backpacking woman

Setting off on a big adventure as a backpacking woman can be an amazing experience, but it’s important to take some extra precautions to stay safe throughout your journey. Here are our tips for staying safe and getting the most out of your backpacking trip!

Why You Should Backpack

Backpacking is a great way to see the world and explore new places. It’s a fun and affordable way to travel, and it’s a great way to get to know a country or region intimately. Backpacking also allows you to meet new people and make friends from all over the world.

Backpacking Mistakes

How to Choose Where to Backpack

When it comes to choosing a destination for your backpacking trip, there are a few things you need to consider. Here are our tips for choosing the right place to backpack as a woman:

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a destination is safety.

You want to make sure that the country or region is safe for women backpackers. Unfortunately, there are still many places in the world that are unsafe or unwelcoming towards women. It’s also important to research the culture and customs of the area so you can be prepared for what to expect, for example, modesty and dress codes as well as public displays of affection. What’s normal for you back home might not be normal elsewhere. 

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Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Another thing to keep in mind is what kind of activities you want to do while you’re there.

If you’re interested in outdoor activities like hiking or camping, make sure the destination has plenty of trails and parks. If you’re more interested in city sightseeing, then choose a destination with lots of historical landmarks and museums.

The bottom line is that it’s important to do your research and choose a destination that’s right for you. By following these tips, you’ll be able to have an enjoyable and safe backpacking trip as a backpacking woman!

Nusa Penida beach, beach in Nusa Penida

Solo vs Group Travel

When it comes to backpacking, there are a few different options to choose from: solo backpacking, backpacking with friends, or backpacking with a group. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best option for you depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Solo Travel

Traveling backpacking is a great way to explore new places and meet new people. It’s also a great way to get to know a country or region intimately. However, solo travel can also be lonely and isolating at times.

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Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Solo Travel Pros vs Cons

Solo backpacking can be a great way to explore new places and meet new people, but it can also be lonely and isolating at times. Some of the pros of a solo backpacking woman include flexibility, independence, and the opportunity to meet new people.

Pros

  • You can go wherever you want, when you want
  • You have complete control over your own schedule
  • It pushes you out of your comfort zone
  • You’ll learn so much about yourself you never knew
  • You’ll get to see how strong and independent you can be
  • It’s a great way to meet new people and make friends from all over the world

Cons

  • There’s no one to help you if something goes wrong
  • It can be lonely backpacking by yourself at times
backpacking with friends

Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Traveling with Friends

Traveling with friends is a great way to share the experience of travel with someone you know and trust.

It can also be more affordable than traveling solo, since you can split the costs between yourselves.

However, disagreements about where to go or what to do can sometimes ruin the trip for everyone involved. Choose wisely, spending that much time with someone can cause friction between even the best of friends.

Friends at the falls

Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Traveling in a Group (Contiki, Travel Talk Tours, etc.)

Traveling with a group is an ideal option for those who want the benefits of both Solo and Group travel.

You get the social aspect of traveling with friends, while still having the convenience and affordability of traveling as part of a larger group. Plus, groups often have their own set of local contacts who can help show you around town and make sure you have a good time!

Pros

  • There is safety in numbers.
  • You have someone to share the costs with.
  • It’s a great way to make friends quickly.

Cons

  • Someone is always in charge, so you may not have as much freedom as you would like.
  • There can be personality clashes within groups.

How to Capture Photos of Yourself

Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Ask a Stranger

Don’t be shy! Most people you come upon during your travels will be more than happy to take a quick photo. The downside to this is the stranger doesn’t usually know what they’re doing and half of your head may be cut off in the photo. The upside is that you might make a friend!

Tripod

Using a tripod is a sure way to capture an absolute banger of yourself. You won’t have the awkwardness of asking a stranger to take your photo and you can set up the frame exactly how you want it.

We highly recommend the Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod by Peak Design. It is an expensive one but the quality is second to none and because it’s made out of carbon fiber, it’ll be so much lighter to carry while you’re traveling.

If you don’t use an expensive camera or maybe want to travel with something even lighter and a lot cheaper, a Joby Gorillapod is an amazing alternative.

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Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Remote or Interval Timer

If you are using a tripod for your self portraits, then you’ll need some help to actually have the camera take the picture.

Some cameras like my Sony a7iv have a built in Interval Timer that will take a photo every few seconds. If that is the case for you, then set that up for every 1 or 2 seconds. You will have a heaps of photos to choose from, so pose away and choose from the best afterwards!

If your camera does not include an interval timer, then you’ll need to purchase a separate remote (intervelometer) to do the job.

