7 tried and tested ways to poop discreetly when travelling.

They say “couples who fart together, stay together”. I’m not sure who “they” are, so am not entirely convinced by this statement, but I know that we’re all human, and that all humans needs to poo, pee and parp. Even the Queen and Kim Kardashian have to go to the toilet, though I’m sure some would choose to believe they don’t.

When it comes to travelling though, knowing that everyone “has to go” doesn’t necessarily make going any easier, does it? There could (most probably will) be offensive odours, nasty noises, suspicious stains and terrible timing to deal with, as well as “frequency fear” (or infrequency, as the case may be) – do you go too often, or not often enough compared to your fellow travellers? All these things can make travelling with someone – whether that be friends, family, your significant other or a colleague – a little embarrassing.

But as they also say, “shit happens”. Unless it actually doesn’t – in which case, Dulcolax will be your friend.

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So, when my best girlfriends and I decided to book a cheap week away at an all-inclusive resort in Turkey, we all subconsciously knew that we’d end up hearing a lot more about each other than before. Bambi (who you may remember from my trip to Mayfield Lavender Farm last year) and I have been friends for nearly 10 years, while I’ve known Remmi for four. During this time I’ve not so much as broken wind in front of either friend, let alone gone for a number two with them in close proximity. But being together for a whole seven days, staying in one room (with a bathroom with paper-thin walls), meant that was going to change…

The night before our holiday, after sharing a couple of bottles of Prosecco, we started tipsily chatting shite. Nothing unusual there, it’s what normally happens when we get together and alcohol is involved. Except this time, because I think we were all suddenly aware that we’d be spending the next 192 hours (give or take) in each other’s company, we literally did talk about poo.

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Between topping up our glasses and fits of giggles, we managed to list seven ways to go about “your business” on holiday, that would save both you and your travel comrades a lot of embarrassment. As Bambi and I had both previously been away with friends before, some of these methods were already proven. The suggestions that were new needed testing, however – so our slightly sloshed trio agreed to try them during the trip, for the purpose of a blog post. Scientific stuff this.

So without further ado, I present our tried and tested ways to poop discreetly while travelling. Each technique has been given a “Shitability” score, rating it on its ease of execution and risk of embarrassment. And, because I don’t want to gross you out (or risk this post not making it through overzealous spam filters), instead of including unpretty pictures of kaka, I’ve added some snaps of Remmi, Bambi and I having fun in the Turkish sun, unabashed by our ablutions because we managed “to go” without humiliating ourselves or each other. At least not with our bodily functions, anyway…

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1. The Pre-Breakfast Poop.

You awake from a lovely, peaceful night’s sleep to realise you desperately need to take a big, fat dump. But your room-mate(s) is sleeping soundly only a few feet away, and you don’t want to wake them with parping and plopping. Imagine the awkwardness at breakfast, sat opposite each other, knowing that they’ve just heard every single bowel movement. You could attempt technique number six from this list (see The Muffled Poop), but instead you stifle the urge and try number one for your number two.

You and your travel buddy are up, dressed and heading down to breakfast. But wait, what’s that, you forgot something (like that time we were half way down the path and Remmi realised she’d forgotten to put her shoes on!), you better go back and get it. No, no, don’t wait/don’t come back with me, you’ll meet them in the restaurant, please can you grab me a coffee. After you’ve managed to have a stealthy poo, in private, that is.

I’ve used this technique plenty of times, but it’s not entirely foolproof. Your fellow traveller may insist on coming back to the room with you, so be prepared to find that thing you forgot. And you’ll not be able to do this technique every day. For these reasons, it doesn’t score as highly as some of the others on the list.

Shitability score: 7/10

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2. The Post-Breakfast Poop.

You’ve just had three cups of coffee and you’re raring to go – go to the toilet, that is. What is it about hot drinks and prompting bowel movements?

Anyway, a bit like the Pre-Breakfast Poop, this one involves a little white lie. I usually go with either “I’ve got something in my eye, I’m just going to check it out in the bathroom” or “my hands are all sticky from the fruit/pancakes/doughnuts, I’ll be back in a sec”. Then I’ll slope off to the bathroom to have a sneaky poo.

While the technique itself does work, the Post-Breakfast Poop doesn’t score highly for a couple of reasons: it’s a very time dependent technique, and will only work if you actually have to go right there and then. If your poop isn’t 100% ready, avoid this method, as you won’t have time to sit around reading a paper or playing a game of Solitaire on your phone while you wait for it to appear. There’s also the risk of the cleaners being in the bathroom at that time of the day, which could be a little distracting if they’re trying to go about their business while you go about yours.

