When you’re heading out for a long road trip, you need to find a way to wash the grime of the day away. If you have an RV with a shower, you might not have to stress out about finding a place to get clean, but many smaller campers don’t have showers or toilets.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to think about where to shower on the road. With a little know-how and planning, you can find a shower to use any time of the day wherever you might be, without breaking the bank!
Campgrounds are great places to shower, even if you’re not planning on camping! Most campgrounds will allow you to use their showers for a small cost – typically under $5.
Furthermore, if you need a place to camp for the night, a campground offers an affordable place to stay that gives you full access to a shower facility! If you’re planning on traveling across the country, mapping out campgrounds to stop at, even for just a quick shower, is a great way to go.
Another option to consider is showers located at gyms. While most gyms won’t let you use their facilities without a membership, many gym memberships are cheap enough to pick up for a month. For example, Planet Fitness offers memberships for as low as $10 a month.
Even if you never plan on working out, the cost to use their showers for the month is more than worth it!
3. State Parks
Depending on the state, it might be free to get into the state park, and most state parks have campgrounds and shower facilities you can hit up for free. Even if you have to pay to get into the park, you get a shower and a scenic area to spend the day!
If you’re traveling the country to experience the great outdoors, why not see what state parks in your travel area have to offer?
4. Truck Stops (Pilots Are the Best!)
Truck stops are all across the country and off of every highway. So, if you’re looking for a place to shower, why not go to a convenient truck stop that offers public showers?
While different truck stops offer different experiences, we’ve found that Pilot gas stations provide some of the best showers around. While the cost to shower there starts at $7 and can range all the way to $15, it’s well worth the price.
Pilot showers are entirely private for as long as you want them, and they offer free soap and shampoo!
Even better, if you’re driving a gas-guzzling RV across the country, if you fill up more than 500 gallons of fuel in a month, you’ll get free showers for the remainder of the month and the entire next month.
While most people will never hit the 500 gallons a month, it’s a great deal if you do.
5. Portable Showers
If you plan on traveling a lot, it might be worth investing in a portable shower. Portable showers are cheap, and some even offer unique features like solar heating.
While portable showers are an excellent option for those who travel a lot, keep in mind that water capacity is limited, and when the weather gets cold, you’re in for a frigid shower.
Finally, you’ll have to make or find your own privacy, as you usually use portable showers in the great outdoors!
6. Boat Marinas
If you’re traveling along the shoreline or near lakes, boat marinas are a great place to find a shower. As an added perk, these showers are often free or only cost a quarter or two!
However, as soon as you leave the coastline, finding a marina to hit up for a shower can become increasingly difficult.
7. Rivers and Lakes
If you’re looking for an authentic outdoor experience, there’s nothing quite like bathing in a river or a lake. Both are freshwater and can be a great way to get clean without spending a dime.
However, before you jump into any lake or river, there are two things you need to take into consideration.
First, is it legal? Some lakes and rivers restrict swimming and bathing counts as swimming. Double-check the rules before you jump in to wash off.
Second, make sure the river you’re jumping into doesn’t have a strong current. Rivers can move deceptively quick, and all it takes is a moment to get swept away. Also be careful of underwater currents that can be dangerous, even for proficient swimmers.
While it might be fun to bathe in a lake or river, just be sure you’re doing it legally and safely.
If you’re not as concerned about spending money and you can’t track down a shower, a motel will do. While they’ll make you get a room for the night, motels are typically comparatively cheap, and they’ll give you a soft bed to spend the night on too.
While you should be able to find showers along your route without hitting up a motel, if you don’t plan ahead, this might be your only option to get clean.
If you’re new to traveling and showering on the road, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to set yourself apart from the pack! Learn from the experience of others and save yourself the hassle of learning the hard way firsthand.
Shower Shoes Are a Must
Before you head out for your road trip, be sure to pack a pair of shower shoes. Then pack a backup pair in case something happens to your first pair. You can get a pair off Amazon for under 15 dollars.
Trust us when we say the last thing you want is to wander into a public bathroom without shower shoes.
This goes for truck stops, motels, and everything in between. Just because you’re at a hotel, it doesn’t mean the showers are 100% clean or that bacteria isn’t hanging around. Hotels switch patrons so often, and it’s not surprising that some nooks and crannies get missed.
Even if the floor is clean, it’s filled with bacteria from previous patrons, and it’s only a matter of time before you develop warts, athletes’ foot, and other medical issues if you neglect the shower shoes.
It’s a 15-to-30-dollar investment now, but it will save you hundreds in medical treatments down the road.
Bring Your Own Soap and Shampoo
Some shower facilities will offer soap and shampoo, but most won’t. Don’t take the risk of not having what you need to get clean. The best way to make sure you have what you need for your shower is to pack a shower bag you can take with you.
As long as you pack everything back up before you head out, you won’t have to worry about forgetting something in your vehicle!
However, if you did forget the soap or shampoo, don’t skip the shower entirely. Even rinsing off with just water is better than skipping the shower.
Don’t Forget the Towel!
We’ve all been there. You get out of the shower only to remember you don’t have anything to dry off with. Getting dressed when you’re sopping wet is no fun, and it’s easily avoidable if you plan ahead.
Many companies offer portable towels like this one on Amazon that dry fast and come in compact containers or bags for easy storage and transportation to and from the shower.
Baby Wipes Are Not a Shower
Some people think you can “fake a shower” with baby wipes. They’re wrong. A baby wipe simply can’t get you as clean as soap and water.
While it masks some of the odors associated with a lack of showering, it won’t prevent bacteria growth, and you’ll develop medical skin conditions in no time. Find a shower and spend a few bucks to use it – believe us, it’s worth it!
Stick to Familiar Territory
Showering can be an intimate activity that can turn dangerous if you’re in unfamiliar territory. Truck stops have a bad reputation, and often with good reason. If you’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s late, it might be best to wait to find a shower until the morning.
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut, and keep moving. You might feel like you’re paranoid, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When you hit the open road, you need to find a way to keep yourself clean. While it’s perfectly fine to go a day or two without a shower, anything longer than that, you should find somewhere to wash off.
It’s about more than containing your odor. If you don’t bathe regularly, harmful bacteria and fungus can build up on the skin’s surface, leading to disease and infections. With so many places to find a shower, there’s no excuse to not take care of your skin and chase those odors away!