Beth in Papua New Guinea with a “Big Man’s” wife.

Avid world traveler and founder of the Wanderlust & Lipstick series, Beth Whitman has been inspiring women to travel for 15+ years. Matador caught up with her right before heading to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to peek into her bag.

Beth’s Words Below

I believe that all I really need for a trip is my passport, flight confirmation number, and access to some cash. But, of course, there are a number of items that make my travels more fun, interesting and comfortable. Here are some of my favorites…

xShot Monopod
  

  

This retractable arm allows me to mount a small digital camera on the end. I can then take photos of myself without getting my own arm in the shot.

It takes up very little space in my luggage and always elicits a big laugh from anyone watching me try to get the perfect shot.

SteriPEN

I never travel to a country where the tap water is questionable without my SteriPEN. This uses UV light to kill 99.9% of germs. Most importantly, it keeps countless plastic bottles out of landfills.

The added bonus is that I’m able to save a bit of money by not having to buy all that bottled water!

Rubber bands

I’ve learned that I can never have enough rubber bands on a trip. I stuff a few extras in my luggage and they always come in handy for tying together power cords, keeping paperwork or business cards together, or wrapping plastic bags around dirty clothes or shoes.

Eye shades

I generally fall asleep before the plane leaves the tarmac and I wouldn’t be able to do it without a pair of eye shades. They also come in handy in hotel rooms where the curtains let too much light in.

Asus eee Netbook

I got hooked on carrying this small laptop with me after discovering how many places in Southeast Asia have free Wifi. It was a treat to be able to catch up on email while I was traveling rather than coming home to 800 emails.

I discovered that it makes an excellent backup for my images too.

More on Beth Whitman

After teaching travel-related workshops in the Seattle area for nearly 15 years, Beth decided to get her message of encouragement and inspiration to more people.

She started her own publishing company (Dispatch Travels) and began writing the Wanderlust and Lipstick guidebooks for women travelers (now including The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo, For Women Traveling to India and is the publisher of Traveling with Kids).

She is the editor of www.WanderlustAndLipstick.com, the women’s travel columnist for Transitions Abroad, writes occasionally for Perceptive Travel and is a co-founder of the travel bloggers’ community fundraiser, Passports with Purpose.

Beth leads women-only and co-ed trips to India, Bhutan, Vietnam & Cambodia and beginning in 2011, Papua New Guinea.

Read more about Beth here.

Peek into more backpacks under our What’s In Your Backpack? series.