by Nancy Bestor
Customers often ask what gadget we find indispensable on our travels, and I always tell them the truth (of course) — the Latex Clothesline. That’s right, this braided clothesline has hung our clothes everywhere from the balconies of Verona, to hotel bathrooms in Vietnam, and even across the rear of our boat on the Canal du Midi in France. (Yes, I’m proud of the fact that my underwear were blowing in the breeze for all to see.)
I’m a proponent of doing laundry in the sink when traveling. Granted, it’s easier to launder smaller and lighter weight things in a bathroom sink, like travel underwear and Dryflylite shirts from ExOfficio, but I’ve even been known to wash jean shorts (thank you Emily) and cotton t-shirts. Sure, they might not get quite as clean as they would if I were to wash them in a washing machine, but desperate times call for desperate measures. After wringing out as much moisture as I can with my own bare hands (or truth be told, with Bob’s stronger bare hands), I simply stretch my latex clothes line between two stationary objects and hang my garments out to dry. The latex is triple-braided and just a bit tacky (literally and figuratively) so I can hang clothes without the need for clothespins. And while it’s nice and compact and easy to tuck into a toiletry kit, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how many garments it can hold when stretched to its full length of six feet.
I’m not the least bit embarrassed to have clothes drying in my hotel room, or hanging outside my hotel window. In fact it’s so common to see clotheslines—especially in Europe–that I feel like I am just one of the locals. And I’ll take sipping a glass of wine and relaxing in an Italian cafe over sitting in a laundromat any day.