Guide to Traveling with Cloth Diapers

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You have a lot of decisions to make as a parent, and traveling with cloth diapers is one of those that is harder to make than most. Maybe you’ve done it once and had a hard time, or maybe you can’t wrap your brain around dirty diapers hauled cross country. Either way, we’re going to look at how you can successful cloth diaper while traveling and the few circumstances where it would be better to have a backup plan.

My cloth diaper journey started when my son was allergic to disposables. Full disclaimer here- I already had half a cloth diaper stash because I wanted to try them, I just didn’t realize how much I would actually NEED them.

So when we traveled, we didn’t really have a choice- cloth was our only option. We’ve taken them to many states, and only had a few mishaps.

Thankfully, there are many tips and advice that can be shared, so that others can decide how and when they cloth diaper on their traveling adventures!

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  • Is it even possible to travel with cloth diapers?
  • Benefits to traveling with Cloth
  • What’s Easiest? Covers, Fitteds, Hybrids, All in Ones
  • Items you will want to bring
  • When things go wrong- My cloth diapering in Atlanta sh*t show
  • Tips for Cloth Diapering Success
  • What if you need to wash diapers while on the road?
  • Final thoughts on cloth diapers and travel


Is it even possible to travel with cloth diapers?

The short answer is yes, and the long answer is yes. Traveling with cloth is not only possible, but in certain circumstance can be downright easy.

This article is going to dive into the pros and cons of traveling with our adorable fluff, as well as discuss the HOW to travel with cloth.

Benefits to traveling with Cloth

  1. It’s Cost Effective 
  2. It’s environmentally friendly
  3. It can prevent diaper rash
  4. Less risk of blowouts, especially in car seats.

Ultimately, cloth has many benefits compared to disposables in most situations. The only benefits for my family with disposables is that they are ‘convenient’ in that I don’t have to wash them. But then I end up washing more clothing as disposables tend to cause leaks and blowouts for us (and I’m always confused what size to get my kids! they grow so fast, I like just being able to adjust the snaps and hook and loop and call it a day!)

What’s Easiest? Covers, Fitteds, Hybrids, All in Ones, Pockets

So if you’ve thought about cloth on the road, you’ve also thought about what you have in your stash that would go with you.

Obviously, if you have a favorite diaper- you should probably leave it at home- for safety purposes. Other than that, what do you bring with you and what’s easiest?

Convenience is the most important part here, so flats that require detailed rolls, pockets that need stuffing, and wool covers that can’t get washed on vacation all sound like bad ideas.

That’s not to say that you can’t bring them- just that you will be giving yourself more work to do on your travels.

I have personally used covers with inserts, AIO’s, fitteds with wool and ONE’s while on my travels.

Some things to consider:

  • Wool is great because it’s so breathable BUT it’s not easy to wash on the road. 
  • Covers are super easy because you can reuse the outside and they are easy to clean in a sink BUT you have no where to dry them out 
  • AIO’s are great to have when traveling because you can easily put them on without assembling anything BUT nothing is reusable. 
  • Flats are nice for washing, but don’t have many other travel benefits.
  • Grovia ONE’s are leakproof for nights, but start to stink when left for too long.

Personally, I bring a combination. I typically use covers wherever we are staying or lounging around. AIO’s go in the diaper bag for our travels and ONE’s for nighttime. Then if it’s cooler or extra hot, I will do wool and fitteds (also depends on the age of the baby here! squirmy alligator rolling babies get AIO’s).

Items you will want to bring with you on your travels

Wet Bags

My FAVORITE trick, is to bring lots of smaller wet bags. I have several reasons. 1. Its easy to have a smaller bag to carry around the park. 2. It keeps in the smell at the room because you aren’t opening yesterdays dirty diapers. 3. It keeps bugs away. Are there bugs where you are staying? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out! I bring 3 smaller wet bags per day that I’m on vacation- I also factor in if I’m going to wash diapers or not.

My Favorite brand of wet bag (and most things cloth diaper) is Grovia. They have some smaller sized zipper wet bags that are perfect for traveling!

If you don’t need them for long or just want to go on the cheaper side, Alva Baby has a two pack of small wet bags for the price of one grovia wet bag!

