Top 3 Things Female Travelers Have to Deal With – and How To Combat Them!

As much as I hate to admit it, female travel does involve taking some things into consideration that male travelers just don’t need to think about as much. Whether it’s the obvious safety precautions, beauty products, or periods! There will always be some things that a girl has to think about before she hits the road and during, that a guy may not. Below I’ve listed the top 3 things female travelers have to deal with, and also how to combat them!

Safety

Unless you happen to be 6 foot 2 and a beast of a woman, safety is something we all have deal with for the simple reason that in general, we are of a smaller stature and build than an average guy. That’s not to say guys don’t have to think about safety either, but it’s a fact of life that as a female traveler we have to think about this more, and also how to combat it. I won’t go on about safety too long, as many bloggers have already covered this issue several times, but the number one crime that most travelers have to deal with on the road is theft. Whether it’s being pick pocketed, mugged, or somebody stealing your shampoo at the hostel! Accept that if you are traveling long term, then the chances are something is going to get stolen – unless that is you protect you belongings properly. Sounds obvious but make sure to have everything locked away in your backpack and locker when you are not using it. Also, don’t carry things in pockets, and use an inside compartment to hold your most expensive belonging when out and about. You wouldn’t believe the amount of travelers who forget this and become careless when abroad, and if you find someone nicking you stuff at the hostel please give them a slap from me!

As far as protecting yourself physically, a lot of girls find it reassuring to have self defence classes before they leave, or to carry a rape alarm or pepper spray. You can never be too careful I suppose, although what I would say is if you follow the same safety rules as you do at home you should be fine (although check the local customs if it’s a country very different to you own).

Periods and Contraception!

One thing men don’t have to deal with on the road that girls do is periods! Periods can be one of the most irritating things to deal with on the road because in general, when it’s your time of month, you’re getting  pains, cramps, and generally just feeling crap, then the last thing most people want to do is be far away from home sharing a room with 10 people, and a hostel full of drunk backpackers. One of the best ways to combat this is to change your type of contraception, to either make your periods lighter, or make it so you don’t have a period while you’re on the contraception i.e. the duration of your trip. A particular type of contraception that works well with long term travelers and backpackers is the contraceptive implant. It is basically a tiny little rod that goes into the inside of your upper arm and provides you with contraception for up to 3 years. No need to carry/remember to take any pills, and in most cases it lessens the effects of your periods quite a bit. There are also types of contraception such as the coil which can eliminate your periods while you are on it. I would advise you though to ALWAYS consult your doctor before going on, or changing your type of contraception. I’m just letting you know what both me, and my friends have found to make periods easier while on the road as well as general contraceptive, but I’m by no means a doctor or a medical professional, so please consult your doctor first if you think it may be something of interest to you. Oh and don’t forget to still always use a condom! No form of contraception is 100% full proof, and I don’t want to be responsible for any baby you!

Being Beautiful!

Let’s face it, females as a general rule like to look after our appearance, and in some cases hygiene better than men do! No offence to any men reading, but you suck at looking good like we do! Although in recent years the guys have begun to catch up as far as bringing beauty products on the road (I know some guys who flat iron their hair more than me, and pay more in moisturiser in a week than I do in a month!), most girls I meet on the road, including myself, usually have a toiletries bag packed to the brim with beauty products, as well as carrying hair dryers, flat irons/straighteners etc. With all this increase, the size of our luggage gets larger, as does the load on our backs, as well as general inconvenience when it comes to having to chuck other things out just to fit it all in. The easiest way to do this is to buy either travel sized products, or buy all in on products.

