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Traveler Tip: Whether or Not To Flush Toilet Paper in 10 Different Destinations
Have You Ever Traveled Somewhere That You Couldn't Flush Your Toilet Paper
There is a really fascinating website online that is surprisingly useful for people who are traveling to foreign countries. It’s called Where Do I Put the Paper: A Handy Guide to the World’s Toilets.
If you’ve ever traveled to a rural area in a foreign country then you probably know that the toilets in a lot of spots can’t handle it when you try to flush toilet paper down them. Although you may know this, you may not know where to put the toilet paper. That’s an uncomfortable question to ask in any setting and can be even more awkward in foreign locations where you are unfamiliar with local customs, the language or both.
This guide resolves that problem for you by providing with you information about common toilet paper etiquette in numerous countries. It has information for a really large selection of countries so be sure to check it out. That said, here is what the site has to say about toilet paper disposal in ten popular destinations:
1. Argentina. The problem with this country as a destination is that it’s really large. Some areas are extremely rural whereas other areas are very urban. If you’re spending your time in the city of Buenos Aires then chances are that it’s safe to flush the toilet paper down the toilet. This is especially true if you are staying in a modern, urban, European-style hotel. However, if you’re in a more dated establishment in the city or you are located anywhere else in Argentina then you should put the toilet paper in the trash bin inside of the bathroom. If you see a trash bin in the bathroom with you then err on the side of caution and put the paper there rather than flushing it.
2. Australia. Travelers from the United States and Western Europe will be happy to know that it’s pretty much okay to put toilet paper into any toilet in Australia. The plumbing and water pressure here are sufficient to flush the paper down just like you’re used to at home.
3. Bahamas. One important thing to know before you trek off to the Bahamas is that it’s actually very common for bathrooms to be lacking toilet paper here. You’ll want to carry your own toilet paper in a purse or messenger bag so that you’re not caught without something to wipe. What’s unusual is that if you do have your own toilet paper then it’s generally fine to go ahead and flush it here. In most countries where toilet paper is lacking you’ll find that you have to trash the paper instead of flushing it but that’s just not the case in the Bahamas. The one exception is if there is a sign in the bathroom telling you to throw paper in the trash instead of flushing it so keep your eye out for such signage when you enter a public bathroom in the Bahamas.
4. Belize. As with the Bahamas, it is very common for toilet paper to be lacking in Belize so you’ll want to carry your own supply with you. The rest of the situation is the opposite of the Bahamas, though. Here, you should assume that the toilet can’t handle toilet paper and you should throw the toilet paper into a trash bin in the bathroom unless there is signage specifically telling you that it’s okay to throw it into the toilet.
5. Ethiopia. Local people here don’t actually use toilet paper but instead wash manually after using the bathroom. For that reason, you’ll need to carry your own toilet paper with you if you want to wipe. The toilets are not equipped to handle the paper, since it’s not what is commonly used there, so don’t ever throw toilet paper into the toilet when visiting Ethiopia. Instead, throw it in a trash bin if there is one. If there isn’t one then you’ll need to find a place to burn or bury your used toilet paper as you would do if you were camping in a remote area in other parts of the world.
6. Greece. This is a popular destination in Europe where you probably won’t be able to enjoy the common custom of flushing toilet paper down the toilet. The sewage system here is old and generally can’t handle the toilet paper. Instead, there should be a trash bin in the bathroom where you can dispose of your used toilet paper. The exception is if you’re staying in a very upscale and modern hotel but even then it’s best to err on the side of caution.
7. Indonesia. Like with Ethiopia, this is a country where it is common to wash instead of wiping. You can take your own toilet paper and throw it into a trash bin here if one is available. Alternatively you can carry it out with you and either burn or bury it in an appropriate location. Of course, you can also try using the local method of washing using the water pipe that is supplied inside of the bathroom for you.
8. Ireland. Many people who haven’t traveled extensively throughout Europe wonder a little bit about customs in places like Ireland. This isn’t a situation like Greece where flushing the toilet can cause a lot of problems. In general, it is totally fine to flush toilet paper down the toilet in Ireland. Of course, do look out for signs warning you that there’s old plumbing; they’ll let you know if you do need to put your toilet paper in the trash instead.
9. Maldives. This has become a very popular tourist destination in recent years. As that has occurred, more modern technology has popped up to accommodate tourists and that includes modern toilet technology. However, many of these toilets are composting toilets, so there won’t be any flushing of toilet paper. Instead, you’ll need to put the toilet paper into the bins that are provided in the bathrooms. Like in Ethiopia and Indonesia, you also have the option of washing instead of using toilet paper.
10. St Kitts and Nevis. The majority of Caribbean Islands, including St. Kitts and Nevis, have old plumbing that cannot accommodate toilet paper so you have to put it into trash bins instead of flushing it. This is not always the case. If you’re staying in a high-end, modern hotel then it may be able to accommodate flushing your toilet paper but err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure.