You'll Go Far: Advantages to Being a Female Traveler Backpacking Around Europe
As a female traveler, you might be worried that you'll be at a disadvantage compared to your male counterparts. You might be worried that people won't take you seriously because you've chosen to bring along your hair dryer. You might be concerned that you won't be able to carry that heavy pack.
While it's true that you probably won't be able to carry as much as a man could, and that you might have some trouble hoisting your pack, most women actually have more lower body strength than men do. This means that, once you've got your pack on your back, you'll be able to walk further and longer than a man. And that hair dryer could come in really handy if you find yourself traveling in a cold climate. (Not only does drying your hair adequately help keep you from getting sick, but blowing the warm air into your ears can help relieve the symptoms of earaches brought on from the cold).
Read on to learn about some of the other advantages of being a female traveler:
All-female dorms are the last to fill up. Even during the busiest times of year, hostels may find themselves with empty space left in their all-female dorms even if they've already hung the "No Vacancy" sign.
Just under 50% of backpackers are young men (single or pretending to be), so you'll never have a problem finding a date. When you're traveling, men will flock around you, so you'll have your pick of tasty arm candy. This is a great way to sow your wild oats, learn about different cultures, beef up on your foreign language skills, if you're so inclined, or just some platonic male companionship.
Women have the advantage over men when it comes to languages. Studies show that women are better at learning and using languages. You'll find it easier to pick up foreign languages, even if you've never studied them before, and this can be a great help when you're abroad.
Women have better memories for faces and words. Once again, science has shown that women are better at recollecting faces and remembering conversations. So, if you cross paths with the same person more than once in your travels, you'll be more likely to remember who they are and where you met them. You'll also be more adept at gauging the characters and intentions of others, because you'll remember what they've said and be more likely to notice inconsistencies in their speech.
Women are better at bonding through empathy. As a woman, you have an instinctual ability to recognize peoples' emotions by interpreting their facial expressions. You make people feel at ease by unconsciously mimicking them, and you're more able to put yourself in other peoples' shoes. This means you'll learn more about the world, have more fun, and make more close friends while traveling.
People in general are friendlier to women. As a female traveler, I've found that most people are more inclined to treat me with kindness, and to be more helpful if I'm lost, in trouble, or simply look upset.
So, while you may not be able to lug that enormous sixty-pound pack, or pound down the shots at the hostel pub's Happy Hour, I think you'll find that you enjoy some advantages that your guy friends don't share. And, you'll look fabulous, of course.