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Fun facts about Qatar

Image by Konevi from Pixabay

Qatar is a country in the Middle East, home to 2.8 million people. Here are some fun facts that you may not have known about it. 

  • The wealthiest country in the world 
  • A flat country 
  • City dwellers 
  • No rainforest 
  • Natural disasters 
  • Robot camel racing 
  • A population of men 
  • The best airline 
  • Lamp bear 
  • 2022 world cup 

The wealthiest country in the world 

Qatar’s per capita GDP is $130,475, making it the richest country in the world. The second richest country is Luxembourg, with a per capita of $116,808.

Image by Vintage Printery

A flat country 

You won’t find any hills or mountains in Qatar. The average elevation is 28 meters, making it the second flattest country in the world. The first is the Maldives. 

City dwellers 

Doha, the capital city of Qatar, is one of the most urbanised places in the world. 99% of people live in the city or surrounding towns. 

No rainforest 

Qatar is made up of mostly desert. Only 5% of the land is used for agriculture. As such, it is one of the four territories with no rainforest. The other countries are San Marino, Greenland, and Oman. 

Natural disasters 

According to the World Risk Report, Qatar is the least likely country for a natural disaster to occur. In fact, there is a 0.1% chance of an earthquake occurring in Qatar. 

Image by Konevi from Pixabay

Robot camel racing 

One of the favourite local sports for Qatar residents is camel racing, however, rather than using jockeys, robots ride the camels. You can catch a race in the small town of Al Shahaniya.

A population of men 

Qatar is home to around 2.8 million people, however, only around 700,000 of them are women.

The best airline 

Qatar’s airline, aptly named Qatar Airways, has won ‘The Best Airline of the Year’ award five times at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. It is the only airline in history to have achieved this. 

Lamp bear 

As soon as you touchdown in Hamad International Airport you are greeted with the friendly presence of Lamp Bear. Lamp Bear is an art installation by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. The piece cost roughly $6.8 million. 

Image by Nelo Hotsuma

2022 world cup 

In 2022 Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup, making it the first World Cup to be hosted in the Arab World and only the second world cup to be held in Asia. In addition to this, it is the smallest nation by land size to ever host the world cup. 

If you are residing, or travelling, in Qatar, don’t let laundry get in your way. Book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Top tips for doing laundry while in Southeast Asia

If you are travelling around Southeast Asia for an extended period of time, you will need to do laundry. Here are some top tips on how to do so.

  • Pack smartly
  • Travel with mini laundry detergents
  • Don’t forget a laundry bag 
  • Never use hotels
  • Bring a makeshift clothesline 
  • Dry your clothes inside
  • Carry plenty of coins 
  • Plan your laundry time
  • The bag method 
  • Laundryheap

Pack smartly

The most important thing to remember is to pack light and pack materials that are easy to wash. There are several ways to do laundry in Southeast Asia, from using a launderettes to washing your clothes in the sink, regardless of the method you decide to use you don’t want to spend an extended period of time, or money, doing it. In addition, it’s best to pack clothes that are durable and easy to wash, such as cotton

Image by Stefan Coders from Pixabay

Travel with mini laundry detergents 

There are several launderettes across Southeast Asia that you can use. To make your laundry experience quick and easy, travel with mini laundry detergents. They are pre-measured for one or two washes, and will prevent you from having to carry, or buy, a full-sized detergent that you will not use. 

Don’t forget a laundry bag

Laundry bags are handy to take wherever you travel to. As soon as an item of your clothing is dirty, simply put it in your laundry bag so that you can differentiate between your clean and dirty clothes. As soon as your laundry bag is full, or you are running low on clean clothes, you can decide how best to clean them. In addition, if your clothing is still wet or damp, but you need to pack them away, putting your clothes in your laundry bag will prevent the smell of damp clothing spreading to your other packed belongings. 

Never use hotels 

If you are staying in a hotel whilst travelling around Southeast Asia there will more than likely be a laundry service provided. Do not use it. Hotel laundry services will usually charge per item of clothing that needs to be laundered rather than by weight. This can result in an extortionate laundry bill by the time you have washed all of your clothes. It may be convenient to use the hotels services, but, if you are looking to save some money, its best to look around for local launderettes or alternative ways to wash your clothes. 

Image by John

Bring a makeshift clothes line 

Unless you know that there are tumble dryers available where you are planning to wash your clothes, it’s always best to pack a makeshift clothes line. Your clothesline can be something as simple as some strong rope, as long as you have something that you can hang your clothes on to dry. Some laundrettes will have clothes lines available for you to use, however, this is not a guarantee so it’s always better to bring your own.

