Finding The Nearest Toilet Is Now Easy. Here Are Our Top 5 Apps
By Linda M. Verde
Not now! Not again! How am I every going to find a bathroom when I don’t even know what street I am on?
If this has happened to you, take heart. Whether you have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, a touchy bladder, incontinence, a child being potty trained or any other immediate bathroom need, help is as close as your mobile device. Your APP store has several bathroom locator apps. Here are the best apps available now on android and IOS platforms—and they are all free.
GoHere Washroom Access Program developed by Crohn’s & Colitis Canada is a bathroom locator app linking over 19,000 bathrooms across Canada. Its initiative encourages businesses to voluntarily make their washrooms available to people with incontinence issues. Users are given an access card explaining the accommodations they need, freeing them from uncomfortable explanations. Before you leave the house, you can map out a route so you know where the nearest bathroom is all along your way. Wherever you see the GoHere sign, you can go in and ask to use the washroom without questions being asked.
Bathroom Scout takes the app to a new level. Its database lists 2,000,000+ bathrooms around the world. Turn-by-turn navigation helps you find the exact spot – I’m thinking of spies following homing beacons; probably gives my age away. Want a street view? Google the address and see the neighbourhood you’re in. Such explicit guidance means not having to try to ask directions in a foreign language.
Flush Toilet Finder was created by Jake and Sam Ruston and covers 190,000 public restrooms around the world. You can find your route on an instant map of all the bathrooms in an area or put the address in your global positioning system (GPS) and get detailed directions. This app filters for disability access, if there is a cost or the bathroom requires a key. The bonus feature for this app is it will work even when you don’t have internet connection so you can still find a loo even when cell service is spotty.
Got to Go Restroom Finder (@Wheretowee) has Cintas® “Sponsored Best Bathrooms” in their database of memorable bathrooms for North America. Bathrooms are rated by users: Green for top-rated clean; Yellow for low-rated dirty bathrooms; and, Blue for unrated. From ball parks to ball rooms, accessible to truly unique, you find restrooms to suit your needs. Cintas holds a national contest each year for the most unique toilets. You can check out 2018’s winner here.
Sit or Squat Restroom Finder was designed by the makers of Charmin® bathroom tissue. SitOrSquat lists more than 100,000 bathrooms in the U.S, Canada and some European countries. Bathrooms are rated by users for cleanliness: Sit = clean; Squat – think twice before you sit down! In Canada most major cities have a number of ‘sightings’ to choose from with the numbers continuing to grow. The app has an easy interface, allowing you to filter locations for things like ‘handicap accessible’, or ‘baby changing table.
WheelMate™ by Coloplast™ helps you find wheelchair-friendly restrooms and parking spaces on the go. Whether you are local or traveling this app helps you locate restrooms and parking spaces in more than 35,000 locations in 45 countries.
Finding washrooms around the world is a much bigger endeavour than I thought when I set out to write this article. In 2016, Lonely Planet, an icon in travel literature, published Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide, describing unique bathrooms around the world. You can even get a 2020 calendar with this theme for next year.
If this is your idea of fun, you will enjoy an article published by Escape, World’s Most Amazing Loos with Views, that includes an island paradise like this one in Belize (pictured here, aptly called "Toilet Island") along with many others. These exotic destinations show that no matter where we go, or how healthy we are, available bathroom facilities are basic to our well being.
If you find yourself hesitating about going out because you are worried about having a bathroom when needed, these apps give you freedom to go be free. You can help others by using the apps and posting reviews of your experiences – working together to make life easier. Isn’t technology wonderful? Now I just need to figure out how to download an app.
Linda M. Verde is a book editor and writer with over 30 years of experience in business and healthcare publications.