One carry-on bag and seven days into our Spain tour, laundry duty called.

The experience turned out to be a great way to feel more like a local in a foreign locale.

Carrying a plastic bag filled with choice clothes to get us through the remaining days of our trip, we boarded a taxi bound for Onda Blu on Calle del Leon. The best part of our laundromat find: its ideal location just a few doors down from a fantastic breakfast spot.

Euro coins in hand, the helpful laundress filled the washing machines with soap while we separated and loaded our lights and darks.

With about 25 minutes before we needed to transfer our wet duds into the dryer, we slipped into Pizzeria Cervantes for one of our best breakfasts of the trip. Long pieces of toast, eggs fried in bacon, fresh-squeezed orange juice – a Spanish standard – and cafe con leche brought together elements of home and the classic taste of Spanish life.

Who would’ve thought doing laundry on the road could be so rewarding? As if added airline fees and the fear of lost luggage weren’t enough motivation, a more authentic travel experience is now the best reason to carry on luggage for the next extended trip. Breakfast and laundry is a winning combination.