Carrying, washing, drying and changing cloth diapers on an airplane, or in a hotel room is real, real tough. If you use cloth diapers, consider switching to disposable diapers for the trip. Before you say no, consider it again. If you must, plan on bringing along lots of spares and plan on doing a lot of sink washing.

That said, disposable diapers can be hard to find in some countries. We always bought a big box and checked it as checked luggage. We would leave the box in a hotel room and pull what we need during the day out. You can also stuff diapers into packed shoes, in the edges of your suitcase, in jacket pockets and the like inside of suitcases without taking up too much room.

We also found that sticking a couple of disposable diapers into the little backpack our three year old wanted to wear aboard the plane a good thing; we did need them and they were light enough that the child could carry them around for us.

By the way, while some flights may have a couple of disposable diapers aboard, most do not. Bring as many as you'll need with you, remembering that your flight change in Chicago might be delayed six hours by weather, so bring along a few more than you think you need.

If disposable diapers are available in the host country you may not be familiar with the sizes, or may not be able to translate pounds into kilograms or otherwise figure out what size is right. The easiest answer is to always bring along one of your own and ask, mime or point for help. The Universal Code of Tired Parents will kick in, and someone will help you get the right thing.

After a lot of miles, we have found that Japanese disposable diapers are the best in the world. They also have the weirdest names. Our preferred brand was called (in English on the package) “Ultra Moonies”. They also cost as much as dinner for two, but still you gotta love that name.

If your child is big for his/her age, and uses large size diapers, you might not easily find a size large enough, even if disposable diapers are otherwise easily found. If your child fits this description, you might do better to bring along what you'll need and not risk it in local stores. In a pinch once we cut and folded a too-small diaper and taped it into our daughter's underpants, much like a sanitary napkin. It wasn't perfect and was useless at night, but it helped a little during the day until we could find the right size.

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