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Travel

Car Rolls Up To Stoplight Blasting Google Maps Directions

HOUSTON—Attracting the attention of adjacent motorists and nearby pedestrians who turned their heads to see where the booming noise was coming from, a 2006 Ford Focus is said to have rolled up to a local stoplight Friday blaring Google Maps directions.

Tips For Hotel Etiquette

Staying in a hotel can be a fun and luxurious experience, but it requires consideration of the guests around you. The Onion presents its guide to hotel etiquette:

Historians Piece Together Carnival East India Company’s First Cruise In 1605

LONDON—Working from recently discovered ships’ logs and archaeological findings, a team of historians announced Monday they had pieced together a detailed account of the Carnival East India Company’s maiden cruise—the very first seafaring journey to the Far East dedicated solely to the enjoyment and entertainment of its passengers.

Mom On Vacation Marveling At Time Difference Compared To Home

SAN DIEGO—Having already pointed out when everyone back home was getting off work and when the local nightly news was starting, area mother Pam Westin spent much of the first day of her family’s week-long California vacation marveling at the time difference compared to where they lived, sources confirmed Tuesday.

The TSA’s Plans For Improvement

The Transportation Security Administration has pledged to revamp its processes in response to recent record-setting airport lines and wait times. Here are some ways in which the TSA plans to improve

Budget Travel Tips

With the bloated cost of airfare and hotels, many people are looking to save on travel however they can. Here are The Onion’s tips for planning a memorable vacation without overspending.

Disney World Opens New Ordeal Kingdom For Family Meltdowns

BAY LAKE, FL—Touting the new property’s wide variety of unique and imaginative attractions, representatives from the Walt Disney World Resort announced Monday the opening of Ordeal Kingdom, a new theme park specifically designed for full-scale family meltdowns.

Tips For Traveling With Young Children

Family vacations can be a time for bonding and building lasting memories, but when young children are involved, trips can also be stressful to plan and execute. Here are The Onion’s tips for traveling with kids

Tips For Cheaper Airfare

Whether the busy travel season, fuel prices, or airline collusion is to blame, airfare is currently very pricey, making traveling more difficult. The Onion walks you through some ways to reduce the cost of flying

Keeping Your Possessions Safe While Traveling

Traveling during the summer can be fun and exhilarating, but nothing ruins a trip like getting your possessions stolen. Whether you’re hiking, road-tripping, or relaxing at a resort, here are some tips for making sure your items are safe during your travels:

Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Spring Break Safety Tips

Spring break is an opportunity for many college students to travel, party, and make memories with their friends, but it can also lead to problems if people aren’t careful.

People Apparently Been Using Rest Stop Barbecue Pit

GREENVILLE, SC—Scrutinizing the ashes of charcoal briquettes inside the weathered firebox, motorist Matt Palmeri reportedly deduced Thursday that people traveling southbound along Interstate 85 have apparently been using the rest stop’s barbec...

Florida Resort Allows Guests To Swim With Miami Dolphins

MIAMI—Describing it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close to the majestic mammals, visitors to Paradise Cove Resort raved to reporters Thursday about the hotel’s new program that allows guests to swim with the Miami Dolphins.

Humble Ascetic Declines In-Flight Beverage Service

NEW YORK—Choosing to fast in an apparent attempt to reach an elevated plane of existence, humble ascetic Jonathan Weaver declined the complimentary snack and beverage service during his flight from New York to Atlanta, sources confirmed Wednesday.

Last-Minute Holiday Travel Tips

Whether you’re rerouting canceled flights or changing destinations on the fly, nothing can be more stressful during the holidays than making travel arrangements at the last minute.

New National Park Caters To Business Travelers

PAICINES, CA—Hoping to encourage more busy professionals to visit America’s scenic natural areas, the Department of Interior announced this week the opening of Pinnacles National Park Express, the first federally designated preserve geared spe...

Area Mom Raving About Phoenix Airport

AURORA, IL—Noting its impressive collection of shops, restaurants, and transit options during a phone call with her daughter, local mother Carol Wingfield expressed her admiration for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the strongest terms, ...

Busch Gardens Unveils New 9,600-Mile-Long Endurance Coaster

TAMPA, FL—Marking a bold new direction in amusement ride innovation, representatives from Busch Gardens officially opened a 9,600-mile-long mega-coaster Thursday designed to push the limits of human endurance. According to park officials, the Stamin...

Dad Clarifies This Not A Food Stop

DENTON, TX—Stressing that they were there solely to purchase gasoline and use the bathroom if necessary, area dad Mike Whitcomb clarified while pulling into a travel plaza Thursday that this was not a food stop.