Shitability score: 4/10

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3. The Poolside Poop.

This method, for which there are two variants, lets you metaphorically “drop the kids at the pool” while your travel buddy(s) obvliously suns themself by the actual pool:

  • The Poolside Poop v1 – If you’re feeling brave (and have either a strong stomach or a poor sense of smell), then try pooping in the toilets by the pool. Be warned though, if you’re lucky enough to have toilet paper in there, it’s probably the tracing paper kind (you know what I mean). And if you go after midday, be sure to wear shoes, as it can be hard to differentiate between pool water and kid pee on the dirty floor. A nose peg is also recommended.
  • The Poolside Poop v2 – If you’d rather go in complete privacy, grab the room key and tell your buddies that you’re heading back to pick up a book/sun cream/hat etc. Be sure to ask them if they want anything brought back from the room before they have a chance to say “I’ll come with you”, as otherwise you may not get the chance to empty your bowels, and you’ll have to think of a plan B. This is a much safer option than v1, though depending on where your room is in relation to the pool, could be time-consuming.

This technique scores 6.5 in the Shitability stakes, with its main flaw being that if you’re a female wearing a swimming costume* as opposed to a bikini, going to the toilet can be a faff. And in my case, when wearing this beautiful (slightly impractical) high-neck Gottex swimsuit, I had to ask either Remmi or Bambi (and on one occasion, a member of the hotel staff) to undo it for me so I could go to the bathroom. This completely negated the effort of trying to go discreetly, as everyone then knew where I was going. Nice cossie though.

Shitability score: 6.5/10

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4. The Restaurant/Cafe/Bar Poop.

If you don’t mind a) shitting “in public” (not literally) and b) holding it until convenient, then this may work for you. It’ll spare you the blushes of your travel companions and the danger of clogging up your hotel room’s waste pipe, so can be effective if you know that you’re brewing a big one and will need more than a few squares of toilet roll. Though do check this, as not all countries allow you to flush tissue into their sewage system.

It only scores seven out of 10 though, as it’s not entirely foolproof. Once inside the cubicle, there may be no toilet roll. The bathroom might not be the cleanest or most sanitary (especially if travelling in a country where hygiene standards aren’t as high as you’re used to). And if you’re anything like me, unless you have complete privacy, the number of people going in and out of the bathroom may be enough to give you stage fright and prevent you from going. This could cause blockages of another kind, so make sure you always have both diarrhea and constipation meds when travelling.

Shitability score: 7/10

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5. The Shower Poop.

This doesn’t mean actually pooing in the shower, because errr, that’s gross. But if your number two is perfectly timed so you also happen to be about to go for a shower, turn the water on full pelt while sitting on the throne for a few minutes, feeling smug that the rushing water will drown out any embarrassing noises. Your travel buddies will be none the wiser, unless you’re like us and reveal all after you’ve come out of the bathroom.

This was the technique Bambi, Remmi and I all preferred. The main drawback to this method is the wastage of water – so only go down this route if you know your bowel movements will be pretty quick. Also, if your poop is particularly stinky, and if like most hotel bathrooms, there is no window, the steam may not be enough to banish the smell, meaning the poor sod who’s next in the bathroom may have to hold their breath a while (could be the reason Remmi used nearly a whole bottle of shower gel in the first three days?).

Shitability score: 9/10

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6. The Muffled Poop.

Again, a technique with a few variants, this one could a goer if all else has failed. Bambi’s preferred version was softening the poo plop with toilet roll, by laying a couple of sheets down first. I didn’t try this technique myself, as by day five we were out of toilet roll – which the cleaners didn’t replenish, despite us asking several times. Hooray to our hero DJ Ahmet who brought us up a few rolls, right when Remmi needed them.

A slight alternative to the above, but also considered a Muffled Poop, if there are towels in the bathroom, wrap one around your waist before you sit down on the khazi. Then pull this over the toilet, so it’s kind of like a canoe spray deck (one of these, in case you’re unsure what I mean). This will stifle any smells and sounds, and is a little more eco-friendly than using sheets of loo roll.

It is a method that needs practice though, so doesn’t score highly compared to others.

Shitability score: 5/10

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7. The Pump Up The Jam Poop.

Perhaps the oldest technique in the book, but classics never go out of style: whenever you need the bathroom and don’t want to be heard, just whack the telly on or put some music on. Loudly. We had a pretty good wifi connection in our room, so Spotify came to our aid when one of us was going to the bathroom.

