Once you go on your first long road trip, you quickly realize that showering is a problem. If you travel in long stints, go on hikes, or just tend to sweat a bit, you might get stinky and crave a shower. Without a game plan, your idea to travel cheaply goes out the window as you splurge on last minute hotels to get some comfy sleep and a shower.
But we’ve got you covered. We’ve been on a road trip or two and found the best ways to get a good shower on the road without breaking the bank.
- Tips for Showering on the Road
- Best Places to Shower During Road Trips
Tips For Showering on the Road
- Travel with light, rubber sandals that don’t absorb water. Make sure they dry quickly, as well, and have enough tread to prevent slipping.
- Carry your own shampoo. Chemical-free is best, since you can use it in lakes and other natural water sources without disturbing wildlife.
- If your water is limited, do a quick rinse, turn off the water, lather up, then turn it back on to rinse quickly. Skip washing your hair and only focus on the important body parts, or opt for an all-natural dry shampoo.
- “Don’t forget to bring a towel.” -Towelie
Best Places to Shower During Road Trips
Travel Gas Stations
There are several gas stations that offer more than gas and snacks. They actually offer showers too! The places you can find these showers include:
- Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers
- Love’s Travel Centers
- Travel America
Of course you have to pay a little bit, but this is a much cheaper option than hotels.
Many, but not all, campgrounds offer showers. Many of these will ask for a small fee when you stay overnight, but this is usually less than $15 if you are not in a highly popular area. And to use the shower, you must pay the fee to stay, so you may as well get some time at the campground or nearby hikes if you plan to use the shower facilities.
Gyms are a great place to get in a good workout our sauna session. But most also offer showers, which make them a great option for travelers.
If you have a membership to 24 Hour Fitness or Anytime Fitness, you can get the benefit of visiting facilities across the U.S. and showering there. Otherwise, most gyms offer day-passes for a small fee or trial memberships if you plan to be in the area a while 😉
Don’t forget that you’ll need your own shampoo, soap, and towel. You’ll also want to bring some rubber sandals because people can be kinda nasty.
Motels or Hotels
It’s the last resort for travelers on a budget. But when you’re tired, achey, and smelly, sometimes it’s worth the dough. We suggest driving to an off-the-map region if you’re really road-tripping on a budget and plan to do this. Don’t go miles out of the way, but map the route accordingly, and check your favorite hotel apps to see where you can get the best deal.
Solar-Heated Travel Shower
The shower bags usually hold up to 5 gallons of water and can heat up with solar energy. These tend not to heat up very quickly, but are a good option nonetheless. You can also purchase these on Amazon very cheaply, such as the Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower or the Sportneer 5-Gallon Solar Shower Bag.