Finding a Toilet when Traveling Abroad
When planning a trip to a foreign country, the last thing you may think about is how to find a bathroom. It is best if you think about this before leaving rather than waiting until you need a toilet and there is not a single one to be found. You may wish to print out this information to take with you on your trip.
Carry Toilet Paper
Not all public restrooms have toilet paper available. Indeed, there are still many countries that do not use toilet paper at all. Make sure you find out what the bathroom customs are in the country you plan to visit, as you may find that packing several rolls of toilet paper is a good idea. Even if you are traveling to a country that does use toilet paper, public restrooms may not have it available or may charge for its use. Always keep a roll of toilet paper in your purse or bag to be prepared for this situation.
Learn to Speak Bathroom Language
It is vital to learn a few phrases in the language of the country that you are traveling to, and one of those phrases should be “Where is the bathroom, please”. At the very least, you should know the word for “bathroom” or “toilet”. In some countries, a bathroom is the place one takes a bath, where the toilet is the place that one uses a toilet. Know the difference between the two in the language of the country.
Restaurants and Bars
Most restaurants and bars have a bathroom, even if there is no sign. If you need to go, stop in a restaurant or bar and look for a bathroom sign. If there is none, ask the waiter or other employee. Be prepared to buy a drink, in case they require a purchase. If you are traveling with kids, you usually can still go into a bar. Taking kids into a bar in the U.S. is forbidden, but in most countries, children are not banned from bars.
Coin Operated Toilets
Some large cities in Europe have coin-operated toilets on street corners. These sometimes look similar to a phone booth. Just like a phone booth, you’ll need coins to be able to use it. Toilet paper is often available for a price here, as well.
Operating the Toilet
Finding a toilet is only the first part of the bathroom journey. Also be aware that not all locations have Western toilets. The toilet may be a hole in the ground. You may notice toilet paper in the trash next to the toilet, and if this happens, put your used toilet paper in the same place. Not all plumbing systems can handle toilet paper being flushed. Many public bathrooms are attended. If you use one that is, be prepared to pay a tip to the attendant. Female attendants are common in men’s rooms, so this may be something you have to get used to.
Knowing where and how to find a toilet in a foreign country is important. Use these tips to learn how to find a bathroom when you need one, with a minimum of hassle and stress.