Single supplements are a premium charge that you pay when you occupy a room by yourself when traveling. The price of many travel tours is based on “double occupancy.” If you prefer to room by yourself, you usually pay double the price. There are ways to avoid paying single supplements.
You may be able to avoid paying single supplements if you ask the right questions when you book your travel. Ask if single supplements are charged year-round. Sometimes you can get a break during the off season.
Ask if there are other options where you wouldn’t be charged a single supplement. Sometimes you can avoid a single supplement by being flexible with your plans. Maybe you can stay an extra day or two at one place, or use a different cruise ship.
If you book your travel at the last minute, ask to have the single supplement removed. Sometimes vendors would rather fill a tour than charge the extra fee.
Do your best to negotiate a lower fee if you can’t eliminate it. It never hurts to ask.
Book your travel with hotels that don’t charge a single supplement. Most UK hotels charge the same room rate whether one or two people stay there.
Booking with a singles tour may also eliminate single supplements. The tour vendor will usually book a block of rooms, and may be able to negotiate a lower fee based on the number of rooms paid for.
Sharing the Cost
If you can’t eliminate a single supplement, maybe you can find a way to share the cost.
Consider taking a friend. That’s your best option for making reasonably sure you have a compatible travel companion to share accommodations with. Traveling with a friend is usually fun, and you get to know each other better. It is important to make sure your friend is someone you can room with and spend a lot of time with.
Use a matching service. Matching services help you find a travel companion to share expenses with. They use the same kind of compatibility surveys that dating services do. There is always some risk in traveling with someone you don’t know, and compatibility surveys don’t identify every possible area of conflict, but these services usually do work pretty well.
Advertise for a travel companion. You can place an ad in a local newspaper, on an electronic bulletin board, or in some other venue. Try to place your ad in a medium that will be read by people you want to travel with. This is probably the riskiest way to find a travel companion. If you choose this method to find a traveling companion, you may want to consider asking them for references and a background check.
If you prefer to travel alone—and especially to have your own room—it may be worth it for you to pay a single supplement. If you want to save the money, however, you can either try to eliminate the charge or find someone to share it with.