Dear Girls on Travel,
Are you tired of hearing you need to pay a single supplement? Not even sure what it is? Or feel frustrated having to pay extra just because you want to travel solo? If so check out our tips below on how to avoid single supplement.
1. What is single supplement
Basically, a tour operator will have more interesting prices as rooms are shared. So if the room is £200, because 2 people will sleep in it, the price will be reduced by £100. But if you request to have your own room, this difference will have to be paid, and this is what is called the single supplement. Traditionally hotels have been provided services on the basis that you would be travelling as a pair and not alone. Solo travel started to be really popular a few years ago and is a growing trend, but this was not always the case. Hoteliers claim that solos are less profitable as only one person will buy food, drinks or goods and that their staff spends the same amount of time cleaning a room whether it is for a solo or 2 people. Therefore, the price they advertise is for a room based on double occupancy.
2. How to avoid it
Hotels now advertise more and more the price per room and not per person which already helps in the search. Booking platforms like Booking.com are also pushing hotels to do an effort and reduce the price of a single room. In the search button, you can mention you are alone and prices will be automatically displayed for a one-person room. The difference will not be huge but you can pay a few pounds less.
Tips: During the shoulder season especially, do not hesitate to negotiate prices. It is always better for a hotel to have a room booked than no booking at all. So if you see that the hotel still has a lot of availability, don’t hesitate to give a call and ask for a discount. Always worth the try, you would be surprised in the efforts some hotels are actually willing to do (especially lesser known hotels who also have more flexibility to adapt the prices).
Hostels are a good way to avoid single supplement. They are way cheaper than hotels and nowadays you don’t even have to go for the traditional bunk bed anymore if sleeping with 6 other people is not your thing. Hostels are becoming more and more trendy and try to bridge the gap between expensive hotels and cheap bunk beds. They will always have the traditional bunk beds, but will also include trendy private rooms.
This is a great way to avoid single supplement and find affordable accommodation. You will always have your private room and you can choose whether you want to the whole place by yourself, have your own bathroom etc…Airbnb is pushing for experiences so hosts will be very friendly, help you out with visits or restaurants and some places are so incredible that they top a 5* hotel.
• Hospitality exchange network
A budget option would be to sleep at people’s places, usually on the sofa. Companies like couch-surfing offer this option. You can sleep for free and be hosted at someone’s place, usually on the sofa. Great and affordable way to travel and be social with locals.
• Travel buddies
If the reason you have to pay this single supplement is that your friends are busy or don’t want to travel to the same location, you can perfectly find a travel companion to go along with. Plenty of websites and apps exist to facilitate this, whether it is in your home country or destination country. Facebook groups are also amazing for this and plenty of travellers are just keen on the next travel adventure that someone could suggest.
• Group travel
If you are not the planner type, you could also go for group tours, which is a great way to find a travel companion and not have the hassle to organize everything. Tour operators create the whole programme with fix travel dates and prices making it easy to book. You will then be paired with another person depending on interests or wake-up time for example. This really saves you time as you only need to book the trip, everything else is organized for you making this a very easy and convenient way to avoid single supplement. Some group tours cater for solos without single supplement, some will organize a few trips without single supplement and some will make extra efforts to limit it if you still really want your own room.
Let us know if you have any particular tips to avoid single supplement, comment below!