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May 2011

Road Romance: How to Meet Other Singles While Traveling

If you’re flying to Vegas with a group of friends on a weekend getaway, heading to San Diego with a friend for some warmth and relaxation, or going solo to New York to explore the streets of Manhattan or Brooklyn, one thing is for sure: your destination will be filled with singles to meet. The tricky thing is; how do you meet them?  One of the most daunting tasks for a traveler going to an  unfamiliar city is figuring out where to start. Sometimes it’s fun just to let your intuition do the exploring— after all, a little adventure is part of the fun, right? We’ll provide a few It’s Just Lunch travel tips to help you get started.

 Ok, so you found a decent fare on or burned some of those miles from business traveling. Time to look at places to stay. If at all possible, avoid the more well-known hotel brands and check out a local boutique or even boutique chain. For example, hotels such as the Hotel del Arts in San Francisco and Thor(The Hotel on Rivington) in New York City cater to locals as well as visitors with superb aesthetics and upscale lounges and restaurants. The W Hotel group are famous for their lounge-like lobbies, which cater to young professionals seeking after work libations.

 And speaking of libations, your next mission is to have a plan-of-attack on where to mingle. Your first step is to avoid dive bars, sports bars, and clubs. Instead, check out a local wine bar, especially if you have a nose for reds, whites and the bubbly; or check out a specialty cocktail lounge. These new brand of bars have expert “mixologists” ready to serve up unique, handcrafted drinks. They may take a bit more time to mix than a regular vodka and tonic, but they’ll be well worth the wait—and serve as excellent conversation starters. Imbibe magazine recently covered the top 100 specialty cocktail lounges in the South if you need some ideas on what to look for.

 If you’re interested in looking for a scene that doesn’t revolve around alcohol, there are plenty of options out there. Your best bet is to pick up a copy of the local independent weekly. Newsprint may be dying, but local papers are thriving and they often have the best source of information on art openings, music shows, museum exhibitions, festivals, comedy shows, and so on. And speaking of information, one thing that locals will look for in an independent weekly are restaurant openings or restaurant reviews. The former is risky, but restaurant openings usually offer a simplified menu, and if you’re a foodie you’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat up with other food-loving risk-takers, or even a server. The latter means you’ll have an accurate idea of what kind of dining to expect, but a good review means it may be tough to secure a table. In that case, lean on your hotel concierge (which we’ll be covering a bit later.)

Finally, and we can’t emphasize this enough, but be sure to tap into your social network for fun places to see and/or be seen. Whether it’s updating a status on Facebook, posting a Tweet, or simply shooting a quick text to a local friend, you’ll quickly be inundated with a wealth of info that will get your vacation started off right. And who knows? They may have some single friends willing to help you and your friends explore.

Getting Into A Social Mindset While Traveling

Clip_image001 Life these days, in a nutshell, is busy. Really busy. Between keeping your head above water with endless work emails and meetings, staying up-to-date with the 24-hour news cycle, trips to the gym or the grocery store, managing family obligations, balancing a social life can be daunting. Sure, sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and mobile applications like Foursquare  help keep you connected, but doesn’t it ever feel like you’re spending more and more time chatting passively online than actively face to face?

Add travel to the mix and some people may just throw in the towel on having any semblance of a normal social life. If you’re feeling like that’s the case, then perhaps it’s time to make a few adjustments so you can go on the road and have fun while you’re out there. Check out some of these very simple tips to help you get started.

Keep a regular routine: Sure, a business trip may be dominated by business demands, whether they be a clients or your own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stick to your schedule. Carving out time for yourself while traveling will help you manage social demands later on. Put it in your Outlook calendar and stick to it, whether it’s going to the gym or just grabbing some “me” time.

Leave your room: You may be tempted to order room service and hunker down in front of the TV (or worse, more emails) but that won’t help you meet people. Even if it’s something as simple as using the hotel gym, heading down to the hotel bar or restaurant, or just taking a walk around the block to the corner store to pick up a local paper, just putting yourself out there will help your social cause immensely.

Connect with your friends’ friends: One of the single easiest ways to find people to meet while traveling is using your social network. Adding a Facebook or LinkedIn update such as “Hey, heading to NYC for the first time in a few days! Anyone know someone who can show me around in the evening?” is one of the single-easiest ways to connect with others. The same thing goes with using Twitter or Foursquare or a similar app to connect with local meet-up groups or even get the skinny on local events.


Beyond The First Date

We get asked all the time for tips to help singles get past the first date so they can have a successful second date. Many singles feel more anxiety about their second date than they felt before their first.   The stakes have been raised because you like this person and there is a fear regarding whether or not the second date will work out. It’s important to not get ahead of yourself, after all it’s just a second date.  This should NOT be looked at as the opportunity to determine whether he/ she is the one.

It’s Just Lunch second date tips:

1. Choose a place you both feel comfortable at and one that suits both your tastes.  If you both like to golf, meet at the driving range for example.

2. Ask questions and listen carefully – 38% of singles say one of the most important things they notice on a first date is whether their date asked questions.

3. Let them see the real you. Now is the time to drop the façade and share your opinions and interests – 46% of singles say that not having common interests is a deal breaker. It’s better to know sooner than later if you have something in common.

4. Share yourself.  Express your opinions, desires and goals – 49%  of singles say having common values and goals is one of the top reasons a relationship works in the long term.

5. At the end of the date,  don’t make false promises about what comes next if you are not interested in taking the relationship further – 40% of singles have told their date they would call them again but never ԁіԁ. Be honest.  There’s no reason to be rude to someone you barely know.

We recommend going on at least two dates before making your mind up about not seeing someone again. Sometimes it takes a few meetings before the chemistry kicks in.  I speak from experience here.   The first time I met my husband, at the end of the date I told him I never wanted to see him again.  Well… 18 years and one child later, we are still together!  In the end,  trust your instincts, though, and have fun!