Finding a Bathroom While Traveling Internationally

When Traveling With IBD, You Need To Be Aware Of The Local Bathroom Scene

Toilet In A Field
When you travel internationally, the bathroom, toilet, or water closet situation may be different from what you're used to.. Image © Lightfoot

When you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), finding a bathroom while traveling can be tricky. You sometimes need to use the bathroom in a hurry, so when traveling in an unfamiliar city or in a new country, you really need to be prepared.

Wow, Pay Toilets, Really?

In some countries, you need to pay to use public toilets. If you're visiting a place where this tends to be typical, be sure to keep some change in the local currency on you at all times.

If you're a fan of toilet paper (and who isn't?), you'll want to have some with you if you're traveling to a country that has squat toilets. I've been told that in some parts of the world, toilet paper tends to have colors and/or scents, and if that's not your bag, you'll want to bring your own from home (or have it sent to you). Antibacterial hand gel is a good idea no matter where you're traveling because you never know when and if you're going to find soap and water to wash your hands.

Not Every Toilet Flushes The Same Way

The way the toilet flushes can also vary widely, depending on where you are traveling. Flushing mechanisms may be located on the floor in the form of a pedal, or above in the form of a chain that you pull. Be sure to find out how the local toilets work before it becomes a problem.

You Might Need a Language Lesson or Two

If you don't speak the language, this can add an extra level of complexity, unless you can find someone who speaks a language that you also speak.

Just in case, you'll want to practice a few phrases in the local language that will hopefully help you make your needs understood. You'll want to at least be able to ask where the nearest toilet is located.

Asking For The Toilet In Other Languages

Here are some phrases that can help you ask where the nearest toilet is located:

Spanish: Where is the bathroom? -- ¿Dónde está el baño?

French: Where is the bathroom? -- Où se trouve / Où est la salle de bain? or -- Excuse me, sir / ma'am, where is the toilet? -- Excusez-moi, monsieur / madame, il y a des toilettes? (More on the cultural aspects of asking for the bathroom in France)

German: Where is the restroom/toilet? -- Wo ist das WC/die Toilette?

Italian: Where is the bathroom? -- Dove sono i gabinetti?

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