Many solo travelers find the evenings the most difficult part of traveling alone. Not me. I actually go out to clubs and pubs more often on the road than at home.
Going to a Bar Alone: 10 Tips
- Don't carry a purse. Use your money belt for most money, credit cards, passport… Have some money in different pockets for drinks. And dress conservatively for the culture.
- If there's a huge line-up outside a club and you're feeling a bit uneasy about going into such a large place, find someone in line who looks really safe and approach them as if they are old friends. Then explain that you are alone and would like to join them just until you get inside. They'll understand that you need a bit of safety. Once inside, you can make a graceful exit from them or, you may have made new friends.
- If it's a small place, arrive early so that you have your choice as to where to sit.
- Sit at the bar. It's more social at the bar and you'll be sitting physically higher than most people in the room giving you a good view for safety.
- Alternatively, choose a seat with a good vantage point. Pubs often have bench seats with tables along two walls. Sit on the short side of this “L” configuration. It's like sitting at the head of a table. You are in a position of power and have access to more people for chatting.
- Make friends with your bartender or server. They'll notice you're alone and take care of you in case of unwanted attention.
- Notice where the exits are. If anything goes wrong you want out fast.
- Choose who you want to talk to and go for it. By being proactive you prevent the wrong person from monopolizing your evening and you'll have a great time with the right people.
- Never drink too much. In fact, drink far less than you would if you were at home. You want to have all your faculties about you to deal with any surprising situations.
- If you have made friends, how you exit the bar is important. However nice they may seem, don't accept a ride from them. Get a taxi. This may require leaving early or after them. You can also discreetly leave and ask for a taxi to be called so that when the offer does come you have other arrangements.
Going to a bar alone when you're traveling solo can be a bit of a challenge. I always take a deep breath before entering because I really don't know what I'm walking into. The results can be very worth the effort, though, as I shared in my post about enjoying pub life in the Lake District. And if bars are really not your thing, here are 7 more ideas for ways to spend an evening when traveling solo.