Traveling can be one of the greatest joys in life, and modern advancements have made it easier than ever to do so. Right from your phone you can look up the best flight deals, purchase a ticket, book a hotel room and even store a personal packing list so you don’t forget anything. One thing that I always end up thinking about before I leave home is where I’m going to eat, and it’s a known fact that if you’re traveling by yourself, eating out alone can be depressing.
Eating out alone is uncomfortable to think about because you don’t want to look like you’re a loner, but you also may not be able to afford the extra price hikes of ordering each meal to your room. On your next trip, remember these travel tips to eating out alone that I always use to make your dining out experience enjoyable so nothing can turn your trip sour.
Look At It This Way
The first part about eating out alone that everyone dreads is feel awkward. After all, you’ll be surrounded by tables and booths of families and friends all having a good time together. If you can’t manage to grab a seat at the bar, you’ll have lots of empty space around you to make you feel even more alone than you are.
Instead, I always try to change my perspective before I even walk into my chosen restaurant. When you sit down and order your drink, they people around you won’t actually notice you. They’re all caught up in conversation and thinking about other things. And besides, at some point in their lives, they’ve also eaten alone. Everyone understands. The best way to not make a situation awkward is to shift your focus and instead view it as something that just needs to be done.To travel is to eat. - Michelle Shappirio Click To Tweet
Figure Out a Food Budget
Just like you have to budget at home to prepare for your big travel costs, you have to think ahead to plan for the money you’re going to spend on food while you’re abroad. This can be difficult if you’re traveling to a different country, since it’s hard to figure out exactly what you’ll need with currency changes.
It’s good to bet that you’ll spend $15-20 each day on meals, and then a little extra if you want to drink things like soda or alcohol. I’ll be upping that number in my budget, for sure!
Decide Where to Eat Before You Leave
When you do get to your destination, you’ll probably be tired out from all the traveling and getting grounded in your new location to have the energy to research restaurants around you. And if you do, you might be so exhausted that you go to what’s closest, which might not be good for your budget. I feel like I’ve fallen into that trap a million times.
As part of your trip planning experience, look up restaurants ahead of time to know where you’re going to eat for each meal of your trip. This might sound extreme, but I know for a fact that I already know what attractions I’ll be visiting and at what times, so it’s easy to be able to gauge what places I might want to eat at by seeing where I’ll be during each particular day. Make sure to look up reviews but don’t take them too seriously. As long as the restaurant itself is liked, you’ll have a good time.
Must Read: Smart Ways to Eat Cheap When Travelling
Enjoy the Experience
You’ve picked your restaurant and you’ve sat down at your table, so how do you enjoy the experience of eating alone? A good thing to always try is to make friends with your server. Chances are that if you aren’t eating at rush hour, they’ll be happy for a quick chat to get away from the stress of the restaurant. This will give you someone to, and maybe even better service. Plus, I think it’s fun to hear servers’ stories and even get tips on the best places to go in the area.
Other things I’ve done while eating alone is read a book or watch a video on my phone. You could also bring a laptop and work on things, or even just use it to give you the appearance of being busy. These will help you feel like you have something to do other than read the menu continuously or stare at the wall. If you think these activities might make you feel awkward, remember that if you change your mindset, you’ll more easily be able to enjoy the experience.
I do make use of this time to update my travel journal in between bites and sips. It’s also the best time to catch up on emails and messages if you have internet on your phone or on your laptop.
When I travel, there’s so much to think about and plan ahead for that some details can get lost easily. Don’t let your meal plan slip through the cracks! Looking up restaurants ahead of time and planning out a budget can turn your whole trip around. You’ll feel confident when you’re ordering off the menu that you’re at a good place to eat, and you’ll have peace of mind that your financial situation is safe and sound.
About the Author
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
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