Shaving Your Legs While Traveling: Should You Bother?


To shave or not to shave your legs while traveling: that is the question.

The question of how much body hair your average traveling gal should boast has already caused some heated discussions on travel sites and forums across the internet. I decided to take to take to the blogosphere (alright, my Facebook and Twitter, whatevs) to find out if my social circle had the answer to the eternal question of whether travelling means we should shave more or less than we do at home.

It turns out… they don’t.

In the pro- body hair camp we have Sophie Clarke, who cites purely practical concerns: shaving is “so much faff when you’re on the road”. Very true.

Katy Radcliffe, however, places appearances over pragmatism and is a clear hair-hater, and carries along her best safety razor when travelling, reasoning, “you have your legs and lady bits out on a regular basis, and you don’t want to look at photos for years to come and see a brown fuzz on your thighs”. A valid point.

Many women find themselves falling somewhere in the middle: as our very own Farah puts it, “In theory I say ‘more’ but I’m a ‘less’ girl in practice, so take from that what you will”.

Most of us are probably, like Farah, a bit in between. There are compelling arguments on either side…

Reasons to Shave:

  • Many of us are used to shaving, and feel it makes us look/ feel more attractive than going au naturel does.
  • There is social pressure to be hair-free (and whoever heard of a holiday romance happening with Gillette’s help along the way, amiright?)
  • As Katy points out – those holiday photos will last forever…

Reasons Not to Shave:

  • FAFF – especially in tiny hostel shower cubicles or in the middle of a rainforest
  • Hair removal is not high on your list of priorities what with all the Being Awesome and Doing Awesome Stuff While Traveling that’s occupying your time
  • Traveling can be a great excuse to let yourself go a bit – not necessarily in a bad way, but no one knows you, is going to judge you (what’s a bit of hair amongst backpackers, eh?) or will really care

I’ve had experiences travelling smooth-skinned, and also as a bit of a Hairy Mary. It really depends on the context. What felt right when I was working as a club promoter on an Italian beach was not the same as the month I spent at yoga camp in the middle of a National Park with only other women and cats for company.

What you do with your body hair is (leaving aside the feminist side of things for the moment) a personal choice; ultimately you need to weigh up the positive things you get out of shaving against the fuss of it all. If you feel like smooth legs will enable you to go out feeling and looking great, flirting with hot strangers and looking back at photos without a cringe, then by all means go for it! How Long Does Hair Have to Be to Wax? well you can find the answer here!

The only thing we can all agree on is that often the road does not allow for whatever meticulous grooming regime we might maintain back home. Time, place and circumstance can all conspire against your plans to shave your legs for days, weeks or even months at a time. If this happens, try not to get stressed out about it. Just focus on the feeling of rejuvenation that comes from a long-awaited grooming session.

And, if you do decide to make hair removal part of your travels, then I have just one tip for you: try to branch out and try different techniques and methods dependant on where you are. Local salons and spas are a great place to try something new and meet new people. As they say: when in Rome do as the Romans do; when in Brazil, get a Brazilian!

I’m sorry to leave this post in such an undecided way, but to be honest this simply isn’t a decisive issue. As one respondent to my informal survey points out, who asked to be referred to simply as ‘Didn’t Shave For A Year Cos She Didn’t Feel Like It’, “Shouldn’t girls just shave whenever they feel like it? Is this an issue for some people?”

You heard ‘Didn’t Shave For A Year Cos She Didn’t Feel Like’ – just do what you feel like. There ain’t no rules for a Go! Girl!

Do you shave your legs more or less when you travel? Does it matter? Tell us below!


About Author

Leah Eades is a compulsive traveller and freelance writer, whose adventures so far include working in an Italian nightclub, contracting a mystery illness in the Amazon, studying at a Chinese university, and cycling 700km along the Danube River. She blames cheap Ryanair flights for her addiction. Having recently graduated with an English degree, she is currently based in Florence, Italy.

1 Comment

  1. I’m pretty sure I shave a lot less while I travel, mostly because I care way less about how I look and it’s so much harder to shave in a hostel shower! I always do bring a razor though.

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