Eating alone when travelling solo

Our five suggestions will help you get over the awkwardness of eating alone.

Eating alone when travelling solo

Travelling alone can be one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable, however, one of the biggest drawbacks can be the awkwardness you may feel when eating alone.

And if you feel that the discomfort of eating alone is enough for you to put off travelling solo, then fear not – because our suggestions will help you to meeting new people or dine with your best travel partner in years –you.

1. Have a virtual lunch date

You may feel uncomfortable about the idea of sitting down to a meal by yourself, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your mobile phone can keep you connected with all your friends back on home soil so, in theory you never need eat alone. Smart phones are a great way to keep in touch at all times, so why not use this time to stay connected?

There’s nothing wrong with chatting to friends via text message or social media whilst waiting for your meal. It may seem rude, but hey, it’s your holiday. And if it makes you feel more comfortable, then go ahead and enjoy a virtual lunch date with anyone, anywhere in the world.

And if you don’t like the idea of using your phone at the dinner table, then why not dine with your favourite author and take along a book?

2. Chat with the staff

Take the opportunity to get to know the locals and have a chat with the bar or waiting staff. They’re usually quite friendly and no one knows the lie of the land better than the people who live there. You may even find yourself surprised by the hospitality of strangers. Once you become acquainted, you will feel more comfortable returning to the same café or restaurant because, in a sense, you’ll be visiting friends.

3. Take in your surroundings

If you find yourself eating alone, take a look around. Chances are, there are others that are dining solo just like you. Either way, why not spend the time taking in your surroundings? Take notice of the architecture and nature around you. Stare at the birds, watch people at play and lovers in love. People watching can be a fun way to pass the time. You can make up stories about the people around you, or check out the latest fashions in a foreign land. Take stock of your surroundings and have a much more rewarding experience getting to know the land, and people, that you are visiting.

4. Sit at the bar

Dining solo offers you the chance to be that mysterious person sitting at the bar drinking some exotic cocktail. You’d be surprised at how enigmatic this can be and you may even find that people want to talk to you to find out your story. Sitting at the bar gives you a captive audience – the bar staff, so you’ll have fairly constant stream of chat to help pass the time.

5. You don’t have to eat alone

It’s not uncommon when dining alone to be asked by staff if you’d mind joining another table. Also, don’t be surprised if someone comes up and asks you to join them, or asks to join you – you’re most likely not the only one dining alone. Just remember, you can always say no.

Or why not extend the hand of friendship to a fellow solo diner? It’s easy. All you have to do is approach someone and say, “Hi, my name is xxxx, I’m from Australia, do you mind if I join you?”

Who knows, you may just make a few friends with whom you can share your experiences.

Have you ever had the opportunity to eat alone in a restaurant or café? Why not share you solo dining suggestions for our members?


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    22nd Jul 2015
    Eating alone while traveling has never been something I've disliked when traveling, as I appreciate my own company - until I start to argue. One thing which I am attentive to is making sure my belongings (be they jacket or coat, case, bag, etc.) are near me and not easy to "lift" by a passerby while I'm seated at a table or bar.
    22nd Jul 2015
    Eating or traveling alone does not worry me at all.

    I do travel with other now and again.
    22nd Jul 2015
    Do I get the feeling that people think eating alone is a problem? I, like fast Eddie, enjoy my own company, and when living in London often went to a little Italian Restaurant for a meal on my own in the West End of London.
    fish head
    22nd Jul 2015
    How the devil can you be 'alone' when you are surrounded by people? Talk to the wait staff. They do appreciate a friendly couple of words as they do their job. Just remember not to prose on, keep it brief.
    22nd Jul 2015
    When working, i would travel once a month for 3 or 4 days to country areas. I would often stay at the same motel & eat at their restaurant. I was often asked would i like to sit at the travelers table, people like me on the road. I would say yes. It always turned out well, a good way of networking. I would often see the same people staying in different towns, and would discuss business, (even if it was the same business type).
    25th Jul 2015
    I would have no qualms about asking the waiting staff to enquire of another solo diner whether they would like company while eating.

    I would also stipulate that I would not be offended if they declined ....would not be a problem. Otherwise I would just eat alone. Not a big deal for me at all. I am past being shy at my age :)

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