The Public Washroom Fear

Having to go to the bathroom is generally annoying, time consuming and not easily ignored. This is especially the worst when your body decides it’s go-time and you find yourself outside of your home, office or ‘safe space’ and searching for a bathroom.  For me, I’m used to it.  Weird? Sure, but when your job requires you to make your car an office, you have little option but to search for an acceptable solution.

Now, I’m sure you are asking yourself why am I writing about this topic…Well, recently I’ve been blown away by how many of my friends find it socially unacceptable to use a bathroom where they did not: pay, purchase a beverage or bag of chips, stay in a hotel room, apologize prefusley, or promise their first born. Is this a Canadian ‘we are too polite’ thing? Or is it a case of me not understanding that I’m consistently comittiing faux pas?


When I find myself in this situation with my friends, it typically gets decided, “Let’s just stop at a gas station.” Really, people? We all know that is something NONE of us want to do, yet we feel in desperate times it’s the best step up before peeing behind a bush with our other friends sheilding us from a free public show.

I suggest going to other places and my friends look at me like I’ve suggested they go to a random person’s house and ask if they can use their kitchen to make a snack to satisfy their hunger. So, being the crazy girl I am, I march into a a non-gas station and they carefully watch me until I give the signal that the barista didn’t shame me into buying a frappe and we got the clear.

Here is my list of PUBLIC BATHROOM TIPS for people who are trying to build up courage and simply ask the question; “Can I use your washroom?” and not die of shame.

1) Never use gas station bathrooms. It’s seriously not worth it. Unless you enjoy horror movies and want to experience a scene from one.

2) Walmart vs. Superstore.  If you are near a shopping district, always choose Walmart washrooms. If it is tough for you knowing you are committing a scandal of ‘peeing without paying’, please remember it’s too much of a zoo in there for anyone to notice that’s your sole mission. 

*Special tip* Every Walmart has washrooms in the front and back. NEVER go in the front, that’s where everyone parties! Go to the one in the back. I promise it’s worth the trek.

3) Hotel lobbies. This is the best for roadtrips! Clean and always available. My girlfriends don’t believe this is an acceptable option since we didn’t pay $100 to stay at the Super 8.  But, I break them down and make them let me ask because I’m embarressing awesome.

4) Starbucks. Anywhere in the world! Let’s be serious. I have spent enough money in Canada to earn a right to use their washrooms at any location in the world. EVEN IF THEY HAVE A CODE ON THE DOOR. This does not deter me, rather I see it as an exciting challenge *note, I’m usually alone in thinking this*

In summary, to date, NO ONE has ever said to me: “Excuse me miss, did you not read the sign? You must buy a $5 fancy coffee to go to the bathroom only to have to go again shortly after you left because you bought a fancy coffee and it’s a diaretic.”

Let me know if you have any tips!

Happy Travels xox Amanda



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