Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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Traveling with Cloth

Many cloth diapering mama's opt for disposables when traveling because dealing with cloth on vacation seems like a daunting task. But in reality, it's not hard at all. In fact, by avoiding the use of disposables while traveling, you will have that much more money to spend on food and shopping while on your trip. With these simple steps, traveling with cloth can be a breeze...

1.) Plan Ahead Thinking

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Think about how long you will be gone and, how many diapers you will most likely go through during that time frame. If it's just a weekend trip, you may not even need to worry about washing until you get home. But, if you will be gone for more than 2-3 days then you will want to think about where to wash your diapers. If your staying w/ friends or family, in most cases, washing should not be a problem. (But, as a courtesy, you may want to call ahead to ask if you can use their laundry facilities at least every 2 days.) If you will be staying in a hotel, call and find out where the closest laundry mat is and how much they charge per load, so that you can have plenty of change on hand.



If you are going to go somewhere without access to a washer / dryer (i.e. a cruise) and your trip is longer than 2-3 days, then at that point you may want to consider disposables.

2.) Packing List
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Write out your packing list to ensure you are fully prepared. Here is a general guide to go by & you can add / take away according to what best suits your needs:

Cloth Diapers & Accessories (this includes inserts, covers, pockets, pins & snappies)...plan on taking more than you initially think you would need...just in case.

Doubler's...for night time.

Ointment...in case of rash.

Barrier Cloths...to protect diapers in case you need to use ointment.

Detergent...that you use for cloth diapers...you don't want to risk having to use a detergent that could potentially ruin your diapers.

Cloth Wipes...enough to last between wash days.

Wipe Warmer...or something to hold wipes in if you like to keep them pre-moist.

Wet Bag

3.) Packing the bag(s)
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I feel the best way to pack your cloth diapers is to pre-stuff all of them (if applicable) and lay them flat on top of each other, staggering directions. Lay these in the suitcase (or luggage of choice) and then add everything else. Ensure that the detergent and ointment are both tightly sealed in bags and placed away from the actual diapers...just in case. I can easily get all of my cloth diapering supplies into a small (carry-on friendly) suitcase or a duffel bag of similar proportions. As you can see in the pictures, all of the same items fit fine in either choice.
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Actually, because a duffel bag expands in ways a structured suitcase can't, there was enough room to add food, bottles and snacks making it double as a diaper bag, which is great for air traveling.

4.) Wash Days

If your staying w/ family or friends and using their facilities for washing, then it should come just as easily and naturally as it does when you are at home. But if your staying in a hotel and will need to wash at a laundry mat, you may want to work out a plan. Plan to do it at a time when everyone is in veg-out mode and just wants to lounge around the hotel, watch T.V. or swim in the pool. That way the kids, husband etc. will be occupied while your washing & you wont feel rushed or like your missing anything. When you get back, have someone else stuff the diapers (if applicable) while you go for a swim or watch your favorite T.V. show. Then, on the next wash day, swap places so that your not the only one stuck doing laundry on vacation.

5.) Stay Organized

Even on vacation, it's important to designate a place for everything and to keep everything neatly in it's place. Especially in a hotel room. It's really easy to lose track of a bunch of small items if there is no organizational system. You wouldn't want your microfiber terry inserts to be mistaken for a towel or wash cloth and be taken away by a maid. Just place everything neatly in one area, and keep it there when it's not in use.

By following these steps, you will be able to keep you baby in the best and still have plenty of time to enjoy your vacation.

Happy Travels!!!

-By: Amanda G.

52 comments:

Senior Family said...

awesome system .. i love how you pack the bags .. we will be trying this next weekend or out of state trip :0) thanks amanda :)

Serena said...

Excellent post Amanda!

I honestly believe more people will consider cloth diapering with the right information and feedback from others who have done it...

I like the way you stack/stagger the unfolded diapers... that makes them easier to pack as well as handy to use!

Shawna said...

Thanks again for another wonderful post on how to travel using CDs! :)

Angela said...

Do you always use carry on as the option when flying... was thinking about leaving it at check in... any thoughs on that?

melissad.williams said...

This is good advice. I especially like how you explained how to pack diapers (lay them flat in staggered directions) to maximize the use of space.

Katie said...

More great advice on traveling with cloth - thanks for all the input - you're converting me away from my disposables-for-travel mindset (and I'm thrilled about it!)

Montana Mama said...

This is great timing! I need to go on a quick road trip and I was pretty hesitant to use cloth, but I think now i could probably have it under control!!! What great ideas!

Melissa said...

