10 Commandments of the Female Backpacker


Although I have only been on the Central American backpacker circuit for about one week I have already learned some essential truths that all Go! Girl travelers should adhere to for a solid trip. They came to me last night as I was basking in my hostel’s amazing hot shower, overlooking Lago Atitlan in Guatemala. Not the same as Moses, but hey, it works!

The Commandments of a Female Backpacker

1. Thou shalt not covet they neighbors bed; the next place you stop you will indeed be blessed with a better bed. Be grateful, you are traveling!

2. Thou shalt shave legs and wash hair when hot water is present…who knows when the next hot shower will be….or if the best beach in Costa Rica will happen before that moment.

3. Honor thy street food vendor and Imodium.

4. Thou shalt accept the help of men, where chivalry is not dead, because that pack is damn heavy!

5. Thou shant ever eat McDonalds in country. Exceptions shall be granted for extreme homesickness.

6. Accept tampons from the kindness of fellow lady backpackers and also be willing to share in the riches of feminine products.

7. Thou shalt appreciate economies of scale; support the local economy and know when it is appropriate to bargain down.

8. Thou shant not steal; only “borrow” what has been left behind…even if it has only been five minutes.

9. Thou shalt always let her hair blow in the foreign breeze, keep holy the siesta, and carry a journal in her pack.

10. Thou shalt be grateful for the liberation of travel; you only get one shot at this life.

What are your rules for travel?


About Author

Traci is a bold New Yorker who loves taking her empire state of mind global. She holds a degree in International Business, and bleeds humanitarianism. Traci spent a semester in 2007 living in Italy and bouncing around Western Europe. In the past 3 years she volunteered at a homeless shelter in California, worked construction in New Orleans, and moonlights as a bartender everywhere she goes. She recently completed an epic 7 month backpacking trip through Central and South America and spent a month road-tripping the East Coast. Check out her personal blog at www.alwaysinjourney.com. Based out of: New Orleans, LA


  1. LOVE this! maybe also:
    “Thou shalt appreciate the “swap” part of book-swaps in hostels.”
    “Thou shalt always be brave and test thine comfort zone, otherwise ye may as well have stayed at home.”
    and lastly… “Thou shalt strive not be one half of *that* couple in the dorm and remember blessed are those who invest in private rooms.”

  2. love all the comments ladies! esp the dancing invitation one! I second that. Already did it and had a great time at a local haunt. keep em coming! yeah creepers are not worth a second of a Go! girl’s time.

  3. Pingback: Fun Ways to Keep Fit While Traveling — Go! Girl Guides

  4. When you discover a place that is amazing and incredible, slow down and savor it. Don’t rush off to a new location when there is magic percolating in the ethers of where you are right now.

    Take tons of photographs, your environment will look even more exotic when you return home. If you don’t want to go home, make it a lifestyle and become a location independent entrepreneur and change your life! You can volunteer, start a business, yes you can break free of the Western world.

    BTW if you want to know more check out my app Vagabond in the itunes store on perpetual travel. http://tinyurl.com/byg76kx

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