My family and I just enjoyed a quick family trip out of town. It is getting to be summer and a great time for traveling and visiting family. I imagine others will be planning summer travel soon and wanted to share some tips on how to travel with cloth or hybrid diapers. Traveling with hybrid diapers is super convenient, and with these tips, traveling with cloth diapers may be easier than you think.
If you saw my posts on getting started with cloth diapers or composting diapers, you know that we are big fans of using reusable diapers at home. Many parents wonder what to do, however, when getting on the road. Disposable diapers are convenient, sure, but we still had concerns about using them traveling, including the environmental impact, the cost of buying a product you use once a then throw away, and increased diaper rash. We found using the gDiapers hybrid diaper system away from home surprisingly easy! So far they have joined us on numerous long weekend trips and a three-state, two-week journey last summer. Here are some of my tips.
If you will be staying with friends or family, ask them ahead of time if they would mind if you washed cloth diapers in their washing machine. So far no one has turned us down, but we also let them know that we wouldn’t mind using disposables if they did. Tip: I brought a small amount of our dye- and perfume-free detergent with me.
If you will be needing a hotel, consider getting a vacation rental instead. We LOVE vacation rentals for the privacy, kitchens and amenities–not to mention value. So far we have stayed in a condo right on the beach in Florida, cabins in Big Bear, and (for our honeymoon) an amazing house in Bali. Two websites I have had luck on are vrbo.com and homeaway.com. Just make sure the property you are considering has a washer and dryer. You will want it for laundry anyway. :)
Use disposable inserts.
At home we use gDiapers cloth inserts during the day and biodegradable disposable inserts for sleep. For long car rides and flying, we also like to use the disposable inserts. They hold more, can be changed less often, and can conveniently be tossed in the trash when done.
Even if you use strictly cloth at home, consider trying a biodegradable insert in your pocket diaper for travel. Although the fit is maximized for gDiapers, I’ve heard other families use them with other brand cloth diaper covers with success.
For a long trip (4-5 days or longer)…
… I liked setting up a mini diaper changing station, just like at home, with cloth diaper wipes and diaper area spray. I brought two waterproof laundry bags (one for clean and one for dirty) and washed the diapers every few days. I also liked packing all of the clean cloth diapers and wipes in a clean laundry bag for travel days. It made the suitcase a little more organized.
For a short trip…
…cut yourself some slack! On our last 2-night trip it just seemed easier to use a mix of gDiapers with biodegradable inserts and traditional disposable diapers (in our case, we like Huggies Pure and Natural) instead of taking our cloth diapers traveling. We also made it easy with disposable wipes. Hey, it’s vacation!
And don’t forget the swim diapers!
Update: A version of this post has been republished on the gDiapers blog “Diaper Therapy.” Check it out!