Restroom SignCredit: We've all been there - far from home base and nature calls.  Thank goodness every establishment in the country (for the most part) has a restroom.  Yet, most of us do not often find ourselves dialing number 2 at the Ritz Carlton.  It can strike while on the road, at a fast food joint, airport, train station or even overseas where the toilet seat can be nonexistent. These restrooms can range from the pristine to tolerable to the unfathomable.  Because the world of public restrooms is so volatile and unpredictable, I've created a fail safe guide to get your tush on and off of that sorry excuse for a toilet as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Now, it all boils down this internal question, "Can I or can't I hold this?"  Listen to your gut and ALWAYS play it safe.  If you can hold it and let it pass, God bless you.  If not, keep reading…

You've decided that traveling home or to the hotel is a no go.  Smart.  Don't waste a good time and go leave because you need to go potty.  Toughen up and play it cool.  There is no reason to pop the Imodium quite yet. Upon entering the restroom here's a mental checklist for you to go through in your pursuit of relief. 

 #1 Is the toilet even usable?

 If it looks like a bomb went off and there's no chance of anything getting flushed, just pass on that stall.  Check the other ones for a cleaner situation.  If it's a single stall restroom and you run into this issue don't even bother if your health is at risk.  Grin and bear it then mobilize to another restroom nearby.

 #2 Is there toilet paper?

 This should be a no-brainer, but too many times I've released the gates only to realize there's no TP.  Be 100% sure you'll have enough as well.  We can still be thorough, folks.

In the event you skip this crucial step here are your options:

  1. Check to see if there are paper towels or tissues near the sink
  2. If the stall next to you is empty, take a gamble and run into that one
  3. Plan C is the worst, but necessary…sacrifice the draws.  Use them, toss them and pretend it never happened.    
Empty Toilet Paper RollCredit:

 #3 Safety flush

 Give the toilet a test flush just to be extra careful.  You can never be too sure.  When all systems are a go…

 #4 Wipe down the seat

 Let's face it.  People are gross.  They leave their waste products everywhere and anywhere they can get away with.  So, take a hefty hand full of TP and wipe that seat down.  Also check at your feet and make sure there isn't a yellow pool waiting to soak you're footwear. * 

#5 Nest it

 This is the most important step of all and it's commonly referred to as "nesting."  This is the simple act of creating a buffer between your tush and that germ ridden seat.  Wiping is important, yet not enough to shield you from the germs lurking on the porcelain throne.  Some stalls have the seat covers, which are usually located directly behind the toilet.  Take advantage of that.  If they are not available, take some toilet paper and place one to two layers (depending on TP thickness) and cover the entire seat.  Now, you are ready!

 This may seem like an exhaustive process; however with some practice you'll race through the steps in your mind with ease – even in the most dire of circumstances. 

 BONUS #6 Courtesy flush

 We must co-exist.  Be a pal and flush every 1 – 2 minutes or whenever you think it's necessary.


There you go! You've made it out unscathed.  Now get back out there and continue enjoying your life.  Remember: you're a pro now.  Welcome to the big leagues. 

*I don't care if you're at the beach or pool – put something on your feet before going to the bathroom!