We aren’t the type of people that like to travel in luxury, with a “go big or go home” mindset. Personally, we like the idea of having money left in the bank when we get back from holiday so actually pay for said home. Traveling isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to break you either.…
Pick the perfect destination planning for a trip. On a tight budget? This guide will give you the basic tools on how to choose a destination that won’t break the bank.…
We’ve been home for almost a year now and I would be lying if I said it was easy. Our house hunting trip was last April and it did not go as planned. When we finally had boots on the ground and properly moved into our current house in Canada, there were a lot of little things that took a while to get used to.…
While relatively rare, Airline bankruptcy is a real problem and can mark the end of someones life savings.
Of the myriad of Discount Airlines around the world, because there are a lot (so says Wikipedia), there are far fewer budget airlines that have gone belly-up. Fewer still that left passengers stranded without hope of repatriation. Many were transformed into full-service airlines or were bought out by their parent company. Most of the listed defunct airlines also only operated regionally or nationally.
The most recent Discount Airlines to make headlines are;
- WOW air (Iceland) – March 28, 2019
- Primera Air (Denmark) – October 2, 2018
- Island Air (Hawaii) – November 10, 2017
- Air Berlin (Germany) – October 27, 2017
- Monarch Airlines (UK) – October 2, 2017
These companies were some of the few that provided
Airline bankruptcy vs airline failure
Airlines that go bankrupt don’t always cease operations. In fact, several prominent US airlines, including Delta and United Airlines have filed for bankruptcy before. In these cases, they underwent restructuring while still remaining operational. These types of bankruptcies typically do not affect flyers, who can still go about their business as always.
Some airlines, however, fail. When a bankrupt airline goes bust, they cease operations completely. This is what happened with Primera Air when it folded on the 2nd of October, 2018.
But why can’t we just get a refund?
When any company goes bust, there are always a whole lot of creditors left behind who are owed money. Compensation claims are at the bottom of a long list which features the airline’s investors, employees, and passengers. In addition, since the airline has ceased all operations there’s no-one who could assess the validity of claims.
Protect yourself against losing money when an airline goes bankrupt.
While there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent an airline from insolvency, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from the financial burdens that come with airline cancellations.
Even before you have left on holiday, you can make the single most important decision to protect yourself against budget airline bankruptcy. But you won’t like it.
Choosing between the expensive ticket with a large airline and play it safe, or risk your holiday with a low cost budget fare. Again, bankruptcy is a rare occurrence but it happens none-the-less.
Low cost subsidiary
If expensive and cautious just isn’t in the cards, which no one would blame you if this was the case, aim to book your flights with a low-cost subsidiary of a larger airline. These large carriers are required to honour the tickets of their budget-airlines. This also makes it that much easier to obtain a “rescue fare”.
Pay with a Credit Card
You have the best chance of getting a refund if you paid for your flight with one of several credit cards that offer trip cancellation/interruption coverage. The amount of available coverage differs, as does the eligibility of members of your traveling party, but you should be able to file a successful claim
Insurance can help—but only if it’s the right kind.
Most standard policies do not provide protection for insolvency, collapse or default of airlines, travel agents, wholesalers, cruise operators, tour operators, hotels, car hire companies, railways or theme parks.
Trying to get your head around what insurers mean when they say ‘they DO cover for insolvency of a travel service provider’, but DO NOT cover for financial collapse of any transport, tour or accommodation provider is tricky
Many trip-cancellation and interruption (TCI) policies include airline failure as a “covered reason” for cash recovery. But you’ll have to consider two caveats:
- Some policies specify “bankruptcy” as a primary covered condition even though failed airlines don’t always file. To be safe, buy a policy that specifies a failure or “default” rather than just bankruptcy.
- The insurance option you can pay extra for when you buy your ticket directly from the airline does not protect you if that airline fails. If the airline fails, so did the insurance policy they sold you.
Allianz and Travel Insurance Saver are two world renowned Travel Insurance companies that claim to have insolvency coverage for transport.
