Traveling soon - shared bathroom with strangers

I need j-pouch travel tips ASAP for sharing a bathroom with strangers! Travel stuff that 100% eliminates smell!

Since I had my surgery at 28 yrs old (5 years ago), I've pretty much avoided going anywhere that would require me to share a restroom with someone. I'm a self-conscious, shy, introverted woman with Asperger's/ASD and an anxiety disorder. Having a j-pouch has not been easy for me and had added difficulties (i.e. ASD issues = sensory issues, easily embarrassed, need to be prepared for everything, trouble socializing, being a private person, sensory overload, trouble sleeping).

But... 1. I can't afford having my own restroom, & 2. I'm tired of my jpouch anxiety getting in the way of having a life, like traveling. When you're young, single, don't have a stable life, want to date, want to explore and go on adventures... this kind of thing just... really sucks.

For the first time post-surgery, I want to try going a weekend-long dance weekend. But this requires sharing housing with multiple strangers and 2 bathrooms with fellow dancers (like 5-10 people). If I could afford to get a place with my own bathroom (and bedroom), I would. But I just can't. 

Travel advice needed for: how can I make my issue basically unnoticeable, in smell and otherwise, to the multiple other people forced to share a bathroom with me? The sound is embarrassing... but what I'm MOST concerned to the point of having it stopping me from going is smelling up the bathroom. My stuff smells very bad.

I did recently buy Poo-Pourri spray to use "before you go". But:

  1. Is there anything that works even better than Poo-Pourri that I should buy?
  2. Which specific products cover up the smell 100%?
  3. I always forget to use it before I go. Is there anything similar that will cover up the smell 100% AFTER I "go"?
  4. Any advice for eliminating or softening the sound as well, since it'll be cramped quarters.


Thank you. I'm so anxious but just so sick of barriers stopping me from having a life. Bad experiences traumatize me from trying again.

Original Post

You may have already tried this, but I find that certain things in my diet make the smell worse.  Also, is it possible that you are more sensitive to the smell than others? I'm guessing the other people will leave some smells too, because that's normal. They might even be worried about it themselves.

The thing that really works after the fact is lighting a match. If you leave the matches in there for everyone, perhaps others will use them as well and it will just be the thing that everyone does.

Another strategy I used when I had Ulcerative Colitis -- when I'd go in the morning, I'd turn the shower on first. Then go. Then use scented shampoo. That worked for both the smell and sound issues.

For what it's worth, I had a similar weekend experience sharing a bathroom with people I'd just met (when I had colitis and had urgency issues plus sound and smell issues) and it was surprisingly not stressful because everyone wasn't around all the time or paying attention to who was in the bathroom, etc. I was amazed at how much easier it was than I'd expected.

I hope you'll find it easier than you expect too! 

Oh and I just realized that I should have said that I think many of us have the same fears. I freaking hate the public bathroom at work and I try use the single-person bathroom as much as possible. I worry when I go to people's houses too. But, I try to remind myself that no one wants me to be stressed out and that nice people will forgive me for stinking up their bathroom. 

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