If traveling alone is new to you, meal times are something that will take a little time to get used to. There are a few things to learn that will help you navigate this new terrain. With a few ideas, dining alone may become one of the favorite and most relaxing parts of your travels.
Don’t Feel Awkward
Solo travel, and along with it solo dining, is becoming more common. The stigma that used to surround eating alone in a restaurant is basically gone. Know that there are huge numbers of people throughout the world who are eating alone in restaurants every night, and take confidence in knowing that although alone, you are in good company.
Make Reservations When Possible
In order to guarantee that you get a seat, make reservations beforehand when possible. It is a tactic to ensure that you are seated soon after your arrival to the restaurant. This is a much better choice than waiting in line for hours and risking losing your place in line if you have to use the restroom while doing so.
Take a Low-Cost Item to Save Your Seat With
When you are dining alone during your travels, there will be times when you are not quite finished with your meal, but you still need to excuse yourself to wash your hands or do something else. By taking an item to save your seat with, it will alert the server that you are not yet finished and still need the table. Always use a low-cost item such as a thrift store sweater, so that if it is stolen while you are gone, it won’t really matter.
Enjoy the Solitude
Some individuals are so nervous and uncomfortable about dining alone, that they forget to enjoy the solitude it provides them. Use this opportunity to relax and enjoy absorbing the new flavors and surroundings. Eat your food slowly, and savor every bite without extra distraction.
Meet New People If That Is Your Cup of Tea
If you feel lonely, choose a dining establishment that is known for more interaction. Pubs can be popular places to eat when you are craving a good bite along with a little more action. Make eye contact, and find a way to start a few conversations. You may even end up with one or more travel buddies this way.
Bring Something to Do
One of the worst things that happens while dining alone is growing bored while waiting in line, or waiting for your meal. This can also compound the awkwardness related to eating alone that you may be feeling. To avoid this situation, bring along something to do. Sudoku or a good book can be a perfect activity when you have extra time on your hands while waiting at the eating establishment of your choice.
Dining alone is an aspect of solo travel that takes many individuals a little time to get used to. Try not to think of it as a negative. Consider all of the advantages to choosing a restaurant, ordering what you want and not having to negotiate with a travel companion. Enjoy your solo dining as a vital and pleasurable part of your solo travel.