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Questions tagged [hygiene]

Questions relating to cleanliness and prevention of diseases and infections while travelling.

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334
votes
13answers
95k views

OK we're all adults here, so really, how on earth should I use a squat toilet?

OK so for anyone that's travelled beyond North America and Western Europe you know what I'm talking about. Left: Romania, last year. Right: Turkey, last night. They start popping up in the Balkans ...
151
votes
11answers
120k views

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

Confession time: I am from one of these barbaric countries where the use of the bidet is not widespread. So I have no idea... Question 1: What is the bidet good for? Question 2: How do I use it? ...
76
votes
12answers
71k views

What's the best way to take a cold shower?

This is a question that most people probably never think about, because it's an every-day thing. But for many of us, such as myself, who grew up in more western cultures, with more modern ...
69
votes
7answers
30k views

How to use sinks with separate hot/cold taps?

I just traveled to Ireland. I was amazed to find that water sinks (at home, restaurants and public) have separate taps for hot and cold water. If you use only the cold water, your hands freeze. If ...
60
votes
4answers
14k views

Can I stay in the airplane toilet during landing?

For safety purposes all airlines make you go back to your seat when you are in the toilet just before landing. But, what if you really had to go and don't come out even after persistent knocking. ...
60
votes
6answers
133k views

Why do public toilets in the US have large gaps (no privacy)?

Most public toilets in the US are very low in privacy, the bottom gap in the door is so big (around 15-20% of the door), the side gaps are too big as well. This will make the toilet experience so ...
59
votes
1answer
7k views

Male using change tables in female restrooms in Japan

Next month I'll be traveling to Japan with my wife and two children. Our youngest (1yo) is still in diapers. I read a few guides about traveling in Japan, and saw mention that change tables are ...
49
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3answers
9k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
47
votes
1answer
13k views

Why can't we use the toilet when the train isn't moving in some countries?

I am not sure if the sign in the toilet said that we shouldn't use it if the train was not moving or that we shouldn't do so if the train was at the station.
46
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5answers
10k views

Taming the nightmare of public toilets in the UK

Public toilets in the UK are established and maintained by the local authorities, most commonly local councils. This is great for people that advocate local autonomy, but a hellish nightmare for ...
46
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9answers
55k views

How to adapt to Western Toilets from Indian-style toilets?

I am an Indian and have been using Indian style toilets for all my life, Now that I have a knee injury, I am forced to go to Western Style toilets. I find it really hard to empty my bowels in western ...
45
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4answers
9k views

So what can I do to avoid being “that” passenger with bad hygiene?

What can I do if I'm seated next to a person with bad hygiene on an airplane? I've been that passenger several times, typically on connecting flights after a transoceanic leg. I really try hard ...
43
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6answers
25k views

How to use toilet paper

If someone who has never used toilet paper ever travels to countries where only toilet paper is used - how could one learn to use toilet paper? One of my (Asian) colleagues who is more of a friend ...
41
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8answers
17k views

My seatmate has digestive problems causing unpleasant smell. What ought the cabin crew do?

After my mom's Air Transat flight took off, her seatmate started to fart stinkingly. She can't tactfully complain to the cabin crew, as her seatmate'd know that she snitched on him. Fully opening ...
39
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6answers
17k views

What to do without underwear on a 4 day trip?

Ok, this might be a ridiculous question/situation but it's my situation. I'm at a football camp in boston until Friday, and I've realized I forgot to pack any underwear (I wear boxers), I have the ...
39
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7answers
12k views

What can I do if I'm seated next to a person with bad hygiene on an airplane?

Slightly related: What can you do about being forced to sit next to a very large passenger? I think the title says it all. I have, what you could call, a sensitive nose. I absolutely despise people ...
39
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3answers
10k views

Should I put toilet paper in airplane toilets?

During a recent international flight my 4 year old daughter informed me that I shouldn't put toilet paper in the toilet but should instead use the bin provided. My gut told me she was wrong, however ...
37
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9answers
55k views

I have discovered that the hotel room toilet is blocked, but too late. What should I do?

