Which came first? Room rates or the fact that rooms are priced for couples?
Does it really matter? In most cases they are one and the same.
Hotel rooms are typically charged by the room per night regardless of whether there is a single person or a couple staying in it and this amounts to a solo traveler paying twice as much as those traveling in a pair.
Therein lies the single supplement.
And this cost differential affects tours, cruises and other travel that involves hotel stays.
How to avoid the single supplement
It’s hard to avoid the single supplement – at least most of the time. With our Deals Page and Solo Traveler Advisory (sign up here if you don’t already receive it) we point you in the direction of single-supplement-free deals. On the third Monday of each month you’ll receive notification of companies that have deals for solo travelers.
But there’s more that you can do:
- Set up Google Alerts: When you start dreaming about a trip, create a Google Alert for a few destinations and the term single supplement waived. For example: Caribbean resort single supplement waived or Caribbean resort no single supplement. When a notice that the single supplement is waived at a Caribbean resort goes up on the web, you’ll receive an email alert from Google.
- Check out the Solo Traveler Accommodation Guide: This solo travel accommodation guide includes 159 inns, B&Bs, hostels and boutique hotels in 51 countries that are recommended for solo travelers. Some are expensive but most are reasonably priced and exceptional in some way. Each listing includes a paragraph describing why it’s great for solo travelers. With lots of really special hostels there are some places that don’t have a single supplement at all.
- Find the right time: Book your tour or cruise either a long way out from your departure date or at the last minute. If it doesn’t say that there is no single supplement request that it be waived. Depending on their confidence in selling out the package, they may do so. Of course, it helps if you’re willing to walk away from the deal if you don’t get what you want.
- Go on the shoulder season: The off-season is usually “off” for a reason. But the shoulder season can be a spectacular time to travel. With smaller crowds it can be more enjoyable and you may be more successful in negotiating away the single supplement.
- Find a deal so great…: Find a deal so great that the single supplement isn’t really an issue. We’ll keep watching for deals like the American Express Travel up to 40% off your hotel stay sale and let you know about them when we can.
This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this post, however, are purely my own.