READ: What's in my Camera Bag

Click here to for all of our travel photography gear

What's in our camera bag

Backpack vs. Suitcase

You might be on the fence about traveling with a backpack over a suitcase, but if you’re planning on moving around a lot then there are many pros to traveling with a backpack.

  • Firstly, backpacks are much more comfortable to carry around than suitcases, especially if you are doing a lot of walking.
  • They also take up less space, which is ideal for city breaks or shorter trips.
  • Backpacks can also be more practical than suitcases in terms of organising your belongings, as they allow you to store items in different compartments. This makes it easy to find what you need when you need it.
backpacking couple

Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Pack light

When backpacking, it is important to pack light. This will make your trip more comfortable and allow you to move around more easily. It is also a good way to save money, as you will not have to pay for excess baggage fees.

There are a few tips you can follow to help you pack light: 

  • Make a list of what you need and stick to it
  • Choose versatile items that can be worn multiple ways
  • Leave behind any items that you do not need or that are nonessential
  • Choose lightweight items where possible (avoid denim)
  • If possible, pack everything into one bag
  • Use packing cubes to stay organised.

READ: How To Pack A Backpack

Click here to read How To Pack A Backpack

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24 Long-Flight Essentials

Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Backpacking On Your Period

As a backpacking woman, you’ll need to consider the added difficulty of backpacking on your period. You should be prepared with everything you would usually use at home – particularly tampons if that’s your choice – as it can be especially challenging to find tampons in many countries!

Safety Advice for the Backpacking Woman

Let’s not beat around the bush, backpacking as a woman poses a whole different set of risks than backpacking as a man. When backpacking as a woman, your safety should be of utmost importance. There are a few things you can do to ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable.

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Be aware of who is around you and what they are doing. If you feel unsafe, leave the area immediately. If you feel like someone might be following you, don’t go home. This will just let them know where you’re staying. Instead, go to a public place, or if things seem really unsafe go straight to a police station.

Stay in a female-only dorm.

Most hostels offer female-only dormitories where you’ll feel a lot more comfortable than in a co-ed dorm. You can book online ahead of time on platforms like Hostelworld.

hostel, women hostels, women dorms

Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Plan your first night.

If you only book one hotel night in advance, let it be the first night you arrive in a new place. This will save you the uncertainty of figuring out where to stay when you land in a new city, especially if it’s dark when you arrive. You’ll be able to hop into an Uber and go straight to your accommodation.

Use a rideshare app.

This leads us to our next tip, use a rideshare app like Uber or Grab. You’ll be able to see exactly where you’re going (and your driver knows this), there’s a record of your trip and it’s safer than hailing a taxi. It also alleviates any problems with language barriers and trying to explain where you need to go to someone who doesn’t speak your language. 

Always tell someone you trust your plans.

If you’re backpacking solo, make sure to tell someone you trust where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This will help them know if something goes wrong and when they need to start looking for you. Make sure you also keep your phone on you if you can, and have the Find My Friends app turned on.

But be careful who you tell!

The sad truth is, not everyone has your best interests at heart. Be very careful who you tell your plans to, like where you’re staying or where you’re going. This goes for strangers you meet in bars, parties, and even Uber drivers. It’s a little cynical but the best rule of thumb is ‘don’t know them, don’t trust them’.

Don’t drink (too much) if you’re not with friends.

There’s having a glass of wine with a date, and there’s writing yourself off in a bar full of strangers. If you plan on having a big night out, make sure you’re with people you trust. A group provides safety in numbers and can help watch out for each other.

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Backpacking Woman – Tips for Women Backpackers

Stay prepared.

If you do find yourself in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation, you want to be prepared for the worst. Carry a small first-aid kit with you, as well as pepper spray or a whistle. In case of an emergency, these items can help you stay safe and get help.

Don’t get complacent.

You may have been backpacking for a while and nothing bad has ever happened before. You might have been told that the people here are really nice. Or maybe you just think everyone wants to be your friend. Unfortunately, bad things happen all the time and I speak from experience when I say that just because something bad hasn’t happened to you in your travels so far, doesn’t mean it won’t or can’t. Keep your wits about you, always.

Trust your gut.

The most important piece of advice we have is to always trust your gut. Years of evolution have sharpened your instincts, don’t disregard them now! Got a shiver down your spine, hairs sticking up or a knot in your stomach? That’s the beginning of fight or flight and shouldn’t be ignored. There’s no shame in saying no or turning back.

woman backpacking, women backpackers

Backpacking as a woman, whether solo or with friends, can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to keep these precautions in mind.

By following these tips and tricks you’ll be able to enjoy your trip while minimising your risk and hopefully feeling safe and secure.

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