World Nomads; “There is no coverage for the Financial Insolvency of any person, organization, agency or firm from whom You purchased travel arrangements supplied by others”
- Opportunity Cost; The Hidden Costs of Budget Travel
- Get Out Of Debt. Start Traveling
- Affordable Family Travel without Compromising the Integrity of the Vacation
Refunds for accommodation
If you decide to cancel your vacation because of an airline bankruptcy you’ll want to know your rights for refunds from your hotel, and anything else you’ve already paid for.
You should start by contacting them directly. In some cases, you have the right to cancel in advance for any reason, and even if you don’t, sometimes hotels can be sympathetic to your situation.
If you’re not able to cancel and get a refund, talk to your travel insurance and credit card companies to see if they are able to offer you any coverage for the money you’ve lost.
Have a backup plan
Consider having a backup plan. Don’t assume other airlines are going to give you and your family a free ticket home or even a reduced rate. This is great for PR but they are not required to help you.
While we would never suggest having an extra $5,000 squirreled away in case your flight goes into default, emergencies happen everywhere and everyday. Having an emergency fund should be in place regardless and only be used in a true emergency.
Our previous Travel Insurance company wasn’t compatible with the local hospital billing system so we had to pay for everything out of pocket and wait a week for reimbursement. This is fine if it’s just a regular check-up, but imagine our surprise when I had an emergency c-section! Planning ahead, even if that means there is enough available credit on your Line of Credit. As long as you have the means to purchase a ticket home and worry about the details later.
What You Need to Know When an Airline Fails
We’ve done everything we can to protect ourselves from airline financial shenanigans and yet here we are, stranded on holiday with no known way of getting home. Here is what you need to know when an airline fails you.
Bankruptcy leaves few options for travelers.
In bankruptcy, airlines can leave travelers in the lurch. In such a situation, other airlines typically offer reduced “repatriation” fares to stranded travelers.
Travelers holding worthless tickets for future flights can request a refund if they bought tickets with a credit card directly from the airline, but those who booked with a third party or as part of a package deal like a tour will have to look to the operator.
Passenger protection rights doesn’t apply either
Because passenger protection rights require airlines to make good on their promises, and there isn’t an airline left to fulfill said promise, you
That seems like an awful lot of bad news, considering I just promised to help you now that you are stranded.
Sadly, yes. It is mostly going to be bad news for the next little while. Bankruptcy in and of itself means the airline has wiped its hands clean of all debt and financial responsibilities. If you have taken every precaution mentioned above, you are on the right path to getting a full refund and possibly a discounted ticket for you and your family to return home.
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There is a lot to consider when addressing the overall cost of a family trip to Europe; time of year, hotel selection, attraction tickets, food, flights, transportation, and extras.
While we will be discussing various expenses to your European vacation, and will be speaking in a lot of vague hypotheticals, please remember that each vacation differs from the next and there is no right-way to vacation in Europe. If you have any questions or require clarification, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and we can give specific examples from our travels.
How Much Does It Cost To Take The Family To Europe?
Time of year
Deciding on the right time of year to visit Europe can literally half the cost of your overall vacation. High season is notably more expensive, more crowded, and exponentially more uncomfortable due to weather.
Take flights, hotels and attraction ticket costs into consideration when deciding on a date, not just what is more convenient.
Getting There – $800 to $1500 per person
Most people will need to fly in order to get to Europe, but once you have landed, there are still more hoops to go through in order to reach your destination city and hotel.
Budget airlines will cut costs by charging for every little thing; checked bag, snacks on board, headphones… and their flights don’t operate at all airports. Some have their own airports, far out of town, and this will increase the cost of your taxi ride to the hotel.
Tip; Air Canada flights allow Service Members 3 checked bags free of charge when presented with Government ID. Find out which discounts and privileges you have available to you.
From Toronto, you can expect to pay upwards of $800 per person, even during off season, to get to many places in Europe. Play with arrival and departure airports and see if driving 3 hours out of town will save you $1500 on your flights. True story.
There is a sweet spot when children are absolutely free, and then start getting more and more expensive as they get older. Traveling is no different.
From 75% off flights for lap babies, to free accommodations, under 2 years old is the best time to travel with kids. After that, public transit, restaurants and even attractions start to charge for school aged children.
Accommodations – 100-200€ per night
A significant portion of your vacation will be eaten up by accommodations. Mostly, because you are charged per occupancy, and not per room. This means you will pay more to have 4 people in a single room than 1 person in the same room. While this is still cheaper than 4 separate rooms, one still needs to consider this additional cost when creating your vacation budget.
Furthermore, European hotels offer more variations in room styles; some are single beds, some are two single beds, some are 1 single and 1 double. Look for the room that is an exact match to your needs, because the number of beds does factor into the price of the room as well.
There are options available for super cheap, but you need to consider what you are paying for, where that money is going to, and how is the local economy affected by your choices. Because of these things, we refuse to use Airbnb or other home-share budget accommodation sites. Families staying in hostels tend to pay about as much, if not more, than a hotel and are not as accommodating as chain hotels. Therefore, we always suggest using Booking.com. They have saved our butts more than once and have great customer service.
On average, we try to stay between 100-120 euro per night for a family suite, or combined rate of 120 euro for two rooms. This includes parking and breakfast.
Food – €35 to €75 per person/per day
There are hotels available with a full
If flying, it is nearly impossible to bring kitchen supplies and stock groceries, so everything needs to be purchased again and potentially left behind once the vacation is over.
Considering the cost of eating out for lunch and dinner, because we have breakfast included in our hotel stay, and the time it takes to come back to the hotel to cook said meal instead of staying out in the city and exploring after meal times, we prefer to pay a little less for a hotel room and simply eat out. We do, however, stock the hotel room with healthy snacks so we can cut costs while out and about anyway.
A family of 4 can easily spend 40 euro for lunch and another 100 euro for dinner (alcohol included). Pub food is the best and least expensive non-fast food option we have encountered. And Pubs are everywhere in Europe. If your party has any minors, note that many pubs won’t allow them after 7/8pm so mind your timings when picking a place to eat.
Remember, Europe doesn’t expect gratuities the same way America does.
Museums, Attractions & Theme Park Tickets
What are you doing while on vacation? Are you walking around, soaking up all the free things there are to do in town or do you plan on actually visiting a museum or attraction?
Hitting up the free-things list is great to keep costs down but can also leave a lot unchecked on the bucket list. Some attractions allow children under 6 to enter for free, others charge after 3 years old. Check it out.
There are a great number of museums and attractions that sell combination tickets; pay for this museum and get half off the next. Or purchase a city pass and get free/discounted entrance to a fair number of attractions in the city. Look up your options, see who needs to pay for what and where then consider the various costs of combinations and passes. Sometimes skipping one museum can make a huge difference – but how important was that museum?
Will you be driving around town, taking the train, public transit, walking… and how did you get to your holiday home in the first place?
Cities tend to be overcrowded and thus hotels/attractions charge a lot for parking. I will pay a little more for parking included because I know it will cost less than the cheaper hotel and paying for city parking. Big picture.
Now that we have parked the car, does it cost to take the car out during the day? Is there parking at your attraction of choice? How much is the bus or tram?
Those city passes that we just mentioned sometimes come with transit tickets. If they don’t, the city is more than happy to sell you a tourist transit pass or re-loadable transit card. It is imperative that tourists like us follow the local laws and actually pay for our tickets. Transit officials increase fines constantly because they are not hefty enough to deter locals and tourists from abusing the honour system.
Dusseldorf, for example, charges 100 euro on your first offence. And they get you to pay right there and then, or they escort you from the train and wait for the police to show. I have seen it one too many times while living in Germany and it is not pleasant. Imagine doing this with your family by your side, in a language you don’t understand. Just pay the ticket.
There will always be shopping involved, no matter how many times you tell the kids they can’t buy anything today. Give everyone a set allowance, enough to actually buy something so not 10 euro per day, but more like 60 euro for the whole vacation, to spend on souvenirs and nonsense as they please.
This one doesn’t come up a lot when you think of budget vacation but we have splurged on a few private tours in our 4 years in Europe. Why? Because time and energy.
Touring the Colosseum was amazing. And it was even more amazing because we had a guided tour. We knew the kids weren’t going to cooperate long enough to see everything, and we have done enough museum tours with audio-guides to know that I have retained absolutely zero information from them – between the constant interruptions from the kids or the kids moving us too fast through the museums. There are some locations that you just want to know everything about and a private tour is the best way to do it.
