This App Lets You Rent a Bathroom

It’s official, there’s an app for everything. This one unites would-be bathroom users with nearby bathroom owners.

Does legal urination sometimes feel like an impossible standard to hold yourself to? Turns out there’s an app to help you relieve yourself appropriately, even when you’re in an unfamiliar city and public restrooms are scarce. Airpnp helps users “find a clean, comfortable bathroom no matter where you are.”

Here’s how it works: The app unites people who need a bathroom with residences and businesses willing to rent out their bathrooms to people in their immediate vicinity. After the exchange, users can rate their bathroom experience. The service started in New Orleans, but is slowly spreading to other cities. For instance, here in Berkeley, California, I found two Airpnp bathrooms within a mile of my location. One cost $1 per use, the other was $1,337 (in its defense, it did call itself the best restroom in Berkeley).

In our story How to Find a Public Bathroom in the U.S., we talked about how using apps to help locate bathrooms was an emerging trend. We’re interested to see how location-aware toilet apps are taking it to the next level with this sharing-economy twist. 

(Photo: Bathroom/Shutterstock)

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By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

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