Staying fresh and clean while traveling is already a challenge, let alone when you’re traveling for an extended period of time, with one pack, with fewer clothes, and staying in limited space and amenity lodging options. But there are some great ways to maintain your personal hygiene – if not for yourself, then for your travel bud(s) and/or dorm-mates.
First tip is to keep your underclothes clean. You may think you’re the only one who can smell your stank four-day underwear, but that’ probably not true. I usually bring a bungee cord and some laundry powder or strips with me when I travel and every time I arrive at a new hostel, I do a load of sink laundry – mostly socks and underwear – and then stretch the bungee cord across my bunk for them to dry on.
Once every other week, I take my breakfast and dirty clothes to a laundromat to do the rest of my laundry and relax for a little while. It’s weird how soothing it is to sit in a laundromat, doing nothing, while things are getting done. Sometimes depending on the relationship I have with my travel bud(s) we’ll trade off so we alternate laundry duty.
I try to shower every day and wash my hair every few days while traveling. But I bring face wipes whenever I travel as an easy way to wash my face before bed. When I can’t take showers as often as I’d like, I at least like to use a face wipe to hit some key areas every day.
I also bring one or two small bottles of essential oil with me when I travel. Each time I leave a place, I repack my entire pack and will sprinkle some essential oil (I go with lavender and eucalyptus) on a piece of paper towel or toilet paper and stick it in between some clothes. This just keeps things fresh – like a makeshift febreeze.