Can I use cloth while traveling?
Absolutely. Do not be put off by advice suggesting that using cloth while out of the house or while traveling is too much hassle. (But don’t feel bad if you decide it’s too much hassle for YOU.) I have found that it’s actually quite easy. When running errands, pack your diaper bag with a few diapers and covers, a few cloth wipes, some water or homemade wipe solution in a bottle, and a wet bag for wet or dirty diapers. It’s just as easy as using disposables.
For travel, pack as many diapers as you think you’ll need plus a few. For a weekend trip, I usually take a few dozen diapers and 5 covers, plus two nighttime diapers and a wool soaker. This is more than enough, but my “be prepared for everything” personality insists that I over pack just in case! Toss a large wet bag or a small bucket with lid in the car and you’re good to go. (Before I started using wet bags, I used an old ice cream bucket. This is a good excuse to buy a gallon of ice cream. “But honey, I need a bucket for our trip to Aunt Jane’s house!”)
For a longer trip, I plan to visit a laundromat every 3 days. In July 2004, when Wally was 3 months, we went camping (in a tent) in Utah for just over a week. I did laundry 3 times. We left on Thursday and returned the following Sunday – I did laundry on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. I could have skipped the Friday laundry, but I wanted to be sure we had enough clean diapers to get home! All I did was pack a duffle bag full of diapers, covers, and wipes; a few plastic bags for wet/dirty diapers on the go; and a 5 gallon bucket. A 3 gallon probably would have sufficed, but I own a 5 gallon bucket and I do not own a 3 gallon one. If I had been using nice wet bags at the time, I would have just used one of those!
In July 2005, when Wally was 15 months old, we went camping in Wisconsin for a week. At this point, we only used diapers for back-up, but were uncertain what to expect on a trip. I packed a few dozen diapers, 5 covers, several pocket diapers for convenience, a dozen wipes, my large wet bag, and a changing pad. We did laundry twice.
We continued using cloth with Genna while camping, as well. (sorry, camping is about the only type of vacation we ever take!)
When Genna was a toddler, we went on a cruise with my in-laws on a ship without laundry facilities (obviously, I didn’t have any say in what ship we went on, lol). We made it with hand washing, but I’ll also admit that Genna was partly potty trained (mostly potty trained).
I blogged here about the practicalities of using cloth diapers when you’re traveling – for the before and after the trip parts of your trip.
PS, if you’re camping, I strongly recommend rinsing out diapers that are just pee diapers, then hanging them to dry before putting them in your wet bag or pail. This will cut down on odors significantly. If you’re not afraid of the ick factor, rinsing out the poopy diapers is also not a bad idea.