Hailey (@taskerstravels) has a creative solution for staying fresh on a budget. In a clip that has racked up nearly 800,000 views to date, Hailey stands in a bathroom with a bag of laundry in one hand and a blow dryer in the other. She then aims the dryer in the bag while simultaneously shaking its contents to simulate a laundry dryer. "POV: you're a backpacker trying to save money so you wash your clothes in the sink and use a hairdryer and laundry bag as a makeshift dryer," reads the text on the video.

The hack isn't easy, but it pays off

Admittedly, Hailey's laundry hack isn't the easiest to try. Hand washing garments and towels can be time-consuming, and shaking them around in a bag while holding a blow dryer can take some patience and elbow grease. Still, the method could potentially save travelers tens or even hundreds of dollars during their trips. In the caption of the video, the content creator shared that without her DIY washer and dryer, she was forced to pay 10 euros (a little over $10) to keep her clothes clean. Commenters also shared their laundry bills, with one TikToker claiming to have paid $50 for a load in Iceland and another reporting a $12 tab to wash 10 pieces of clothing in Central America.

Keep in mind that the hack does require a few tools to pull off, meaning it isn't entirely free. While the creator didn't show how she washes her laundry, she likely uses laundry soap sheets or a detergent to get the items sudsy in the sink. Then, she uses a large laundry bag to hold the wet pieces. To keep your dirty and clean laundry separate — and avoid spreading germs between the two — it's a good idea to have two different bags on hand: one for collecting unwashed clothes and the other strictly for drying clean ones. Finally, you may want to invest in a personal travel-friendly blow dryer (and converter, if needed) since not all accommodations provide them for guests.

Other inexpensive ways to do laundry while traveling

If you'll be on the road or tent camping and won't have easy access to a sink or bathroom, consider packing a portable washing bag along with your gear. The bag, such as the Scrubba Wash Bag, acts as a portable manual washing machine. Simply place your clothes inside, add soap, and massage the bag to clean the garments. Note that you'll need at least enough water on hand to cover the items for washing, as well as clean water to rinse them afterward.

Drying your wet clothes can be cheap and easy as long as you have some natural light to work with. Pack a travel clothesline, and when you're ready to hang your items, hook the line between trees, on a fence, or even indoors (near an open window is best). Then, hang your garments using clips or folding clothing hangers (the compact design is perfect for travel). The sunlight will not only dry your laundry quickly but can also help zap any remaining bacteria or viruses lingering on your clothes.