How can you get a cheap or free shower in a city you don't live in

Assume it is summer and you decide to visit a city and spend the day hiking, walking, biking, etc and after a few hours you are pretty rank.

Where can a person find a cheap or free shower? Here are my ideas:
Gym. However, for me my gym doesn’t give me access to facilities in other cities. A day pass may only be $5 though.

Truck stop. These are even more expensive for some reason. It’s just water but I think many charge $10 or more.

Get a camping shower and do it somewhere secluded. Probably deep in the woods.

Public beaches have showers, which you can do in your bathing suit. But assume the city lacks a beach.

What else can a person do?

Find a college campus gym and walk in like you belong there?

Some quarters and a car wash?

Some campgrounds have showers.

Municipal swimming pool.

the Y

Pay for a bed in a hostel - a bit pricier (maybe twenty-thirty bucks, more in some places), but you get a shower, a nap, and a place to stow your stuff while you wander about.

That’s what two friends and I who traveled to the west coast and back in 1974 did — except it was a dorm, not a gym.

At the University of Texas at El Paso, as I recall, we found a dorm that was actually in a huge multi-story hi-rise. We not only used the showers, we actually slept in the lobby the night before. No one seemed to pay us any notice.

Regrettably, I wouldn’t look like I “belong there” today.

Good luck with that - the one here has a high tech Mission Impossible hand scanner!

Usually you can just follow someone in if you don’t look too sneaky.

I have seen some laundromats that have showers, towels for travelers. Not free, just feed the machine quarters.

Since you want to do it in summer you can just go swimming in a lake, river or pond.

Fountain at the mall.

Country club locker room.

Sprinklers going off in a random yard.

Safety shower at the local chemical plant.

Locker room at the local middle school (be prepared with a good explanation if you are caught here)

Plumbing showroom.

Use the master bathroom during a real estate “open house”. (People stealing prescription drugs during open houses, has actually become a problem in some cities)

Whore’s Bath…Find a public restroom, go to the sink, wash your head and neck (espcially the ears), wash your armpits, wash your crotch then ass, and finally the soles of your feet. It’s what you do when you have to ration water. Clean the places where you can get an incapacitating infection fast and easy, which, by the way are the places that make you srink. Get out.

Sunday they got the electricity on after five days. I really missed hot running water.

Truck stops have cheap showers. You’ll need to wear shower shoes though unless you want foot fungus. Also, if you are “slick” you can find a room at a motel that’s being made up and ask the maid if you can hop in the shower before she starts to clean the room.

The bigger the motel, the more likely that this is to work.

Interesting ideas. On the subject if a person wanted to be sneaky another idea I’ve heard is to go into a hospital, find an empty room with a shower in the bathroom and use that.

I’d rather not sneak into a college or a hospital though. I assume they’d just kick me out if I’m polite and low key, but I wouldn’t want a trespassing charge on me.

The country club idea isn’t bad either.

Public swimming pools have showers. Just a couple bucks to get in.

Rec center/gym. Anytime I pick the kids up from the pool I just walk in, nod at the desk people and roll right into the locker rooms & pool area. No card, no fancy biometrics, no cash. No way the part time 18 year-old desk attendant knows who I am. Of course, I look like a dad fetching his kids from the pool. Were I to try this at a country club or dormatory I’d be clapped in irons and stored in some forgotten prison ship for decades. If they gym makes you pay, I guess I’d consider it cheap to cough up the $4 and make use of the pool as well as the shower.

On the Appalachian Trail the truck stop showers were obscenely expensive something like $12 which is normally free to $4 for thru hikers. Yes we kept hiking.

If you’re lucky enough to be looking for a shower in Hawaii or similar tropical place, you just go for a walk in the rain. Everybody does that.

Don’t a lot of airports have shower facilities? Or is it just the big international ones? I have no idea what they cost, but if you can get there via mass transit, it could be an option.

Other than that, visitor’s rates at a gym would probably be the cheapest, but pick one that has towel service if you don’t have your own.