As the title promises, Wanderlust and Lipstick

is a pretty definitive guide to travelling alone as a woman. The 19 sections of the book cover everything you might need to know: why to travel, how to choose a destination, and how to make it all work out well.

The book starts out promisingly — there’s a mention of my home country, New Zealand, on page two — and continues in a light, easy-to-read style. It’s well-formatted: the information is presented clearly and cleanly, and there are lots of useful personal stories throughout the book, both in the main text and as diary-like inserts.

Wanderlust and Lipstick

is clearly aimed towards an American market, which cuts off readers from other countries and backgrounds to some extent. This is clear right from the introduction, when the author suggests an excuse for not travelling might be that “you’ve never been on a plane, and flying is such a hassle these days” – I can’t identify with that at all! Many websites and other resources listed are USA-centric as well, and some Americanisms in the writing style grate occasionally.

However, the advice is sound and well thought-out. The author advises against going into debt to travel, and provides a worksheet so reluctant travellers can process their dreams and put it all down on paper. The advice is up-to-date, with useful websites listed and there’s even an explanation on podcasting — no mention of the Indie Travel Podcast, though!

Some things in the book go against my personal experience as a traveller — I wouldn’t use the author’s advice on budgeting or exchanging money, for example. And the information on hostelling was possibly correct ten years ago, but is now scanty and misleading, focussing on HI hostels and glossing over the new breed of hostels which are frequented by a wide variety of travellers and sometimes feature female-only dorms. Hopefully this omission will be corrected in the new edition, which has recently been released.

I’d recommend this book to anyone, male or female, who wants inspiration and solid information about travel. It’s especially useful for women who want to travel but need some encouragement, or who don’t feel they have the skills they need to travel alone. It’s also a good resource for any new traveller, to dip into before the trip or to use as an on-the-road resource.

Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo

by Beth Whitman is published by Globe Trekker Press, this edition 2007. It was supplied for review and is available to buy from Amazon.com.

Your thoughts on "Review: Wanderlust and lipstick by Beth Whitman"

  • Sounds like an interesting book. I think I will order a copy. Thanks!

    on May 19, 2009 at 11:11 pm Reply
  • […] I’d recommend this book to anyone, male or female, who wants inspiration and solid information about travel. It’s especially useful for women who want to travel but need some encouragement, or who don’t feel they have the skills they need to travel alone. It’s also a good resource for any new traveller, to dip into before the trip or to use as an on-the-road resource. […]

    on August 12, 2015 at 5:51 am Reply
  • […] Whitman is the author of Wanderlust and Lipstick: for women traveling solo, Wanderlust and Lipstick: for women traveling to India and the publisher of Wanderlust and […]

    on August 26, 2015 at 6:05 am Reply

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