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. Before we get into the list, here are some pro tips for people who plan to shower creatively on the road:
- Travel with light, rubber sandals that don’t absorb water and dry quickly
- Carry your own shampoo, best if it is chemical free so you can use it in lakes and other water sources where wild life might live
- “Don’t forget to bring a towel.” -Towelie
Travel Gas Stations
There are several gas stations who offer more than gas and snacks. They actually offer showers too! Of course you have to pay a little bit, but this is a way cheaper option than hotels. The places you can get these showers include:
- Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers
- Love’s Travel Centers
- Travel America
Let us know if you’ve used others before.
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 / 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:
If you liked this list of the best places to shower on a road trip, you might also like our list of healthy snacks you can purchase at gas stations and 7-Elevens.