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dining alone restaurantAnyone who’s traveled solo knows that it can be both rewarding and stressful. If you’re like me, you’ve probably discovered that dining sans companions can be one of the most awkward aspects of venturing out alone. (Let’s just say I was pretty discouraged when I ended up eating by myself during the first four nights of a six-night cruise last year.)

In a recent Independent Traveler poll, about 35 percent of voters said they either try not to dine alone or absolutely avoid it at all costs. Females who fall into either of those camps may want to check out Invite for a Bite, a Web site that allows women traveling alone to meet up for meals.

Founder Cressida Howard says on the company’s “about” page that she came up with the idea after listening to a radio broadcast during which several women lamented dining solo. Women who join the site can set up invitations asking for other female dining partners to join them for a bite … or a movie or whatever.

The site includes safety tips (after all, you’ll likely be meeting up with complete strangers), and according to the frequently asked questions section, it’s limited to females for safety reasons — and so as not to be confused with a dating site.

Would having dinner with someone you’ve never met be less uncomfortable than dining alone? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Want more tips on traveling by yourself? Check out our Tips for Going Solo.

— written by Ashley Kosciolek

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9 Responses to “Take a Bite Out of Solo Dining”

  1. Dave Huber says:

    Dining Alone

    This is something that has never really bothered me at all. I just returned from a 10 day solo trip from The UK and Ireland and found myself (on more than one occasion) dining alone. Why do some folks consider this such a horrible social stigma is beyond my understanding. If you are reasonably self assured/self confident then who cares what others think. What are you options? Room Service? Going hungry? Neither options seem acceptable. Besides even most of the most upscale establishments have somalled someething called a “Bar” which is geared towards the solo traveler. Now, as the old Joe Jackson song goes “Don’t you know that it’s different for girls”-This may wring true but seriously what is the point of traveling solo if you cannot take the good as well as the bad.

  2. Steven says:

    Asinine! Women only? For safety reasons?
    1) Women commit crimes, too … even against other women!
    2) What about offering the same service for MEN who travel alone.

    Seriously, how ignorant! Why would anyone choose a company for services – when they are so ignorant and closed minded?

    • You should check out the website eatwithalocal.com it connects travellers male and female to locals willing to cook for them in their home. It is free to join and free to use. If a host cannot cook at home they can choose to take the visitor out to their favourite restaurant. It is a good way to get to know the culture of a country eating and meeting with the local people.

  3. Mountain GAl says:

    Don’t like dining alone? How about staying at a bed and breakfast? You might meet someone at breakfast and you could catch a bite to eat later.

    Or,m invite the innkeeper (often a single person like yourself) to join you dutch treat for dinner.

  4. Carolentx says:

    I often enjoy dining alone the worst thing about it is that others believe it is not your choice.Irecently returned from a 2 wk cruise where I chose to dine alone every night. For some reason other diners think that you don’t enjoy your own thoughts or company.Plz don’t assume that any companion is better than none.

  5. ron fiore says:

    never had a problem with it.

  6. Kristina Polhemus says:

    I prefer to dine with another person. Although I have dined alone on several occasions it’s would not be my first preference.

  7. I would much rather dine along than with someone I found incompatible. I like to enjoy my food and I don’t find enjoyment with someone who has an agenda, or thinks they know it all and can’t wait to share it with me. I have no problems eating with strangers. I do it all the time when on a cruise. I have made some good friends that way. But I want to be able to leave the table if my dining companions are offensive in some way.

  8. Karen says:

    My husband works late every night and doesn’t get home until 10 p.m. I hate eating alone or waiting until he gets home. I love this concept.

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