Travel Principle #5: Always Use The Free Restroom/Water Fountain
Finding a free restroom can be difficult. It’s also difficult to find free sources of water. Using the restroom and consuming water are simple, but necessary and fundamental, processes for human beings. But a want for either can turn your attention from your journey to the discomfort of desperate searching.
In some places in the world you actually have to pay to use a public restroom. Other places you have to become a paying customer in order to use private restrooms. In either situation, using the free restroom when it is accessible will save you money. It will also keep you from wishing part of your travel away in hope of finding a free restroom somewhere else.
Free And Accessible Water
Likewise, try to fill up on water at any moment when it is accessible and free. Sure you can’t always drink the free water, especially in developing countries. But buying that bottle at the corner store because you can might keep you from drinking the local water because you have to.
Prepare as best you can for the necessities in life and you will spend more time enjoying the trip and less time wishing your time away.
How Hard Is It To Find a Free Restroom?
I know, for most of the world restrooms and water fountains are free. But have you ever been to Venice? Not only are restrooms (“water closets” AKA “WC”) few and far between. They are also incredibly difficult to find in the maze of city streets and canals! Or try going to Times Square with a full bladder. The cheapest restroom you’ll find will probably cost you a Big Mac at McDonalds!
Should we start on down the list… Mardi Gras… Sturgis… South by Southwest…
And that’s just the United States!
I rarely go anywhere without a Nalgene water bottle. I fill it wherever I can. And even if I don’t drink a drop while out exploring for the day, I feel better knowing that I have the water with me.
And if you’re creating (and male) then the Nalgene bottle can also double as…
No, I’m not going there! But it is wise to keep track of your bladder limitations and become aware of restrooms in the area before you reach your limit. (This principle also works well for keeping track of fuel if you’re on a road trip.)
For being such a large man I have a relatively small bladder so it has become part of my travel routine to observe public restrooms. I take note of local shops and restaurants and whether they have postings or other signs as to whether they’re friendly to tourists using their restrooms.
Chances are you can always talk someone into letting you use their restroom… unless you’re at Mardi Gras, Time Square, Sturgis, South by Southwest…