In a previous blog entry, I wrote about cloth diapering while travelling this summer on a road trip and staying at a remote alpine cabin. We did another trip last November, consisting of a 4 night/5 day cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles, followed by 4 full days in Disneyland. And as with our summer trip, we used cloth diapers exclusively throughout our trip.
We decided to bring only as many diapers as would fit in our Skip Hop diaper bag. As it turned out, only 20 diaper changes fit in the bag --18 pocket and all-in-one diapers and 2 fitted diapers with 2 covers. This turned out to be more than enough.
Our trip started off with the cruise. At the end of day 2 I knew that we weren't going to have enough diapers to last us until we arrived in LA. I checked out our ship's guest laundry facilities, but at $3 US for a wash and $3 US for a dry, I decided not to spend the small fortune that it would cost to wash the 5 diapers that I needed to get us through to the end of the cruise. Thus, I washed the diapers in our stateroom's bathroom sink, and hung them up to dry on the clothes line over our bathtub. I did the wash by rinsing the diapers in warm water, then soaking the diapers in hot water with detergent for 30 minutes, giving them an occasional swirl a few times during the soak. I then rinsed them thoroughly and wrung them out before hanging them up to dry.
It did take a while for our diapers to dry, since I was using bamboo inserts with our pocket diapers, and all-in-one diapers with bamboo soakers, and the bathroom was rather damp. Thus, while I washed the diapers on day 2, they weren't dry until 2 days later, on the second last day of our cruise. That was okay, since we didn't need to use the hand washed diapers until the last day of the cruise. (Note to self: bring flats or prefolds next time, as they dry a whole lot faster than multi-layered bamboo inserts.)
Our hotel in Anaheim had coin-operated guest laundry machines with very reasonable prices- $1.25 for a wash and $1.25 for a dry (in modern front-loading machines). The first night at the hotel, I did two loads of laundry in the hotel's washers and dryers - one for all of the cloth diapers that we had used up to that date, and another one for our regular clothes. I pre-rinsed the diapers in our bathtub prior to taking them to the guest laundry facilities. It was a treat to be able to use washing machines, after having had to handwash the cloth diapers earlier in our trip.
I carried a wetbag and a few diaper changes (typically 4-5) inside my tote bag while we were in Disneyland. Whenever a diaper got wet, I simply tossed it into the wetbag. I didn't feel that the diapers inconvenienced me or were a burden to carry - I was already carrying water, snacks and an extra change of clothes and a sweater for the kids.
Our daughter was consistently pooping in the potty at the time, so we didn't have to deal with poopy diapers during our trip (although pee was still a different story, hence the need for diapers still!). However, had she not been so inclined to poop in the potty, I would have used disposable liners to make poop clean-up a breeze, just as I had done while cloth diapering on our summer trip.
We did find that we changed our daughter less often on our trip than we would have at home, since we were always out and about seeing and doing things, and didn't always have time to hit the bathroom every couple of hours. To handle the increased amount of liquid that she had in our diapers, I found that it was useful to double stuff the pocket diapers (i.e. using an additional insert or a booster).
I must confess that we used disposable diapers on a similar trip a year earlier where we cruised to San Diego and spent some time in San Diego and Anaheim before flying back to Vancouver. But honestly, having done the trip twice - once with disposable diapers, and once with cloth diapers - I can say that it really wasn't more troublesome to use cloth diapers while travelling.
Here's what we missed out on when cloth diapering on my more recent trip (as compared to a year earlier when we used disposable diapers):
1) We missed the leaky blowouts that we had - on 3 occasions - while using disposable diapers.
2) We missed the "fragrance" in our bathroom after we tossed a pooped-on disposable diaper into the bathroom garbage pail (although I did try to shake as much off as I could into the toilet).
3) Last but not least, we missed out on an excellent photo-op when I forgot to take a photo of my daughter wearing her custom Minnie Mouse cloth diaper (which I made for her) in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle.
Unfortunately, I do not have too many photos to go with this post. Cloth diapering was so inconsequential that I forgot to take any photos of our cloth diapers soaking in the sink or line drying in our hotel closet. We were just too busy seeing the sights and planning our day's activities to really give cloth diapering any thought! Cloth diapering, really, is no big deal. So, if you haven't done so already, when you're next on the go, why not consider giving cloth diapering a go?