Solo travel has become popular in the past few years, not only among business travelers, but also for those willing to explore the world on their own. And while sightseeing for instance is a really enjoyable and fulfilling solo experience, dining alone at hotel restaurants is often very frustrating. At least, until you change your attitude. Here are some tips on how to dine alone on the road and enjoy it.
Bring a book with you
If eating alone is too boring for you (it is for most people), bring something to read. But instead of reading something on your tablet or checking your e-mail and updating your social media account, choose something in print. A book or a new magazine will be better – you’ll look smarter rather than just another Facebook addict. If you are looking to really enjoy your meal, just do nothing else but eat and look around. It is very relaxing.
One of the best things about solo dining is that you can actually pay attention to your food instead of being distracted by conversations. So, put down whatever you are reading as soon as your order arrives and try to enjoy the food. You’ll realize everything tastes better this way.
Be comfortable with yourself
Sit at the table you want and don’t accept a lousy table in the dark corner in the back of the restaurant, unless of course, there are no free tables. Don’t feel awkward alone and don’t act like waiting for your date. Return eye contact and make the waiter and the guests around you know that you simply want to be on your own.
You can eat at the bar
In some hotel restaurants, especially in New York, as a rule of thumb, people eat at the bar. You don’t have to order from the bar’s menu; ask for a dining room menu and order whatever you like. At the bar, you can chat with the bartender or other solo travelers like yourself.
Be open to conversation
Traveling solo doesn’t mean you should avoid people. On the contrary, this is a great opportunity to meet with new people, ask other travelers for their impressions, get advice or speak with locals who can help you understand the native culture better.
This is the perfect time to order whatever you like
There are probably several unconventional meals you have always wanted to try, but they are just too messy, smelly or weird-looking for a dinner with your date or a business lunch. Well, now is your chance!
These several principles will help you feel more comfortable when eating out on your own. If you practice them a few times, soon you will find out that dining alone isn’t as bad as you thought. You will even learn to enjoy it!