What is one of your biggest fears when traveling? There could be thousands or even millions of different answers to this question. However, for many of us, it is the bathrooms. Now, I know when some of you read that you started laughing. The people who are laughing must have never traveled to an area and tried one of these third-world bathrooms. It is one thing to travel around and use bathrooms in your own country, but when you travel outside your comfort zone, you may be left with a bathroom experience that is less than…sanitary.
Squat Toilets in China
To better understand this, you may need an example. So let’s start off with a squat toilet in China. For the people who have already visited China and used one of these toilets, you already know where I am going with this. These kinds of toilets are a germ freak’s worst nightmare. So how should you deal with these kinds of toilets?
First of all, try and plan your bathroom trip. For example, western toilets are starting to make their way to other countries like China. These can be found in big cities, airports, and hotels. Thus, it may be a good idea to use the bathroom before heading out, because believe me, you will come across these kinds of toilets. If you really want to avoid these toilets, you need to avoid using the bathroom in certain areas. For example, do not use the bathroom at large markets, this goes double for the outdoor markets. Street-side public bathrooms are typically another no-no.
Here is another little tip from a friend. Watch your pant legs. You know, sometimes your pants hang down over your shoes. Well, a lot of times these bathrooms have wet floors. A lot of this has to do with what guys call the “splash effect.” With these toilets so low and there being practically no sides to the toilet, there is going to be splashing. So wear shoes, and roll up those pant legs.
Tips for Visiting Bathrooms Outside Your Country
The last thing that you want is to be caught off guard when you really have to use the bathroom. Sometimes, regardless of where you are, when you got to go…you got to go! So here are a few tips that I hope will help you when…nature calls:
First. Be sure to bring your own toilet paper. If you don’t want to carry a whole roll with you (that would be kind of odd) take a pocket of tissues. In fact, companies make pocket tissue packs now. Bring a few of these along, and when it comes time to go, you won’t have to worry about being caught without toilet paper!
Next, these bathrooms are a scary place, and scary places are typically full of germs. So load up on some anti-bacterial wipes and/or gel. Use these as soon as you are done using the bathroom. Do not assume that washing your hands (if there is even a place to wash your hands) is enough.
Also, carry a handkerchief with you for drying your hands. Remember, many places do not use paper towels for drying hands. They use towels that are attached to the wall. Think of all the people who have washed their hands and then used this to dry off their hands with. Worse than that, think of all of the people who did not wash their hands and still used the towel….ugh!
Last but not least, you need a sense of humor. This could be one of the most important things. When you find yourself using a squat toilet for the first time, you are going to need to laugh at yourself just a little bit.Author's Google+ Page