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Planning your escape? Sink into your favourite armchair and dip into Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone by Teresa Rodriguez Williamson ($20, Perigee Books).
Stressed about going solo? Evelyn Hannon, editor of travel resource journeywoman.com, has some tips for the timid.
• Take your hotel’s business card with you when you go out. In an emergency, call the front desk.
• Pack multi-purpose pieces. A shawl can dress up any outfit and cover your shoulders in places of worship.
• Add drops of lavender oil to your bath, pillow and temples to help you relax in unfamiliar surroundings.
Great places to stay
• St. Regis Hotel Shanghai, China
Bulgari beauty products, fresh fruit and flowers, silk hangers — what more could you want? A female butler with the skinny on the best places to see and be seen. From $250 per night www.stregis.com/shanghai.
• Hotel Le Soleil, Vancouver
Le Soleil’s recipe for bliss? Check into an Elle suite, turn on the bath taps, sprinkle aromatherapy salts and soak for an hour. Follow up with a fashion magazine flickfest. From $179 per night www.hotellesoleil.com.
• Grange City Hotel, London
Single out the Grange’s women’s wing for its plush bedding, Hollywood-set mirrors and deep soaking tubs. Feeling peckish? Order eggs Benny and an Irish-coffee chaser from your XX (not XY) room service. From $160 per night www.grangehotels.com.
You left in a hurry and forgot to cancel the papers. Bypass your hotel’s lofty phone charges and call home at the local Canadian rate — wherever you are in the world. Simply plug the Vonage V-Phone into a PC’s USB port and dial.
Vonage V-Phone and earpiece ($30) with basic package ($20 per month for 500 local and long-distance minutes; free incoming calls).
Image courtesy of St. Regis Hotel