There’s no denying that having to pay more to holiday on your own is frustrating, especially when it costs, on average, a third more. But can we really blame the travel companies for our need to go solo?
The dreaded single supplement has been the bugbear of solo travellers for many a year. And it’s no myth.
When Which? Travel went online to compare the price of some package holidays to Tenerife for one versus two people, the results showed that solo holidaymakers would pay on average 27-36% more for their holiday.
Yet hit the online travel forums and opinion is clearly divided as to whether these sometimes supersized holiday prices are fair.
Solo travellers want choice
As a newly single holidaymaker (cue the violins!) I set about researching solo holidays for Which? Travel with added interest. I was pleased to read that I am certainly not alone when it comes to travelling solo – in fact my fellow solo travellers accounted for around one in ten holidays taken between June 2010 and 2011.
More interestingly, nearly one million of the 3.3 million solo travellers during the same period were non-singles taking a trip without a partner.
I was also comforted to read that I wasn’t the only one whose ideal holiday didn’t involve an organised trek across the Atlas Mountains with other singles. Instead, like the majority of other solo travellers, sometimes I just fancy a sun, sea and sand package holiday.
However, packages through mainstream tour operators tend to be family and couple focussed so when I discovered the additional cost for travelling alone I wasn’t too surprised.
The big solo debate
As I continued my research it wasn’t long before I came across solo holidaymakers debating the matter of single supplements. Was this an outrageous penalty fare imposed by hoteliers/tour operators, or a simple case of pure economics – after all, if you buy a tandem but ride it by yourself you still need to pay for the whole bike, right?
When searching for my own holiday I found my search was more time consuming compared with finding a holiday for two. How could I find out how much extra I was paying without comparing the single and double price of every holiday, and why did there appear to be fewer holidays available to me as a solo traveller in the first place?
That’s not to say that it’s all doom and gloom. My research helped me pick up lots of helpful tips, like travelling out of season and speaking directly with the travel agent to try and track down the best prices. I also went on the hunt for solo offers and managed to secure a special offer holiday with no single supplement.
So what do you think about single supplements and the choice of holidays available? Have you travelled solo on a mainstream holiday and how do you go about finding the best deals?