Ok, I have used the toilet after holding myself for too long because of a long haul flight and I am not comfortable using the airplane's lavatory. The problem is, after releasing all the damn load, I ...
36
votes
3answers
30k views

How to vomit during a flight?

Last time I travelled I wasn't feeling quite well just before boarding the plane. I either had eaten something wrong or a flu just appeared. The thought of having to vomit during the flight made me ...
36
votes
10answers
72k views

Is there any reason not to do laundry with bar soap?

When traveling light, is there any reason not to use standard hotel-issue bar soap to wash clothes in a hotel sink? Carrying powder laundry detergent (or worse, liquid!) seems like a big hassle if ...
36
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3answers
4k views

Stuck without toilet paper while travelling - what is the best approach?

Well, this has happened to everyone at some point - you find out there is no toilet paper just after you need it the most. Usually it's not a big deal, even in public toilet room you can wait until ...
35
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11answers
26k views

What's the easiest way to relieve oneself in a car?

Ok, I know we're all adults here, but this is something that happens inevitably in most family trips I believe; it's occurred in our own family trips. You're driving on the road to your destination. ...
34
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14answers
29k views

How am I supposed to keep a toilet bowl clean without a toilet brush?

I am used to cleaning the toilet bowl with a toilet brush after use. In several hotels that I stayed in Asia there was none. I don't suppose they expect me to call the room service every time I use ...
34
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5answers
10k views

Can you get sucked tight on a plane's toilet?

The sounds of flushing an airplane's toilet can be quite intimidating. When going to the toilet on a plane, I am always a bit cautious of accidental flushing. If so, do you risk being sucked stuck to ...
34
votes
1answer
16k views

Showering facilities at Kings Cross station - Where are they and what are they like?

On the National Rail enquiries page for Kings Cross station, it simply states: Showers - Yes Ideally, I'd like a little bit more information than that! Such as where they are, how much they cost, ...
33
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2answers
7k views

What happens if all toilets become inoperative during a flight?

The other day, I was on a flight and two of the toilets in my zone were blocked with a sign saying "Inoperative", I had to walk down the aisle to the back to use the toilet there. I asked a cabin crew ...
29
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5answers
13k views

Long road trips in Iceland - where to relieve ourselves?

We are planning for a road trip in Iceland. The trip consists of Golden Circle in a day, and another day to Jokulsarlon from Reykjavik and a third day of returning from Jokulsarlon. I understand ...
29
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4answers
15k views

How should I wash clothes in Japan?

I'm going backpacking for a month in Japan and I plan to pack lightly. So I have couple of questions about how I can wash my clothes in Japan. I expect laundromats to be quite common in big cities ...
29
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2answers
5k views

What makes the tap water on board airplanes unsafe to drink?

Every single airplane toilet I've ever been to had the following (or similar) sign: Why is drinking the tap water prohibited? And if drinking the water is prohibited, why is it acceptable to brush ...
27
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6answers
7k views

Why do hostels require you to 'rent' bedding?

Why do increasingly amount of hostels ask you to pay to make your bed comfortable. I mean, you can buy a dorm bed for a night and then get there just to realise they charge for pillows, blankets, ...
27
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3answers
29k views

Are the hoses in toilets in Asia something I should know about?

I have noticed random bits of hose without proper fittings before I think for example in India and just assumed they are for use by the cleaners or for filling the water jug in squat toilets. But Now ...
27
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4answers
4k views

We're all adults here - how to use a squat toilet if you have trouble squatting?

So, we have a great question and answer on how to use a squat toilet. However, the answers there basically assume you're healthy and able to use one as per the instructions. A group of us are going ...
27
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2answers
19k views

Dealing with the 'unclean hand' when travelling (if you're left-handed)

"Among Muslims, the left hand is reserved for bodily hygiene and considered unclean. Thus, the right hand should be used for eating. Shaking hands or handing over an item with one's left hand is ...
26
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9answers
1k views

What do you do when you're on-the-road and you cannot shower?