And sometimes, a private tour is the only way to do it. There are a handful of castles in Europe, Heidelberg and Schloss Marienburg for example, that require a private tour to gain access to the inside of the castle. It is free to wander on the grounds, but that’s about it.
What Does a Family European Vacation Cost? The Results Are In!
Depending on the time of year, a family of 4 can expect to pay anything from $10,000 for 10 days in England to $4,000 for a week in Hamburg. It all depends on so many factors.
The only thing we can be sure of, is that you won’t be hoping on a plane every long weekend to cross the Ocean.
Pro Tip; The longer you stay, the cheaper each city becomes. Why? Because the bulk of your holiday costs will be the flight. They range from $500 per person round trip to $1500 per person. Once that has been taken out of the equation, Europe is a rather inexpensive vacation destination (just stay away from England, the British Pound is worth twice the price of the Canadian Dollar, and therefore it is Extremely expensive to visit).
If you know you have a lot of ground to cover and not a whole lot of money to cover it with, block a significant amount of vacation time and “do it all”. The fewer times you have to jump on a plane to cross the Atlantic, the fewer overtime hours you have to put in to pay for the vacation in the first place.
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This is the pain felt by every woman without a thigh gap – and there are more of us than you think.
But what to do about it. We want to wear pretty dresses or short shorts but can’t bear the idea of stepping 3 feet without some sort of inner thigh protection.
As a life-long member of the Chub Rub Club, I have had my fair share of uncomfortable situations and dramatic wardrobe changes. Here are a few of the products that I have found do the trick, and a few strategies to keep things cool down there.
To which I earn a small commission, at zero cost to you!
Keeping things cool and dry
Preventing sweat before it starts is key to keeping cool and dry in rub-prone areas.
Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder
MONISTAT Complete Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel
Lady Anti Monkey Butt Powder
Conversely, lathering it up and giving the skin something to ‘slip and slide’ on is another way of preventing chaffing. Are these starting to sound a little familiar? I feel like this is straight out of “What to Expect the First Year “
An anti-chafing balm will help prevent the skin irritation caused by friction. Balms are an alternative for people who don’t want to deal with messier products.
Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick Unscented
BodyGlide Body Glide For Her Anti Chafe Balm
Physical layers of protection
And the #1 sure fire way to prevent chub rub is to put a physical barrier between each thigh.
JTANIB Slip Shorts for Women Mid-Thigh Leggings Lace High Waist Safety Undershorts
Undersummers Lace Shortlette, Short Length: Anti Thigh Chafing Slip Shorts
Bandelettes Elastic Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands
Thus far, my personal favorites have been Bandelettes (unless you buy the wrong size, then they are horrible and useless), Bodyglide – kinda like deodorant but your inner thighs won’t smell like Raspberries, it lasts longer and the bottle is smaller so it hides better in your clutch- and the sport shorts.
These are great for when you have little ones around and aren’t sure if someone is going to flip your skirt or get a little handsy. I dislike Spanx; mostly because of how tight they are but they hide mummy-tummy pretty well so they aren’t completely useless.
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Many will tell you why you should take that gap year and travel before retirement, least youth be wasted on the young. Quit your job and see the world while you still can. Today, we are doing the opposite. Showcasing all the reasons why quitting your job before retirement to travel the world is a bad idea.
Seeing your kids for only an hour or so at night, busy weekends, always tired, bills to pay, this sounds like the perfect reason to pack it all in and leave it behind. To travel the world while everyone is still young enough to enjoy it. Until the time comes when we can work part-time and earn a living, or take a few years off without harming our career prospectives and financial security, we need to learn how to travel as much as possible while still working full time.
“Millenials” have been getting a bad rap lately for quitting their jobs after only a few years and leading a nomadic lifestyle. Baby boomers just don’t seem to understand why anyone would put their families in that kind of position. According to them, these are the many reasons why you should not quit your job to travel the world before retirement.
1 – Jeopardize your earning potential.
Your job level and years of service will be placed on hold during your sabbatical, while your peers continue to climb the corporate ladder. If you don’t take a sabbatical and simply quit your job, your seniority is history. Maybe the new job will acknowledge your work history, but that is up to them.
