This is one question that pops up a lot with us ladies when it comes to going backpacking, and if you’re new to backpacking, you might be thinking “shall I take my heels with me?”
When I’m at home and go for a night out, I will wear heels. I’m a typical girly girl. It’s very rare I’ll go out in flats. I almost feel a little under dressed if I go out in flats in the UK. So you’d expect me to be saying now, “yes, I take heels backpacking with me.” But the truth is, I don’t.
Now a lot of backpackers will be sat there now, reading this and thinking “what’s wrong with taking heels with you, I do!” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come across many girls who have a pair of heels with them. And to be honest, hats off to you if you do, as I just find them a pain when travelling. Here’s why:
It’s hot and humid, and your feet hurt
You’ll be doing a lot of walking (probably) during the day. So the last thing you want to be doing is walking round in a pair of heels all night. It’s hot and humid, and trust me when I say, comfort is everything when backpacking! Being hot and sticky, and then also battling a pair of heels, it just ain’t comfortable, at all!
They take up space
Heels aren’t the smallest thing to pack, and they can be quite bulky and take up space. When backpacking, space is vital. You don’t want to be going to a country with your backpack full. You want space to be able to fit things you buy along the way, such as souvenirs and gifts. A nice pair of flat sandals take up a lot less space, and can look just as nice and smart with an outfit. Heels become a pain to carry around with you, and I’ve met so many girls on my travels that have posted their heels back home half way through their travels. Save yourself the money and the bother, and just don’t take them in the first place!
No one wears them
When I was a student, I don’t think I wore heels at all for 3 years. I went out in converse, or sandals, and no one cared, because everyone was in the same boat. If you’ve been a student, it’s very similar to backpacking when it comes to nights out. Most people will be wearing flats, so therefore you don’t feel as odd for doing so. Back home, you might feel the odd one out if you wore flats. Backpacking, not so much! I personally notice it more if someone is wearing heels, rather than wearing flats. It’s almost the opposite of the norms back home.
But I’m going somewhere with busy, modern cities. Won’t I be underdressed?
The simple answer, no. As I said before, a nice pair of sandals can look just as smart, and they’re easier to carry around. You won’t be turned away from somewhere for wearing sandals. Flip flops, yes, but sandals, no. I’ve been to some nice posh bars in some cities, and I’ve always got in just fine with a nice pair of sandals.
But I really love my heels!
Yes, so do I. But trust me ladies, leave them behind. You ain’t going to need them, and it’s just a pain finding space for them every time! If you really miss them that much once you are travelling, go shopping for a pair. Everything can be bought. It’s better to be without, than having too much and wishing you hadn’t bothered.
As I pointed out at the start, you will meet girls that take heels backpacking, but I’ve found it’s very rare. If you’re heading somewhere like South East Asia, such as Thailand, Vietnam etc, then you really, definitely DO NOT need heels. Built up cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Sydney etc, you can look just as smart in a nice pair of sandals. And if you do feel underdressed after a few nights out, with them being built up cities, you can go buy yourself a pair pretty easily. But I’d personally use the space for a pair of heels, for a comfy pair of trainers or walking boots for during the day. You’ll thank yourself more later on.