How to Deal with Kids’ Bathroom Issues During a Summer Vacation

How to Deal with Kids’ Bathroom Issues During a Summer Vacation

Posted by Krista Eickmann on 12th Apr 2024

Summer vacation is a high point of the year for many kids. However, traveling with kids can be incredibly stressful for parents, especially during the potty-training years. Even older kids can experience bathroom stress.

Here are a few ways to plan for bathroom breaks for you and your kids during your summer travels.

Going to the Bathroom Outdoors

Outdoor vacations are a classic summer getaway, especially in the United States. The extensive state and national park systems include some of the best summer vacation spots.

Even though bathroom facilities are ubiquitous, vacations that include camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities mean you’ll probably have to pee outdoors.

Younger Kids

The potty training years are challenging. In transitioning from diapers to bathroom independence, kids might not have the mechanical skills to navigate camping toilets or squat to pee.

Travel potties for toddlers can be helpful in many different situations, including camping. But you can’t carry a travel potty everywhere you go.Younger kids usually need some help in the potty-training transition.

STP devices like the pStyle can help kids adjust to peeing standing up. With the child in a standing position, a caregiver holds the pStyle in place while the child pees. In addition to being small, lightweight, and easy to carry, the pStyle is an approachable, easy-to-use tool for kids.

Older Kids

Preteens and teenagers might have other challenges with the outdoors. Privacy concerns and sensory issues are both typical for kids at these ages.

Dropping your pants in public to pee might feel like the only option on summer vacations, which include camping or hiking. Since you don’t have to undress to use a pStyle, kids can retain their privacy when they take pee breaks.

Pit toilets and other campground bathrooms may overwhelm children with hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli. The pStyle lets them opt out of intense bathrooms when all they have to do is pee.

Stay Hydrated

Kids need to stay hydrated! All-day outdoor activities and summer heat can lead to dehydration, especially for smaller children.

The best summer vacations for families with kids require everyone to drink enough water.

Planning for pee breaks is crucial to ensuring no one skimps on their water intake.

Public Bathrooms

Navigating public bathrooms is inevitable when you’re traveling. Public bathrooms can be difficult for almost anybody, but kids and their families can experience unique issues.

Bathroom Anxiety

A host of reasons can lead children to feel anxious about using public bathrooms when they’re traveling. Hygiene anxiety, digestive issues, or prior unpleasant experiences can all contribute to hesitation with public bathrooms.

When on summer vacation, look for ideas to help anxious or hesitant kids minimize the pressure or stress about bathroom breaks.


Younger children transitioning from potty training have particular challenges with public restrooms. Portable toddler potties may not be workable in a public restroom, and disinfectant wipes only go so far. Some toddlers may be accustomed to climbing their home toilets to get seated, but this is not hygienic in a public restroom.

An adult caregiver can hold the child in a standing position and hold the STP device for them while they pee. This technique can be helpful for children of any gender, including cisgender boys, who are learning to pee standing up.

Using a pStyle can help anyone minimize surface contact in public restrooms. Remember, always wash your hands!

Sensory Issues

Children with autism or other neurodivergence can have intense experiences with the sensory stimuli in public bathrooms. Smells, sounds, automatic toilets, and bodily sensations can be overwhelming.

Every child should have the autonomy to make workable decisions about public bathrooms. Family summer vacations can be difficult for children who feel their choices are limited, so adults must look for alternatives.

Using a pStyle can help alleviate some of the more visceral sensory bathroom stimuli, but it can also offer ways to pee outdoors or in pee jars to avoid public bathrooms.

Opt-Out of Public Bathrooms

One of the life-changing benefits of using a pStyle is that it makes it easier to navigate the world as you move through it.

Even the best summer vacations usually involve passing through awkward or uncomfortable locations like rest stops, unfamiliar cities, or crowded campgrounds. Because the pStyle can be used while fully clothed, peeing in places where squatting or partial nudity would be unthinkable is possible.

The Great Outdoors

Finding a pee spot at the edge of a hiking trail or at a rest stop with some tree cover is much easier in rural areas and outdoor locations.

Urban Areas

In urban or more developed areas, you can use the pStyle to pee into a bottle while standing beside your vehicle—or, with some dexterity, inside your car. The best STP device is the one that helps your kids to pee when and where they need to.

As long as you do not damage public property or expose yourself, it may be legal to pee in public places. See our blog post about peeing discreetly and legally in public places.

Anti-Trans Moral Panics

The political conversation around bathrooms has had an outsized effect on transgender teens and other people perceived as gender-non-conforming.

Summer family vacation ideas and brainstorming should include a realistic conversation about the moral panics around bathrooms and how to keep our trans and gender-non-conforming family members safe, especially our children. The pStyle is one tool that can help.

Summertime Fun for Everybody!

Want to know more about the pStyle? Check out our website to see our full line of colorful pStyles and the canvas pCase.

Use our contact page to ask questions or to share the most memorable pStyle stories from your summer travels.

Above all, have fun on your summer vacation!