By taking a year off, you not only lose actual earnings but your growth momentum. How easy will it be to find a new job at the same rate of pay?
2 – Family responsibilities
The children still need to be in school. Yes, homeschooling is possible but it is not legal in all countries, so you will need to either visit during the summer months (peak season) or enroll them in the local school while you are staying there. This seems a little counterproductive.
With a family, there are now that many more people to take care of. It isn’t just you or your partner to feed, house and cloth. It’s the kids too. This makes everything that much more expensive and they can’t exactly earn their keep – you are now saving for 4 people to travel, not just yourself.
Yes, you are saving money from mortgage payments, car costs, schools fees and extracurricular activities, but insurance, short-term emergencies, accommodations, clothes and food still be to be paid
Finding a way to travel while working full time teaches the children about a proper home/work balance and shows them they can do it too when they are older and start a family. Tapped Out Travellers absolutely advocates for traveling as a family, and the importance of world knowledge outside of the classroom, but on a part-time, during school holidays level.
3 – Won’t be able to retire on time (or early)
We all have that one friend, the guy that retires before he’s 50 because he’s put in 25 years of service. Or hear about the worlds youngest CEO. They didn’t get that way by taking a few years off. Since many pension programs require X number of years of paying into the system, you are either stuck paying into it while traveling or making up for lost time after you get back. This can add years to your retirement age. I don’t know about you, but I have zero intention of working a day longer than I need to.
Sure, there is more to this world than working until retirement, but there is also something to be said about retiring early and getting the best of both worlds.
4 – Loose vacation day benefits momentum
In many countries, and for many employers, you gain more vacation days the longer you work for the same company. This means a 10th-year worker will get X more weeks off than the new guy. Do you want to constantly be the new guy or bank your holidays and get a free month off, while still being paid?
5 – The world isn’t going anywhere
There are a handful of locations that are being closed due to over-tourism, but that is mostly during the peak season. Never travel during peak season.
On the other hand, the rest of the world isn’t going anywhere. If you are afraid that a major destination will quickly be ruined by over-tourism, you can take the week off and visit now or wait until the country has sorted its tourism out and try to visit it in a few years. As far as we know, the world isn’t going anywhere. You can afford to wait a few years.
6 – You honestly cannot afford to
Yes, you can technically afford that plane ticket and hostel stay, and get around your destination just fine. But wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to work 80 hours per week, loose contact with all of your friends, and be stuck in a dorm room with 10 other people just to go on vacation.
My idea of a vacation is being free and relaxed and not worrying about the money. Have a budget, yes, but not strapped for cash. Make sure you enjoy it the first time you visit, properly, and without regrets. Do what you want.
The main reason you can’t afford it is because that’s not the way life works. That’s not reality.
Travelling functions as a break, not a way to live your life
The thrill of travel is that it is a unique experience. The reason why people love doing it so much is because it functions as a means of escape. Yet if travelling itself becomes a daily chore, then it is unlikely that it will retain its magic.
7 – More enjoyable when you plan ahead
Planning ahead is much more enjoyable than flying by the seat of your pants. We like to research the crap out of each location and know exactly what we are getting ourselves into. What restaurants are there available for our family, the operating hours of our desired attractions, the best time of year to visit and which ones to avoid. This is a little difficult to do while already on holiday, and working from home, and raising children and and and… you get my point.
8 – Can’t legally live anywhere you choose
There are only about 172 countries that Canadians and Americans (166) can visit without a visa. This leaves 65 that requires you to apply for visas. But visiting isn’t living or working in that destination. For digital nomads, those that work from home while traveling the world (mostly bloggers but other types of employment that simply require an internet connection), sponsorships and advertisements make up a large part of their income. If you can’t legally work in a country, can you still receive compensation for your work from a local company?
The number of days you can remain in each country varies. It is important to know how long you are allowed to stay, what you are allowed to do (and not do) while visiting and when you need to leave before being arrested or banned for life. Schengen Zone is a particular headache for many since you are only allowed for 90 days, before taking a 90-day break in order to return. Not all European countries are Schengen. Knowing which countries to hit up, and which ones to visit while your clock resets is key to traveling legally within Europe.
