To celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to champion some of the best female travel writers who continue to show us why women need to get out and explore the world too.
Although those of you who read a lot of these kinds of posts will see a few familiar favourites in here (these should be in any woman’s adventure literature collection, in my humble opinion), I have also included a few female travel writers that I have only just discovered. I hope their stories will inspire you in the same way they do me.
So, without further ado, here are some of my favourite travel books by women!
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The Best Travel Books for Women:
Since walking the French Way of the Camino de Santiago back in 2018, I have consumed every Camino story I can find. Very few are as good as Walking to the End of the World though. The tale follows writer Beth and her husband Eric as they say goodbye to the rat race and embark on a one thousand mile journey across France and Spain along the Camino.
The female travel memoir documents the good, the bad and the downright ugly of walking the Camino and Jusino does a great job at reminding readers there is beauty to be found everywhere, even on the dark days. Anyone considering a long-distance hike should definitely check out this book – it’ll get your feet itching (and eventually aching!) in no time.
This book was one of the first female travel memoirs that I read and one that should be in any female traveller’s arsenal. After losing her mother, Strayed decides to hike the mighty Pacific Crest Trail in the USA, although she is unprepared at best and completely clueless at worst.
The story takes you through the protagonist’s struggles, joys, pain and anger. The emotion that seeps through the pages is raw and as the book progresses, you become completely invested in Strayed’s story. This is one book that is always mentioned in these kinds of round-ups but for good reason: it is simply superb.
For those looking for some side-splitting anecdotes, check out How Not to Travel the World by travel blogger, Lauren Juliff. In the book, we learn about Juliff’s struggle with anxiety and how travel is somewhat surprisingly, the catalyst for her taking back control of her own life.
Many of the tales are completely outlandish, including hilarious stories which include sitting next to a dead person for 6 hours and a confusing Thai massage that went very wrong. The book showcases the reality of travel, warts and all, and aims to inspire even the most fearful adventurers.
For inspiration, look no further than Backpacker Business by my friend Nikki Scott. At the age of 23, Scott created the first ever print magazine for backpackers in Southeast Asia. The journey to success was not smooth though.
Follow Scott’s adventures as she navigates life and loss whilst still pushing to fulfil her goals. This book has anecdotes that all backpackers will be able to relate to and these are guaranteed to get you browsing Skyscanner and maybe even start looking at Thai hotels!
A story of true determination and refreshing honesty, this book will undoubtedly inspire you to follow your own dreams.
Kristen Addis is the solo female backpacker behind A Thousand New Beginnings. This book documents Addis’ life changing journey around Southeast Asia, proving that you don’t need company to embark on an adventure.
Throughout the story, Addis details her backpacking trip which whilst not hugely unique in its own right, still makes for an entertaining read. If you are debating about taking on a trip solo, I’d definitely recommend reading this book. You’ll be getting on that plane in no time!
This is perhaps the funniest travel book I have ever read, period. Reading this book is a lot like having a hysterical conversation with a mate in your local pub. You just won’t believe the stories!
Baker’s tale is hugely relatable for anyone who is stressed by the copious amounts of (usually ill-informed) advice dispensed before they embark on a trip.
This book had me laughing out loud in public places (highly embarrassing) and also made me question just whose advice I should really buy. An absolute must-read for any traveller heading to South America or likewise, anyone looking for an uplifting account about the realities of long term travel.
I will admit, that usually, romance books just do not do it for me. As in, I literally never read them. However, when I read that The Lonely Hearts Travel Club was like Bridget Jones going backpacking, I was sold.
There are three books in this series, relating to stories in Thailand, India and Chile. I have read them all and they are all great. Although all of these books are fictional, they are based on the author’s own experiences in love and travel.
If you are looking for serious travel writing, these are not the books for you. However, if you are searching for an easy read that offers a few hours of blissful escapism, the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series will be books that you simply can’t put down.
Whilst I enjoyed Deroche’s first book Love with a Chance of Drowning, it was a little too soppy for me and I didn’t plan to buy her next book. However, this was until I read a number of reviews urging me to give it a try. The title won me over immediately, what kind of pessimist isn’t grabbed by that?!
The second of Deroche’s books begins sometime after the first ends. Spoiler alert: the love she finds in her first story drowns and drowns hard. After losing her father, Deroche is caught in an existential crisis which leads her to question her very life as she knows it.
When she least expects it, she meets Masha, a free spirit who is intent on fulfilling her dream of walking around the world on a number of pilgrimages. With nothing to lose, Deroche embarks on the journey with her and the pair of them share fun, arguments and a few stark wake-up calls.
This is a great book for anyone who ever gets overwhelmed inside their own head and longs to break out of routine. Maybe the simplest life is the best choice after all!