114. Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo by Beth Whitman
Publication: Dispatch Travels; Second edition (May 15, 2009), Paperback, 229pp / ISBN 0978728068
Genre: Non-Fiction, Travel
Read: May 12-13, 2010
Summary from Amazon:
Designed for women of all ages traveling for business, pleasure, or family, this indispensable travel handbook offers encouragement, lighthearted anecdotes, and numerous travel-tested tips. Drawing upon 20 years of travel experience, the guide includes a wealth of information—including how to budget and save money, pack the necessities, and apply for passports and visas—as well as a full list of website resources and advice on the latest travel technology. This travel resource is the ultimate manual for any female traveler embarking on a journey by herself.
I feel like I’ve rated this book unfairly. It wasn’t what I needed in a general travel guide, and so I pushed the rating down because I was dissatisfied. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s as good a guide as it could have been, certainly nothing like Vagabonding.
The problem is that The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo seems to have been written for professional women somewhere in their 30s, women who have steady jobs and responsibilities and whatnot. And even though it SAID it was also for college students and women in their 20s (or women even in their 50s), it didn’t feel like it applied to me. It also seemed more focused on the shorter vacation type of traveling, not long term traveling like I’m going to be doing. Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s just not what I was looking for. So, because it was geared more towards the business woman instead of the just-out-of-college woman (hi!), I didn’t get anything new out of it. Plus, the majority of info wasn’t specifically geared towards women’s needs during travel, which is ALSO what I was looking for.
Even if I WAS a business woman, I think the information presented in the book is way too vague to be of any use except maybe as a starting point for deeper research into traveling. The best part of the book was the small anecdotal sections included in each chapter, where real woman travelers talked about going solo. And the writing style, while not quite my cup of tea, was friendly and entertaining.
So, basically, it wasn’t what I needed or wanted and my irritation at that made me feel rather harsh towards this book. If I WAS the target audience I think I would have given it…a 3.5 or 4 bird rating. Maybe. It’s hard to say, because I can’t entirely put myself in the mind of a business woman who only has two weeks to travel and needs to figure out how to do it solo. But I think she would have like The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo a little bit more than I did.