Pictures of México

Pictures of Mexico are photos shot on iPhone by Jason Holland while living in Playa del Carmen as a location independent digital expat.

Laundry, Uber, and a Nomadic Life; Oh My!

Date Posted: 12/26/2016
A good practice run for washing laundry while traveling and living a nomadic life. These are few lessons learned from my travels.

Today can only be described as a good practice run for washing laundry while traveling and living a nomadic life. I was quickly reminded of two basic life lessons – clearly communicating and planning ahead.

On account of my not planning ahead this morning, I was unprepared when it was a time to head into town with my family. Consequently, the cost was both an inefficient use of my time and unnecessary money spent on Uber rides. That said, today was definitely a learning lesson and despite the cost, I’m grateful for the experience.

My parents live in Orcutt, a small town outside of Santa Maria, California – a small town in and of itself. Thanks to the marvels of technology and the conveniences of our modern life – smartphones and rideshare services – it’s surprisingly easy to get around tackle basic chores such as washing laundry while traveling in a small town.

Based on my learning experience today, below are a few tips for washing laundry while traveling:

1. The Right Travel Gear Makes All The Difference on Laundry Day

In hopes of finding a great bargain deal online, I waited until the day after Christmas to order my Osprey Farpoint Backpack. The Farpoint 70L Backpack includes a panel-zip main compartment with lockable pulls and a zip-and-clip removable daypack to hold a notebook or water bladder. Until it arrives, I’ve been borrowing a duffle/tote bag. While ample in size, it’s cumbersome for carrying any degree of distance. Having the right backpack for washing laundry while traveling, is definitely a lot easier with backpack built in for easy carry and the right back support.

2. When Using Uber or Lyft, Be Proactive: Call Your Driver and Plan Your Trip

I’ve been in Orcutt about a month now and am I’m still pleasantly amazed by the mere fact Uber is available in this small town. My first Uber ride this morning involved a ride from Orcutt into Santa Maria. Unfortunately, GPS always gets the directions to my parent’s house wrong. And, it turned out, the place Yelp said was a laundromat was in fact only a dry cleaner. Under any circumstance, I highly recommend calling your driver in advance. Providing the driver with any clear pickup instructions and informing them of your multiple destinations (if any) will make the ride faster, more efficient, and far more enjoyable. In addition to the laundromat, I had to make a quick stop by PetSmart for Mila’s Dog food.

3. If Traveling with a Pet, Plan Errands Ahead on Days When Washing Laundry for Travel

The route to the laundromat included a quick stop by PetSmart for Mila’s dog food. I get Nutro Large Breed Dog Food in a 15-pound bag for Mila. While having to buy smaller bags more often is a bit more expensive, it’s much easier to travel with smaller portions. Also, for Mila’s health, her sensitive stomach, and overall well-being I try to keep her on a strict diet that includes all natural dog food and consistent feeding schedule.

4. If Backpacking on Laundry Day, Plan Stops Near Convenient Destinations

While, unfortunately, the destination turned out not to be a laundromat, but in fact, a dry cleaner; the stop was not for nothing. Fortunately, a Starbucks and Rite Aid were nearby, allowing me to pick up a cup of coffee, laundry soap and quarters for the laundromat. Fortunately, the laundromat was only about a mile and a half down the road. So, once I got my frustrations of lugging the tote bag around and getting what I needed, I had no problem requesting a second Uber ride over to the laundromat.

5. Use No-Mess Laundry Soap for Washing Laundry While Travelling

Finally, when washing laundry while traveling, I decided to go with the Tide PODS. They are no-mess, compact, and you can toss them in the wash – no mess, no fuss. I recently watched Hey Nadine’s YouTube video, “Backpacking Travel Packing Guide” advising on packing for travel who advised against traveling with liquid detergent. Heeding her advice, and because both liquid and powder detergent are messy when spilled, I decided to go with the sealed washing pods.

Lesson Learned, Plan Laundry Day While Traveling Accordingly

While not quite an official nomad while staying with my parents in Orcutt, the last few weeks has been a been a great experience preparing me for pet-friendly nomadic travel. Like anything, washing laundry while traveling, I learned today, requires clear communication when planning with others to avoid unnecessary costs and inefficient use of time.

When travel is necessary on laundry day, be sure to have the right travel gear, plan Uber/Lyft ride shares accordingly with convenient multiple destinations, include other errands on the same trip to save time, and use no-mess laundry soap to make washing laundry while traveling mess and fuss-free.

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Pictures of México

Pictures of Mexico are photos shot on iPhone by Jason Holland while living in Playa del Carmen as a location independent digital expat.

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