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Los Angeles- Baby steps

New York
Level Contributor
95 posts
22 reviews
Los Angeles- Baby steps

I am taking my first solo trip! But I am nervous so I am just going over to the West Coast (from New York). On top of that, it will only be for four days.

I REALLY need for this tirp to be good so that it doesn't put me off from doing "real" trips alone. I want to go so many places- India, Ghana, Norway, France, Trinidad, Brazil, etc.

Any and all advice will be welcome.

I am a single female. Wide variety of interests. Will have a car. Staying in Santa Monica. Foodie but afraid to eat alone.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
2,203 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

The first time I went somewhere alone, I chose Greece. I went for 3 weeks. It was my first time to Greece- my first time to Europe.. And as I said, my first time anywhere alone..

I was nervous at first, then quickly discovered that it was amazing!! I ended up having great conversations with other travelers and I got to do whatever I wanted!

My advise for you would be to plan out things for your day- if you are nervous about wandering around aimlessly. And dont be afraid to talk to people! I am not sure how friendly they are in LA, but definitely try to interact with others. If I hadnt found people to hang out with, I think my trip wouldnt have been as good.

If you are worried about eating alone, sit out on a patio, or sit at the bar area. Dont get an intimate table by yourself haha. One thing I did to strike up a converstaion with others (and a great way to get invited to a table) was to ask someone who looked interesting and friendly if they had eaten there before, and if they could recommend anything. Then maybe get in to that you are traveling alone, tell them what you are up to.. And if they say that they have never eaten there, you might find out that they are traveling too, and have something in common.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,145 posts
72 reviews
2. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

Good first step monaprincess.

Since you have a car you will be able to get around really easily. I understand about eating alone.

This web site may help you out a bit as it tells of restaurants with communal tables. It is where single people are seated together at large tables. They have many of them in San Francisco and it appears LA has them too.

discoverlosangeles.com/play/dining/featured-…

New York
Level Contributor
95 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

Thanks guys!

Littlehampton...
Level Contributor
643 posts
452 reviews
4. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

I still remember my first solo trip - I flew to Cairo and was nearly too nervous to get off the plane! What works for me is to plan two or three "definite" must-sees, and two or three "hope to sees". Although I never end up following my carefully-planned itineraries, I like to have a specific purpose for part of each day, even if it's just visiting a local market or taking a photo of a landmark.

Four days for your first trip is about right: long enough to see at least most of what you want to see, but not too long by yourself - I find that, however much I am enjoying my trip, sometimes time can go very slowly and five days can feel like two weeks.

I admit I'm a complete coward when it comes to eating alone - I often book half board at a hotel as I usually feel more comfortable eating "in" rather than "out" although I've nearly always found that, even when I'm not feeling very sociable, another solo customer will ask to share my table or people at the next table will start a conversation.

Have a great time!

Deb

New York
Level Contributor
95 posts
22 reviews
5. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

Thanks!

I never thought of making priority lists.

New York City
Level Contributor
155 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

Hi Mona! I'm from your same town. I have been to LA twice solo. All by myself. As a tourist. And when I say solo I really mean solo. Yes, solo. No tour group. No visiting friends. No meeting up with other solo tourists. And no youth hostel. Solo. You are going to soon discover what I did- that LA is very much a solo tourist traveler friendly town. There are tons of stuff to do by yourself- like checking out the amazing museums in LA-some of the best in the world! Shopping. Exploring cool neighborhoods. Just hanging out on Venice Beach. Wow! You are staying in Santa Monica. And you have a passion for food. You are in such luck. Amazing area to explore amazing creative and innovative restaurants. And, as I discovered, very warm, friendly, and welcoming to solo diners. And you can explore and check them out by walking around downtown.I had some amazing meals dining solo in Santa Monica. What I loved most about LA the most was that you can feel like you fit right in even if you're by yourself. At any time of the day or night. Like the time I waited in line for a Chili Dog at "Pink's" after midnight. I was thinking "I really belong in this town. I fit right in! I really do!" And I hope you'll feel that way too.

Level Contributor
953 posts
85 reviews
7. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

lonelytravelboy, I've been to LA many times in the 90's.

When I read your post I'd like to return, it's such a great city!

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
11,045 posts
28 reviews
8. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

Wow Lonelyplanetboy, I thought it was against the law for a New Yorker to admit that there is culture in LA other than yogurt (pace Woody Allen).

Monaprincess, Santa Monica is certainly one of the friendlier areas to stay in, but allow for traffic when heading out of the area; even (or especially) on the freeway.

A lot of happy solo travelling comes three steps back with enjoying your own company. You are already a long way there when you say you have a wide variety of interests.

California is "real travel" for an east coast girl, but each destination has its own joys and difficulties. The sense of stretching yourself beyond where you are comfortable is, at least for me, one of the rewards of solo travel. I certainly haven't reached the place where I am fearless and doubt that I ever will, but each time I am afraid and it comes out ok, I am more willing to take another greater chance.

Make the list of where you want to go "some day" and cross the places off as the chances arise.

Good Luck!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
19,362 posts
73 reviews
9. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

some tips for dining alone:

communal tables as someone suggested above

eat at the bar - or start off at the bar, have a drink - and you'll probably end up meeting someone to eat with

think to yourself "no one knows me here"

Despite what the media would have you think - the MAJORITY of adults in America are single! There is nothing wrong with eating alone - especially when you're a foodie.

New York City
Level Contributor
155 posts
10 reviews
10. Re: Los Angeles- Baby steps

Another exciting thing about dining solo in LA: Exploring very different foods from restaurants that you can't find or experience very easily on the East Coast. Like Persian food. Cal-Mex. Or authentic fish tacos. Amazing Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean food. And, of course, all the classic and famous burger joints and hot dog stands! And while you are there you have to check out the Farmer's Market as it's a perfect place to shop, dine, explore and relax for a solo traveler!