March 10, 2014 -- When you gotta go, you gotta go. The question, sometimes, is where?
Now a few new apps are offering to streamline your search for a nearby restroom.
Flushd, currently available for the iPhone and iPad, allows users to filter local restroom options on a map according to distance and amenities, including changing tables or attendants. It even includes in-stall reading material and can track your bathroom habits.
"Our goal is to take a conversation that is happening on the fringes and bring it mainstream," said James Edwards, CEO of AhhhMedia, LLC, in a statement. "Can a funny and novel approach to sanitation issues change the world one flush at a time? We think so."
What if you happen to be traveling somewhere slightly off the grid? In that case, try downloading Airpnp.co. The name bears a resemblance to a certain other share-economy site, but instead of renting a bed it offers users the chance to reserve a seat in a private homeowner's toilet for a small price.
According to its website, the founders of Airpnp were both born and raised New Orleans, where they attended Mardi Gras each year and struggled to find an available lavatory.
"Airpnp gives residences and businesses the opportunity to rent out their bathrooms to people in their immediate location who need to use it," the site reads, adding, "Users are able to rate their experience afterwards to others can see how each restroom stacks up."
But if these entrants into the water closet category don't inspire confidence, you can always go with an established brand: Charmin toilet paper also has a bathroom-tracking app called Sit or Squat that searches out the nearest commode and allows users to leave their critique afterward.
"I hate being surprised, especially when it's a stinky and gross bathroom," writes one reviewer of the app, saying it "gives me a heads up on the nearest restrooms and whether or not they are suitable for my tush."