We’ve all got a nightmare toilet story to tell. Whether you’ve clogged up a toilet and watched it overflow, or almost wet your pants while in search for a public bathroom, toilet situations have got to be one of the most stressful aspects of an overseas holiday, especially if you’re far away from a private hotel bathroom.
If you’re travelling to parts of Asia and the Middle East, then that toilet anxiety can increase when you throw squat toilets into the mix. Because Westerner bodies aren’t all that familiar or comfortable in the squat position, it can be a difficult and quite a foreign experience. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re travelling overseas soon and are worried about using a squat toilet, not to worry, these tips are going to help make your loo experiences as stress free as possible.
In the Middle East and in other Muslim countries, the quickest and easiest way to find a public toilet in remote areas and smaller cities and towns is to go in search of one of the local mosques. Here you’ll find men’s and women’s toilets, and because cleanliness is such a big part of the religion, you will always find soap and water to wash your hands with. Alternatively, look out for restaurants or hotels that might allow you to use their toilet.
Now, the first few times you use a squat toilet can be a little confusing and you might think it’s just a whole lot easier to completely disrobe from the waist down, just to make sure you don’t go making a mess of yourself. Well, that’s not necessary!
Take this six-step approach instead:
In Muslim countries especially, it’s less common to find toilet paper in the toilets or bathrooms. You will instead find a small tube connected to the wall, or a jug full of water that people use to clean themselves. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then make sure you bring tissues or toilet paper with you everywhere.
If your knees and hips just won’t budge and you’re worried that you’re not going to be able to use the toilets while you’re away, there are portable toilet covers that you can place over the squat toilet and sit how you normally would on your toilet back home. This will allow you to sit comfortably, instead. But, generally, hotels and restaurants will have western-style toilets available.