You can't pry your husband off the couch, and your closest friend can't leave her kids. So, your next adventure will be with the best possible traveling companion you! Journalist Lea Lane outlines the pleasures, pitfalls and practicalities of going it alone in Solo Travel: Tales and Tips for Great Trips. This guide, designed primarily for women (most soloists are female), takes a lighthearted but commonsense approach to traveling singly, and includes the author's first-person anecdotes of her own solo sojourns (I like the one involving the dark-eyed horseman in Marrakesh). Lane lists both the annoyances and joys of traveling alone, offering techniques for diminishing the negative and accentuating the positive. From trip planning and packing to what to do once you get there (dining and rooming alone, tipping, cultural niceties, shopping, safety and hobnobbing), this go-to guide champions an independent spirit that'll have you confidently requesting, "Table for one, please." Alison Hood's car is tuned up and her guides, snacks, aromatherapy candles and sunscreen are packed.

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