Dry your clothes inside 

Southeast Asia is known for its warm and sunny climate, however, it is also extremely humid. If you are planning on hanging your clothes out to dry, it’s best to do so indoors rather than outside. The humidity from the air will slow down the drying process, making it more time efficient to simply hang your clothing in your hostel/hotel room. 

Carry plenty of coins 

There is no shortage of coin-operated laundrettes in Southeast Asia, but you have to make sure that you have the coins to use them. There is nothing worse than turning up to a laundrettes, filling a machine with your washing, only to find out that you don’t have enough coins to operate the machine. To save yourself the hassle, make sure that you have plenty of coins with you to get your washing done. 

Plan your laundry time 

If you are going to do laundry whilst in Southeast Asia it’s best to plan your time effectively. There are a lot of things you need to consider, such as drying times, pick-up times, and when laundrettes are opened. Plan your method of laundry prior to going on your travels and it will help you manage your laundry time much more efficiently.

The bag method 

This is a slightly unusual method for doing laundry, but is a handy alternative if you do not have access to a laundrette. 

For the bag method you will need a vinyl bag, water, and laundry detergent. 

Begin by filling your vinyl bag until it is half filled and put your clothes in it. Next, add in your detergent and let your clothes soak for a few minutes. After a few minute, use a plunging motion to rotate your clothing. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your clothing, take each item out and rinse off the detergent with water. 

Laundryheap 

If you don’t want to take care of your clothing yourself whilst travelling in Southeast Asia, use Laundryheap. We will pick up, dry clean, and re-deliver your laundry to you, completely contactless, and on you schedule. 

To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Fun facts about Bahrain

Image by onasama from Pixabay

Bahrain is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf. Here are 10 fun facts about the country.  

  • A small Asian country
  • Bahrain’s population
  • The Bahraini dollar 
  • Wind turbines 
  • The first Middle East Grand Prix
  • Biggest consumer of electricity 
  • Al-Fateh Mosque
  • The Tree of Life 
  • Chicken Machboos 
  •  Al Khalifa family

A small Asian country 

Bahrain is the third smallest country in Asia, and the smallest sovereign state in the Middle East. The only two Asian countries that are smaller are Singapore and the Maldives. 

Image by Francisco Anzola

Bahrain’s population 

As of October 2020, the population of Bahrain was 1,701,575. Most of the population live in Manama and Al Muharraq, the two main cities of Bahrain.

The Bahraini dinar

The Bahraini dinar is the official currency of Bahrain. It was introduced in 1965 to replace the Gulf rupee. It is the worlds second most valuable currency after the Kuwait dinar. 

Wind turbines

The Bahrain World Trade Center was the world’s first skyscraper to integrate wind turbines in its design. Standing 240 meters tall, it is a twin-tower complex that can be found in Manama. The towers are connected by three sky bridges, each holding 225 kW wind turbines. They are estimated to provide 11-15% of the tower’s total power consumption. 

Image by Arne Bevaart

 The first Middle East Grand Prix

In 2004 Bahrain staged the Middle East’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix. The first race took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4th April 2004. The event was such a success that it was given the award for “Best Organised Grand Prix” by the FIA. 

Image by JaffaPix +6 million views-w

Biggest consumer of electricity 

Per-capita, Bahrain is the biggest consumer of electricity in Asia and the third largest in the world. The only two countries that use more electricity are Iceland and Norway. 

Al-Fateh Mosque 

Al-Fateh Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. Built in 1987, it takes up 6,500 square meters and can hold over 7,000 worshippers at one time. In 2006, Al-Fateh Mosque became the site of the National Library of Bahrain. 

Image by Jacobs – Creative Bees

The Tree of Life 

The Tree of Life is a single mesquite tree that was planted in the southern desert around 1583. Despite there being a severe lack of rain in Bahrain, and no obvious water source close to the tree, it continues to flourish. It has become somewhat of a tourist attraction and is visited by approximately 65,000 people per year. 

Image by Omar Chatriwala

Chicken Machboos

Chicken Machboos is Bahrain’s national dish. Consisting of tender chicken and rice flavoured with a blend of spices and dried loomi (dried and brined limes). 

Image by ~W~

Al Khalifa family 

The Al Khalifa family began ruling over Bahrain in 1782. Interestingly, the family are still in power today. As of 2010 roughly half of the cabinet ministers of Bahrain are members of the Al Khalifa family, as is the country’s prime minister. 