Remember, visa-free travel is for leisure. It is against the law to overstay or to work (on the economy). With normal vacation travel, you’ll rarely have to worry about visas or the risk of being denied permission to remain in any one country for a reasonable period. You shouldn’t confuse traveling and vacationing: Just because you went on a vacation and enjoyed it does not mean that you will enjoy traveling.
9 – Personal and Family health
It can be very costly to seek treatment abroad or fly home to seek treatment for yourself or a family member, so global health insurance is essential if you ever quit your job to travel the world. It’s 100% possible, as expats, tourists and locals have to get medical attention somewhere, but it could cost a small fortune and your insurance premiums will eventually go up.
As a Canadian, our health insurance is “free”, but going through a private travel insurance provider and you start to pay monthly premiums, deductibles and some stuff just plain isn’t covered. Moving around all the time leaves little room for a family doctor to get to know you and your family, have regular check-ups and access to a proper dentist. Again, all possible, but is it worth the stress?
There are many travel bloggers out there that have lead a nomadic lifestyle for a few years, only to call it quits and set up roots. Their bodies aren’t able to handle the time zone changes, food changes, quality of water changes. Everything takes a toll on the body and there comes a day when enough is enough. Taking health care aside and just looking at your health, traveling full time is hard on the body. It’s hard on the mind. It’s hard on the family unit. For health reasons, it may not be prudent to be traveling non-stop. You may have your own medical condition that requires doctors’ visits and regular follow-on care.
10 – You already have more time off to travel than you think
One of the questions most newbies to cloth diapering have is “Oh no, how in the world do you TRAVEL with these things?”
I’m here to tell you, IT IS DOABLE! While there is nothing wrong with switching to disposables during your trip (I have done that as well when we were going to a place that didn’t have a washer and dryer!) if you’re committed to keeping those little tushies in cloth, here are some tips to help you out.
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My first words of advice are to ALWAYS pack more diapers and wipes than you think you’ll need. Seriously. You don’t want to be stuck without a clean one, and inevitably, the day you think you can get away with packing light will be the day your little one has 3 blowouts before lunchtime! (Ask me how I know this… )
So how many cloth diapers do you need? Breastfed newborns soil about 8-12 diapers per day, or generally, about every time they nurse. Once they start solids, the frequency of changing decreases somewhat to 6-8 per day. Older babies (like 8-12 months) have digestive systems that are “settling in” so to speak, and they need maybe 4-6 changes per day. Toddlers need even fewer, especially if they’re sleeping through the night. Remember these are just averages. My youngest was a pooper, and we had to change him even more frequently, while my oldest (maybe because we had to supplement with a little formula), caused us to CELEBRATE when he actually pooped. It was a lot easier keeping my oldest in cloth diapers than my youngest for sure.
If you’re using cloth wipes as well, you’ll need 1-3 for each change. Always bring extra. Always. Bring. Extra.
So, take that amount of diapers above and multiply by the number of days between washing. When I was at home, I generally washed diapers every 3 days, but when traveling, it was every 2 ON THE DOT, especially when staying with friends/family. My mom was not exactly THRILLED with the idea of us using her washing machine for poopy diapers, but came around to it once I showed her how little poop actually goes in the washing machine! (basically, you put any poop solids into the toilet and just flush them away!) Also, a note to put here is that exclusively breastfed babies have poop that is water soluble, so those diapers don’t even need to be scraped off or anything. They generally don’t smell bad either.
Also remember that depending on the type of diapers you use, you may have to adjust as well. I found that for us, the most efficient way to cloth diaper was to use a PUL cover with either one thick or two thin prefolds as the insert (We had a special system for overnight including a waterproof cover, a wraparound cloth diaper (like Kushies), one thick insert, one thin insert, and a cloth liner or two). This way, when the diaper was just wet, I could simply replace the prefolds and keep the cover on until we had a big number two or a soak-through (small number twos don’t necessarily require you to get a new cover). This worked because I could pack fewer covers. If you’re using All-in-One diapers, you’ll have to change the whole thing every time, and that gets a little bulky to pack. The upside to these is that they are SO MUCH SIMPLER. Both types have their place and really, it depends on you and your baby’s preference.
