How to Avoid Paying More When Traveling Solo
Ever heard of the ‘single supplement’? About.com defines it as: “a charge paid by a solo traveler to compensate a hotel or cruise ship for losses incurred because only one person is using a room or cabin”.
Traveling on your own can be a lot more expensive then traveling in a group, thanks to the fact that you’ll still have to pay a lot of the same rates and fees despite there only being one of you.
Most holidays and hotel rooms are priced based on two people sharing a room (either twin beds or a double bed).
In theory, booking a single room should cost HALF the price of a double/twin room, but in reality it’s often a lot more than that.
Hotel owners will argue that the fixed costs of their hotel rooms (such as cleaning and changing the sheets) are the same regardless of the number of occupants, which is why solo travelers often get the sharp end of the deal.
Here’s a few ways to avoid paying high prices when traveling on your own:
Use Leverage & Negotiate
If you’re booking at a time when you know the hotel is unlikely to be sold out (i.e. during the off-season), ask them (either over the phone or in person) whether they’ll waive the single supplement fee. They may realize that your business (even without the supplemental fee) is better than no business at all.
During the off season (or shoulder season) many hotels and tour companies will offer supplement-free rooms anyway in a bid to attract business. This is perhaps the best time to travel if you’re going solo.
Seek Out Tour Operators that Specialize in Singles Holidays
Some companies offer holidays that are specifically aimed at single/solo travelers. Many of these companies do not charge supplements, as attracting solo travelers is their main form of business.
Find Someone to Share With
By sharing a room with someone, you’ll cut out the single supplement altogether. But what if you have no-one to go with?
Some tour operators will offer to find someone for you to share with (of the same sex). You can also find travel companions online through various travel societies.
During my time in Las Vegas, for example, I stayed in a hotel room that cost me $6 a night (because I was sharing with friends) that would have cost me $24 a night if I was staying there on my own!
Avoid Hotels Altogether
Finally, another way to avoid the single supplement charge on solo traveler holidays is to avoid staying in hotels altogether.
By staying in hostels, lodges or tents (if you’re partaking in adventure travel) you’ll enjoy a much cheaper stay.
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