Spending hours on public transit, consuming from questionable meals distributors, staying in dirty hostels – backpacking is soiled and there’s a typical look that almost all backpackers have.
Whereas on the street, I stay in soiled denims, wrinkled shirts and conceal my greasy hair underneath hats or bandanas. I appear like a backpacker, there’s little doubt about it.
That is completely acceptable backpacker conduct and so long as my garments aren’t stinking up the hostel room or bus, I don’t care (and to be trustworthy, if I checked right into a hostel trying the identical manner that I appear like after I’m house in Los Angeles, they might ship me straight again to LA… And I’d deserve it!)
That being mentioned, there are a number of occasions whereas backpacking the place it’s necessary to look ‘good.’
You by no means know if you’re going to be invited to a celebratory dinner at a locals home like I used to be in Ghana or rating tickets to a fancy-schmancy live performance just like the Minister of Music and Elton John in Costa Rica (which was superior!)
There could also be events the place your cargo shorts and mountaineering boots received’t minimize it.
So what are you suppose to do? Are you suppose to surrender crucial room in your pack for ‘church garments’ that you could be or might not put on?
Completely not. And little forethought you received’t need to…
Right here’s learn how to not appear like a backpacker
Ladies who appear like backpackers
Straightforward peasy, women. Pack just a little solar costume in a dressier colour (suppose pink, black, navy.) Commerce one in all your hippie tie dye sarongs (each backpacker has a minimum of one) for a strong black one to make use of as a scarf over your little solar costume for an evening out (and a seaside towel in any respect different occasions.)
As for a ‘clutch,’ I journey with a black pleather outsized pockets that’s often stuffed into my fannypack holding my bank cards, cash and cellphone. For an evening out, I simply take it out of my fannypack and vo-la, a clutch.
I solely put on jewellery that I’ve already purchased as a present for my mother or a pal and stashed on the backside of my pack to provide them after I get house. I’ll bust it out of it’s little present bag or no matter and check drive it for an evening (my associates don’t care, they know what’s up.)
The one factor you can’t simply swap out is sneakers. I exploit to journey with solely two pairs of sneakers, one pair of flipflops and one pair of mountaineering/ trainers which had at all times been sufficient for me. However after having to put on my grubby flops to an surprising Moroccan marriage ceremony the place everybody else was in heels or costume sneakers, I modified my tune.
I now journey with a pair of ittybitty black kitten heels. Heels are the best common image to indicate “This occasion is necessary and I care about how I look proper now.” My kittens are tremendous comfortable and actually take up area equal of a cucumber or massive carrot in my pack (we obtained bored and measured it within the hostel as soon as.)
In case you are actually tight on area or hate heels than by all means, burry a pair of tiny, easy black pleather sandals or ballet flats on the backside of your bag.
Possibly you’ll by no means use them and completely neglect about them on the backside of your bag… Okay, that’s nonetheless higher than having to attempt to discover acceptable heels with hours discover in the midst of Africa.
And there you go, a cute little “look-at-me” outfit that you simply actually pulled proper out of your tough-as-nails and covered-in-mud pack.
Guys who appear like backpackers
Y’all have it really easy in the case of this… It simply takes just a little little bit of preplanning which is the place I are available in.
Fellas, purchase one pair of cargo pants in black (suppose Dickies) and also you’re good.
Be certain that one in all your lengthy sleeve shirts is a button up (which I’m positive already is as a result of button ups are a backpackers finest pal) and attempt to rock it in a pleasant plaid or strong colour in addition to black (you don’t need your pants and shirt to each be the identical colour.)
Pair your black cargos along with your button up shirt, sleeves rolled neatly half manner up and nobody will even discover your Colombia mountaineering boots.
I’d go together with black cargos as a substitute of the Go To khaki as a result of black hides filth waaay higher than khaki. It’s no worries after an intense volcano hike on Monday to put on those self same pants (presuming they don’t stink) out to a decadent dinner on Tuesday.
Guys and Gals who appear like backpackers
Wash your soiled hair. Brush your tooth. For those who can’t wash your garments earlier than the occasion (comprehensible if it’s final minute) than a minimum of attempt to get the stains and stink out (my ‘fragrance’ is Lemon Eucalyptus bug spray and mint- which additionally retains bugs away- whereas on the street.)
And in the event you nonetheless appear like a backpacker…
Be gracious. Convey a small present (flowers or a small potted plant is nice however in the event you don’t have time or suppose it might be inappropriate – or in the event you’re severely too broke – take some images with the group plus a number of extra and get the hosts mailing handle earlier than you allow. Print ’em for $0.40 cents every at a drug retailer again within the States and ship them as a Thank You to your host. I did this after the dinner in Ghana and she or he flipped out, she was so so stoked!)
Have enjoyable!… and make sure you take a number of images of you all gussied as much as make your mama proud again house 😉