The only reason I’m not giving this one a higher Shitability score is because it’s pretty obvious that you’re going for a number two if you do it. Plus, it can’t disguise any smells, so have a can of deodorant or body spray handy if you do attempt it.

Shitability score: 8.5/10

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Bonus: The “No Shits Given” Poop.

By the end of the week, all three of us were that comfortable with each other and our ablutions that we literally didn’t give a shit if someone was going for a shit. In fact, I think there possibly might have even been a (drunken) instance of someone going for a poo while someone else was only a foot away and in the shower. That’s true friendship, that is.

Shitability score: 10/10

 

*****

 

Do you suffer with toilet trouble when you’re travelling? If so, give some of the techniques above a try and let me know how you get on. Or, if you have any suggestions on how to poo privately when travelling, drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear them (so my friends don’t have to hear me when I “gotta go”).

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* Swimming costume gifted by UK Swimwear

244 thoughts on “7 tried and tested ways to poop discreetly when travelling.

  1. Haha I love this actually. For someone with a digestive order I found this hilarious. Thanks for posting! I’m actually trying to write a book called “Sh*t Happens: Hilarious and Horrifying Stories of Living with a Digestive Order.” If you have any funny stories you want to share I’d love to add them to my book!

  2. I love this Becca, it’s hilarious! I’m not too bothered if I’m away with friends (we’re those communal toilet girls you see on nights out haha!) or Ellie. I do feel a bit uncomfortable if I’m away with a boyfriend for the first time though. I usually use poolside poop V2 for that.

    1. Haha! I too am one of those girls that goes to the toilet in pairs (or even as a trio). Completely get what you mean about going away with a boyfriend too, especially if it’s quite early days in your relationship (you don’t wanna put him off with any bad smells or undeniable noises LOL) x

  3. This post was just so hilarious! I couldn’t help laughing at all the angles you all came up with. I am looking forward to reading the post which covers how you all coped when you went camping out in the wilderness. Now that would bring a whole new dimension to this topic!

  4. This post made me look twice. I never thought people pondered over poop this much. I basically giggled my way through it. Basically, I’m a mom and live by the motto, “You just gotta do what you gotta do.” With a toddler who has just learned how to use to potty, pooping is a major accomplishment in our household.

  5. This is an amusing read. I never thought I would read about poop in so much detail. But you know what “Shit Happens!” and these are real issues while traveling.

  6. I enjoyed laughing through this! Yes, humans are animals too with all the same bodily functions and needs. It’s often an inconvenient truth, especially when traveling!

  7. Bwahahahhaha, I loved this. Best read in a long time and I learnt a few new tricks too. I have got to remember the towel trick. Thanks so much you made my Tuesday morning

  8. Oh my gosh you are HILARIOUS! I love this post. Mainly because I’ve always been super self-conscious about going to the restroom around others. Even if I’m in a store and have to go it stresses me out!

    My main go-to’s are music and having my handy dandy poo begone beside me. Poo-pouri is my best friend!

  9. This was both practical and hilarious! You covered the topic very well…I have nothing to add. Other than, if you have a bathroom with an exhaust fan, the noise can help cover the sounds and the smells. 🙂 Thanks for having the bravery to share.

  10. You were right I love the post!!!! Ha, we poop as and when required and tend not to worry to much although some of my friends have known me for well over 25 years so I’d hope that would be the case by now.

  11. I laughed this whole reading!!! Omg you are hilarious!!! Definitely sharing this w my BFF who I’m planning an overseas trip with! 🙂

  12. This post is hilarious! I love it! But I agree, sometimes you want to still remain that perfect image to keep the romance fresh and telling your guy you’ve got to take a dump can totally take that away!

  13. I’m going to be honest this has never really been an issue for me. I’ve never been anywhere where you can hear absolutely everything and in some cases needs must x

    1. You’re lucky Rhian – some of the places I’ve been, the walls have been paper thin and I really don’t like hearing other people go (or for people to hear me LOL) x

  14. I used to sleep over at my best friend’s house when we were both single. We use the CR together when we need to. We take a shower together or I take a bath and she poops. Those were the days. Lol! These are good tips tho.

  15. This is hilarious! The tips are so funny, but also so useful for people who are in a crisis while on holiday with their friends! I wreckon most people will end up in the bonus shit zone by the end of the holiday though 😂

  16. hahahaha, hahaha. You have some amazing friends to not only experiment like this for your blog, but also be featured in photos on the post. I had to learn to “go” in the bathroom at work, with other ladies present, but I do wait behind until the room is empty to leave the stall.