Great post! I think the idea of traveling with cloth & assumptions that it is impossible to do is one reason that turns people away from cloth diapers!

erinsmomma said...

Wow, another great traveling article! Everyone in my family (except hubby) thinks I'm completely insane for using cloth and now I want to go on vacation just to show them that cloth is just as easy as disposables!!

Kelly said...

Awesome system!

Could you do a post or send me in the direction for cleaning cd's? I'm feeling frustrated with an underlying scent in my CDs after rinsing, washing cold, washing hot, extra rinse and there's still a scent left. Am I being too picky or am I doing something wrong?

Tried bunch of recommended detergents and no luck with any! Charley's gave DD a rash. I'm not thinking about quitting, but DH is complaining of the smell and I kinda agree. I would love to just douse them in bleach, but I know that's a no no! There's so many techniques out there that I'm overwhelmed and want tried and true ways!

Erika said...

awesome!! thanks for the step by step....i really needed that :)
you make traveling with cloth look SO easy!

Tanya said...

I love the visuals in these posts! I am hoping to get away for 4 or 5 days this spring and this post is very helpful.

Carol said...

Thanks for more info on traveling with cloth - especially the packing tips!

Aisha said...

Love your system. Will definitely keep my diapers unfolded when traveling. I also like the duffel bag. I've used a brown paper bag (whose handles inevitably rip someway along the trip)...Live and learn. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Excellent tips. We haven't traveled anywhere in a while, so I haven't had to use these tips, but I will definitely book mark them for future travels!

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you guys are finding this useful...and I'm even more glad that it's helping some of you convert away from the traveling w/ sposies mindset. :)

Angela, I would personally take my diapers as carry on because I would not want to take the risk of having them lost or delayed. Plus, using the duffel would be like having an extra large diaper bag....you will have access to everything you need.

*~*a.l.s*~* said...

I am so happy to see these traveling posts. I am currently on vacation and got lots of "How will you do that with cloth" questions. Thank you so much for the advice and tips!

Dani said...

Thanks Amanda! Great advice, you make traveling with cloth seem easy.

Maggie said...

Thank you for the advice and great tips. It is so helpful for me to see all the logistics like this.

Heather said...

I'm traveling this weekend and may try this. I've always just done disposables when we're away from home because it's more convenient. But, traveling to my parents' house, this may be doable!

Matt, Sara and Kinsley :) said...

Thanks for more confidence on traveling with CDs! Hopefully, I will have a trip soon enough to do it myself!

AScott said...

My stash isn't quite big enough yet to support a long trip, since I am doing laundry every night. But I would still use as many as I could until I would be able to wash them!

More nice tips! I like the idea of a duffel bag, since it is more stuffable! My main concern would not be space, but where to wash them!

Liz said...

Thank you so much for the info! I appreciate the photos showing how you packed the bags. Also, thank you for reminding me about keeping the CD stash organized, I dont want any inserts to be mistaken for washcloths and get wisked away!

Katie said...

This is good to see. On our last trip we used disposables . . . I almost packed the cloth diapers, but was intimidated to do so (we were at a place where I could wash them). I am gaining more confidence about traveling with cloth reading these posts! Thank you!

Meghan said...

What great tips! Now I feel even more ready for the next time we travel. If I have everything already organized, then I will have a defense when my husband says, "Wouldn't it be easier to use disposables on vacation?"

Erin said...

I love traveling with cloth because for me it is actually easier and cheaper. I our apartment we have to use a coin operated laundry room so to be able to use an in home washer and dryer, chose my own water settings and select and extra rinse is a real treat. :)

Amanda said...

Thanks for the great advice! All of these tips will be very handy when we go on our first overnight with cloth. It would be very frustrating to loose an insert to the maid. That's great motivation to be neat in the hotel room and designate a place for everything!

Sheezwhiz said...

This is exactly the post I needed to have the confidence to take our cloth on longer trips, thanks!

Kelly said...

I have definitely been changing over to cloth while traveling this past year. Our last trip to Savannah was a success. I think I finally have enough fluff that I think I could actually sustain a 4 day trip without washing. At least for my 16 month old. Not sure how it will be when re newborn arrives. My biggest thing was wash when we weren't visiting friends/family and staying at a hotel. But now I would think of calling ahead to see if they have a wash room at least to get the non-poopy diapers clean then do a sanitary wash when at home. Great travel post.

Chic Mama said...

I just want to encourage other mamas to give traveling with cloth a try- it is totally worth it! Plus you can expose a whole new community to your cloth! How cool is that!?

Aisha said...

