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The worst part of being a solo traveler is...

The worst part of being a solo traveler is...

Old Oct 23, 20, 9:10 pm
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The worst part of being a solo traveler is...

That weird look you sometimes get when you walk into a nicer restaurant and say "table for one." Yeah, most of the time, it's fine. But other times, the staff will give you a small look that implies some sort of vague half judgement.

Then, of course, you have to endure the occasional look from another table wondering if you're actually alone or just waiting on a date that'll never arrive.

I know, it's a small and insignificant thing. I'd say it's mostly my own self awareness. I'm also the kind of person who dresses well if the venue permits, but I often ask "who am I getting dressed up for?" If I'm by myself.
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Old Oct 23, 20, 11:00 pm
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Dine at the bar, given thatís an option.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 4:04 am
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Talking

I just tell them I am celebrating my 1 year divorce anniversary if asked what the special occasion is!
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Old Oct 24, 20, 4:23 am
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Long ago I decided that I would rather do many things (including eating dinner in Michelin three star restaurants) by self than not at all. If an employee has a problem with that, ask for a manager. It can help to be a hotel guest (for good restaurants in hotels) or have made the reservation through AmEx Fine Dining, although I still remember two examples where I was treated very badly (extremely long wait for extremely undesirable table) and I will never go back to either one.

For example, at the good restaurant in Highlands Inn, I had carefully booked a table at a time so as to be seated before sundown, in order to enjoy the sunset. Long after the sky was totally dark, I was shown to a table in the back side of the restaurant (no water views at all, just a few windows looking out on part of the parking lot) in a room that looked like it normally was an unappealing banquet room, with banquet style tables and chairs but no other decorations at all, not even a small flower on the table. The other occupant of the room was a large family of perhaps fifteen people, including about ten children. I refused and called AmEx for the second time, who called the restaurant, etc. Apparently the restaurant had decided to ignore at least my reservation and just give tables to those who arrived first, starting at about 4 pm because they were busy that night. Never again, and I won't ever stay in that hotel again either.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by 22calbr View Post
Dine at the bar, given thatís an option.
Actually, very smart advice.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 1:46 pm
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When Iím solo I like to order to go and eat at my hotel room while watching a video so I donít get bored. Itís much easier now given more people get take out vs dine in.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by gbdbld View Post
When Iím solo I like to order to go and eat at my hotel room while watching a video so I donít get bored. Itís much easier now given more people get take out vs dine in.
As a female who traveled much for work, unless it was a business dinner with colleagues this has always been my modus operandi.

Getting "picked up" in a hotel bar or restaurant and politely trying to decline and then getting abused for rejecting the advances of drunk men (with wedding rings) is not very enjoyable. It happened one too many times.

As I have aged it happens less frequently such that I go to the central market squares in Eurpope and enjoy a quiet dinner with a book and people watching as I still like to travel, and often solo.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 4:13 pm
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I quite enjoy shrugging off the micro-judgements of others. I go into restaurants alone, order food and drinks and then the head phones go on and the iPad comes out and I either watch a movie or TV while dining with half of a couple or a bored member of a social group nearby clearly wishing they could do the same.

I once had an enthusiastic Swiss lady proposition me while her less enthused husband grimaced from the next table. FT rules forbid me from quoting her but it was worth a giggle.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 4:28 pm
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Not being able to share jaw-dropping sights or experiences when they happen.

There are many advantages to solo travelling but there are some definite disadvantages too.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by AlanInDC View Post
Not being able to share jaw-dropping sights or experiences when they happen.

There are many advantages to solo travelling but there are some definite disadvantages too.
This.
I traveled extensively before meeting my best travel partner, and I've found myself revisiting places I've been with her. And it's always worth it.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 5:02 pm
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Honestly? Those times that I can't open a water bottle.

Originally Posted by AlanInDC View Post
Not being able to share jaw-dropping sights or experiences when they happen.

There are many advantages to solo traveling but there are some definite disadvantages too.
This. My husband and I will send photos, texts, take notes etc when we travel separately. But then this also gives us an opportunity to compile a "to do" list when we travel to the location together.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 5:09 pm
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Returning from the hotel breakfast buffet in the restaurant or lounge to find my table cleared, or even worse, that and another party has sat down at the table.

Sometimes, I would bring a coat or newspaper just to leave at the table while I was gone, but thatís not always feasible.
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Last edited by econ; Oct 24, 20 at 5:25 pm
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Old Oct 24, 20, 5:49 pm
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I always dine at the bar in the hotels and normally (especially in the States) it doesn't take long until I have a nice chap next to me for a chat.

Outside of hotels I only go to restaurants to have lunch as I would find it personally awkward to sit on a table myself for dinner service; if I find a nice place in the evening and I am keen to visit I would sit again at the bar (happens to me in LA from time to time).

On the contrary, my wife only has room service on her business trips as she doesn't like to sit at the bar herself in the evenings - either because some dudes permanently try to chat her up or - even worse - believe she is there to earn some bucks (but trust me, she doesn't look like a working girl, I've seen many of them - the disadvantage of sitting at the bar )
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Old Oct 24, 20, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jbandy10 View Post
That weird look you sometimes get when you walk into a nicer restaurant and say "table for one." Yeah, most of the time, it's fine. But other times, the staff will give you a small look that implies some sort of vague half judgement.
I always try to find the best steakhouse in the cities I visit for one very self indulgent dinner, and have found it best to avoid the 630-8pm hours. Then show up, sans reservation, and ask for a seat at the bar ďunless there is a nice table availableĒ and the host will generally try to find a table for me instead of placing me at the bar. Either way, I have had some amazing food and wine this way.

I just assume the looks people give are less on the judgmental side and more on the curious side, and maybe even an act that will allow them to be more comfortable to try solo dining. I also put my phone away and truly enjoy the experience and food. I have had better dining experiences this way then with other people and mostly prefer it now.

Originally Posted by AlanInDC View Post
Not being able to share jaw-dropping sights or experiences when they happen.
Very much this.

Also, going on tours alone that end up with only me or one other couple and the guide when I really just wanted easy access to whatever and not feel obligated to paying attention. Especially if there is a personality mismatch between us (me & the guide).

I stay at hostels a lot because of this, depends on location. Itís a great way to meet people for tours, if solo (or w/friends)

Originally Posted by econ View Post
Returning from the hotel breakfast buffet in the restaurant or lounge to find my table cleared, or even worse, that and another party has sat down at the table.
omg, this happen 3 times in one morning in Sydney. Went to get food and came back to someone elseís stuff at the table. Told the host and they moved them. Placed my plate down and went to get juice and pastries and came back to a cleared table with someone elseís stuff. They moved them again, and I went back to replace the food they cleared and my juice was gone and a book was there. This time the person they gave my table to came back looking as confused as me. I told her what was happening. We agreed to have breakfast together a had a nice chat. She also taught me the proper way to have a crumpet cause I was doing it all kinds of wrong apparently.

And to be fair, it was a crazy busy weekend
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Old Oct 24, 20, 6:36 pm
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Iíve never had any qualms about dining alone and Iíve doing it for 50 years. Sure every now and again you get that haughty treatment but I donít let it bother me. It usually doesnít last once Iíve told the manager the waiter isnít providing good service and if he/she expects a good tip it had better improve. This has been rare.
Also I tend to order a good bottle of wine. When the server sees that things are usually fine.
There have been a few times when I wasnít seated at all. Obviously I never went back and wrote up very bad reviews. But honestly things are usually fine if you make your expectations known and treat the staff with respect.
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