Let's say you're backpacking and you're staying at a super-cheap hostel. Either because you have a lot planned for the day or you're catching long distance bus / train, you've to get up really early ...
25
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7answers
7k views

Keeping men's razor blades sharp for traveling

When I'm at home I use a double edged safety razor to shave. TSA won't let me fly with safety razors, so when I travel I use a Mach 3 razor. My problem is that when I open a package of Mach 3 razors ...
24
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10answers
9k views

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

I am from an area where people just say they need the loo to pee or poo. In formal situations, when meeting just strangers, we are a bit less open and call it 'need the toilet' but I know that in ...
24
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5answers
12k views

OK we are all adults here, so really, how on earth should I live without bidet?

This is the part four in the interesting series: "OK we are all X here, so really". You can find the past episodes here: OK we're all adults here, so really, how on earth should I use a squat toilet? ...
24
votes
1answer
107k views

Where can I take a shower at Dubai Airport?

I've got two transfers between long-haul flights coming up at DXB, and I'd like to freshen up with a shower. Information on the net is outdated and contradictory, and the official site is remarkably ...
23
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5answers
5k views

How suicidal are electric “suicide showers?”

Some people refer to the showers commonly found in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia which have an electric heating element built into the head as "suicide showers" due to the apparent risk of ...
23
votes
4answers
101k views

How to know “your number” for a machine haircut in a foreign country?

When traveling for an extensive period of time, you may need to get a haircut in a country where you do not speak the language. I usually get a machine haircut and just saying or showing the number (...
22
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4answers
6k views

Do hostels provide toiletries?

From my experiences at hotels, I'm used to toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.) being provided. Do hostels also provide these, or do I need to bring my own? Do hostels provide towels as well, or will I ...
22
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7answers
107k views

How can I wash myself Indian-style (using water not toilet paper) in Western toilets?

As an Indian I have grown up in Delhi using water to wash after using the toilet instead of toilet paper. In Indian culture this is considered a cleaner practice because of the use of water in order ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Why do some hotels etc and other accommodation have rules against washing clothes in your room or in the sink?

In some hotels and other kinds of accommodation including hostels and I believe even campgrounds there is a rule against hand washing your laundry in the sink or handbasin, or in your room. I'm sure I'...
21
votes
1answer
10k views

OK, we are all adults here, so how do the doors and controls work on an airplane toilet?

I had connecting flights on two Boeing Aircraft - Point A - B - A Boeing 777-300 ER Point B - C - A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner The first one was a short haul flight While the second one was a longish ...
20
votes
8answers
12k views

How to hide your bodily odors after a long flight?

Of course I could fly first class on an airline that provide on-board showers. Since I lack the funds, that is not an option for me. The scenario is as follows: Your plane leaves in the evening. ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

What is a 'sparrow bath' and how do you do it in airport bathroom?

I read in How to hide your bodily odors after a long flight? that you can take a 'sparrow bath' to freshen in an airport bathroom when traveling. How do you take the sparrow bath? How do you ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the proper etiquette at Japanese onsen?

Japan is a volcanically active country which means it has a plethora of onsen (hot springs) all around the country. Visiting these onsen is supposed to be a popular vacation destination for the work-...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Which toilets in the Philippines are more likely to have seats? And why are toilet seats often missing there?

How can I have better luck finding a toilet that actually has a seat? (Or an accommodation where the toilets will likely have seats?) Is it by original design that they were simply omitted? Or do ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Finding public toilets in Taiwan

I've been in Taipei for over a week and keep running into the problem of not being able to find public toilets. I can't recall seeing a single public toilet in a street or park. Train and MRT ...
19
votes
1answer
772 views

What to do with long facial hair in the onsen?

I have been told that, when soaking in the Japanese onsen, the hair must not touch the water, so people with long hair tie it to a knot. Does the same principle apply to facial hair? I have a goatee ...