Toilet Paper on the Run
Outside your hotel, I strongly advise taking wipes, tissues, or even your own toilet paper roll that you can use in a public washroom. Generally speaking, these are to be avoided, but that’s not always possible. Some countries have a person outside the washroom, keeping an eye out and handing out toilet paper, as we found in Bangkok. And while in Thailand, tipping isn’t necessary, although a couple of coins is a nice gesture. In other countries, a tip is required if there is a washroom attendant, and it is well worth the money.
Paying for a public toilet or tipping a person is much more favourable than using a public washroom with no monitoring.
Even though the quality of the paper varies significantly from venue to venue, it is generally acceptable in most countries. Sometimes it’s a bit like parchment paper, but I can’t complain in the vast majority of the countries we’ve been in.
I don’t know if it’s the same situation in Russia as when I went over ten years ago, but I was strongly advised to take my own roll. I did so and was very glad that I did. Even in a good quality hotel, toilet paper was a beige crêpe paper on a roll. It was like using very, very fine sandpaper.
Since you’ll likely have a bit of an upset stomach while travelling, having decent toilet paper is vital. My business partner, Sandy, had a stomach problem and visited the washroom most of the day. She was delighted to share my roll. (Is this too much information?)
Here are ten tips and hacks for dealing with washrooms and toilet paper while travelling:
- Always carry a small travel-sized pack of tissues or wet wipes with you.
- Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water after using a public washroom.
- Look for washrooms in shopping centres or restaurants, which are usually cleaner and better equipped.
- Check the quality before using it, as some washrooms may only provide low-quality or rough toilet paper.
- Bring a small refillable bottle of hand soap if you prefer using liquid soap.
- Use disposable toilet seat covers to avoid direct contact with the seat.
- Use toilet paper sparingly, as some countries may have poor plumbing systems that cannot handle large amounts of paper.
- Carry a small plastic or ziplock bag to dispose of used items if needed.
- Avoid using washrooms near high-traffic areas, as they may be dirtier and less well-maintained.
- Look for washrooms with good ventilation, as they may have better air quality and be less likely to spread germs.
Is this a new trend?
To me, size does matter. I don’t know if this is a trend, but we noticed these tiny little sheets in Utah. What is that about? Then we discovered something similar a few weeks later in New Zealand.
What constitutes great accommodation?
Am I a snob because I (privately) judge and rate B&Bs and hotels by the quality of their toilet paper?
People use different criteria to judge their accommodation. Many consider the bed, pillow and sheets of prime importance for others in the washroom facilities. Cleanliness goes without saying, but it is the bed and the bathroom where we spend most of our time wherever we’re staying.
What takes a hotel or B&B to the next level or downgrade? For me, it is the quality of the toilet paper. One-ply is just too thin, and three-ply is a bit overkill. I like to see soft, two-ply cushiony and paper.
Your comments would be welcomed.
Somewhat related or not: What is worse? Dog Poo in Paris or New York