Bioliners- for dealing with Number 2

There are several brands that make these thin pee-through liners. They are meant to catch the poop. We love the grovia brand, but word on Facebook says that paper towels can work pretty well too. You can also do fleece liners. But keep in mind, you just want to toss. You don’t want to spray or deal with poop. 

A Backup Plan

Your back up plan could be several things. Obviously you can bring disposables. When my oldest was in diapers, he could NOT use disposables.

So for him, our backup was to bring our entire stash (3 days worth) for a 5 day trip, and we planned to wash on day 2. It actually worked out great, and he used diapers the whole time with no problem. 

Another option is something like Grovia Biosoakers. These go inside the shell of your diaper and you can throw them away just like a sposie. I love them for traveling! Convenience of the cloth diaper shell (no blowouts!), while not having to deal with a soiled insert.

What if you need to wash diapers while on the road?

If you’ve been cloth diapering for awhile, you will know that the internet (and the mom groups) are full of differing opinions on wash routine.

Like I’ve heard: Don’t use a bucket- Do use a bucket. Don’t use soap nuts- do use soap nuts. You must test the hardness and wash twice, or you can wash once and throw some bleach in and things are totally fine.

Whatever your wash routine, things are going to be a little different when you travel. Mainly because you will be dealing with different equipment than what you use at home.

You have a few different options while washing on the road. You can do a tub/sink wash. You can use the laundromats. You can also look for a diaper service in larger cities that can wash for you (I mean, your on vacation!)

I’ve done two of the things listed above. Tub/sink washing and using a laundromat.

When things go wrong- My cloth diapering in Atlanta sh*t show

I did want to highlight that cloth diapers can have their downsides- BUT so can disposables. I mean, have you ever had a huge up the back blow out in a cloth diaper? I haven’t. It’s only been from disposables and I’ve had three kids of my own and lots of kids that I’ve watched!

Anyways, here’s my sh*t show story.

We went to Atlanta to meet some family. It’s about 7 hours from our house and we brought an entire container of cloth for our first who was absolutely 100% allergic to disposables (he couldn’t even wear one for thirty minutes without a huge breakout)

So we go to the Altanta aquarium, I thought I had packed the diaper bag with all fresh diapers that morning but that was mistake number 1. We only had one clean diaper in the bag.

He needed a change while we were there, and I used the only diaper I had. Well we stayed longer than I planned and, you guessed it, he had a gigantic poop.

Now, not to get graphic here, but this was wayyyy worse than dealing with it at home because he must have had an upset stomach from the changes in his diet while on vacation.

I mean, it was horrendous.

And I didnt have any clean diapers.

But I didn’t have a choice really- so the diaper ended up in the trash (it wasn’t a favorite, so no love lost on my end) and wrapped my poor son in an extra shirt I had in the diaper bag.

I laugh about it now, but I was seriously distressed when it happened. Sometimes traveling (even if it’s just to the grocery store) doesn’t go as planned.

Tips for Cloth Diapering Success

Let’s get into the Tips we can use

  • always bring extra! –If you don’t plan on bringing extra, make sure you have the ability to wash the diapers or you bring disposables
  • Smaller wet bags make the difference!- you don’t want to be toting around a large bag full of smell dirty diapers! Take small wet bags so you can zip it up at the end of the day and be done with it! Plus, this is important for when you have the diaper bag. You will be on the go and will need to have everything contained.
  • If you are planning special outfits, make sure they are cloth friendly- This isn’t really an issue normally, but if it is going to be an issue, it’s going to be a special outfit you saved just for vacation. Check these out before you go!
  • Bring liners for number 2- since you aren’t able to spray diapers on the go, make sure you invest in some liners for the trip. This way you can easily dispose of the poop without leaving it on the diaper for the length of your travels.
  • Make sure you bring detergent- even if you don’t plan to wash, make sure you have access to detergent, ‘just in case!’

Final thoughts on cloth diapers and travel

Overall, traveling with cloth diapers can be pretty easy to do if you have a gameplan in place. Not to mention, that while it might seem like more work, in the end it may actually be less work. This is because you won’t be dealing with diaper rash from disposables and you will have less blow outs (especially in the car seats!)

Cloth diapers and travel do go together!

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