Travelling is far the most satiating activity ever that calms your mind and soul; however there could be certain challenges too. One of the most cribbed part of travel sojourns are using clean loos, especially for the girls. This thing can never go out of our minds; all we need is clean and hygienic washrooms while travelling. Let’s read more to figure out why in a country like India this basic is still a luxury and how as a traveller you can find quick hacks to tackle with this issue?
Understand India’s concept of washrooms
Before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan started gaining momentum, toilet was mere on papers for many villages in India. Hence, most Indians chose open defecating and urinating as the best option. Be it on the fields or near the railway tracks the unpleasant site has always raised eye brows. We as travellers often visit such remote villages and explore their livelihood and may at time feel disappointed to see no loo in their houses. However the stats have now changed and majority villages have at least one loo if not personal then a common one.
So, now that we know that while travelling we may not every time come across clean loos so should we not pee or hold it till the next clean washroom arrives? Wait!
Should you hold your pee time? Absolutely No!
As per NCBI, In the United States, kidney stone affects 1 in 11 people and it is estimated that 600,000 Americans suffer from urinary stones every year. In Indian population, about 12% of them are expected to have urinary stones and out of which 50% may end up with loss of kidney functions.
One of the prominent reason which leads to Kidney Stone is prolonged holding your urinating procedures, which is very common amidst travellers especially girls. So girls’ holding your pee is a very bad Idea.
Wherever and whenever you feel like doing it just go for it, these days almost all petrol pumps, railway station, bus stops and restaurant have loo facility so do not hesitate. Amidst the jungle or wilderness if you have to do it in open as there’s no scope in the coming 30 minutes then you need to make nature your home, however that’s still a better idea then holding it for long.
How to manage with Low or No sanitation?
There’s a product available on Amazon which says, Pee Safe this spray is very small and compact and can easily fit in your waist pouch or purses and doesn’t cost a fortune. It not only helps in eradicating the foul smell but can also be sprayed on toilet seats to sanitize it seamlessly.
Carry Tissues along with you, a small villager may not have such facilities neither a home stay at Spiti. Hence, having a tissue paper roll helps you manage, if you are in an area where there isn’t much water. Like Himalayan treks where you urinate and defecate in pits.
Choose Indian toilets over commodes, if at a place there is an option to choose Indian toilets then go for it without any hesitation as it will avoid contact with your body to the pit.
Hand sanitizer is a must. Never ever travel without it. Post completing your routine you need to hand wash or hand sanitize without fail to keep the germs at bay.
During long journeys…
Carry disposable underwear while going for long trips, if you feel you may not be able to carry a lot of panties on your trip. You can use and throw these later. However, due to environmental concerns you can rewash your undergarments and reuse it as well. Do change them to ensure sanity remains unaffected.
If you are in train and missed a chance to take bath, then to ensure cleanliness do a wet sponge cleaning of your private parts in the train loo. This will keep the parts clean and avoid unnecessary infections.
Avoid wearing tight jeans while travelling as it may not ventilate and make you feel sweaty down there. Even if you wear it for all round the day ensure in the evening you change it and wear light clothes before sleeping.
Vaginal Wash – Not recommended
This may come across as a shock! But vaginal washes are never gynecologically recommended as they wash off the needed bacteria which are known for its self-cleaning techniques with regular cell turnover and a highly-tuned pH and micro biome. In fact, you are more prone to get vaginal infections if you use these products frequently.
Sanitary Napkins / Menstrual Caps / Panty Liners
You must keep such basic things in your travel pouch as you never know when you may need it and finding a medical store gets difficult in small villages and remote districts or amidst the nature.
Hope this article interests you and helps you plans your hygiene routine while travelling. Stay tuned as we would keep posting such interesting reads in future! If you have any questions feel free to mention in the comment section.