When Women Travel


It’s not a myth.. women are different to men. Probably in most aspects of life. I count travelling in, too. I think it’s safe to say that our travelling behaviour is very different compared to that of men. Yet, it feels like all aspects of a journey have been designed by men and are not women friendly at all.
Let me take my last trip to Cape Town as an example. To give you some background: I had to go to Cape Town for a meeting which was scheduled for 1pm, so I left home at around 9am in a business outfit because I had to make it to the meeting straight from the airport. I stayed on in Cape Town for another couple of days purely for leisure, so I carried a reasonably sized suitcase with me. I usually  also carry a shopper sized hand bag on a daily basis with my basic stuff in it. Of course for this trip I also had to take my laptop and some papers in a laptop bag.

Struggle 1: The high heel

High Heel
Beautiful but uncomfortable

Guys, have you ever walked more than 100 meters in high heels?? No, so you won’t understand the struggle we have at airports. Usually the walk from check-in to the security check and on to the gate can be way too long for my feet trapped in heels. So, what did I do? I am wearing my smart business outfit with a pair of trainers and my heels in my bag (adding additional weight to my bag on my shoulder though – think about that too… )

Oh.. and to add to the topic of an outfit. Don’t these shoes go perfectly with a white summer suit? I think so:-) Oh, wait… my heavy 5-days packed suitcase requires to be heaved into the car and out again at the airport. Mhhhh.. we are not so strong and the possibility of dirty suitcase wheels messing our white suit trousers is relatively high while trying to still looking gracious throughout the heaving process.
Skirts also don’t really work for the heaving process. So, we are relatively limited in our choice of clothing. Ah, men have it so easy.. dark suit and all problems solved. Lucky guys!

Struggle 2: All these bags

Bags

Not sure why we always carry so many thing.. What do men with all of their stuff? Wallet, phone(s), lip-balm, make up essentials, amenity kit, hair brush, old-fashioned leather bound diary, jawing gum, tissues and of course that extra shoe bag with the high heels in. Now, on top of all of these things imagine a laptop bag. Oh, and don’t forget to imagine the weight on your shoulder(s) due to these two bags.. ouch. What I’d love to have at airports is more of these little hand luggage trolleys. They are amazing and all of the sudden walking through the airport becomes so much easier. You can find those at most international airports, however, you can usually only take them through a certain area of the airport and not everywhere… which defeats the purpose, I guess.

Struggle 3: Airplane storage

Again, the bag-struggle. We need all those things in there close to us. If we didn’t, they wouldn’t be in our handbags. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So, the most annoying thing is if there is no storage for our bags. The two-hour long flight to Cape Town might be fine to store it under the seat in front of you. But what when it is a 10-hour long flight to Europe. Let’s say business class to make it more comfortable.. but this gets even worse. Once you put the seat in a bed position, there is definitely no more space for bags. The “bed” takes up all the space in the seat in front of you. Luxury problem to have, but still it is a problem when our stuff is not near us!

Struggle 4: Hotel bathrooms, hair dryers and hair straighteners.

hairdryer

After successfully surviving airports and planes, you finally check into the hotel, take a bath, wash your hair and want to get pretty because you are going out for dinner. Everything goes fine, until you want to do your hair. Option one would be to use the hair dryer the hotel provides. Well, most hotels I stayed at and especially so called business hotels, only supply the baby brother of a proper hair dryer. Men! You’ll be ok with the power it has.. but long hair? no chance to get them dry. I’m not even talking about that cord.. how is that supposed to work with long hair?
Option two: I hate schlepping my own hair dryer with me.. I can easily use this space in my suitcase for an extra pair of shoes (yes, this is what a proper hair dryer would take up in terms of suitcase space). Just for the sake of it, let’s assume I do take it with me.. then what? There is usually not even a plug in the bathroom. You only get those “Shavers only” plugs. Honestly speaking though, I never tried to plug in a proper hair dryer. Don’t mess with my hair! Funny enough, there is usually also never a plug close to a mirror, nowhere in the room. Which also rules out hair straighteners. Oh, but what these hotels don’t lack is a hairdresser. Strategically located. They must make so much money. I have used them countless times. And I can unhappily confirm that they are way overpriced.

This is work in progress.. every time I travel, I’ll probably find another struggle to add to the list. Or you can just call it complaining on a high level.. I feel fortunate to be able to travel.. however when coming back from a trip and I’m in need for at least 3 massages to get my back and shoulders back in order I don’t feel lucky at all.

5 thoughts on “When Women Travel

  1. It’s so funny how you describe your problems! I think of writing an article how I handle traveling 1.5 year only with carryon luggage. By the way I’ve learned it from a girl 🙂

  2. Lovely piece! But high heels at the airport??? That’s insane! Sensible shoes at all times for travel is the way to go! (I usually pack a pretty pair of sandals in case I am lucky enough to be invited out somewhere but otherwise nothing can ruin a holiday faster than sore feet!) I agree about the crap hair-driers in hotels though. I wrap my wet hair in a T-shirt – works better than a towel and go for the freshly-tousled look!!

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