I am scanning the horizon with the fervor of a traveler searching desperately for a mirage in the desert, but it is not water that I am seeking. In fact, you could say that water is the cause of my problem. The alarm has sounded from the backseat and I know that I only have a few minutes before we have a Code Yellow emergency on our hands. I need a bathroom and I need one now. If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like it to be clean and well stocked.
A Roadtrip Necessity
There are two hard and fast rules for roadtripping with kids: never run out of snacks and everyone goes to the bathroom before the wheels roll. I am nothing if not a rule follower, so when we made our last stop for gas, we hauled into the building for the obligatory bathroom break. The exterior of the gas station was nice enough, but the bathroom itself was the stuff of horror movies. I am not terribly squeamish, but this bathroom took all the bad gas station bathroom clichés and magnified them tenfold. I turned on my heels and tried hard to shudder as I shuffled my brood back to the car as fast as possible. We make another stop a few miles down the road, but this bathroom is as bad as the first, and it has the added bonus of being filled with a cast of truckers sporting sweaty flannel and a lifetime supply of Slim Jim. Another fail.
That is how I found myself searching desperately for a restroom that would at least not give us syphilis just by looking at it. Unfortunately, I was running out of time. On this road trip, towns were few and far between, and I seemed to be searching for the needle in the haystack to wander around looking for a semi-clean restroom.
Planning for Bathroom Emergencies with Clnli
With all the roadtrip apps available, I wonder why there isn’t an option to find the clean restrooms along my route and plan ahead with that in mind. My mid day bathroom mess would have been nonexistent, if I could have easily located the clean restroom half mile off the highway in the lovely little coffee shop. A quick search turned up just the tool desperate parents and travelers are looking for. Clnli,prounounced “cleanly”, is a clean bathroom finding app that would be particularly useful for pre trip planning or for when you are traveling in an unknown area and the need to ‘go’ strikes.
How it Works
Clnli works by having store owners and anyone else with a clean bathroom offer their bathrooms exclusively to the Clnli network. By becoming a Clnli bathroom, store owners promise to always have a clean, well stocked bathroom. The app tells you where all the Clnli bathrooms are in your area, let’s you filter by certain criteria (like a baby changing table) and gives you directions to whichever one you choose.
Clnli is currently in development and will be available Spring 2014 Visit www.cln.li to sign up. If you sign up today, Clnli is currently offering a pre-launch promotion of $20 for six months of service when it launches in the spring.
~Clnli offered me compensation to review their product. They did not require that I express a particular viewpoint and all opinions are my own.~