March 06, 2012 14:23 ET Honors International Women's Day

Pays Tribute With List of Top 10 Trailblazing Women Travelers

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Mar 6, 2012) - In honor of International Women's Day this Thursday, March 8, 2012, the team at, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, salutes the women of the world by celebrating our Top 10 Trailblazing Women Travelers. This global day of recognition, which is even a national holiday in many countries such as China and Russia, celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women. From the iconic Amelia Earhart, the first woman ever to fly solo across the Atlantic, to tech-savvy entrepreneur Brittany Laughlin, co-founder of a social site that is changing the way we plan travel, women have made, and continue to make, their mark in the travel world.

Below are five of's top 10 women globetrotters and adventurers who are still paving the way for us all.

  • Edith Lederer (b. 1943) - Edith Lederer's path to becoming a globetrotting journalist began with a months-long personal voyage through Europe shortly after college. Upon her return to the U.S. she got a stateside job with The Associated Press, but it wasn't long before she was abroad again. In 1973 she became the AP's first full-time female reporter covering the Vietnam War, and her career as a foreign correspondent progressed rapidly from there. She spent the next 25 years covering wars and changing global dynamics around the world, including China's emerging capitalism in the late 70s, the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Bosnia, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the first Gulf War, the crash of Pan Am Flight 103, and the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi in 1998. Since 1998 she has been the AP's chief correspondent at the U.N.

  • Freya Hoffmeister (b. 1964) - Currently kayaking around South America -- yes, all of South America -- Freya Hoffmeister is an adventure traveler to be reckoned with. The German business owner was the first woman and second person ever to circumnavigate Australia in 2009, this after having sea kayaked around both Iceland and the south island of New Zealand on different occasions. Her current trip began on August 30, 2011, and will end just before her 50th birthday on May 10, 2014.

  • Samantha Brown (b. 1969) - As Anthony Bourdain captivates aspiring adventurers worldwide with his New York wit and Andrew Zimmern entertains by downing stomach-churning delicacies, there's very little spotlight left on the Travel Channel for a female host. But what's left goes to the perky-yet-wonderfully-watchable Samantha Brown, a blonde who every woman traveler can relate to. Brown's warm personality and willingness to try all are an inspiration, particularly to women daring to travel solo or abroad.

  • Angelina Jolie (b. 1975) - Long before her leg became a well-traveled meme, Angelina Jolie was trekking the globe for personal, professional and humanitarian causes. Her A-list status as an actress made her an international celebrity, but Jolie's service as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees since 2001 has truly earned her a place in this pantheon. In that capacity she has traveled the globe to raise awareness of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Along with her domestic partner, Hollywood titan Brad Pitt, Jolie has adopted three children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam. She gave birth to her first biological child in Namibia; her second birth, to twins, took place in Nice, France.

  • Brittany Laughlin (b. 1985) - The way people travel and share their experiences is evolving at an overwhelming pace. Leading the speedy charge is gtrot, a social travel site that personalizes trip suggestions in a particular destination like hotels, restaurants -- even deals -- based on your social networks' recommendations. At its helm is 25-year-old co-founder Brittany Laughlin, a tech-savvy entrepreneur who's forcing (in a good way) globetrotters to re-think the way they travel.

We rounded out the list by celebrating and commemorating these past pioneers in travel and travel adventure: Harriet Martineau (1802-1876); Mary Kingsley (1862-1900); Fanny Bullock Workman (1859-1925); Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) and Amelia Earhart (1897-1937). To read about these inspiring women and's complete list of Top 10 Trailblazing Women Travelers, visit

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