Image by priyatnadp

If you are living or travelling in Bahrain make sure to use Laundryheap. We will pick up, dry clean, and re-deliver your clothes to you. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Top places to eat in Singapore

Image by Eric Lee from Pixabay

Singapore is home to some of the best cuisine in the world. Here are just ten of the top restaurants we would recommend trying whilst in Singapore. 

  • Candlenut
  • 328 Katong Laska 
  • Sushi Kimura 
  • Burnt Ends 
  • Keng Eng Kee Seafood
  • Warong Nasi Pariaman 
  • Corner House
  • Samy’s Curry
  • J.B Ah Meng 
  • Spring Court

Candlenut

Candlenut was the first Peranakan restaurant to earn a Michelin star. At Candlenut, Singaporean chef Malcolm Lee taps into his heritage to deliver his modern interpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine. Many of the recipes you can sample have been passed down through generations and you can taste the heritage of each dish in every bite. Make sure to try the bakwan kepiting. 

Image by benhosg_old

328 Katong Laksa

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup, and there is nowhere better to get it than at Katong Laksa. If you are looking for a fancy dining experience you won’t find it here, but if you are looking for delicious, authentic, Singaporean food, you have come to the right place. The menu at 328 Katong Laksa is limited, so making your choice is fast and easy- perfect for enjoying your noodles as quickly as possible. 

Sushi Kimura 

Chef and owner of Sushi Kimura, Tomoo Kimura, has over 20 years of sushi-crafting experience. He offers an incredible Japanese sushi experience, that includes artisan ingredients that change with the seasons. Since Sushi Kimura gained its Michelin star it has become increasingly popular, so it’s best to book a table in advance.

Image by Ella Olsson

Burnt Ends

If you are a fan of BBQ then you have to try Burnt Ends, Singapore’s best BBQ joint. Surrounded by a burnt wood and iron exterior, you immediately become immersed in the BBQ experience as you sit facing a line of chefs intensely BBQing chunks of meat. Everyday the menu changes, with only a few staple dishes remaining all season, such as the pulled-pork Sanger.

Keng Eng Kee Seafood

Keng Eng Kee Seafood offers cooked-to-order wok-fried dishes. You will find everything here, from moonlight hor fun to Singapore’s best claypot pork liver.  Located on Bukit Merah Lane, it is constantly buzzing with people trying to secure a seat so make sure that you book well in advance. 

Image by Choo Yut Shing

Warong Nasi Pariaman 

Having served nasi padang since 1948, Warong Nasi Pariaman is the longest-running nasi padang joint in Singapore. At this Halal-certified restaurant, you can find traditional dishes such as ayam bakar, barbecued chicken served in thick coconut gravy, and sambal goreng, a type of spicy stir fry. It is important to note that because this restaurant is Halal there is no alcohol served on the premises.

Image by Shi Lin Tan from Pixabay

 Corner House 

Corner House resides in the historic home of a 20th century British Botanist, which is very fitting with the botanical theme of the restaurant. Singaporean chef, Jason Tan, showcases his gastro-botanical menu in his residence, which is built from the finest ingredients from across the world. The highlight of his eclectic menu is the Cevennes Onion, which is built using several different methods of cooking onions. 

Image by Jack at Wikipedia

Samy’s Curry 

Samy’s Curry was opened in the 1950’s, and continues to be run by the same family today. At Samy’s Curry, you will find an array of classic, home-style, curry’s, including chicken masala and fish cutlets. This is far from a fine-dining experience as servers ladle curry and rice onto sheets of banana leaves. It is recommended that you enjoy your curry with your hands. Sinks are provided at the back of the restaurant so that you can adequately clean yourself up at the end. 

Image by su-lin

J.B. Ah Meng

If you want a true taste of Singapore, head to J.B. Ah Meng. There is nothing fancy about this restaurant, however, it is where Singapore chefs come for their post-work meal, so you know it’s good. You will find J.B. Ah Meng in the heart of Singapore’s red-light district, in a simply furnished, two-story building. For the best tze char in Singapore, head to J.B. Ah Meng and enjoy the relaxing setting. 

Image by City Foodsters

Spring Court 

Spring Court is Singapore’s oldest family-owned restaurants. It sells traditional dishes that have been served for generations, including deep-fried boneless chicken and prawn paste, and crab meat rolls stuffed with chicken liver and salted egg. Originally, Spring Court was a purely Cantonese restaurant, but, as Singapore began to diversify, so did Spring Court. This restaurant offers a wonderful reflection on Singaporean food and how it has developed over the years, whilst holding onto its traditional roots.

