Laundry possibilities?

Hello to All,

My wife and I are on the August 8th tour. This is our first experience with Tauck. I have heard many positive things about their tours. We will be arriving in Edinburgh via train from Paris on the 8th. Hopefully, we will arrive mid-afternoon.

My concern is, since there is a limitation on suitcases (1), how does one go about packing three weeks of clothes into one suitcase? Is the cost of having the hotel provide laundry service prohibitive? Is this service even available where we are staying?

Looking forward to hearing from previous Tauck travelers.

Retired Fed


  • Hi Retired Fed,

    This is an attempt to answer the generic question … how the heck do I survive with 1 case per person for a 14 day trip!

    Well, this is what I do. I travel solo and I'm betting I travel further than you do to get to your destination. Plus, I am away, generally, for more than 6 weeks at a time. The key to packing is planning. Start early. Decide the general climate you are travelling into & choose pieces that you can mix and match (with every other piece or nearly) and that you can wear over, i.e., as an additional layer, to as many of your base pieces as possible. Layering. Your best friend. Choose as many scarves, light shawls & pieces of costume jewellery as you can fit in. They will save you from boredom. (Chances are that no one else will ever notice.) Have an in-home fashion parade well ahead of departure date and see what you can eliminate from the maybe pile. Leave time to acquire that key piece that will make everything else work. Or the spare pair of walking shoes, or whatever. And time to break them in!

    Personally, I wash as I go. I would rather spend my money on French champagne along the way than laundry. I pack many pieces of very fine micron, pure wool. For summer … short sleeves & scooped neckline. They are cooler than cotton Ts , breathe and hand wash, (wring out in a towel) and mostly dry overnight on a hanger in the bathroom. If the weather turns nasty, I wear 2 or more of these garments at a time. Nippy mornings can give way to sunshine and even some warmth. You never know in the UK.

    I've travelled with Tauck on 18 occasions to date and I know that people do accumulate stuff as they go. And I know that some new stuff does find its way under the bus. (The bigger new stuff is sensibly shipped home!) Where there's a will there's a way.

    I'm sure there will be many people along here with ideas for local laundries as well as comments on the various hotel services. If you search for your hotels on the net, I'm sure you'll find information on their laundry services on the hotel sites. By your question, I wasn't sure if you realised that Tauck will take a suitcase per person … 2 cases per couple. What your airlines will take will depend on your class of travel and ticket restrictions. Since this is a land based tour, you don't have to worry about any domestic flight restrictions. They can be a pain! And once you are in the UK, things like toiletries can go in your hand carries (extra pieces) which you can also put under the bus.

    I'm sure you will really enjoy your first Tauck experience.


  • edited April 2014
    Another bit of info- we did the 7 July E,S,W trip in 2013. It was one of the hottest Julys on record (sunny, warm (hot) throughout the UK, and no rain). We rarely wore any long sleeve shirts and long pants so went through the other clothes more quickly than planned.

    Our solution was to do a bit of laundry in our room- we did it at the first opportunity at the beginning of a two-night stay so everything would be sure of drying before being repacked. Most, if not all, of our hotels had heated towel racks in the bathrooms which greatly helped the drying process.

    This year I'm going to try to be more organized in my packing. I was given some packing cubes and pouches for Christmas and will try them out. What I would really like, however, is a suitcase that opens from either side (not partly in the middle) and has a large, flexible divider to separate clean from dirty. Before the trip, you would pack everything on one side. The divider would be big and flexible enough so it is easily pushed out of the way, conform to the other side, and allow you to use the entire volume of the suitcase when filling from one side only. As the tour progressed, you would pack dirty clothes in the other side- the clean side would get thinner while the dirty side thicker. No ziplock bags, no mixing of clean and dirty, no rearranging around odd shaped dirty clothes cubes, etc. How hard can it be to make something like that?
  • On my last Tauck trip I began to notice another idea about packing and laundry. Almost all the women wore black! Now i rarely wear black, I was born in England and like the Queen, I think black should be reserved for funerals and mourning and it seems such a sin not to wear all the lovely colors available for our delight. Never mind that I might look a little slimmer in it, it doesn't suit my skin coloring or my personality and my husband hates me in black too. BUT, if you wear black on vacation, it certainly has it's advantages, no one will notice if this is the first or third or fourth time in a row you are wearing the same piece of clothing. Whereas I will stand out like a sore thumb in a bright orange t shirt 2 days running. I could never be sure that maybe the others on the tour are thinking, ugh she has the same t shirt on, ugh, can't she afford more clothes- I don't really care but you get the gist. I still do care a little and now take a couple of scarfs to ring the changes and a bit of costume jewelry as Jan suggests. Like other suggestions mentioned, I do a little laundry on the part of the tour where we are in the same hotel for a couple of days, but generally I can pack enough in my suitcase to not have to do any laundry and that even includes an emergency outfit in case of spilling greasy food on myself or a coffee or the like, I always spill food, with my hubby it's the coffee. I'll spend a fortune on a Tauck trip but the one thing I am careful of is not paying hotel laundry prices. By the way, I lived in Scotland for three years when we were first married-- yikes 40 years ago. I loved that it did not go dark in the height of summer until almost 11pm!
  • If you don't want to wear black, another suggestion is navy blue. I usually take navy pants and tops that go with it. This year I will be on a riverboat in June so will also take white pants. But all my tops will be interchangable. I usually wash socks and underwear in the hotel sink when you have a 2 night stop so they have time to dry.
  • We were on the August 9th trip last year, and the weather was cooler than I expected for August. I packed short sleeved casual clothes and had to wear a sweater every day. You never know. You could have a heat wave or it could be cool.

