Finding a loo/toilet/restroom/baño when you need one is a constant challenge for many a traveller. In many cities they can be readily found, but require you to spend a lot more than a penny. In others, they are in such an appalling state that even in a state of desperation you are reluctant to use them. So how can you relax in the finest surroundings while answering nature’s call?
It’s remarkably easy to do if you are in a major tourist city. Simply walk into any five star hotel with an air of confidence and a sense of purpose (not so difficult if you really need to go). Give the doorman a polite nod as you walk in and head straight on through the lobby. There are so many things going on in a typical hotel lobby that no-one is likely to pay attention to someone who looks like a guest coming back from a sightseeing tour. I’m assuming here that you are not one of the scruffy unwashed travellers; if so, don’t even try this as you won’t get past the doorman.
As you’re walking you’re likely to find the appropriate signs and can just head straight in. Clean toilets are guaranteed, with soothing piped music adding to the ambiance of calm and relaxation. When you’re done, hand moisturiser, eau de cologne and anything else you’ve never needed are at your disposal. One piece of advice – as you are an uninvited guest, do make sure you tidy up and leave the place exactly as you found it. It’s only fair…
Smile on the way out and re-enter the normal world again, feeling refreshed, relieved and perhaps even boasting a shining glow thanks to your recently re-hydrated skin.
If you feel a bit uncomfortable about this, you might want to check the local laws about cafes and the use of their toilets. On a recent trip to Austria for example, I learned that an establishment with outdoor seating has a legal requirement to allow both customers and non-customers to use their toilets. Other countries may have the same law; I’ve yet to find out but any examples are welcome.
There is always McDonald’s of course, but if you’re going to take advantage of a free toilet surely you owe it to yourself to aim a little higher than a McLoo?