If going on vacation by yourself is something new for you, it will take you some time to get familiar with eating out in public.
I used to be that way, too, but I started feeling comfortable eating on my own with time and lots of practice. In this blog post, I’m sharing with you a few tips that will help you navigate this new terrain.
With these ideas, dining alone may become one f the favorite and most relaxing parts of your travels!
Don’t feel awkward
Going on vacation by yourself, and, with it, having lunch or dinner alone, is becoming more frequent. A while back, there was a stigma around solo dining, but things are now different. There are lots of people all over the world who go to restaurants and eat alone every night. You can feel more confident in thinking that though you are eating by yourself, you are actually in good company.
Make reservations when possible
To make sure you have an available seat, always call to make reservations in advance when possible. This way, you’ll be seated at a table as soon as you arrive at the restaurant. You will avoid wasting time while waiting in line or even losing your place in the queue if you leave to take a call outside or use the loo for a couple of minutes.
Use an inexpensive item to save your seat
When you go out for lunch or dinner on your vacation by yourself, there will always come a time when, even though you haven’t finished your meal, you will need to leave the table. It may be because you need to wash your hands, answer a call or smoke a cigarette outside. If you take a low-cost item to leave on your table or on your seat, the server will understand that you haven’t finished your meal and won’t clear your table while you’re away.
Always use an inexpensive item so you won’t feel bad if it gets stolen while you’re away from your table. Personally, I prefer to use the book I’m currently reading, thinking it’s easy to replace. And, if it gets stolen, it’s just another excuse to explore the book shops of the place I’m visiting, which I absolutely love!
Enjoy being on your own when you vacation by yourself
Some people feel very nervous and even uncomfortable just thinking about dining solo. That’s because they’ve forgotten how to enjoy being on their own. Dining out on your own, just like going on vacation by yourself, is a chance to relax and enjoy absorbing all the fresh flavors that come with the new surroundings.
So eat your food slowly, and taste every bite without worrying about anything. Savor your solitude!
Meet new people if that is your cup of tea
If you’re feeling lonely, you can choose to eat somewhere that can provide a bit more interaction. Like a pub or a place with common tables! These are great to eat on your own when you’re craving not only for some tasty food but also for a bit of socializing. Try to make eye contact with others, but avoid being creepy and staring at people for too long. Also, think about a few ways to spark up some conversations and start chatting with others.
At the end of the evening, you may even end up with one or more new travel buddies!
Bring something to keep yourself busy
One of the worst things that can happen when you’re dining solo is getting bored. It’s most like to happen while waiting to be seated or waiting for your food to arrive. This is actually the most likely time when you’ll start feeling awkward about eating out on your own. To avoid situations like this one, bring something to keep you busy while you wait. Your smartphone, a good book or sudoku are great options to stay entertained when you have extra time on your hands. You won’t even feel like you’re waiting for something if you’re enjoying yourself.
When going on vacation by yourself, dining solo is an aspect that takes some time to get used to. Just don’t think about eating out on your own as something bad. Think about how good it is to choose the restaurant and order what you want while traveling alone. And if your food’s delicious, you don’t even have to share it with a curious travel companion.
Start seeing eating out on your own as a vital and pleasurable part of going on vacation by yourself. It’s just a matter of perspective, after all.
Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.
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