Kelly,

What a great idea to call ahead to find out if the hotel has a washroom...Have you found most hotels have them?

Aisha

one day in the life of me said...

Thank you for all this great info on traveling with cloth.

Kelly said...

Great tips! I especially appreciate this one (as I never would've thought of it): "You wouldn't want your microfiber terry inserts to be mistaken for a towel or wash cloth and be taken away by a maid."

Great points!

team krasean said...

I'm inspired. I frequently visit my parent's cabin and I use disposable. I want to try cloth on our next visit. Now, all I need is a wet bag to make it work!

Jess said...

Wow you have GREAT tips! Thank you so much!

EdenSky said...

Very instructive, thanks for the tips.

Sara in Seattle said...

We just got back from a four-day trip. We used disposables for the first time, and my husband and I couldn't believe how relieved we were to get back to cloth. We had always thought we might be sort of sacrificing on convenience by cloth diapering, but it was worth it to us anyway... but we discovered disposables aren't really any more convenient at all. And the stink!!! I couldn't believe how bad they smelled when wet. It grossed me out.

Nicole Feliciano said...

great system and awesome blog. would you mind if I linked to this for travel month on Momtrends?

Katie said...

Kelly with the stinky diaper problem-

There have been some good posts about that issue here earlier. One was on hard water and another on stripping diapers. It sounds like your diapers need to be stripped. Check the posts.

You can use a little bleach on the diapers. I have in the past. I use Charlie's Soap now and have stripped the diapers and since then I have not had any problems.

Hope that helps!

Bevin and Ryan Awesome said...

we can't agree more! we have a pink carry on sized suitcase that holds every fuzzi bunz we own (our travel diaper) or they get stuffed into a large rolling duffle the kids share. If we can wash on our trip we don't think twice and pack our cloth.

Amy said...

Thanks for the ideas. We are vacationing out of state this summer & was considering whether to buy disposables or not. Fortunately I booked a condo w/ a washer/dryer!

Heather said...

I cannot stress enough how much I *love* to travel with cloth. I have taken a 3,000 mile road four times with little ones in diapers. It took ONE time for me to switch to disposables for the trip for me to realize what a mistake I made. Blow outs, every 200 miles!!! Talk about no fun. Can you imagine trying to wash a poopy baby in a rest room sink because it has gone up and out the diaper and up the back all the way to the hair?? Yuck! The last straw was having to clean the car seat because I no longer had clean clothes available. At the hotel on the second night I unpacked the entire car to pull my beloved cloth out from the rest of the luggage and never had a leak again! :)

one_lucky_mom said...

Great tips!

Erika said...

Thankyou for all the tips. I love these posts about how to actually live with cloth. I can still remember how nervous I was just going to the grocery store the first time with a CD babe. I now always use cloth when I travel by car.

srr said...

those are great tips. thanks! i personally love taking prefolds and covers on a trip. you can take so many prefolds as compared to other diapers, and covers are easy to hand wash in a sink! of course, they arent as convenient for some, but i love em!

Nikki said...

Great tips! The only other concern would be the water. What if there is hard water where you're going?

Serena said...

Nikki: If you're traveling somewhere with hard water - then depending on what detergent you use it may not be a problem. Both Allen's Naturally and Country Save work phenomenally well in hard water areas... Charlie's will work too, just not as well. So, essentially there may not be too much to worry about when venturing into a part of the country with hard water - just be prepared to use a little more detergent than normal.

Heather M said...

Very good tips! We're heading to TN to stay with family this summer and this will all come in handy!

Beth E. said...

Thank you for explaining the process of cloth diapers on the road. It seemed really daunting to me until I read this blog. I might just give it a try on our next trip.

Caroline Marin said...

That is a brilliant packing job. Totally taking that method when I pack next week for our time away!

.tif said...

I love traveling with cloth! We've used cloth since the hospital and haven't regretted it for a day! When we travel, we try to stay with friends for family who have washers or we choose a hotel with washing facilities. I always bring more diapers than I think I'll need because DS has a habit of pooping more when I only have so many diapers on hand (how does he know?!). My hubby is the master packer, so he always figures out how to travel with the extra luggage. I think it's worth the extra effort every time!

Cari said...

We did a 10 day vacation this summer and did the cloth the whole time (well, technically we used disposable flip liners for the two days we were camping...but still partially cloth :)) and I love seeing people's faces when they ask and I say, "yep, all cloth". We made use of family's washers twice and it worked out great. I love the packing tip, I'm going to use that in a couple weeks when we go on a short weekend trip.