My husband and I enjoy making day trips as well as traveling. What I hate most about traveling whether for a day, or even a week, is the necessity to use public restrooms.
By now, we have all heard that you should use a paper towel to open the bathroom doors since so many people do not wash their hands before touching the door knobs. As if that is not enough to make you cringe, I was recently told that drug addicts will clean their needles by poking them in the toilet paper in the restroom stall. This takes things to a whole new level of contamination concern.
To be fair, I did check Snopes to determine if needle cleaning in public restrooms is a valid concern and found that none of the health services questioned had ever heard of that happening. Still, it made me hesitate to trust the provided toilet paper in public restrooms.
For me and my family, I have decided better safe than sorry. After all, we know there are germs in any restroom. With the flu, a multitude of viruses, and the concern for cleanliness, why take the risk if not absolutely necessary?
Some might consider this an extreme and unnecessary precaution. Perhaps it is. But, like any other precautionary measure, if it gives you peace of mind, why not. You are certainly not hurting anyone else by carrying your own public restroom survival kit.
Items Needed for Your Public Restroom Survival KitI assemble my own public restroom survival kit. I include individually wrapped toilet seat covers, my own toilet paper in a sandwich bag, flushable single pack wet wipes, camp soap sheets, and a few of my own paper towels.
I carry two different types of toilet seat covers. One is the typical paper cover that you see in many public restrooms. The other is a plastic toilet seat cover. The plastic seat cover is not flushable, but I find it required in some public rest stops. Even though it is made to encase the seat cover, I simply lay it on the seat. If I won't sit on it, I certainly will not lift that seat to "gift wrap" it.
You all can stop laughing now! No, I am not a germaphobe, but over the years I have truly seen some pretty nasty things in public restrooms. I won't go into the graphic details and descriptions. Suffice it to say, I've seen enough to know I believe in the proverbial "ounce of prevention". In this case, I would alter that saying slightly to state an ounce of protection.
If you think I am alone in this concern, allow me to point out that Amazon.com even offers a pre-assembled public toilet kit.
In a pinch, I would totally invest in that "go bag"! Because I have time to prepare my own survival kits packed with my preferred supplies, I don't mind putting them together myself.
If you plan on traveling by plane, you may prefer a clear bag for supplies in your carry-on. There are no liquids in my public restroom survival kit, but a clear bag might keep baggage inspectors from opening it and touching everything. Hand sanitizer would need to go in your clear liquid carry-on bag. If you are traveling by car, you can choose any tote bag.
I prefer a tote bag that will clip to my jeans belt loops or my camera backpack loops. This is a nice inexpensive trio that I found. I only need the medium sized bag in this set for my restroom survival kit, but I can always find different uses for the other two.
How Do I Know I Am Not a Complete Germaphobe?
A real germaphobe would recommend two more items! After all, the dirtiest places in a public restroom are the floors, the toilet handle, and the faucet.
Eek! Perhaps I should rethink this! After all, I do wear my shoes in the car and in my home! And, those gloves and shoe covers are disposable.
And if you really want to do things right, be sure to include your Poo-Pourri! It was previously reviewed by Dawn Rae and would make a fabulous addition to your public restroom survival kit.
When you are out and about, be sure to be prepared, stay safe, and "rest" protected in those public restrooms!
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