As a female we are in some way, shape or form regarded by some as not being able to “kick it” as easy as they guys. It’s “more difficult” and “more dangerous” for us to go skipping off into the horizon of anywhere because of a list of a million things that could go wrong. All we do is post photos with our hands in the air as the sun sets or selfie with that delicious Colombian latte, right? No.
The female traveler is BOLD. She is STRONG. FEARLESS. Full of ADVENTURE and she will PERSEVERE.
Ever since I started rolling down the dusty road to everywhere, I’ve had a slew of questions ranging from general hygiene all the way to the best backpacking tips for females. I’m no expert, but I’ve got a few years of nomad life under my belt.
On my first trip without my family, I went armed with 2 baseball bats (wood and aluminum), 4 knives, 3 canisters of pepper spray and a special canister of Ruger pepper spray with a 125 decimal alarm system and strobe light. You could say that I was raised under the pretense that “anything can happen to anybody at anytime”. While I wholeheartedly believe in protecting myself, there’s no reason to live in fear. So go out there! Live your adventure! Follow your dreams! You won’t look back.
Disclaimer for Men: The following may go into too much detail for your liking. Just go ahead and send this article to that Female Traveler you love!
- Dress like a local – This goes for any country you visit overseas! In America, we have some outspoken fashion, trendy little duos and not quite appropriate clothing choices for overseas travel. Especially if you are going to an underdeveloped or developing country, you do not want to stand out as the “rich, trendy traveler”.
- When traveling to a new area, err on the side of modesty – When traveling within a country taking a bus to a new village, you won’t know what the local dress is until you get there. Imagine stepping off the bus in cutoff shorts with a tank top when all the local women are dressed in long sleeve shirts with ankle length skirts. It’s not a matter of simply feeling out of place, it’s a matter of respect. If the women in a particular village are dressed modestly, it would be vastly inappropriate to bounce along the streets in a skimpy little outfit.
- Don’t be afraid to “just keep walking” instead of responding to whistles and creepy hellos from locals – I have mixed feelings about this. It’s a difficult recommendation to put on the list simply because I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Listen to your instincts. If it feels wrong, keep walking. If it feels safe, stop and chat.
- If you enjoy using a specific beauty line or have skin allergies, bring all supplies for the duration of your trip – Shampoo/conditioner, shaving cream, deodorant and other beauty choices may not be as abundant as your local drug store. Personally, I enjoy using a shampoo bar instead of the liquid shampoo because it’s easier to travel with and doesn’t irritate my skin. Chagrin Valley is a USDA Certified Organic beauty care line that is all around amazing and perfect for traveling.
- YOU ARE STRONG! – Walk like it, act like it and embrace it even if you’re lost and in a dangerous area. Keep walking and you’ll eventually notice something familiar. If you do feel the need to ask for help or directions, ask for help from another female.
- Dry shampoo and hats are your friends – Some hostels you will stay at may not have the luxury of hot water or even a shower at all! Plan ahead and you’ll be fine.
- Feminine products may not be what you are accustomed to – DIVA CUP. That’s all I’m going to say. Research, learn, buy. Best tampon replacement and so much more eco-friendly.
- Leave your flashy jewelry at home – I cannot stress this enough, leave all sparkly and shiny things at home. Wearing flashy jewelry not only puts a target on your back as a potential mugging, it endangers the friends you are with as well. Even if it’s a fake, it looks real for someone up to no good. Think of it like this, if you start with a blank canvas (no jewelry) you’ll have that many more local pieces to buy as you travel!
- Bring toilet paper and wet wipes – You’ll thank me later for this one! When we were in South America, the only public bathroom that had toilet paper in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia was in the airport. Many establishments either don’t have a bathroom or charge you for use of it as well as toilet paper. Just trust me.
- Don’t forget a quick-dry towel! – Many hostels will charge you for the use of a towel. It’s so much easier to just bring your own. They dry within an hour and it can double as your beach blanket when you find yourself soaking up the sun. I use this one.
- Live in the moment – Live it up, each and every day! Turn off the technology, go make new friends and tell the ones you love at home that you will elaborate on all the tales of your travels when you return home. This may seem harsh, but how will you thoroughly enjoy your time when you’re plugged in to the wifi for 2 hours every day? Alex and I will write a quick email here and there to assure our parents we aren’t kidnapped and whenever we change locations just incase something goes wrong. Other than that, we live for the NOW!
Ladies! – We want to hear from you! What are your travel tips and tricks? Have you ever had a sketchy experience you’d like to share?