Why We Don’t wear Shorts while Traveling

Yep, you heard me! On an Older Women, Cheap Travel trip, we rarely wear shorts! And, isn’t that what almost all tourists expect to wear when they travel to warm countries? But, we are not tourists; we are visitors and visitors have respect for the local culture.

Women of a certain age in some countries, sometimes any age over puberty, rarely wear shorts in public. Even in hot, hot weather, even in the water! Here is a photo of some Indian friends of mine on their first visit to the United States. See what they are wearing to go tubing?


Yes, in India, women wear saris to go swimming at the beach! They wear salwar kameezes (Indian pantsuits) for walking and hiking and, even in Mexico, in some places, women do not wear bathing suits at the beach (there you can wear shorts) and in the city, they wear pants or below the knee skirts, but no shorts.

I think it is very important to wear what other women wear wherever we are traveling. Nothing like drawing attention to a bunch of older women than a couple dozen naked legs hanging out from our too short shorts or our entire bodies barely covered with a couple scraps of cloth at the beach while women in hijab walk by and cluck at us.

And there is nothing like the positive attention and respect we get as a group of foreign women when we dress properly and respect local traditions.

And, the one last advantage to not wearing shorts is that, for many of us, we won’t be so embarrassed to show our friends and family the travel photos that we appear in!

Learn more about our upcoming trip to Nicaragua in January 2016!

Learn more about all our trips, how we travel, and how little it costs at Older Women, Cheap Travel!

6 thoughts on “Why We Don’t wear Shorts while Traveling

  1. Pat, your friends look like they are having the time of their lives! As a profiler, would you agree that by dressing as the other women do in that culture, you would also be adding that one extra measure of safety by not standing out as a tourist or outsider?
    I would imagine that by not drawing attention to yourself by your clothes or your actions, you would be better able to protect yourself in a foreign land. And of course staying together and not doing irresponsible things, and showing respect to others.
    Plus, local clothes are usually much more beautiful than American fashion, if that’s what you call it!
    Hope your friends enjoyed themselves!


  2. Annie,

    I certainly found that wearing Egyptian clothes (long skirt, long sleeves, covered chest and neck, and hijab) certainly cut down harassment about 90% and I was well treated. In India, I always wear a sari or salwar kameez and I get a lot of smiles and warm welcomes. And, although some people think wearing local clothes but looking foreign would bring more stares, I disagree. A tall or large or both white woman (for example) walking around in pink sweatpants and a low cut T-shirt that has a big photo of a cat probably gathers more stares than someone who blends in completely except for her head! Also, if one dresses similarly to locals, they may think you actually ARE a local even if you are a different race…they may think you have lived there a long while, maybe even be a citizen, or maybe even been born in that country and, are in fact, “native.” So, all in all, dressing in a way that matches makes life easier for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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