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Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo Paperback – March 1, 2007

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Women tend to have reservations about traveling on their own, Whitman observes. These anxieties range from fears about personal security and health risks to guilt about leaving a partner and kids to fend for themselves. But traveling alone can be a joyous experience, particularly for women, she notes, because it allows them to find a sense of self-reliance, adventure, and freedom. In her guidebook, Whitman offers a range of useful tips about packing, ticket purchases, tipping, and all the usual fodder that make up travel tomes. But blended with the practical advice is deeper, more compelling guidance designed to persuade women that traveling alone isn t selfish, dangerous, or expensive. It s difficult, Whitman acknowledges, and she travels with relentless gusto, like a well-versed travel agent who s sipped the local wine, slept on hostel beds, and camped in the middle of the Australian outback. Whitman has the experience to back up her claims, and before she launches into her recommendations, she relates her tale of a first solo trip from Seattle to Panama by motorcycle. The journey was challenging, but instilled in her a sense of wanderlust that s kept her globe-hopping ever since, logging hundreds of thousands of solo miles as both a backpacker and businesswoman. Once she realized that she could travel alone happily, Whitman began persuading other women to get out of their homes and into the great unknown. She is the travel blogger for the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and teaches workshops and publishes a website for women traveling solo. Perhaps the most useful sections are the first three chapters, including Why Travel Solo? and Getting Beyond the Excuses. With her brisk, persuasive tone, Whitman could convince an agoraphobe to consider a trek to the pyramids or the Great Wall of China. Although she outlines many reasons that table-for-one journeys are enriching from setting one s own agenda for the day to being more approachable to strangers looking to stri --Foreword Magazine - Elizabeth Millard

Women have emerged in recent years as a growing demographic of separate travelers either individually or in groups fueling growth in tourism by Americans. These three books, each with a helpful approach, are aimed at women travelers. For the planning stage and for first-time travelers, there is Whitman s (web site publisher, book, which is full of specific details regarding how to pack and how to book a trip. This one is best for the nervous newbie. --Library Journal (Feb. 15, 2007)

About the Author

Beth Whitman has logged hundreds of thousands of solo miles around the globe as a backpacker and a businesswoman. She is an award-winning writer, a travel photographer, the travel blogger for the Seattle Post Intelligencer ( and the publisher of the website For Women Traveling Solo (


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Trekker Press; 1st edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978728092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978728090
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,695,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth Whitman is the author and publisher of the Wanderlust and Lipstick guides for women travelers. These include: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo, For Women Traveling to India and Traveling with Kids.

She is also the publisher of the Wanderlust and Lipstick website and the Women's Travel Columnist at Transitions Abroad.

With nearly 23 years of travel experience, Beth has logged hundreds of thousands of miles as a backpacker and businesswoman. She has ridden her BMW motorcycle solo from Seattle to Panama, backpacked the Pacific Rim countries for a year, driven the AlCan Highway (twice), volunteered at orphanages in Vietnam and navigated the back roads of France in a rental car.

In addition to her work as a travel writer, she offers and leads tours to Bhutan and India for both women and men.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Collishaw Davis on March 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found Wanderlust and Lipstick to be an excellent resource for anyone who travels (or might be thinking of traveling, wants to travel more, is nervous about traveling, etc.). While it's obviously geared toward women traveling on their own, I think the benefits from this book are more widespread. I believe people that are already traveling the world as well as those who have never ventured outside of their hometown can appreciate and learn from this book. The best part about this book is the way Beth seamlessly weaves all of her personal, heartfelt stories (as well as those from other women she interviewed for the book) into the content of each chapter. Every one of us can relate to at least one of those stories (her feelings, thoughts, fears) as well as the theme of each of her chapters. The tone is very direct but is always on point with lots of witty remarks and humorous anecdotes. In fact, she emphasizes over and over the importance of getting beyond all of the never-ending reasons/excuses we all make for ourselves for not traveling more than we do. Beth notes that everyone can make their travel dreams come true, regardless of your individual situations(marital status, budget, job, etc.) Another invaluable part of the book is the extensive list of useful websites referenced throughout the book. This is a "must read" for anyone with a passion for travel.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michelle A on August 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a female who often travels solo. I loved reading Beth Whitman's book - it offers a lot of resources and advice for women and I recommend it for anyone who is thinking of traveling alone. I wish I had read this when I went on my first solo trip several years ago! I also like the little excerpts in the book of fellow stories by women travelers.

After reading this book, it inspired me to want to go on another solo trip. I'm currently planning it right now ;) Thanks, Beth!!!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Melissa C. Tzourakis on August 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Satisfaction is usually a function of expectations. I had expected this book to provide insights for independent/ solo travelers. It is actually a primer on solo domestic and international travel for those who are/ or want to embark on an initial solo trip. Most of the advise here I have written/given for employees we have sent overseas. It is all pretty basic stuff - which I think would be very helpful if you have not ever travelled and are pretty anxious about it. It would have been a great read twenty years ago when I left for Greece on my first solo trip. After a hiatus of 20 years of travel, I have been lucky enough to be in a position to travel to many destinations for work and I was looking for some more advanced insight on places that are more or less female friendly to help provide direction for my side trips. Oh well, shame on me for not reading all the info. I was going to give it two stars but have given three as this would be good for a different audience.

The other thing that tweaked me was that I purchased the Amazon package of three books, this one, Wanderlust and Lipstick as well as Fly Solo. Fly Solo was the best of the three with recommendation on specific locations and why they were good choices for solo travel with details on the best things to do, unfortunately Wanderlust and Lipstick had almost the same format and same information as Journey of One's Own with minor variations between the two,so why you would package price almost the same book makes no sense to me. If you are on the verge of solo travel I would only pick one or the other you do not need both - they are redundant. I will likely return these two.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Minisaurus on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not find this to be a particularly inspiring travel book, especially given the title. I expected more content aimed toward the traveling solo part and less on what I consider to be basic travel knowledge. I gave it an extra star because it does include a few decent pointers for basic travel skills. Although I think that saying the obvious, such as how they drive on different sides of the road in some countries, is almost rude. I would hope anyone thinking of traveling solo would do their homework about their destination of choice! It amazes me that you would need to tell someone that the place they are traveling to is...different! I think Rick Steves' books, Rough Guides or even Budget Travel Magazine do a better job of explaining what kinds of questions to ask yourself when choosing a destination. Additionally, some of the subjects seem like nothing but filler. For example, the author devotes more words to explaining RSS feeds than to the subject of jet lag! I don't need to know how to use the internet--I wanted solid advice on how to make my solo travel a more enjoyable and safe experience.

If you've driven across the U.S. or traveled overseas you might want to continue to look elsewhere. But, if you've never really left your own town or state, then this is probably a great book for you and I say buy it and happy trails!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Weiner on November 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is full of excellent information for solo travellers, especially women. There are tons of websites and tips as well as anecdotes by the author and others of their travel experiences. I have been planning my own short solo travel adventure, but after reading this book I can't wait to plan my next trip once I return.
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