Image by Choo Yut Shing

Whilst you enjoy the amazing foods of Singapore, we will take care of your laundry. Book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Best Dubai souvenirs

It’s always nice to get a souvenir from your holiday to remind you of where you have been. These are the best souvenirs to get from Dubai. 

  • Camel milk chocolate
  • Oudh and Bakhoor
  • Attar
  • Pashmina 
  • Gold jewellery
  • Arabic coffee and coffee pot 
  • Lucky stones 
  • Dubai spices 
  • Traditional shoes
  • Persian rug

Camel milk chocolate 

Camel milk chocolate is not a life-time souvenir but more a tasty reminder of your time away. It is manufactured solely in Dubai by Al Nassma and comes in only five flavours- whole milk, 70% cocoa, dates, macadamia, and spiced. These chocolate bars are famous for their enticing taste and can be found at Al Nassma kiosks, duty-free shops, and the Camelicious Camel farm. For an added treat, buy the camel shaped chocolates rather than a standard bar. 

Oudh and Bakhoor

Whilst you are walking around Dubai, you may notice a distinct smell. That will be either oudh or bakhoor. Oudh is a traditional and expensive oil that comes from agar wood resin. Bakhoor is the term for agar wood chips that are burnt to produce a similar smell to oudh. 

Both oudh and bakhoor can be bought as souvenirs, however, oudh is much more expensive than bakhoor as it comes in an oil form, and can be mixed with floral oils to produce a stronger smell. 

Whether you choose oudh or bakhoor both allow you to bring home the smell of Dubai

Image by lovelyploi from Pixabay

Attar

Sticking with scent-derived souvenirs, attar is the name given to essential oils that are derived from plants. These oils are widely used by men and women in Dubai as perfumes. There are a variety of scents that you can choose from, and if you can’t decide the vendors at the Perfume Souk in Deira will be more than happy to help you choose one. 

If you are looking for a more distinct and original scent than you can make your own fragrance. Simply inform the vendor of what fragrances you would like to combine and they will make it for you. 

Prices for attar start at AED90 

Pashmina 

If you are looking for a slightly more luxurious souvenir than get yourself a pashmina. A pashmina is a traditional South Asian shawl that is made from cashmere. The starting price of an authentic pashmina is AED250. 

If you would like a pashmina but don’t want to pay the high price for it, there are plenty of vendors who sell inauthentic pashmina’s. These will be made from viscose or silk and will be priced around AED30. 

To test whether your pashmina is authentic or not try pulling the whole shawl through a ring. If it is authentic, the silkiness of the cashmere mixed with 30% silk should allow it to pass through the ring easily. If your pashmina does not pass through easily it is likely that it is not authentic. 

Gold jewellery 

Dubai is the perfect place to buy yourself some gold jewellery as it is a lot less expensive than in many other countries. Whether you are looking for a pair of earrings, a necklace, or a ring, the best place to buy your gold souvenir is the Dubai Gold Souk. The average price of gold begins at around AED110 per gram, however, don’t forget that you can often haggle vendors for a better price. 

Arabic coffee and coffee pot

Coffee farming is a long tradition in the Middle East. Arabic coffee has a very distinct, often bitter, taste that is not to every coffee drinker’s liking. That being said, if you do enjoy an Arabic coffee then do not miss out on the opportunity to take some home from your trip to Dubai. To complete your Arabic coffee experience buy yourself a traditional Arabic ‘dallah’ coffee pot. Often these pots will be exquisitely decorated so can be used for coffee purposes or simply as a design feature. 

Lucky stones 

Lucky stones are based on your birth month and are said to bring good luck. They can usually be found set in gold or silver rings and pendants that are to be worn to receive the gift of luck. All lucky stones can be customised to fit your taste and make great souvenirs for those in need of a bit of luck.

 Dubai spices 

If you visit the Spice Souk you can take home the taste of Dubai. At the Souk you will find an array of spices, including those that you can not find anywhere outside of the Spice Souk. If you like aromatic food, then you simply must purchase some Dubai spices. 

Be warned that as pleasant as these spices make your food, they can also make your luggage smell and prove difficult to get through customs. Make sure that you have securely wrapped them in your suitcase before heading to the airport. 

