Let’s face it , women! We are the worst affected by the lack of toilets when we travel!
Raise your hands if you have –
- Travelled by road and have had to look for the ‘perfect bush’ to pee behind
- Travelled by road and have had to take detours to look for the aforementioned ‘perfect bush’
- Visited petrol pumps always ‘hoping’ to find a clean toilet
- Drank a cup of tea at a highway restaurant just to use the toilet
- Dreaded bus journeys because of the lack of toilets on the pitstops
- Walked into a toilet at a highway restaurant and wondered how risky it would be to pee behind the building instead of inside it
- Travelled by train and sworn off train travel each time you’d enter the stinking toilet
- Travelled by air and marvelled at how filthy toilets on airports can be!
- Peed and crapped outdoors on high altitude treks and felt very bad after? Because human poop will cause some damage to the delicate ecological balance of the mountains
- Travelled with toilet paper, toilet seat cover, wet wipes, hand sanitiser, and now Toilet Seat sanitiser with you in your backpack, traveller’s bag or a ubiquitous pouch, like me and called it My Toilet Bag
Im sure you’ve all raised your hands. Sigh!
Travelling is so much fun; it’s the process of locating a toilet on our travels that causes us women so much misery.
On my road trips in particular, I’ve resorted to avoiding water for long durations so, God help my kidneys! I don’t even want to accept this on a public forum but once, on a road trip in Himachal’s Upper Kinnaur district, I even opened the doors of the car to create a blind spot in the middle to pee there!
In the first few years after I began travelling extensively, I suffered. My health took a beating due to unhygienic toilets, low water consumption and infrequent urination. The worst after-effect was the dreaded Urinary Tract Infection or UTI, which made doctors check me for innumerable other conditions (such as diabetes) because they wanted to know why the infection recurred.
I was not about to give up travelling, even though I must admit that I considered using the adult diaper or the new contraption that lets women stand and pee, but neither seemed too appealing. So I had to come up with an action plan to make sure my health is not impacted.
Here are 5 cardinal rules I’ve begun following:
- I drink a lot of water at bed time and soon after I wake up to make up for the lost hydration
- When travelling, I use every opportunity to pee, especially if I come across good toilets (this means using the facility before exiting an eatery, a friend’s place or a mall etc.)
- I drink sips of water to keep myself hydrated instead of gulping it down
- Using Pee Safe, a new toilet seat sanitiser that is easy to use – just spray, wait one minute and the toilet seat gets sanitised enough to sit on it
- Last but not the least, I ALWAYS opt for the Indian toilet instead of the Western wherever possible. Despite how it looks, its the best for women because squatting means we do not come into contact with any surface
The incidences of infection have definitely reduced but I still hope and pray that a clean, safe toilet is not something women travellers have to struggle for, as we hit 2019!
Today, 19 November, is World Toilet Day.
PS: 19 November is also the beginning of World Heritage Week and I wonder at the irony – most heritage sites in India are as badly kept as the toilets in our country. Sigh.
Watch this video to see how Pee Safe works – Toilet Day
Buy Pee Safe on a discount here – https://shop.easeindiatravel.com/product-category/travel-must-haves/