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International Women’s Day: 5 female explorers to inspire your travels

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a little travel inspiration of your own.

We’ve all heard of Phileas Fogg navigating the world in 80 days, and Christopher Columbus sailing across the wonders of the seven seas – but what about the women of the world?

If you’ve ever considered jetting off on your own adventure but found that something’s holding you back, take a look through these intrepid female travellers and celebrate International Women’s Day with a little travel inspiration of your own.

Jeanne Baré

Jeanne Baré


Way back in the 1700s, sailor and passionate botanist Jeanne Baré was the first woman to circumnavigate her way around the world.

Admittedly, she did have to sail whilst disguised as a man to avoid blowing her cover…but once her identity was revealed, the French Navy paid tribute to her as an ‘extraordinary woman’. Captain Cook, eat your heart out.

Ida Pfeiffer

Ida Pfeiffer


Ida Pfeiffer wasn’t going to let a little thing like being barred from the Royal Geographical Society of London - for being a woman - stand in her way. Instead she went on to become one of the world’s most renowned female travellers.

Often travelling alone, Ida published her first book on her travels in 1846 and went on to visit everywhere from Iceland to Iraq, Borneo to Brazil, writing and publishing along the way.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart


A world-record-breaking whirlwind, Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to ever fly across the Atlantic Ocean, the first female pilot to ever reach 14,000 feet and the first person (not just female!) on a whole host of other feats.

During her lifetime she actively campaigned for other women to try flying, but her mid-flight disappearance and death remain a mystery to this day.

Annie Londonderry

Annie Londonderry


Born in Latvia, Annie Londonderry was the world’s first woman to circle around the world on a bicycle. Kicking off her trip from Boston in 1894, The New York World described her trip as ‘the most extraordinary journey ever undertaken by a woman’.

As a mother of three away from her family for 15 months, Annie helped transform the role of women to something more than a wife.

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly


Not content with the men getting to have all the fun, Nellie Bly set out to beat the fictional journey of Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.

Travelling by everything from rickshaw to mule, Nellie completed the famous trip in an impressive 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds - which means she had more than enough time to spare!

If you've loved this little slice of travel history, why not check out our History of the Holiday?

Or take a look at our solo travel guide for some top tips for your own trip!


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