We have been cloth diapering for 16 months and have gone on several trips during that time. Through trial and error, we have learned a lot. Our trips have been getting easier by following these tips. We have done multiple trips where we traveled for an extended weekend. However, we recently went on a 9-day trip where we flew to Canada. Traveling with cloth diapers was definitely a learning experience!
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Discuss it and be committed to what that means. My husband and I had many conversations before we went on this trip on what we were going to do for diapering. Should we do disposables because it is easier? But what about our commitment to making eco-friendly choices whenever we can? In the end, choosing to travel with cloth diapers was a commitment on both our parts. If we weren’t on the same page it would have been way harder.
Plan where you will do laundry. We do not have enough cloth diapers to last a whole week without washing. Going with that many would have also been problematic because we wouldn’t have had enough luggage space. The hotel we stayed at had coin-operated laundry and this is where we planned to do the washing. We also knew that in Field (our ultimate destination) there was a hotel that might let us use the machines.
Learn how to hand wash. When you don’t have access to a machine, try hand washing. I have seen blog posts out there from people who only hand wash their diapers. I was not up for hand washing all the diapers on vacation. However, it was useful for a couple emergency situations. I have seen portable washing machines like this one, that would be great for trips where you are not flying. I foresee portable washing machines being really handy on camping trips.
We air dry our diapers to preserve the elastic. By snapping the diapers together on the ends we created long rows of diapers. We then hung them over hangers in our hotel room. They were dry in no time!
Traveling and Packing
Travel with as many clean diapers as possible. The more diapers you have, the longer you can go without needing to wash them. When on vacation I personally want to do as little amount of laundry as possible. My goal was to try to make it the whole week with only needing to wash them twice.
Pack them unassembled and in once place. When a cloth diaper is assembled it takes up much more space then when all the pieces are separated. By separating the covers from the inserts, I was able to fit way more into the luggage. Also, try to keep all the diapers together in one bag. This prevents anything from going missing or having that surprise moment when you have a dirty diaper and didn’t realize you were out of clean ones.
Put the diapers in the carry on. It would be a nightmare to have all my cloth diapers be lost by the airline. For that reason, I travel with all my cloth diapers in the carry on. If I lose other clothing items, those are easy to replace. All my diapers were ordered online and would be difficult to replace on vacation.
Bring more wet bags than you think you’ll need. We brought 2 large wet bags and 3 of the small ones. The reason for this is once we started on our day adventures, we didn’t want to bring huge wet bags with us. This allowed for moving the diapers around, so we always had a small bag to bring places.
Be flexible. We had this grand plan for cloth diapering the whole week when we were gone. But then we both ended up feeling unwell. Being sick on vacation, we had barely enough energy to keep up with our little one, let alone to do laundry. We did purchase a very small pack of disposable diapers and used those for a day or two. Once we were feeling better, though, we went back to cloth. You never know what’s going to happen – maybe you get sick, maybe the luggage was stolen, maybe the washer broke. If you do end up using disposables, that’s OK. The point is that you tried, and for every cloth one you use you are preventing a disposable one from going in the trash.
Do you have any trips planned? Are you thinking about trying cloth diapering? Hopefully these tips on traveling with cloth diapers can help. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Next, check out my some of my tips on clothing diapering here.