Traditional shoes

Traditional Arabic shoes are beautiful and said to be incredibly comfortable. They can be bought for men, women, and children, and come in an array of colours and with beautiful embellishments. Buying a pair of traditional Arabic shoes as a souvenir will serve as a reminder every time you wear them of your time in Dubai as you will not be able to buy an authentic pair outside of the UAE. 

The average price for these shoes is between AED50- AED100.

Persian rug 

A Persian rug is definitely an investment souvenir as, authentic, Persian rugs are expensive. For the best variety of styles head to the National Iranian Carpets or Persian Carpet House. If you have your heart set on a Persian rug, but can’t find one that suits your taste, then you can have one specially designed and made. 

When it comes to Persian rugs remember that you need to check their authenticity before purchasing, and you need to get it on the plane somehow. 

You look after the souvenirs whilst we look after your laundry. To book your UAE laundry service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Tourists tips when visiting Singapore

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

If you have booked yourself a trip to Singapore these tourist tips will help you make the most of your holiday. 

  • Pack smart
  • Hostels and hotels
  • Know the law
  • Use public transportation
  • Carry cash
  • Eat like a local
  • Stick to happy hour
  • Be smart with tipping
  • Head to the free attractions
  • Ride the Singapore Flyer

Pack smart 

Singapore is not only hot but also incredibly humid all year round. You need to pack lightweight clothing, such as cotton and linen, that will be comfortable and won’t stick to your skin. Asides from comfortable, lightweight clothing, make sure that you also pack some waterproofs. Rain is a common occurrence in Singapore, and when it rains it comes down hard.

Hostels and hotels  

Singapore is much more expensive than many other Asian cities, which means their hotels are also incredibly expensive. If money is no object on your Singapore holiday, there is an array of luxury hotels that offer 5-star rooms, complete with breathtaking views. If you are looking for cheaper accommodation for your stay, there are plenty of hostels scattered throughout the city. 

Top tourist tip: If you are travelling to Singapore during the peak holiday season make sure that you book your accommodation in advance. 

Know the law 

Singapore is rated as one of the safest cities in the world. This status has only been achieved due to its many laws and regulations, some of which are harsher than others. Before travelling to Singapore, make sure that you have a base knowledge of the rules and regulations that you must abide by or you may find yourself with a $500 fine for eating on the MRT (Singapore’s subway system).

Use public transportation  

The easiest, and cheapest, way to explore Singapore is by using public transport. Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is the equivalent to a tube or subway- it can get you pretty much wherever you want to go. If you aren’t a fan of underground transportation, Singapore has a collection of buses that you can hop on and off at leisure. To make your journeys around Singapore easier, buy a Tourist Pass. You can choose either a 1,2 or 3-day pass, and once bought you can use the pass to get on all of Singapore’s public transport. Simply tap your pass, and away you go. 

Carry cash 

Like many countries, Singapore is making the move to becoming cashless. This being said, there are still areas where only cash is accepted. In places such as residential shops and kopi-tiams eateries (coffee shops), there are no card machines for card and contactless payments. It’s always best to carry between $50 and $100 with you just in case. 

Eat like a local 

Singapore is home to some of the best food in the world, and the place to find that food is the food centres and hawker stalls around China Town and Marina Bay. Here you will find local delicacies, such as chili crab and laksa, at affordable prices. These informal eateries will provide you will a high-quality meal without having to spend a fortune. Even if money is not an object on your holiday, make sure to have at least one local meal. 

Stick to happy hour  

Alcohol is incredibly expensive in Singapore. On average, a cocktail will set you back $20, whilst a beer can cost upwards of $10. That being said, from 5 pm to 9 pm, in bars across the city happy hour drastically reduces the price of these alcoholic drinks. If you are looking for an evening tipple, but don’t want to spend a fortune, make sure to check out the happy hour deals that are on offer. 

Be smart with tipping 

Unlike countries such as America, in Singapore, it is not mandatory to tip. This means that you do not have to add service charge on top of your meal. That being said, if you do think that the service was particularly good, it is always appreciated when a tip is given. 

Head to the free attractions 

As already established, Singapore is an expensive city for a holiday. That being said, there are plenty of free activities and attractions that will save you some money. Some of the free attractions to visit include the multitude of parks throughout the city, Chinese and Indian temples, the Singapore Botanical Gardens, and the Festive Light-up’s. 

Ride The Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is an amazing way to get panoramic views of the city. At 165 meters tall, it is one of the highest Ferris wheels in the world. One full rotation will take 30 minutes to complete, in which time you can view the whole city. An adult ticket is $33, and tickets can be bought on the day, however, there are online discounts available. Just be sure that you aren’t afraid of heights before taking on the wheel. 

