There are so many options out there now for cloth diapers. It can be very overwhelming. What I found worked best for me was trying a few different types. For my first child, my 'beginner' stash included 8 prefolds w/snappis, a ton of pockets (ease of use for grandma, daddy, daycare, etc.), some fitteds, and about 6 covers. For the newborn stage, what works best for me are prefolds with or without a cover. You can reuse covers as long as they are not soiled. Depending on if you have blowouts you may need more covers. I found that most of the time, I didn't even use one, and 4 was enough. When baby starts growing prefolds still work well, but fitteds work well also. I love the BabyKicks Organic Fitted for everyday. It is trim and absorbent, plus the side snap feature means I will definitely get my use out of it right thru potty training. Plus, stuffed with a joeybunz and a doubler the outside doesn't even get damp. No need for a cover! Every mama has different preferences for diaper material. I prefer hemp and org. cotton. It is 4x more absorbent than cotton, 4x stronger, and naturally antimicrobial. It is also more sustainable and grown without using chemicals. So, not only am I saving money by cloth diapering, I'm also saving the earth
For washing, here is a link for our recommended care instructions. http://www.babykicks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6421
When it comes to travel, cloth is just as convenient as disposables. You pack your bag, with wipes diapers, booty balm, etc., and use as needed. Except when it comes to doing laundry. If you are staying with a friend or relative that doesn't mind if you use the washer, all you have to bring is some detergent in a container. Even some hotels have a laundry room available for guests to use.
I agree 100% with going with snaps over velcro. Snaps last forever, and velcro is usually pretty bad after 6 months or so. They also make the diaper look so much neater and there is no worry about 'velcro burn' on your little one's tummy from rubbing against the tape along the top.