Remember to always pack a couple of extras. Seriously. I cannot stress this enough.
As far as detergents, make sure you keep in mind the liquid restrictions for flying. If you use a liquid detergent, make sure it’s put in your checked luggage and it’s double or triple contained in some sort of plastic bag so it doesn’t leak all over the contents of your suitcase. Personally, I use powdered detergent for cloth diapers (It’s always better to use detergent made for cloth diapers since regular detergents don’t always get them clean enough and can also reduce the life of your cloth diapers). It takes up less room and while I still would put it in the checked luggage, if you put it in your carry on, limit it to a 12-ounce container or less and be prepared to put it in a separate bin for the extra screening.
On that note, any stains that refuse to come out in the wash (which are less likely with an all natural detergent like Nellie’s but can still happen), bleach them in the sun. That’s seriously all you need to do. Hang them outside in the middle of the day and let mother nature do the rest.
Okay, so once you arrive at your destination, the cloth diaper issue really isn’t so bad. The stressful part can be the actual TRAVELING, especially if you’re flying or using public transportation. If you’re travelling by car, the cloth diapers are a little less of an issue because you can just rinse them off and put them in a waterproof soiled diaper bag and be done with it. You can pull over and change at a rest stop or even on the side of the road and no one cares. I’ve done this and it wasn’t that bad at all. Now, if you’re using a method of transportation where people are packed in like sardines, that puts a whole other wrench in things. Honestly, my personal recommendation for flying or taking a train/bus/cruise/etc is to just use disposables for the duration of transit so you’re not fiddling with soiled diapers with a crowd of people around. It’s just easier and less of a hassle for everyone.
That being said, it’s also totally doable if you do it right. Remember to always bring more cloth diapers than you think you’ll need. Also, bring a couple of changes of clothes for both you and your baby. The last thing you want is to be stuck on an airplane after a nasty blowout without a change of clothes or an extra diaper! If you’ll be using cloth diapers, make sure to change right before boarding. Also, have a really good, smell-proof receptacle/wetbag/large zip-top bag to put the diapers in for the trip so your companions aren’t giving you the evil eye the whole time.
So, things you’ll need to have on hand for traveling with cloth diapers:
- Enough diapers and wipes for your kid, depending on age, frequency of washing, and the poop/pee habits of your little one.
- EXTRA DIAPERS AND WIPES! Don’t be left empty handed (or bare-bottomed!)
- Extra changes of clothes for you and your kid.
- Wet bag/diaper pail/somewhere to put soiled diapers and wipes
- Something to scrape sticky poop off the diapers
- Detergent (go with powdered, made specifically for cloth diapers)
- Don’t forget all the other things too like a changing blanket, diaper cream, etc.
- EXTRA DIAPERS AND WIPES! I seriously cannot stress this enough!
Finally, the last piece of advice I have is to “strip” all of your diapers right before travelling to make sure they are as absorbent as possible. If you’re brand new to cloth diapering, stripping your cloth diapers is essential. Just wash all the diapers and wipes with the original blue DAWN soap (1 teaspoon for HE machines and 1 tablespoon for other machines) in the hottest water possible. It’s also prudent to add a ½ cup of bleach. Do the rinse cycle 2-4 more times (with no detergent) until you see ZERO soap suds.
If you’re dead set against bleach like we were, you can use 1 Tablespoon Hydrogen Peroxide and 1 teaspoon lemon juice instead. We also added some essential oil like Thieves or Lavender.
There you have it. Travelling with cloth diapers can be a little scary, but it’s absolutely doable if you commit to it. Just remember to always have extra diapers and wipes on hand!
This post was written by…
Rachelle from Mamma Writes Reviews
A note from Tapped Out Travellers… while we have asked Rachelle to write this amazing guide for cloth diapering while travelling, we did use cloth diapers once upon a time in our travels. It has been so long since Baby Girl was in cloth diapers (she outgrew our supply and we choose not to purchase bigger sizes) that we felt it prudent to get first-hand information from a more recent cloth diaper user. The cogs are turning and everything she has pointed out I can remember we have used.
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