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So I just completed my first family vacation.  My husband, 10 month old son and I went down south for 9 nights and I cloth diapered the entire time.  I thought I’d share some tips and things that I learned through this process just in case you’re debating on whether or not to cloth diaper for a trip you’re about to take!

A few things to consider:

What will be your mode of transportation to your vacation spot?  Driving, flying, taking a train? How much extra space will you have in your luggage.  If you’re limited on room, hybrid diapers probably would be your best bet (since you can reuse the covers), or maybe plan on washing more frequently to reduce the number of diapers you need to pack.  Could you carry a backpack as a carry on if you’re flying and pack it all in there to save on extra luggage fees?
We drove to our destination, so I ended up packing everything in a laundry basket.  It definitely took up extra room in the trunk, but we managed to fit everything with this.  The laundry basket worked great when we were at the condo too, it just sat on a spare bed and we grabbed as we needed.

What will be your laundry options?  If you are staying in a hotel do they have on site laundry?  Do you have to pay per load?  If you’re staying in a condo do they have a laundry set right in the unit or on the same floor?  If you’re staying with relatives are they OK with you washing the diapers in their washer?  (Some people will NOT be OK with this, best to ask ahead of time!)
We specifically looked for a condo that had laundry in the unit and we booked our reservations accordingly.  I didn’t want to have to pay to do laundry or have to sit and wait for the next load to be done or risk someone taking a $200 load of diapers. 🙂  This is what a typical laundry unit would look like in a condo – nice and compact!

Also going along these lines – will there be a good place to hang your covers?  You can be a little creative if there really isn’t a good spot 🙂

Do you spray, line, scrape or dunk and swish?  This is something that I did not think about ahead of time.. until it was too late.  🙂  We use a diaper sprayer at home and that really isn’t that frequent.  Majority of the time we can plop.. BUT of course we had a lovely diaper in the hotel on the way down to our destination that took some serious.. um.. work.. 🙂  So consider this ahead of time.  If you’re a sprayer, you might want to consider trying out some liners or investing in a spatula.

Wash your diapers as close to your departing as possible.  We left in the morning on a Thursday and I did my laundry Wednesday night.  This meant I had a couple of dirty diapers already that I needed to bring with me on the trip.  Can’t leave dirty dipes at home for 10 days!  If you opt to use disposables during your trip, take this into consideration as well.  You’ll probably need to start using them the last couple diaper changes before you leave.

My Packing list:

– Diapers (duh…)  depending on how long you’re going to be gone will depend on your amount of diapers.  I ended up bringing pretty much my entire stash, because I figured we were going to be gone for over a week and I didn’t want to do laundry more than I would at home.

– Swim Diapers – I was going to buy a couple of $20 swim diapers but then I read to just use a pocket diaper with no insert.  I have a couple pocket diapers that aren’t my fav, so I wasn’t concerned about the color getting ruined by the chlorine, so that’s what we used and it worked great!  I will say though, bring two.  Just in cause one actually gets used and needs washing before your next trip to the pool.  Or one needs to finish drying before you go to the pool again.

– Wet bags – I brought my three Planet Wise wetbags that have zippers and I brought my Kissaluv pail liner.  I ended up just using the wetbags because of the portability of them and the zipper aspect.

– Wipes – I cloth wipe 100% of the time at home and I did probably about 85% of the time on the trip.  I bought a pack of disposable wipes and there were a few times that I was glad to have them.  Use your own preference on what kind you use.

– Spray bottle (if you cloth wipe)

– Laundry Detergent – calculate how many times you’ll be doing laundry and measure out how much detergent you need.  I put mine in a little plastic container and it worked really good.

– Washing Machine cleaner – ok this might seem like a weird thing, but I’m glad I did it.  You can get tablets that are washing machine cleaners (I used Affresh and it can be found at Target).  I did this simply because you never know what detergents/fabric softeners were used in the washer previously.  And you don’t really want to risk your diapers to that now do you?

– Cloth diaper safe butt cream

– Poo scraper/liners/whatever method you use (see above)


It was definitely worth cloth diapering to me while on vacation, partly because I would have no idea where to start in the disposable isle… 🙂
But do remember, it is your vacation, you do whatever you want!

Have you traveled with cloth diapers?  What made your trip easier?  What did you learn?