Oh how I hate airplane bathrooms. But then, doesn’t everybody? They’re tiny, they’re smelly, and sometimes you get to wait in line for half an hour or more for the privilege of squashing yourself into the cubicle. Yippee.
But I know that as bad as airplane bathrooms are, I’m lucky I can use them. On most airlines both major and minor, wheelchair users who can’t walk at all must…make other arrangements. When I stopped and thought about having to wear a catheter just to fly, I suddenly felt much better about the stinking cubicle.
Here’s how I make dealing with airplane bathrooms more bearable:
- Use ’em as little as possible. That means I make time to visit the restrooms in the airport before I board.
- Go easy on the diuretic drinks–that is, alcohol and caffeinated soda.
- Keep hydrated…to a point. While I don’t do well at all if I let myself get dehydrated when I fly, I don’t spend whole flights chugging or sipping either.
- Know when high-use times are, and avoid them. Everybody on the plane will want to use the bathroom after they’ve finished their meal. Another rush happens in the “wakey wakey” time after the sleep period on long-haul flights. Mini-rushes can happen right after the seat-belt sign goes off, and soon before it comes back on before final descent.
- Try my best to time my bathroom trips to avoid rush hour. The instant the Seat Belt sign dings off, I bolt out of my seat and get to the bathroom as close to first as I can. Then I wait until the after-food bathroom lines die down and go when everyone else is getting settled with a movie or a pillow.
- Pay attention towards the end of the flight. For me, it’s not just uncomfortable to “hold it” if I miss my window to use the bathroom before descent. It can be agonizing. So I keep track of how long I’ve been on the plane and what the flight attendants are doing, and make sure I get up and use the bathroom just before the plane descends.
Do you have any other tricks you use to deal with airplane bathrooms? Drop a comment here…