Whilst holidaying in Singapore, let us take care of your laundry. We can pick up your laundry from your accommodation and, whilst you enjoy the city, we can have your clothes dry cleaned and re-delivered to you. To book your service simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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What to pack in your travel backpack

Whether you’re backpacking across the world or going on a hiking holiday, these are your backpacking essentials. 

  • Essential documents 
  • Money
  • Chargers
  • Shoes for all occasions 
  • Plenty of underwear
  • Suitable clothing
  • Medicine
  • Essential toiletries 
  • Backpack rain cover 
  • Reading material

Essential documents

The most important thing to make sure you pack is your essential documents. This includes your passport, visas, transport tickets, and any other documents that will allow you to freely travel. Without these documents, you will not be able to travel so you must make sure that you have them with you at all times. 

Money

Asides from your essential documents, the most important thing to pack in your travel backpack is money. You must make sure that you have enough money for the whole of your trip. If you are travelling to numerous countries with different currencies, you must make sure that you have a suitable amount of money in each currency you will be using. It’s always best to take extra money with you when you’re travelling just in case you run out before the end of your trip.

Chargers 

Firstly, decide what electrical items you want to take with you. Whilst making your decision, think about the space that you will have in your backpack, how heavy your appliances are, and whether you will have access to charging ports. Once you have decided on your electrical items make sure that you pack your chargers. For backpacking, it’s always best to take portable chargers so that you can charge on the go.

Shoes for all occasions 

There is limited space in a travel backpack, however, you must make sure that you pack shoes for all occasions. If you are planning on going on long walks or hikes make sure that you pack hiking boots. A comfortable pair of trainers is always essential whenever you go travelling. If you are staying in a hostel during your travels make sure that you pack a pair of flip flops for the showers. 

Plenty of underwear

Whilst you’re travelling you may not always be able to find facilities to wash your clothes. This is why you must make sure to pack plenty of underwear. In addition to this, you may want to pack extra socks for when you’re walking as hiking boots tend to rub the heels of your feet. The more underwear you have the more prepared you will be for any situation. 

Suitable clothing 

Think about where it is you are travelling to and how active you are going to be. Use this as a guide to help you choose what clothing you are going to pack. If you are going to a warm destination you want to choose lighter materials. If you are going to a cold destination you may want to pack thermals. Regardless of where you are going make sure that you pack comfortably and practically. It’s always best to pack at least one waterproof jacket. 

Medicine 

If you suffer from allergies or need to take medication on a regular basis, make sure that you pack it. Ideally, you want any medication to be near the top of your bag so that it is easily accessible. Asides from medication that you take on a regular basis, make sure that you pack some basic medical essentials. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters, sun cream, bug spray, etc. You want to make sure that you are equipped for any low-level injuries that you may face whilst on your travels. 

Photo by Senior Airman Kirby Turbak

Essential toiletries 

As previously mentioned, you do not have a lot of room in your travel backpack, so you need to bring essential toiletries only with you. Essential toiletries include toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, lip balm, and any contact lens solution you may need should you wear contacts. You may also want to take skincare products, however, these are not a priority and should be taken out if there is not enough room. You should store your essential toiletries at the top of your bag with your medicine as you never know when you may want to quickly freshen up. 

Backpack rain cover

Your travel backpack will store all of your belongings for the duration of your travels. It will be the most important item on your trip. This is why it is essential that you invest in a backpack rain cover. You don’t want to get stuck in the rain with your backpack and risk getting your belongings wet, and potentially destroyed. A backpack rain cover will protect your backpack, and all of your belongings, from the rain, ensuring a safe and dry journey. 

Reading material 

When your travelling you need to conserve the battery on your devices, such as your phone, as you won’t always have access to charging portals. This means that when you aren’t exploring, you will have to find other ways to entertain yourself. Take some reading material on your travels as a way to entertain yourself. You could even take books on your destination(s) so that you can do some pre-reading on where you are going. Make sure that you don’t pack too many books though as you don’t want to make your bag too heavy. 

woman, reading, book

Laundryheap is available in several countries across the world, including Bahrain, Singapore, and Kuwait. If you are looking to get your laundry done whilst on your travels, head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your service. 


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Top places to shop in Amsterdam

If you’re looking to do a little bit of retail therapy whilst in Amsterdam, these are the top 5 places to shop. 

