Published June 26, 2020

I can still remember waking up at 3:00 AM, rubbing the sleep out my eyes, grabbing my backpack and jumping into the back seat of my family’s SUV. Well, that’s a bit early to be going to school, isn’t it? Yes, but we weren’t going to school. We were going to travel cross-country. 

Road trips are a fantastic way to travel around the USA. While other modes of transportation are much faster, road trips make up for it in experience. Whether it’s going sightseeing or having karaoke in the car, they can be loads of fun. 

But one problem van dwellers and road trippers usually have is not knowing where to shower. That’s probably the whole reason you’re even reading this, right?

Planning can save you loads of time, money, and trouble. Unless you follow a rigid schedule with designated stops planned out (Thanks mom), you might also encounter this dilemma. 

Unless you ride in an RV that comes fully equipped with showers and other amenities, you might be in a pickle. 

If the feeling of not showering is getting almost unbearable for you, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of some of the best places to shower on the road.

Truck stops

Truck stops are essential establishments that prevent many road accidents caused by fatigue or lack of sleep. Luckily, many of them also offer private showers for non-truckers.

Pilot & Flying J truck stops operate under one owner. They provide a premium shower experience on the go. 

“For your comfort, we recently increased our towels in size, quality and thickness — for an overall enhanced showering experience. Tile from Sassuolo, Italy is traditionally reserved for luxury hotel chains, but we know our showers are more than worthy.” – Pilot Flying J website

There are many Pilot Flying J locations across the states. And if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to locate one on your trip. 

These truck stop showers generally range between $10 – $17 per shower.

Gyms

Many chains of gyms allow you to use their facilities in different locations and states. Of course, this means that you’d have to have a membership in one first. However, some do offer walk-in/day-use options for you to enjoy their facilities.

Some famous gyms in the US are Anytime Fitness, Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness. 

Campgrounds

Across the US, there are many public campgrounds. Campgrounds are classified into two types: public and private. 

“Public campgrounds are usually run by a government agency and include those found in national and state parks and forests, Bureau of Land Management areas, and Army Corps of Engineer projects.” – Trip Savvy website

Many public campgrounds are old and run-down, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that many of them do not have excellent facilities. However, it would help if you tried to check online for campgrounds that suit you. Do note that you will have to reserve a night stay in advance to use the facilities. 

Private campgrounds are the complete opposite. Many of which have a particularly luxurious feel to them, which makes them naturally more expensive.

Public Beaches

Many public beaches line the coastal areas. There are many public showers for use in its vicinity. As implied by the name, public showers are not private (Thanks for that information, genius). 

By that, I mean that you’re out in the open when you use showers in public beaches. You will likely need to wear a bathing suit to use them.

Recreation Centers

Rec centers are also a convenient option for taking showers. Many of them offer day-use options for prospective clients. You can take advantage of this by using that time to not only shower but also to enjoy the amenities they offer. 

A place where to shower on the road.

Portable Showers

Portable showers are an affordable alternative to using public showers. There are many readily available online, and they give you the option to shower practically anywhere. What’s even better is that most of these are solar-powered, so you won’t have to worry about carrying around a power supply. 

Call a friend

I’ve been giving all these recommendations, but you don’t even have to look that far! You could easily scroll through your contacts and call up an old buddy to use their shower. This option might seem fairly basic, but sometimes it could be the best solution.

Make new friends

I know what you’re thinking, “What kind of person would let a complete stranger shower in their house?” You’d actually be surprised. Some people are genuinely kind and are willing to help anyone in need.

This option comes down to a matter of pride and how much you’re willing to give it up for a decent shower. 

Couchsurfing

The less embarrassing option in staying with strangers is Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is an online platform where you look for a host who is willing to let you lodge with them for a certain fee. If you’re comfortable with this type of service, you should definitely give it a look.

Motels

Many motels present an option for those who have a mid-range budget. They usually go as low as $45 a night and are spread out all across America. In the year 2020, there are over 86,000 motels in the United States.

While the rates are slightly higher than the other options, motels provide more privacy and convenience than most others. 

Warm water

You have to make do with what you have. Sometimes, all you have is a public restroom and some hot water. In that case, running a little warm water and soap in your underarms could make all the difference.

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Author Terrence Tan Ting

About The Author

 is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.