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toilet A reader recently wrote to IndependentTraveler.com Editor Sarah Schlichter with concerns about one of our feature stories, The World’s Best (and Worst!) Toilets:

“Dear Sarah,

You don’t write about toilets in this way! Shows that you are poorly educated and low class. Helping people finding decent restrooms would be better rather discussing the worst. Those should be avoided.”

Admittedly, our story on noteworthy toilets around the world (and its sequel, The World’s Best and Worst Toilets: The Sequel!) probably won’t win any Pulitzers. But let’s face it: Sometimes traveling can get messy — especially when nature calls and you’re faced with a dirty hole in the floor on an Indonesian ferry or a disturbingly public urinal in Amsterdam. A sense of humor is a traveler’s best resource when it comes to coping with scary bathrooms.

We did mention several excellent restrooms in both of our toilet stories — but to find more, check out The Bathroom Diaries or Sit or Squat, both top-notch resources for finding sparkling clean toilets around the world. Sit or Squat even has mobile apps for various kinds of phones that help travelers seek out bathrooms on the go.


–written by Caroline Costello

2 Responses to “Are Travelers’ Toilet Tales Tasteless?”

  1. Lisa E says:

    Toilet tales have the potential to be tasteless, but more than anything, I think they’re amusing and useful. I’m an independent/low-budget travel who has seen it all (used one of the worst toilets in Eastern Turkey, btw)–and I personally like the heads up (and the seat down). It’s not that I’ll change my itinerary to accommodate a crappy toilet, but I’ll make sure that I’m prepared.

    Also, there are people who take the toilet thing very seriously–eg, those who are germ phobic. And so, they really do need to know.

    And so, I think that even if toilet tales are slightly tasteless at times, they are mostly entertaining and helpful to travelers. I say–write and flush away!

  2. Dawn says:

    Whilst I dislike toilet jokes, I think traveler’s tales of horror toilets they have experienced are great.

    Like most travelers, I used a few that I would prefer to forget. But it is often those moments – the ones that you say you want to forget – that years later are the funniest moments to look back on.

    I spent the night in a London loo. Awful experience at the time, but hilarious now that the years have dimmed the cold and discomfort.

    So – long may the discussion on good and bad toilets continue!

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