  • De Negen Straatjes
  • PC Hooftstraat
  • Magna Plaza 
  • De Bijenkorf
  • Waterlooplein Flea Market

De Negen Straatjes 

De Negen Straatjes, or The Nine Streets, can be found in the heart of Amsterdam. As the name suggests, this shopping district is formed from nine streets that hold quaint boutiques ready to browse. De Negen Straatjes is perfect if you are looking for something a bit quirky. The streets are lined with vintage stores and boutiques that stock all manner of styles in an array of prices. The Nine Streets also come equipped with several quaint cafes that are perfect for a post-shop coffee

PC Hooftstraat

If you are looking for a more expensive shopping experience than head to PC Hooftstraat. Renowned for being Amsterdam’s most exclusive shopping street, you will find all the top designer brands on this street, including Chanel, Mulberry, and Louis Vuitton, amongst others. Located in the museum district of Amsterdam, once you’ve perused the shops of PC Hooftstraat, you can wander to the Van Gogh museum, or to one of the several restaurants located nearby. 

Magna Plaza 

Formerly the Amsterdam post office, the Magna Plaza is Amsterdam’s best-known department store. Situated across the street from the Royal Palace and Dam Square, this impressive building could not be in a better location. Spread out over three floors is every shoppers dream. From clothes to shoes, jewelry to gifts, you will find everything you need at the Magna Plaza. There is even a cheese counter where you can purchase famous Dutch cheese to take home. 

De Bijenkorf

De Bijenkorf is the perfect mixture of a department store and designer high street. It is actually a chain of high-end department stores, but the Amsterdam store was the first to open in 1870. De Bijenkorf translates to The Beehive, which is fitting as shoppers flit from floor to floor, exploring brands such as Gucci, Diesel, and Ralph Lauren. They even have a premium denim department which is said to be the best place to shop for all of your denim garments. 

Waterlooplein Flea Market 

Amsterdam is home to an abundance of open-air markets, but Waterlooplein is definitely one to check out. You will find everything at Waterlooplein- bikes, furniture, second-hand clothing, art, books, and even electronics. With such an array of objects to sift through, Waterlooplein Flea Market provides the perfect opportunity to slow down as you make your way from vendor to vendor, finding the best bargains and hidden treasures. Keep in mind that Waterlooplein Flea Market is opened every day except Sunday. 

Whilst your shopping let us take care of your laundry. Head to the Laundryheap website or download our free Laundryheap app to book your service. We are now operating in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam. 


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Things to do this Labour Day

Labour Day 2020 will be like no other Labour Day that has come before it. Due to COVID restrictions, many of the usual celebrations will be restricted, or not going ahead at all. That does not mean that the day should not be celebrated. Here are some COVID-safe things to do this Labour Day. 

  • Dip into a swimming hole
  • Watch a drive-in movie
  • Organise your own parade
  • Host a cookout
  • Enjoy a Labour Day camp out

Dip into a swimming hole

Sometimes it’s nice to be at-one with nature, especially when you spend your days relentlessly working. There are natural swimming holes located across America that are perfect for a Labour Day dip. Immerse yourself in refreshing waters, as you take in the mountains that surround you, and let all of your stresses melt away. A quick search will let you know where your closest swimming hole is. 

Image by Gerry & Bonni

Watch a drive-in movie

Drive-in movies were all the range in 50’s America, and some businesses are keeping them alive. With a mixture of new releases and golden oldies being shown on a regular basis, the only thing you need to enjoy a drive-in is a car. Gather your loved ones in the car, get the popcorn in, and enjoy a Labour Day movie in the same way they did in the past. 

Organise your own parade

A big part of Labour Day is the parade, so why not host your own? Gather your family, friends, and neighbours, adhering to social distancing of course, and put on an amazing parade. Spend the day making flags, banners, and getting dressed up, then march up and down your street to show off your hard work. Just make sure that you make your neighbours aware before you start making too much noise. 

Host a cookout

This Labour Day why not host a good old all-American cookout. Gather your friends and family and enjoy a spread of burgers, hotdogs, corn, etc. You have earned this holiday, so treat yourself to some good food and good company to enjoy it with. Make sure that you stay socially distanced and adhere to COVID guidelines. 

Enjoy a Labour Day camp out

Take advantage of the long weekend and camp out under the stars. Whether you camp with friends, family, or just on your own, enjoy some well-earned time to rest. Make smores on a campfire, go star-gazing, and simply enjoy some time out of the office. You don’t even have to travel to a campsite, simply do it in your own backyard. 

