Nearly a decade ago, I traveled to Croatia. Back then, it hadn’t quite come onto the mainstream travel radar, and Croatia wasn't yet part of the European Union, so it was still a bit mysterious. As I prepared for my weeklong adventure, I knew not to pack a lot of stuff because I wouldn't have a car, traveling mostly by ferry and bus. I also realized that if I packed light I would have to do laundry. At the time, there wasn’t a ton of information online about Croatia, and internet service between the U.S. and Croatia was sketchy at best, so I was having a real problem finding a laundromat. After what seemed like endlessly searching the web, I found one not too far from our hotel, which saved the world from having to suffer my filthy jeans and trail pants.
Fast forward to today. A well traveled work colleague was heading to Croatia, but with an itinerary far more complicated than mine, which meant he needed to pack very wisely. While there was a lot more information available when he went, he was still having difficulty finding a laundromat. He told me he had searched “laundry” and “laundromat” in Split, Croatia, but nothing came up except results for what looked like commercial or industrial laundries. He couldn’t find a place where a person could do laundry or have laundry done. Since I save my trip notes, I gave him the name of the laundry that I used in Split (stay tuned – trip notes is an upcoming post!), but also asked, “hey, did you try searching the word ‘launderette’?” I told him that I ran into the same problem 10 years ago, but once I searched “launderette”, a common British term for laundromat, voila! I found one fairly quickly. When I said that, it was as if a light bulb went off and he realized we had made the same simple mistake – searching the wrong word! He quickly found a “laundrette” near his hotel, which ended up being the same laundry I used.
Moral of the story? Maybe the word “laundrette” is more commonly used than “laundromat”. In the end, who knows why one word generated results, but not the other. And even though my story is about my laundromat scavenger hunt in Croatia, the idea works anywhere. So, if you run into a similar dilemma, try searching a different word or phrase and you, too, may find success! Good Luck!
Bonus round: Below are the items in my travel laundry kit. I hope you find the list useful. Happy washing!
Travel Laundry Kit –
2 or 3 laundry pods – You won’t have to buy detergent and pods take up almost no space. Some laundry services may even require you to provide your own detergent
Liquid laundry detergent in a travel size container to rinse clothes in the bathroom sink because, you just never know…..
Dryer sheets – well, to put in the dryer
3-4 hangers – rentals may not have hangers and some hotel hangers may not be traditional hangers, but have nubs that fit into non-detachable hooks (they're actually called "anti theft" hangers. Who knew?).
6-8 clothes pins to hang clothes that won’t stay on hangers easily