Planning The Perfect Road Trip

With summer fast approaching, many people are planning long car trips to visit tourist attractions, see old friends, or simply hit the open road.

Visit Home Referred To As Vacation By Parents

PINE BLUFF, AR—Telling their son he should take it easy because he deserves it, the parents of 26-year-old Austin, TX resident Jason Gibney referred to the time he spent visiting his family in Arkansas over the Easter weekend as a vacation, househol...

Pilot Tells Passengers He’s About To Try Something

SAN FRANCISCO—Midway through American Airlines flight 1544’s journey from San Francisco to Dallas Monday, pilot Mark Dams asked passengers to please remain seated and fasten their seat belts for a minute while he tries something real quick.

The Onion’s Tips For Traveling Over The Holidays

You never know when you’ll get stranded at an airport or train station, so make sure you don’t go hungry by packing two large burlap sacks full of steak meat and apples. Exchange knowing glances with the TSA agent. You’re one of the goo...
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Travel

Entire Train Ride Spent Deciding If, When To Use Bathroom

The long line of train cars Broberg traversed Monday in search of a usable restroom.
The long line of train cars Broberg traversed Monday in search of a usable restroom.

NEW HAVEN, CT—Commuter Michael Broberg boarded Metro-North Railroad's 8:37 p.m. train on Monday with one objective: to find a vacant bathroom in one of the train's seven cars and relieve himself in it. Unforeseen obstacles, however, forced him to continually revise and reevaluate this plan over the course of the nearly two-hour commute.

"In retrospect, when I first got on [the train], that was probably my best window of opportunity," said Broberg, 32, an ad agency copywriter who routinely commutes to and from Manhattan.

Commuter Michael Broberg

Although he says he did not feel a strong urge to urinate at the time of boarding, the cola-filled Broberg still wanted to relieve himself before the train left Grand Central Terminal, "just in case," but his duffle bag posed a dilemma. "If I left it on the seat, someone could just come right by and steal it," Broberg said. "And I know that if I had brought it into the bathroom with me, I'd have lost my seat for sure. Then I'd be standing the whole ride."

With bladder pressure mounting as he contemplated the long commute without a chance to urinate, Broberg made a last-minute, final-boarding-call decision to change his seat to one directly facing the restroom so he could monitor it at all times.

"There's a little orange light above the door that's supposed to light up if someone's in there, but those never work," said Broberg, who admitted that anxiety about walking into an occupied restroom has affected his public bathroom use in the past. His orange-light theory was verified when a woman entered the lavatory shortly before departure and the light failed to switch on.

"With the locks as unreliable as they are, and people unable to hear you knocking over the noise of the train, keeping an eye on the restroom is crucial," Broberg said. "Unless, of course, you want to place your trust in the people sitting across from the bathroom, but nine times out of 10, they're just guessing when they say no one's in there."

Other factors delayed Broberg's plan, including a long wait for an "especially chatty and slow-moving" train attendant to come by and take his ticket, a 6-year-old boy who kept running into the bathroom every five minutes for no apparent reason other than to remove handfuls of paper towels, and a passenger who boarded at the first stop and sat next to Broberg, forcing him into the window seat. According to Broberg, the man "immediately unwrapped a big, cumbersome hero sub" on his lap and began eating it while reading a broadsheet newspaper.

"There was no way out," Broberg said. "But I noticed on his ticket that he was getting off in a few stops, so I figured I'd just hold it in a little while longer."

When the train arrived at his seatmate's destination of Stamford, CT 40 minutes later, Broberg returned to his original aisle seat and, as new passengers boarded, he decided that he would use the bathroom once the train resumed moving. However, as soon as he stood up, an elderly man "came out of nowhere" and entered the restroom.

"I got up and stood next to the bathroom door, but the guy was taking forever in there," Broberg said. "I was waiting for at least 10 minutes, and I started to think that maybe he'd come out and I hadn't noticed. But then I heard a cough come from inside."

Unable to wait any longer, Broberg walked past one restroom in the next car which had a line of three people, then finally found an unoccupied handicapped bathroom in the first car.

"The handicapped bathrooms have these big sliding doors. But when I went in and tried to shut it, I realized the handle was broken, and the door couldn't be secured unless you reached out and held it while urinating," an option Broberg said he was unwilling to attempt. "I'm not an acrobat."

After a slow and painful walk back to his seat, and a total wait of one hour and 29 minutes, Broberg finally found a bathroom after exiting the train three stops early, relieving himself at the Bridgeport Station, then taking a $17 taxi back to his car in New Haven.

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