Thursday, May 27, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane...with cloth diapers!

This time of year, this is one of the questions we receive most often:

Can we travel with cloth diapers and how?

The answer? Absolutely! Preparation and foresight is key. Here are some tips I've learned from traveling:

Plan around the use of washing machines. If you're staying in hotels, try to book a room in a hotel that has guest laundry (the self-serve kind). Only dry your inserts or prefolds. Hotel dryers can run VERY hot and may ruin snaps or PUL products (the waterproof fabric on your covers and diapers). Hang the covers and pockets to dry.

Take your own detergent. A baggie of your favorite detergent is worth the hassle. If you have liquid, pack it in your checked baggage so it's not confiscated at the airport. Double bag powders. If you have a bottle of detergent, put it in a baggie to contain any leaks.

If you have two pail liners, take them both. One can hold dirty diapers and the other can hold clean ones. One of our pail liners is a hanging pail liner (Doorknob Diaper Pail). At home, it's a liner for our plastic pail, but on vacation, we snap it around a doorknob or towel bar for an instant travelling diaper pail.

Take all of your diapers that fit. Every last one, even the ones you never use. You never know how long you'll need to go between washes and having extra diapers can really be beneficial.

If you fly, take 1/2 of your diapers in a carry-on and 1/2 in your checked luggage. If possible, spread them out to as many suitcases as possible, just in case a bag is lost.

If you can't find a washing machine, wash by hand. Most inserts will dry overnight, prefolds can still be used even slightly damp, and most covers and pockets will dry quickly.

For longer trips or trips totally without washing facilities, covers and flats are a great way to go. They are easily handwashed and dry very quickly.

We took a trip three years ago that really challenged our use of cloth diapers. First we had a 12 hour flight with two layovers, then a 3 hour drive, then an overnight stay where we washed diapers. Then an 18 hour car trip and a 3-day stay in the boonies. Almost broke down and bought disposables, but ended up finding a secret washing machine in the basement. Snuck in to wash diapers. Another 18 hour car trip, then a week at my Mom's with her machine. Then the flight home. We successfully cloth diapered the entire trip. During the long car ride, we had a huge bag of dirty diapers, but with the top twisted on our pail liners, no one in the van could smell a thing. Whew!

Heather Hicks, copyright Cloth Diaper Outlet 2010


Sarah Gesiakowski, PinStripes and PolakDots LLC said...

Nellie's Laundry Nuggets are a great choice for detergent when traveling. Self-contained little packets of good detergent. I also take the time to wash a load of our laundry in the washing machine first before my diapers.

Also, check with your airlines. With checked baggage costing extra these days, often a carry-on diaper bag does not cost and is an allowable extra carry-on bag.

We have traveled from IL to FL, DC, NV and CA in cloth. 2 road trips. 2 flights. Except for changing poopy diapers at excessively high altitudes, all was pretty simple.

T Rex Mom said...

Thank you! We're taking a trip in a few weeks and I've been trying to get ready. I did purchase a hanging wet bag. And I was also thinking of getting some disposable inserts for some of our covers to tie us over in case we could not get to the washing facilities.

June F. said...

You are very brave, and you make it sound easy. I'm not sure I could do a long trip like that!

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