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10 Tips on Clubbing & Pubbing Solo.

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From a great jazz bar in Havana. I’m hoping a reader will tell me which one.

Last week I wrote “Pub Life in the Lake District – Solo“. The response was interesting. It was evident that many people aren’t comfortable doing the club or pub thing. So I thought I’d offer a a few tips.

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.

Here are  10 tips to get you clubbing and pubbing solo and safe.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If it’s a small place, arrive early so that you have your choice as to where to sit.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Make friends with your bartender or server. They’ll notice you’re alone and take care of you in case of unwanted attention.
  7. Notice where the exits are. If anything goes wrong you want out fast.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 bars, clubs and pubs alone is a bit of a challenge. I always take a deep breath before entering because I really don’t know what I’m walking into.  But, if you read the following posts, you’ll know that the results can be very worth the effort.

Related posts:

  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice Waugh

    Hi, I hope you can give me the name of the club. I would love to add it to the post.

  • V

    The picture is from my favourite Cuban Jazz bar in Havana. Even solo it is wonderful. :)

  • john

    lmao wow this article makes the bar/club scene seem like such a bad/scary place! everyones out there to have fun, of course there will be some idiots , but that can happen anywhere, even when you’re walking down the street…

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  • VacayGirl

    I don’t mind going into a club alone. My problem is the safety issues with arriving and leaving alone when parking lots are not well lit and at a distance. I am a female and I always worry about appearing like an easy target.

  • Ramesh

    I’ve heard that so many people get robbed in Las Vegas clubs ? is that true ?

    Rooms

  • Carlo

    If a restaurant is full and you have a table with a couple chairs free, invite people that are waiting to sit with you. Had an amazing experience in Siracusa Sicily with this at a highly popular (with locals) little restaurant. Had a table with three chairs free because I got there early, but since there was an Italy vs whoever soccer match on, and they had it on TV, the restaurant filled in a snap. In walk three elderly locals and looking a little disappointed no tables were free. I invited them to sit with me (helped that I can speak Italian a little)…4 hours later I was playing Italian card games with them and telling them stories of Australia and they returning the favour with their own amazing stories.

  • Gene

    I must say this is not very sound advice other than sitting at the bar and talking with the bar tender. I travel alone as go out alone and everywhere I go I end up meeting the owner. The key is to drink a lot. Get a good warm buzz and smile and smile and tell jokes and interact with other groups. You will god other groups who appreciate you. I have never been alone and gone out in many many countries where I have no clue the language. Oh and I am a big scary looking dude so often I seem unapproachable. So I just smile baby – ear to ear. Laugh loudly and ask questions. It works every time.

  • Kevin

    thanks for this as i been trying to go a club alone, but thanks to you i can

  • solotraveler

    Thanks! Nice to have you as a reader. Yes, it is possible. I’ve had some great times and free beer!

  • http://quirkytravelguy.com Scott – Quirky Travel Guy

    Just discovered your site… what a great resource! I never had much success going to bars/clubs while traveling alone, so I’ll be keeping this info in mind.

  • http://www.balicheckin.com Budget Bali Hotels Search

    I never go to clubbing alone. I usualy go at with my friends at least 3persons. So I don’t care about the safety.

    But after reading you tips I know have to more careful.

    Thank for reminding me!!!

  • solotraveler

    Yes. You never tell anyone where you’re staying. That’s important. I hope you have a read of Safe Answers to Common Questions

  • Lynn Adamson

    Me too, that is one challenge I haven’t overcome. I tend to do more cultural things at night, concerts, plays, outdoor cafes, theatre anything that keeps me out of the way of alcohol fueled men. If I do go to a bar it is usually very close to where I am staying so I can just go home quickly if I need to.

    On a recent trip to Ecuador, I spoke at length with a man in a restuarant while having my dinner, very nice conversation and I left after I had eaten. He showed up at my B&B, my first mistake was telling him where I was staying. I learnt my lesson on that one.

  • Derrick

    I think tip #7 should be tip #1. As soon as you get into the club, figure out how you’re going to get out if need be. And throughout the evening, always check that the path between you and your exit is unimpeded.

  • Shelli

    Really helpful tips. I’ve always found clubbing and going to bars on my own an intimidating challenge!

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About Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 8.52.44 PMI'm an author, blogger, speaker and traveler. I became a widow and empty-nester at about the same time. And then, I became Solo Traveler... Here's the full story. >>
Tracey NesbittI’m a writer, editor, food and wine fanatic, and traveler. On my very first trip abroad I learned that solo travel was for me. Here's the full story. >>

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The content of Solo Traveler and any resources published by Solo Traveler are meant for entertainment and inspiration only. Every person and every travel situation is different. Your safety, satisfaction and fun traveling solo are your responsibility alone and not that of Solo Traveler, its publisher, editor and/or writers.