  17. Haha! I do not have the courage to poop in a restaurant or public area. This is hilarious and has a lot of great tips! lol.

  18. After such a shitty day (no pun intended) it was great to read something so lighthearted. My only disappointment is that everyone knows our little secrets now! 😀

  19. I’ve always been pretty open about my “business” but these are pretty funny ideas for shy people. I do remember that my husband and I often did the “shower poo” when we first met though!

  20. Such interesting post. I could not stop grinning. You have raised important issue with humor. I loved reading and relished all pics. You all had great fun.

  21. This post is so funny haha good on you for writing about this. I hate toilets in other countries and especially the ones by the beach. Always dirty covered in pee/water/whatever and never have tissue paper x

  22. Oh my I did laugh reading this, it was super funny but oh so helpful too, I definitely got some poop-techniques to try out haha. Awesome post.

  23. This was so hilarious to read. I have tried a few of these techniques and sometimes they work and other times they don’t. Totally worth taking a shot though.

  24. Haha, what a fantastic post 🙂 I used to fret about such things, and now that I’m older I just don’t care. I’ll just tell them not to wait for me, I’m needing a sit down. 😉

  25. This cracked me up! I usually travel with my family, so we rarely even shut the bathroom door. But, I definitely feel awkward when sharing a bathroom with friends or extended family!

  26. What a funny post! I’ve always had the habit of running the water in the sink so it probably sounds like I am washing my hands for a really long time.

    1. Haha I’ve tried this one too, though with the current water shortage state in the UK, I am trying to use water a little more sparingly! Plus it can look a bit suspicious if we’re washing our hands for a good 5 minutes LOL x

  27. I think I’ve never read a post like this one in my life! This was really hilarious! I have never had such a situation in my life but I can imagine someone to feel embarrassed LOL

  28. This post had me laughing out loud! I’m one of those people who will hold my poop as long as I can when i’m in the company of others. I don’t know why I’m so shy about it as everyone has to go at some point, don’t they?!

    Louise x

  29. This is fantastic! I used to have horrible trouble getting up the nerve to go when I was younger. Church trips, school trips, even the family cruise had me totally miserable and constipated by day 3 if I couldn’t find a discreet way to go. Now, I’ll usually use one of your methods combined with warning those around me not to come to close. I’m not terribly shy about telling people what I need to do LOL. I always tell my husband if he’s home so he won’t bust in on me pooping!

  30. I think you’re right that couples who farts together stay together. lol! I enjoy reading this crazy post. and you got some great points here.

  31. I love the humour sprinkled all over the article! I remember a conversation my best friend and my boyfriend were having when my relationship was still in the beginning. Apparently, they are both adepts of the Muffled Poop technique, only he says it’s like making a parachute for the poop.

    I found it funny that she had had issues at the beginning of her relationship, giving her bf errands to get the place for herself for a bit. And now she was so relaxed about it, discussing it over drinks and giving advice to others.

    Even funnier is that my boyfriend and I were visiting them abroad at the time of this chat, and their toilet didn’t flush forcefully enough and took a long time for the tank to refill, so at the end of the trip, in the airport, we discovered we both made good use of our museum visits. :))

  32. Hahahah, this is great. When you travel with someone new you really do get to know them pretty quickly. Especially if you’re travelling Asia where your stomach is constantly dying unexpectedly… I’ve also done my share of “shower poops” at the beginning of relationships. Another one is to time your poop exactly with the flush of the toilet. Now this takes some skill and usually requires a couple more flushes. Shitability rating isn’t so high though cause that triple flush can be quite obvious haha.

  33. Love this, it’s hilarious. I saw your introduction picture on Instagram and now I saw this post live – still can’t believe it! But congrats on courage to publish it 😀

  34. Haha the pump up the jam poop had me in stitches love it. I hate having to go on an aeroplane, everything is so restricted and I’m conscious of how long I’m in there. Not to mention the smell you leave and the next person is stood right in front of you when you open the door

    1. Ohhh jeez, you’re totally right – I hadn’t even thought about aeroplane poos 🙁 I have to confess, I haven’t ever had to “go” on a plane before, but I completely get where you’re coming from Jenni! x

  35. Haha, I loved this! It’s so funny that people are still embarrassed to talk about it or to do it. I don’t have a problem with my friends and boyfriend but I’m not a big fan of using public toilets, they are too dirty for me, I can handle it without it! 😀

  36. This is really hilarious. It’s not something we talk about, but we all have to figure out the best option for us. Now I’m travelling with my husband, so is not an issue for us.

