“Per person, based on double occupancy.” Look at any package or tour price and you’ll likely see some variation of these words hovering nearby, a fine-print head shake to single travelers everywhere. The term “single supplement” sounds so value-added and upbeat, but in reality it can be a major deterrent for solo travelers, adding anywhere from a hundred to a few thousand dollars in expenses for the privilege of not sharing a room with someone else.
More than 45 percent of adults in the U.S. are single, so it’s no surprise that so many travelers are wondering how to avoid the dreaded single supplement. Fortunately, there are several ways to make your travel dollars go further. Use the resources below when you begin to plan your next trip.
What Is a Single Supplement?
Because they charge per person and can make more money if two people book a room or cabin, package tour operators and cruise lines openly and formally discriminate against solo travelers. They price their products on the basis of per person, double occupancy (PPDO) and almost always impose a single supplement fee—often quite stiff—on singles who travel by themselves.
How to Avoid the Single Supplement
What do you do if you’re single? Either look for someone to travel with you or book with a company that will match you with a roommate or that charges only a small solo supplement.
Look for Companies That Match You with a Roommate
Traveling with a companion is the surest way to save money when you’re on your own because you can split costs and pay no single supplement. The outfits that promote themselves as “singles” agencies or tour operators actually sell conventional PPDO tours and cruises. They simply combine single applicants into couples or groups for travel. Some give you a modest amount of selection when it comes to matching you with a roommate (age, interests, and such), but you’re pretty much at the agency’s mercy as to the individual with whom you travel. Among those agencies are Singles Travel International and Women Traveling Together.