Thelma & Louise offers top tips for female travellers

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Thelma & Louise offers top tips for female travellers As the famous female buddy movie celebrates its 20th anniversary, women’s online travel community of the same name offers top travel tips for girl gappers

2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the iconic gal-pal, road-trip movie, “Thelma & Louise” and for many young women now is the time to start preparing for a travel adventure of their own – minus the film’s sticky ending, of course!

 As thousands jet off on their pre or post-university gap years – or summer “mini-gaps,” for those heading straight to university in the autumn to avoid the dreaded tuition fees hike –Thelma & Louise, the women’s online travel community inspired by that very movie, is offering top tips for girl gappers.

1.    Challenge yourself – Do something which is alien to you and get out of your comfort zone. Doing what you are used to is more of the same. Even going on the underground in a foreign city is an eye opener. Be open to doing what the locals do. If they look as though they are enjoying it, there must be a reason!

2.    Pack strategically – Only pack what you know you will use, rather than carting around a whole load of clothes that will never see the light of day and remember that unless you are heading off into the wilderness you will be able to buy and replenish essential items along the way.

It’s often cheaper to buy these items oversees than it would have been at home and picking up a few special souvenirs on your travels is all part of the experience. Carry a lightweight pashmina or shawl to cover up in countries where this may be required, especially for entering religious buildings or shrines. Also, take a small magnifying mirror with sucker pads on the back which you can attach to any surface (even if it is the underside of the bunk above!) and a head-torch so that you can put your make up on in the dark!

3.    Be prepared for some quiet time – Always have a good book with you and a notebook to write down thoughts and impressions. It’s amazing how stimulating to the imagination a new environment can be. Just forget being in a rush and observe.

4.    Get a little help from your friends – in both the planning stages of your trip and during your travels, make sure you tap into the best resource you have available to you – your friends! Take advice from friends and family who have visited the countries you are going to and use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to get instant tips and recommendations on where to eat, what to see, what to avoid and great places to stay, as you arrive at your destination. You can also use to post a trip idea, question or topic in the forum and receive advice and tips from a whole community of women travellers!

5.    Meet up with a local female – Whether you are travelling with a couple of girlfriends or as a lone female it’s a good idea to locate other women in the destination you are visiting to sight-see with or simply grab a coffee/drink/dinner with. You can tap into her local, insider knowledge of which dodgy parts of town to avoid and where’s fun to go out. You can to find members all over the world.

6.    Find a travel buddy – If your friends just don’t have the same travel ambitions as you and you don’t fancy travelling solo, look for a travel buddy online to share the adventure with. connects like-minded women but we always recommend that you meet up with your prospective travel companion before you plan a trip together – not just for safety but to ensure you get on.

Even if you are happy to travel alone for the most part, it could be fun to find someone to share part of your journey with, so consider looking for a buddy for certain aspects of your adventure that you might not want to do alone.

7.    Book a tour – Independent travel is liberating but consider booking certain legs of your journey as part of an organised tour, particularly if it’s an adventurous experience such as Gorilla trekking in Rwanda or hiking the Inca Trail.

Using a travel company such as The Adventure Company is a great way for you and your friends to mix with other backpackers and travellers for short bursts within a wider, independent trip. Alternatively, if you only have a couple of months to do your travelling it might be worth booking with a travel company for the whole trip to maximise your time away.

8.    Make an effort to talk to the people you meet – If they don’t respond, it doesn’t matter as you may never meet them again, and if they do, it’s a bonus.

9.    Hire a personal GPS – If you are heading off the beaten track, hire a personal GPS tracking device (  from £60 per month) that regularly pings back your co-ordinates by email and SMS to a nominated friend or family member. It must have an SOS alert button too.

10.Sign up to Skype – stay connected to friends and family at home as well as pals you meet along the way with Skype. You can make free video calls, cheap phone calls to landlines and mobiles and communicate using instant messaging.  For more information on Thelma & Louise and to become a member go to

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