Letís face it, ladies. When weíre backpacking for adventure, some of the first things to get cut when weíre trying to pack light are those little girly bits that make us feel like . . . well, girls. Fortunately, it is possible to glam things up affordably, even when traveling in the developing world.† Here are my five favorite ways to feel like a girl while spending months on the road living out of a pack.
Available at dollar stores in both silver and gold, this stuff is just as much fun to wear out to dinner in Siem Reap, Cambodia as it is for New Yearís Eve or Valentineís Day back home. It takes up minimal space in my luggage and is one of only two suggestions on this list that I actually pack ahead of time.
Packing the good stuff from home is nothing but an invitation to thieves in many parts of the world, particularly backpacking destinations.† However, these same destinations tend to have numerous market stalls brimming with inexpensive beaded trinkets. Pick up a pretty necklace, bracelet or set of earrings to enjoy. If they only last for a few days, then at least youíve helped support the local economy and had the chance to get your girl groove on for a little while.
Personally, Iím a fan of decorative hair sticks. But if combs, barrettes or beaded ponytail holders are your thing, go for it. You can purchase hair accessories for pennies on the road, and they really help you feel like you have some way to change up your hair routine when you find yourself with access to a nice restaurant in the middle of nowhere.
Iím not talking about industrial strength adventure sandals here ladies. Iím talking about having some serious girl shoes to wear after days of tramping on roads covered in dust or mud. No, youíre not going to find designer footwear in the street stalls of Cairo or Bali, but you will find some cheap fun bundles of strappy goodness that some local person of limited means has worked very hard on.† Enjoy them while youíre there, and donate them to someone needy when you leave.
I always carry basic nail care tools to pull of basic manicures and pedicures on the road. That way, even if thereís no room for polish remover or my favorite nail enamel color, I can pull off neatly trimmed nails. Buffing in a bit of olive or coconut oil adds a touch of shine.
Girl glamour doesnít have to cost a lot. By making small strategic purchases on location, and packing minimal supplies, itís possible to feel feminine for less while saving money to put towards travel experiences youíll remember for a lifetime.
Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography