We took Gracie with us last week to Las Vegas. DH wanted to pack disposable diapers for the trip (the horror! the horror!), but I convinced him that we could just pack pocket diapers, enough to last a couple of days, with a quick trip to the laundromat during our trip. I packed mostly pocket diapers because they are compact, and quick-drying, and I packed some cloth wipes to clean her bum. We also had a couple fitteds and prefolds in there, just for good measure.
So, how did it go, you ask? We never even made it to the laundromat, I just hand-washed Gracie's diapers in the hotelroom's sink, and let them air-dry. I washed the diapers mid-afternoon, and they were good to go by the next morning. I must add a disclaimer here that Gracie does not poop in her diapers often, but if she did, paper liners would have helped make the clean-up easier. Surprisingly, her prefolds dried as quickly as the microterry pocket inserts, but I would not recommend air-drying fitted diapers in a hotel room, it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R!
While we were gearing up for ABC, I found out another mom was going to use a diaper service in Las Vegas while she was there, which was a brilliant idea. This particular service would drop-off and pick-up diapers at resorts throughout the city -- genius! I would wager if you're visiting any tourist destination serviced by a diaper service, you would likely be able to sign up on a short-term contract.
We have always brought cloth diapers with us when visiting friends and family, I suppose I've never asked for their 'permission' to wash diapers, but then again, I've never asked for their 'permission' when washing our family's underwear either. I know some people think there's a stigma involved in washing your cloth diapers in someone else's machine, but as we all know, everything washes completely away, you needn't worry about offending anyone. If you plan on washing diapers while you're away, remember to bring diaper-friendly detergent with you! It's also a good idea to wipe down the drum of the dryer with a damp cloth to remove any residue left behind by fabric softener sheets, it could transfer to your diapers and cause repelling issues.
If you're worried about using someone else's machine, for short-term trips (less than 4 days), you could always cart your dirty diapers back with you -- I would recommend a zippered laundry bag for this purpose, the PlanetWise hanging laundry bag is ideal for travelling since you can store both clean and dirty diapers in it.
Some cloth diaper manufacturers are starting to offer compostable, single-use inserts, a throwaway solution that offers a better alternative to disposable diapers. Since these compostable inserts aren't encased in plastic, they biodegrade faster. I'm still on the fence about stocking these inserts, I firmly believe that using cloth diapers 100% of the time is doable (and practical, to boot!), but I know some of our customers use a mix of disposable and cloth diapers. Thoughts, anyone? Yay or nay for the compostable, single-use inserts?