Five Backpacking Tips for Girly Girls
Joel Vaughan, Flickr
1. It's okay to bring your dang lip gloss.
You can't bring seven kinds of cleansers and lotions and sprays with you, but there is absolutely no reason you can't bring, and apply, your usual makeup. It hardly takes up any room at all (if it does, consider paring down). You will probably get used to wearing less of it as you spend mornings with other young women in hostels and forgo buying new eyeliner in favor of fabuous handmade jewelry and admission to castles and archaeological sites, but confidence is an essential ingredient for travel, and if your tube of Kiehl's gives you that, it's essential, too.
2. You don't need to bring a friend.
People fear for a pretty young thing venturing out on her own, but you can thank them for their concern and do whatever the heck you want. This, of course, is assuming that you're not just a pretty face – your safety and health are of the utmost importance. You'll need to be careful, not wander alone at night, be wary of whom you trust and avoid getting into potentially dangerous situations. But you know all this. You've been you for a long time. (Bringing a friend can be fun, though – I'm not knocking it; it's just not an essential backpacking tip.)
3. It's okay if your bag isn't "impressive."
You've seen them. All over the world, there are backpackers roaming with ridiculously large backpacks that look like you could live in them, in a pinch. You, being a girl and all, might not want to carry that much (I wouldn't!). Traveling light is actually regarded as a sign of maturity in most backpacking circles, and you'll be surprised how far you can get with two pairs of yoga pants – one on, one mushed into a tiny layer in your manageably-sized backpack.
4. Err on the side of "you can get it there."
Before you go, people will want to help you, and they'll insist on giving you (or insist on you buying) all kinds of travel books and gadgets. Just remember, pretty much everything you need is available pretty much everywhere. If you're heading somewhere really remote, think about how the people who live there get by. And consider doing as the Romans do.
5. All the other backpacking tips out there apply to you, too.
There are plenty of lists of backpacking tips out there, and they apply to you, too. Don't feel excluded from the world of backpacking just because you aren't used to "roughing it," or because you happen to spend a little more time on your appearance. In fact, you are in a prime position to go out there and conquer. Have a wonderful time seeing the world!
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