Shampoo and conditioner can easily be bought as an all in one, even if it means not getting the exact brand you want. You can also buy travel sized toothpaste and tooth brushes in most supermarkets, or pharmacies. There is also the question of what to bring. For a start, don’t bring soap, shower gel is much easier to carry while you are traveling as it is in a capped bottle, you can buy travel sized bottle of it, and if you must bring your hair dryer or flat iron (straighteners to us form the UK) then bring a travel sized one. I personally like to take a little tub of moisturiser, and a facial scrub, although if you are really trying to reduce what you bring this is not a necessity. The key really is just to downsize everything! Every product you buy will usually have a travel sized option available at the pharmacy or supermarket. Also remember to double wrap everything before it goes in your bag. The last thing you want is to arrive and find all your clothes soaked in you’re lovely smelling shampoo (happened to me!). It may smell great, but not so great when your clothes are covered in it!

Another thing to consider is underwear! If you are a single female traveler then you will no doubt come across many good looking you men you may want to…spend some more time with! It’s simply a fact of life for any young backpacker. You’ll want to bring nice underwear should such an occasion arrive, but when you’re on long journey’s somewhere you’ll also just want something that’s comfortable. Make sure you bring underwear to suit both occasions! The last thing you want to do is be on a 14 hour bus journey wearing a thong!

Travel as a female is not a huge deal different from travel as a male in my opinion. Where the differences lie is in the detail. Above are the top three things that differs for most women on the road to their male counterparts, but all of them are very easy to combat.

7 Responses to “Top 3 Things Female Travelers Have to Deal With – and How To Combat Them!”

  1. The only question I have is the pepper spray. I would want to check on local laws because it is my impression that it is illegal to carry that in some locations.

    • jane says:

      Hi Chris, you make a really good point, and it is a good idea for people to check beforehand. I personally don’t carry pepper spray, but I know a few people that do. I think if you check the local customs before leaving, and follow common sence, there should never be any need to use something like pepper spray while you are travelling, but it does make some female travellers feel more at ease to have it.

  2. Bethany says:

    Great list Jane! I would say that another thing to bring is a small personal alarm. My dad got me one years ago and it’s very tiny and it only activates if you pull out the plug. When you do an alarm goes off that you cannot imagine. It stops when you put the plug back in. It’s great because if you feel threatened you can pull the plug out and I guarantee the person will back off. In fact you can keep it in your pocket and no one will even know you have it. God forbid the thing goes off by accident in your hostel or on a plane – people will kill you! But it’s still a great, super easy, thing to bring with you anywhere and there’s nothing illegal about it.

  3. Solange says:

    All good points 🙂 Can definitely sympathise with all. Here’s a few extra tips I’ve come across: A door-stop can be a handy safety tool, and for beautification take a little jar of rouge for both cheeks and lips. You don’t need much and it lasts ages!

  4. ayngelina says:

    Great post and I agree with all of them. I’ve been in Central America 10 weeks and beauty has been easy, other countries do have moisturizer and make up and I’ve had no problems getting my hair cut or eyebrows waxed.

    Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble make a fortune selling beauty in every country. Don’t worry about taking a year’s supply of beauty in a backpack.

    The only thing I have found difficult to find here is moisturizer with SPF 15 or more in it. It’s either sunscreen or moisturizer with 5 SPF. I’ve learned that my face can handle the sunscreen.

  5. Great post! But the things that worries most is… shaving!!
    We always wear shorts/tshirts traveling and we need to have perfectly shaved legs and armpits… annoying! ! !
    And what about grey hair? I have a lovely tuft of grey hair right in the middle, Cruella de Vil style, lol! I have to dye my hair at least once in 40 days if I don’t want to look like an old lady (I’m just 26…)
    Men you are so lucky:)

  6. Maria says:

    I really appreciate these tips for women who travel, especially alone. Most things people tell you or you read about traveling is rather general and the list you posted is really useful and includes some things girls might not think about! I think what you were saying about switching your contraceptives is a really good idea that I have never thought about. You never know when you’re going to get caught somewhere empty handed. I was overseas a few years ago and had nothing and was in desperate need, all I could find there were “supplies” that were somewhat ineffective felt like cardboard. Not the best experience when you’re thousands of miles from home!

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