How to Find Clean and Safe Public Showers on the Road

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Maintaining your hygiene on the road can be tricky, but that doesn’t mean it’s not essential. Failing to stay clean and fresh can cause several issues, including acne, skin infections, and body odor.

You’ll often need to rely on public showers while on the road. However, finding clean and safe public showers isn’t impossible.

Today, we’re sharing some of the best options for finding clean and safe public showers during your adventures. Let’s get started! 

What Is a Public Shower?

Public showers are typically free or inexpensive ways to stay clean. These facilities are ideal for those who do not have access to a private shower.

When residential plumbing wasn’t as widespread, public showers were almost the only way to stay clean. We’ve come a long way from bathing in creeks, but public showers are relatively common these days.

Nearly all homes have private showers, but public showers are often available in many convenient locations.

Despite the term “public,” some shower locations require a membership or other affiliation to use the facilities.

What to Bring to a Public Shower 

If you’ve never used a public shower before, you’ll want to bring a few things.

A shower bag or caddy can help carry all of these items. You also don’t want to leave anything behind.

Let’s consider what you might want to bring when using a public shower.

Flip Flops

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Despite how clean a shower may appear, we strongly recommend having a set of flip-flops or shower shoes.

You can pick up bacteria and fungal infections like Athlete’s foot, Ringworm, and MRSA infections from public showers. By wearing shoes, you protect your feet from these vicious infections.

Flip-flops are an inexpensive and effective option. However, make sure they fit your feet well and can provide traction.

The floors around the shower can be slippery when wet, and you can experience a severe fall. 

Toiletries

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You’ll need soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and other items to keep clean.

The toiletries you’ll bring will vary by your specific needs.

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A shower caddy makes it effortless to organize and carry these items in and out of the shower.

Try to think through everything you typically use when showering or grooming yourself. You may need to shave and apply products to treat your skin.

Depending on where you’re showering, you may need to be conscious of others wanting to shower. Do a thorough job cleaning, but don’t take more time than necessary.

A woman in a steamy public shower washing her hair

Towel

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Once you’re clean, you’ll need a towel to dry yourself.

However, one of the disadvantages of public showers is that you’re not always able to hang up your towel to let it air dry.

We highly recommend getting a quick-drying towel to hang up wherever you stay for the night so it will dry quickly.

Packing a wet towel can invite mold and other bacteria.

Clean Clothes

It does little good to get clean and put on dirty clothes. Bring clothes that you can easily change into once you finish showering.

We recommend taking the bare essentials into the bathroom and dressing in privacy. 

However, in some situations, you may dress comfortably without any issues.

Keep in Mind: If you want an RV with a shower, we recommend avoiding getting one with an RV wet bath. Here’s why!

A woman in a towel singing into a hair brush at a public shower

How to Find a Clean and Safe Public Shower on the Road

If you’re wondering where you might find clean and safe public showers, we have several suggestions.

Some are more reliable and easier to find than others.

However, there are enough options that you won’t have to go without a shower on the road.

Truck Stops

Truck stops aren’t just a great place to fill up on fuel and snacks. You can shower, too. These facilities often have everything full-time truck drivers need at the end of the day.

While their target audience is truck drivers, their services are usually available to everyone.Many truck stops take pride in the cleanliness of their facilities.

They’ll often hire workers to thoroughly clean shower rooms between uses. You can sometimes get discounts or free showers by joining loyalty programs and using rewards from purchasing fuel.

You can also download mobile apps from truck stop franchises to find shower facilities nearby.

Pro Tip: If you’re nervous about using a truck stop shower for the first time, then read our Ultimate Guide to Truck Stop Showers first!

Community Swimming Pools

Most community swimming pools request that users rinse off before taking a dip in their pool. This helps keep the pool clean and reduces the chance of dirt and debris getting into the water.

So whether you want to get in a workout or cool off on a hot summer’s day, you can take a quick shower and freshen up in their shower room.

Privacy and cleanliness will vary significantly from one location to the next. You may want to use Google reviews when traveling in an unfamiliar area.

While swimming pools may not be the most private spots, they can do the job in a pinch.

A public shower at a swimming pool

Fitness Centers

Many full-time travelers join fitness centers with a presence country-wide. Fitness centers can be an excellent place to get in a good sweat and shower.

Many facilities offer locker rooms with showering facilities for members to use when they finish their workout.

While some fitness centers are for members, you may not have to join a gym to use their facilities. Some may allow you to pay a single-day fee to use their showers.

It’s wise to call ahead and inquire regarding access or fees. These are beneficial options, especially if you’re looking for a place to work out and shower.

Public Beaches

Many public beaches have showers and other facilities for beachgoers. These can be a helpful place to rinse off and take a quick shower.

However, many of these locations aren’t private and are often in public view. You’ll likely need to rinse off while wearing a bathing suit, but it’s better than not showering.

Some locations prohibit the use of soap in their showers. This is often to avoid toxins entering the nearby water system and to protect the surrounding environment.

Make sure you are familiar with any rules or regulations before using these facilities. 

A public shower at the beach next to the restroom facility

Marinas

Many marinas offer showering facilities for recreational and full-time boaters. Much like the other options, costs and availability will vary significantly from one location to the next.

Some marinas may be for members only and not allow outsiders to use their facilities.

However, if you’re looking for a place to take a shower, it’s worth giving them a call. You may find that they’re more hospitable than expected.

Campgrounds

Campgrounds are another common place to find clean and safe public showers. Many campgrounds provide shower houses for campers to use during their stay.

However, just because you’re not staying there doesn’t mean you can’t use their facilities. Some campgrounds are hospitable and allow outsiders to use their facilities for a fraction of the cost of reserving a campsite.

Hotels

While hotels may not be the most cost-effective option for taking a shower, they can sometimes be worth it.

If you’ve been on the road for weeks or months, getting a hotel for the night can be worth every penny to pamper yourself. Taking a hot shower or bath can be priceless.

Hotels are excellent options when the weather isn’t cooperating during your travels.

If you’re traveling in a large vehicle or RV, you’ll want to check with the hotel to ensure they have space for maneuvering and parking your rig. You don’t want to arrive to discover there’s nowhere to park your vehicle.

A shower head in a public shower

Use Mobile Apps

Several apps for mobile devices can make it manageable to find clean and safe public showers. Apps like Campendium, iOverlander, and AllStays are all fantastic resources.

Don’t forget to download the apps for your favorite fitness centers and truck stops. Many can use your GPS to find the nearest location.

Keep in Mind: Here are a few additional apps you should look into as well: 17 RV Apps Every Camper Should Download!

Stay Squeaky Clean With a Public Shower While Traveling

You don’t want to create a stinky situation by not showering while traveling. Your friends, family, and those you meet along the way won’t appreciate your odor.

Take care of yourself by maintaining your hygiene while on the road. If you look for some of the places we’ve suggested, you should have no trouble finding a public shower.

What’s your go-to spot for showering while traveling?

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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