    Like many other, we washed our underwear by hand at the start of the multi-day stay in each hotel. It worked out OK, but we aren't really fans of doing laundry in our hotel room. With the extra days we added on both pre-tour and post-tour, we could not carry enough clean clothes for the the entire trip. We settled on washing underwear, so we could pack more outerwear.

    We discovered that the Langdale Hotel has two pay washers and two pay dryers that are available for guest use. Our discovery was too late for us to use them. We wished we had known in advance.

    It is a wonderful trip! Have a great time!
  • edited April 2014
    I bought some ziplock like bags (very large) at the Container Store or online and use them. I fold shirts and pants nicely to keep down the wrinkles and either separate them into different bags or put a shirt and pants together (2-3 sets, actually). Once carefully put in the bags I just put them on the bed, sit on them to get all the air out, and then zip them shut. They take up less space and keep wrinkle free (well, almost). It is amazing how much space air takes up. One caveat though, if you get two or three extra sets of clothing in the suitcase it weighs more.

    An old military packing trick is to roll up all underwear and t-shirts and put them in a bag. If I take an extra pair of shoes, which I usually take one, I roll up socks and put them inside the shoes. Like AlanS, I have packing pouches I use for any electronic or hygiene goods. I do put liquids in two small zip locks so if they leak the rest of the stuff is protected. You get more efficient as you do this on a regular basis. Typically, I have about 4 changes of clothes in my suitcase, one or two in my carryon backpack, and the clothes I wear when traveling to the tour site. That give me a total of six to seven days of clothes. My standard rule is: If it isn't going to be worn three times, leave it home. Now, being male, I'm probably not as concerned about someone saying "Isn't that the same shirt he wore to dinner yesterday?" (I am basing that comment on the earlier comments some of you have made.) I am going on a safari after two weeks in southern Europe. I am trying to make sure I have appropriate clothing for both climates. The people I am with in Europe will probably be saying: "Man, he dresses like he is on a safari in Africa!!" Sobeit.

    I also use AlanS' ideas of moving clean and dirty clothes from one side of the suitcase to the other, doing some hand laundry the first day of a two day stop at a hotel, and then I put the laundry in the big bags (squeezing out the air) as we move around. And yes, the heated towel racks help a lot.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  • I'm filing this all away for our 10Aug departure and it's interesting to know the Langdale has washers and dryers. On our last Tauck trip and we'll do the same for this one we've budgeted for additional laundry costs. We're doing two Tauck trips back to back and past experience has shown us that washing the undies out at night is fine but sooner or later you need to wash your clothes. We pack light and herself mixes and matches but in time the dirty laundry bag fills up. Hotels and even the boats charge like a wounded bull to wash your clothes but it's a necessary expense when your away for 5 weeks.
  • You're right. Eventually, it has to be laundered, not just washed out. I haven't been on a river cruise (they seem to move daily which puts a wrench in these plans), but on other Tauck tours, I have been able to find a small, family run laundry who does "service washing." I take it over early in the morning and pick it up when we have a break in the afternoon. Not all places have these and in some places you don't have the time, but the concierge of the hotel usually knows where one is or you can find one online. Good luck.
  • We did this tour in 2013, followed by additional time on our own in London, Belgium and Holland (28 days total). Laundry was a must! Hotel laundry is ridiculously overpriced! Fortunately, Britain is better than most European countries for finding a Laundromat (called a launderette in Britain). We did laundry in Bath, near the hotel (unfortunately, Tauck has changed hotels, so I can't give you a location). Check with your concierge for help finding a suitable launderette or try a search on Google maps, if you have a suitable device with you. You will probably have better luck finding a launderette near the hotel in smaller cities on the tour. Oh, and save up some coins for the machines or get change at the hotel, the launderettes in Britain don't always have change machines.

    That being said, I think if you pack carefully and wash a few things in the hotel, you should be able to go 3 weeks without doing laundry.
  • We just got back from this tour and found out after the fact about the laundry facilities in Langdale. There was not much free time in Landale anyway. We were able to wash out underwear & socks on the first evening of a stay, but ended up paying the price and using the hotel cleaners in Edenburgh (cheapest) & Bath for other items of clothes. I was also told by one of our tour members that Ruthin Castle laundry service was cheaper than later stays.

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