Great Travel Books for Women

As an avid reader I’m always looking out for great travel books to read both at home and when I am on the road. I’ve also been on a mission to start reading more travel books! Most of these books are on my bookshelf, but some are recommendations by friends. Here are my great travel books for women to inspire your travels…

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman

Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited and forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey that takes her to three continents, fills her life with newfound friends, and gives birth to a previously unrealized passion for adventure.

Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style – This month I bought the most ‘wanderful’ book from Abram and Chronicle. Wanderful is a stylish look book and travelogue for the adventurous and bohemian at heart. Follow in the footsteps of fashion maven Andi Eaton as she travels the United States to discover some of America’s most stylish destinations and the fashionable dreamers and wanderers who live there. Nine intimate and exciting roadtrip routes (some by the sea, some in the desert, and some in the forest) will make you feel that you’re traipsing the country with your best, and best-dressed, girlfriend. Buy the book here.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

This isn’t a traditional travelogue, but rather a well researched and precisely articulated meditation on traveling through the world. In this field guide, Solnit bounds between topics to explore issues of place, wandering, being lost, and the way the distant horizon blurs blue into the sky, where future turns to present and past on the edge of the unknown.

A Place To Be by Lonely Planet

In search of exhilaration, reflection or fulfilment? Lonely Planet’s latest book reveals the best destinations to connect with your emotions. Each chapter in this unique book explores a single feeling, with 20 travel destinations and experiences for each emotion and state of mind. Places range from wild and natural spaces, to modern and ancient cities, with Lonely Planet’s expert travel writers explaining when to go and how to get there, and the best routes to discovering these feelings.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I don’t need to introduce this book, or the next tbh, but anyway… At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State–and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

You’ve seen the film, now go and read the book…. “We’ve all dreamed of leaving our lives and intricate choices behind in pursuit of finding ourselves. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend a magical year deliciously exploring the culinary delicacies of Italy, slowly cultivating our Yoga practice in India and unexpectedly finding love in Bali? However, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is more than just a travelogue of these countries. It’s a manifesto of life, forgiveness, healing and love with three beautiful places serving as the backdrop for Elizabeth’s transformation.

The author compels readers to live and explore deeply; forgive others and self for past choices; and to relentlessly pursue happiness at all costs. She captures the impacts that travel has on so many of us: meeting of new cultures and peoples, challenging of our own comfort zones, testing our own ideas of what life means and how we fit into this great, big world of ours. This book will inspire you to not only find your happiness, but to continually make space for light to radiate through all areas of your life.” – Taylor Jolissaint

Sihpromatum – I Grew my Boobs in China: Volume 1

Sihpromatum (Sip-row-may-tum) is a memoir series of one family’s incredible four-year, 80 country backpacking adventure. The first installment, I Grew My Boobs in China, takes the reader through China and Mongolia. In 2005, 14-year-old Savannah Grace’s perfect world is shattered when her mother unexpectedly announces that she, her mother (45), brother (25) and sister (17) would soon embark on a trip around the world. This is a tale of feminine maturation – of Savannah’s metamorphosis from ingénue to woman-of-the-world. Nibbling roasted duck tongues in China and being stranded in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are just two experiences that contribute to Savannah’s exploration of new cultures and to the process of adapting to the world around her.

Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas

There are many reasons women shouldn’t travel alone. But as Kika Shores knows, there are many more reasons why they should. After all, most women want a lot more out of life than just having fun. Kika, for one, wants to experience the world. But ever since she returned from her yearlong backpacking tour, getting back on the road is all she wants. So when she’s offered a nannying job in London she’s thrilled at the prospect of going back overseas and getting paid for it. But as she’s about to discover, the most exhilarating adventures can happen when you stay in one place…

The New York Times: 36 Hours Europe 

Through ancient wonders, world capitals, and tiny places with infectious personalities, Europe packs some serious travel punches. With more than 50 countries across its length and breadth, the world’s second-smallest continent makes up for size with its intricate cultures and abundant charms, boasting artistic masterpieces and architectural marvels as much as natural splendour. This book offers 130 expert itineraries to reveal the continent’s brightest gems and best-kept secrets.

Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson

It begins with this: “I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there’s no going back.” Then Davidson treks nearly 2,000 miles across hostile Australian desert over nine months. Besides brief periods with a National Geographic photographer and an Aboriginal guide, the journey was a solitary one, consisting of Davidson alone with four camels and a dog. An incredible book, sought from an experience she never knew was coming.

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist: The 500 Best Places on the Planet

This compilation of the 500 most unmissable sights and attractions in the world has been ranked by Lonely Planet’s global community of travel experts, so big name mega-sights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal battle it out with lesser-known hidden gems for a prized place in the top 10, making this the only bucket list you’ll ever need. This definitive wish list of the best places to visit on earth is packed with insightful write-ups and inspiring photography to get you motivated to start ticking off your travel list. What’s your number 1?

The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt by Isabelle Eberhardt

Born in 1877, Isabelle Eberhardt had a short, but adventure-filled life (she passed away at only 27.) Moving to Algeria from her home in Geneva, Switzerland, Eberhardt spent almost the entirety of her brief adult life traveling across North Africa and throughout the Sahara Desert alone, dressed as a man. She wasn’t really fooling anybody though, and while immersed in an Islamic culture that suppressed women, Eberhardt smoked and drank and expressed her sexuality freely.


What are your favourite books about travel for women? Let me know in the comments and I will add them to the list!

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