Solo Travel on a Budget Part I: avoiding the single supplement
“No Single Supplement”. That’s the term that every solo traveler is looking for in package holidays.
The single supplement is the bane of solo travelers who want to take a vacation and relax on a tour, a cruise or at a resort.
While I get the economics of it, this idea of paying more because you’re only half of a couple is counter intuitive , frustrating and sometimes paralyzing.
This past Sunday I was quoted in the LA Times giving one tip on how to find trips with no single supplement. I have a few more. In fact, I have 7 ways to help single travelers find deals with no single supplement.
7 Ways to Find Deals with No Single Supplement
- 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.
- Timing and Asking: Book your package 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.
- Pairing You Up: Some tour companies, especially adventure tour companies like Intrepid Travel, tend to waive the single supplement if you’re willing to share accommodation with another person of the same gender. Being paired up with someone isn’t my first choice but it can add an exciting wild card to a trip and I expect would work out more often than not.
- Finding a Travel Partner: If the travel company you want to go with doesn’t offer this matching service, you may find a travel partner through friends, Facebook or other specialty sites on the web. Simply Google “find a travel partner” and you’ll find many options. But please, don’t just go with anyone. Be picky about who you’ll spend your travel time with and how you’ll spend it. If you’re just sharing a room and not the day, it will be a lot easier.
- Find a Deal so Great…: Find a deal so great that the single supplement isn’t really an issue. To find the best website for deals from your location just Google “travel deals”. You may still have to pay a supplement but if you find a screaming deal it won’t be quite so painful.
- 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 less crowds it can be more enjoyable and you may be more successful in negotiating away the single supplement.
- Keep on an Eye on the Solo Travel Deals page: I try to keep this page current with solo travel deals I find online using a number of Google Alerts. I hope it is of help.
Finding a travel package with no single supplement can be a challenge. I do my best with the deals page to keep you apprised of opportunities that arise..