Solo Travel Pricing Tracker-No to Low Single Supplement Deals: What is the Solo Travel Pricing Tracker? How does it help solo travelers? As we all know, the two most dreaded words for those of us traveling alone are “single supplement”. I once paid three times what individuals booked as pairs paid. How did that happen? I booked a trip to China that was $5,000 for pairs per person with a 50% single supplement. That meant I paid $7,500. Before I knew it, there was an advance sale “2-for-the-price-of-one”. That meant persons traveling together paid $2,500 each while I paid “one-for-the-price-of 3”!
Since the Dec. 12, 2012 launch of Solo Trekker 4 U, we have worked constantly to connect solo travelers with our well-priced pre-approved network of travel providers. However, the problem has continued that no existing search tool helped solo travelers identify and access the broadest universe of tour operators and trips with low to no single supplement. As a result, if you today search “Latin America + adventure + solo”, you may get 2.8 million results. Worse yet, they may not say what the single supplement is so you have to spend time contacting many providers. Lastly, you then have to get out the calculator to see what percentage you are having to pay to compare with the double’s pricings.
Our patent-pending Solo Travel Pricing Tracker is a user-friendly software tool that lets you search by destination and tour type like “adventure” or “cultural tour” linked with these 5 pricing methods for solos. As a result, you may have a list of 30 or so options to consider or narrow down further rather than having to navigate 3 million!
Solo Travel Pricing Tracker-No to Low Single Supplement Deals: Finding No Single Supplement Trips:
The good news is that many travel providers, especially river cruise operators, are offering no single supplement specials. However, the bad news is that they are still limited in nature. In fact, even “singles” tours or cruises often have a single supplement absent sharing.
So keep this in mind:
- Single supplements largely reflect lodging costs. One exception is in Europe. It has been the leader in offering solo-priced rooms. In the rest of the world, the “rack rate” is a room rate based on double accommodations,
- Specials waiving or reducing single supplements may reflect off-season reduced demand. A good example? African safari packages often waive single supplements during the green season”. I find these seasonal or weather-related linked offerings,such as rainy season in the tropics, still good values. The rains may be heavy but brief making the savings worth it. In some wildlife refuges that may influence where animals can be seen most easily so it is worth looking a little deeper.
- Since slots for no single supplements are typically limited in number, you must book as far ahead as possible. River cruises may book a year in advance as may prime holiday locations, like top ski resorts.
- Adventure and active trips that have tents or other informal lodging make no to low single supplements more likely.
Solo Travel Pricing Tracker-No to Low Single Supplement Deals: Low Single Supplement:
Reduced single supplements may be more plentiful than the few no single supplement spots offered on popular tours. Another advantage is that they are less likely to be tied to an off-season rate only.
- Our approach was to look at the overall pricing for couples/pairs per person and then see what price a solo paid. We pulled out the calculator where possible to see if a trip or tour provider tended to fall into a 30%, or better yet 25%, or lower category. We found a number with only 10% single supplements. Since some tour or trip operators have 7,000 trips or on t he other end, just a handful of trips, we were using random sampling to find overall trends which can vary by destination, trip type and year to year.
- It is important to note that specialty trips to exotic places will typically carry higher rated. In addition, trips to remote areas (think polar expeditions) can easily fall outside the general pricing trend of any tour operator.
- Special events at the destination will drive rates and prices up rapidly. One example is the Running of the Bulls in Spain where prices soared the moment the annual festival began.
Solo Travel Pricing Tracker-No to Low Single Supplement Deals: Sharing to be “Solo No More”:
This is not popular with every solo traveler. In my first two trips abroad after college, I twice shared with a fellow group member. One such match worked very well, creating an immediate friendship, while the other was a mismatch from the start.
- Consider if you are a light sleeper and whether the savings is worth the trade-off of not having your own space.
- For sports tours like ski trips, sharing is very typical. Having your own room could mean missing connections for meet-up’s for meals or nights out on the town.
- When you are selecting a tour, look to see if matching is guaranteed. You will see that some providers waive the single supplement or reduce it if there is not a smae gender solo to share. However, that is not true in all cases so you may end up paying a full fare.
Solo Travel Pricing Tracker-No to Low Single Supplement Deals: Solo Room/Cabin Rates:
In Europe, this is especially frequent. However, when you select “one” room for pricing, you have to change the icon from “two” to “one” adult. Surprisingly, even some top luxury hotels offer solo rates. The best example is the world-famous 5-star Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Be sure to check the size of the room. Ask if it is a “single” room or a “standard” or “double” room offered at a reduced rate for solos.
- Find out if there is a private bath “en suite”, especially in bed and breakfasts and other boutique lodgings.
- Check out what bed(s) come with a solo option. On an adventure cruise of 5-7 days, I discovered my “single” cabin had bunk beds. I was too tall to sit on the lower bunk and found it hard to relax and read on the top one without a reading lamp. My solution? I sat on the floor to read. I discovered towards the end of the trip that the cruise operator could take the beds apart and leave a small single bed for a solo traveler. Be sure to ask when you book.
Solo Travel Pricing Tracker-No to Low Single Supplement Deals: Single Parent Rates and Tours:
I have never seen this in the US. However, European providers often have this as a pricing category. Certain providers also had a Single Parent Tour in addition to Family Tours and/or Singles Tours.
In our review, we found these varied widely as to pricing whether accompanied by one or more children. Since “family” rooms are available at many large hotels, it is key to compare whether that is a better rate.
Lastly, if your timing is flexible, do take a look at deeply discounted Last Minute Tours. See if their overall price is competitive even if the single supplement is high. When we launch our Solo Travel Pricing Tracker, we willl also include 17 “Helpful Links” with Last Minute Deals to offer another means of comparing prices.
Check our weekly Blogs for updates on the:
Solo Travel Pricing Tracker: Coming Soon-Only Available Via Solo Trekker 4 U’s Home Page.