  37. Lol, this was great. I always try to get a room separate from anyone when I travel because I don’t want to share a poopy smelling room, lol. During the times I have had to, I wait until everyone is out doing their own thing before having my quiet bathroom time.

  38. This piece actually cracks one up delightfully. You truly employed a lot of creativity in presenting it the way you did. The pictures are great; you girls did have some fun.

  39. I was half expecting to read that you made everyone else wear headphone playing loud music so you could poop loudly and proudly!

  40. Haha I love this so much because it’s so true and EVERYONE goes through some variation of this! When I first read the title, I thought about a funny quote from Jeff Foxworthy, an American comedian: “The only thing worse than having diarrhea is trying to have it quietly in public.” Also add the toilet flush as an option when you start to let loose! Haha

    1. I have never heard that quote before, but he’s definitely right! Someone else mentioned about the flush technique – I think it’s quite tricky though, timing is everything haha! x

  41. Haha you’re so funny Becca 🙂 I was laughing all the way through even though, to be honest, it can be a real concern if you’re travelling with friends and that too, for the first time with those people! I love how you’ve given ‘shitability’ score to each of the methods. I think the best one (even though others might figure out what you’re actually doing) is playing loud music or tele, in my opinion. I am still trying to picture the ‘muffled poo’ and how that would work LOL. Despite the humour, I’d say you’ve given some really good tips here 😉

    1. Ha thanks Medha – glad you found it helpful! I know it’s not my usual style, and not your typical topic for a travel blog post, but you’re right, it is something that affects all travellers, especially those with sensitive digestive systems LOL x

  42. Hahaha, this is hilarious! But I have to admit a lot of them will relate to this post. Hatsoff to you sharing such a topic, keeping all the points in mind for next trip with the buddies.

  43. This is so hilarious, what a post Becca! I think we can all relate to these techniques, all tried and tested ha! I’ve definitely done the pump up the jam one to be a bit more discreet 😀 But I’ve never tried the poolside one…. there’s still plenty of time!

  44. Love this it gave me a real giggle! Lsst year had to share a hotel room with my male friend – luckily he’s like my brother so after an awkward first couple of times we were soon not fussed! I just made sure to leave my deodorant near enough to have a quick spray ha!

  45. LOL, this is hilarious and I love how helpful the information is for everyone. Thanks for a good laugh and for helpful information! 🙂

  46. This is the best thing I’ve read in a LONG time! We all poop… it is what it is. Thank you for sharing these really pretty perfect ways to “poo incognito”.

  47. Hahahaha, this is one of the BEST things I have read in a long time! I may have to print this list out for fun! Have you thought about making a printable? LOL

  48. Totally enjoyed reading your post as it was so funny! Although its a topic and subject which I don’t speak about in public, it was fun to read.

  49. OMG I am laughing so much I nearly fell off my chair reading this post.Its hilarious and like it or not we have all been through this. My favorite is to sneak off for number two in the hotel toilets rather than the room.

  50. This post is gold! Probably one of the best things I’ve read about today. This is way too hilarious but on raw reality and that’s the way I like it. Pooping is natural but yeah I can’t bear to poop on a public place where everyone can hear it, not unless everything is sound proof. Toilets with bidets or next to easy access of water is gold for me.

  51. This is actually the best post! I laughed so hard because it sounded like me and my friends haha! x

  52. In India, we need to look for space when we have to such a situation and this post make me smile and remind all those moments when I was fully trapped in the public and looking for the washroom. Haha!! But these points are the savior and useful for everyone.

    1. I can only image how difficult it must be in some parts of India – when I was in Agra, Delhi and Jaipur I was pretty lucky as I was on a tour so didn’t have to use public toilets too much 😉 x

  53. Oh, my! What a fun article to read. Haha it sounds like me lol. I remember my embarrassed moment before.

  54. Bahahahha! This blog is insanely hilarious!
    So… I full time travel with my husband and you have no idea how many of these I have to use. Being in a hotel room with someone 100% of the time isn’t easy. And when we are ‘home’ we live in an RV…with the bed right beside the potty! MY GOD! lol

  55. Pooping outside makes me feel so uncomfortable. However, this post is so helpful for people like us who have digestive issues. Thanks for these helpful tips.

  56. My Gran always said “better out than in” but there are just sometimes when you need to be alone and not be within earshot of other people knowing what it is you’re doing ha!

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