The world has started to reopen, and this year is the perfect time to start enjoying traveling again. Wherever you are hoping to go this year, it’s important to think about bathroom etiquette when using a public restroom. Different countries have unique setups when it comes to using their bathrooms, which you’ll need to think about ahead of time in some situations. Keep reading as we share our top tips for using public restrooms so that you can stay hygienic and healthy wherever your adventures may take you this year.
Research the Public Restroom Situation Ahead of Time
Public restrooms don’t look the same in every country. If you are used to US bathroom etiquette, you might be in for a surprise when you travel overseas. While countries in Europe typically have a similar setup, bathroom etiquette in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America might be quite different. This map gives you a good idea of where you can and can’t flush toilet paper, which is one of the biggest shocks to many travelers. The other surprise you may be in for is that you may not have a toilet seat. Countries such as China, for example, have some restrooms that require you to squat over the ground, so make sure you perform a quick search for the country you are visiting ahead of time.
Be Prepared to Tip or Pay to Use the Restrooms
When you are out and about exploring a new city, we always recommend carrying some cash with you. While this is something many people are opting to travel without, in some countries, it’s expected that you will either pay to use the public restroom or tip the attendant after your visit. This is very common in large European cities, such as Paris, where you may have to insert a coin in order to enter the bathrooms. Don’t be caught short, and always keep a little cash with you during your trip.
Bring Your Own Toilet Roll
While there are plenty of times when using a public restroom that you may find the toilet paper runs out, you’ll also see that in some countries, it’s normal to bring your own toilet paper. Particularly in Korea or China, it’s a common practice to bring a small amount of toilet paper with you on a day out. Think about finding a small pocket-sized pack, which you can pack in your bag for the day.
Pack a Travel Size Version of Pristine
When traveling, keep in mind is that you never know when and where you will need to "go". A public restroom, a port-o-potty, an airplane lavatory, a friends house. Traveling with a discreet, TSA compliant, travel-sized bottle of Pristine Toilet Paper Spray will ensure that you have the comforts of your home bathroom where ever you are, and the ability to keep yourself feeling fresh and hygienic on your travels.
One travel-size bottle of Pristine is the equivalent of 50 wet wipes. Simply spray Pristine onto toilet paper to create an instant flushable wet wipe.
Check the Names for Public Restrooms
Although we commonly call a bathroom a restroom in the US, this isn’t the case at all everywhere you go. Even in English-speaking countries, you’ll find that bathrooms might be called a toilet in European countries or the loo in the UK. Australians often refer to a public restroom as a dunny, whereas in Japan, it’s the ben-jo. Brush up on your local slang as part of your bathroom etiquette preparation to avoid any awkward encounters. Here is a great bathroom guide to different phrases and words, which are all used to describe going to the restroom.
Using the public restroom overseas isn’t as simple as you might think. Bathroom etiquette is something that people often forget to research, but it’s critical for a smooth travel experience. We encourage you to take a few minutes before your trip to search for what you can expect from the bathrooms wherever you are visiting. This will help you to feel more prepared and ready to enjoy your time on your next vacation. Pristine has a travel-sized product that would be ideal for your next trip and will help you to keep fresh and hygienic no matter what you find when using public restrooms abroad. One of the most exciting parts of an overseas adventure is learning about new cultures, and taking a few minutes to prepare yourself will save you from any embarrassment when traveling.