Don’t let laundry get in the way of your Labour Day fun. Let us take care of your laundry by booking a Laundryheap service. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. We are operational in Boston and New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and The Bronx. 


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Top tips for packing a travel backpack

Whether you’re camping for a week, or travelling the world on a gap year, packing a travel backpack is difficult. Here are some tips to help you out. 

  • Make a list
  • Pockets, pockets, pockets
  • Be versatile 
  • Roll your clothes
  • Toiletries at the top
  • Don’t forget a plastic bag
  • Make sure it’s waterproof
  • Weight distribution
  • Make your bag distinctive
  • Lock it up

Make a list 

Before you even begin packing you need to write a list. Write down everything that you need- clothes, shoes, underwear, toiletries, etc. Writing a list will help you to visualise exactly what you will need to fit in your backpack and can help you eliminate the unnecessary items. Additionally, writing down what you will need could help you to think of essentials that you may have forgotten about. Once you have made your list, you can then begin to think about the space that your backpack provides you and how everything is going to fit into it. 

Pockets, pockets, pockets

You may have noticed that your travel backpack has an abundance of pockets. You need to utilise the space that these pockets provide. They are perfect for separating your clothes, storing important items, such as money and your passport, and even storing your water bottle in an accessible place. Take note of the location of these pockets and, before you begin packing, evaluate what items will be best to put in them.

Be versatile 

When it comes to the clothing that you pack be as versatile as possible. You don’t have a lot of room, so you need to be smart about the clothing you choose. You need to pack suitable clothing for the climate that you are travelling to, that can be worn on multiple occasions. Remember, whilst your travelling you may not always have access to cleaning facilities, so think about investing in easily washable, and stain-resistant clothing. 

Roll your clothes

Once you have made a list and decided on your items, you can begin packing. It’s important to always be conscious of the amount of space that you have in your backpack. To conserve as much space as possible, roll your clothes rather than fold them. Not only will this conserve space, but it will also prevent your clothes from becoming overly wrinkled

Image by WordRidden

Toiletries at the top

It’s always best to leave your toiletries until last so that they rest at the top of your backpack. As you are travelling there will be times when you want to quickly freshen up, maybe after a long hike or particularly gruelling plane ride, and the easier your toiletries can be accessible the sooner you can continue your adventure. You never know when you will need a deodorant top-up, so it’s best to keep it somewhere accessible, just in case. 

Image by Jack Kennard

Don’t forget a plastic bag 

Unlike when packing for a normal holiday, when you’re packing a travel backpack you need to think about things that you will need for every scenario. Plastic bags, for example, are a staple for any backpacker. They can be used to store dirty and/or wet clothes so, when you do come across a cleaning facility, you will know what items need to be washed. This delays the amount of time you spend doing laundry and gives you more time to explore.

Make sure it’s waterproof

No matter what climate you are travelling to your backpack must be waterproof. You don’t want your clothing, possessions, and important travel documents to become water-logged on your travels. If your backpack is not already waterproof, or if you would like an extra waterproof layer for protection, you can buy a waterproof bag cover. 

Image by Kevin Teague

Weight distribution

It’s important to remember that you will be carrying your backpack with you most, if not at all, times whilst you are travelling. This means that you have to make sure that your backpack is not too heavy or difficult for you to carry. The best way to ensure this is to put the heaviest items nearest to your spine, meaning that they are packed first and towards the middle of the bag. Medium-weighted items should be put towards the top of your backpack, with the lightest items, such as clothing, being put at the bottom. The aim is to keep the weight centred and close to your body so that it doesn’t pull painfully at your back and shoulders. 

Make your bag distinctive 

There are only a certain number of different travel backpack designs. This means that you may come into contact with other people who have the same, or at least a very similar, backpack as yourself. To avoid any potential bag mix-up make sure that your backpack is very distinctive looking. This way, if you do lose it for any reason, you can easily describe it. Use bright colours and embellishments to make your bag stand out. Think outside of the box and get creative. 

Lock it up 

You need to make sure that your backpack is as safe and secure as possible. Buy yourself a lock that can be looped around your backpack and prevent people without a key from accessing the contents of it. The easiest way to prevent anything from happening to your bag is to make sure that it is with you at all times. Try not to let your bag out of your sight if you can. 

Luckily, Laundryheap is fully operational in several countries around the world, including Singapore, Kuwait and the US. Whilst your travelling don’t forget to use our postcode checker to see if we can take the stress of doing laundry away from you. Head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your slot now.