What is Single Supplement Travel?

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What is Single Supplement Travel?

Single Supplement Travel

Solo travel is becoming increasingly popular due to changing lifestyles, travel demographics, non travelling partners and ease of travel. If you are you looking at travelling solo then you have probably noticed the word "single supplement" and wondered what that's all about and how it will affect your travel budget.

What is a Single Supplement?

When travelling solo a single supplement is added to travel costs to compensate accommodation providers, tour operators and cruise lines for the lost revenue of just one person occupying a room. You'll notice in travel brochures that trip prices are primarily quoted as a per person / twin share rate which covers the cost to the provider of a double occupancy for that room. When a person is travelling solo they are however occupying a double room that could otherwise create income at a twin share fee. As a solution providers might choose to charge the full rate to solo travelers to cover this cost but in most cases this is too price prohibitive. Providing a single supplement option then meets the solo traveler in the middle whereby the operator recoups some cost and the traveler is able to stay in a single room.

Single Supplement Cost

The cost of a single supplement is variable dependent on the operator, the amount varies from 10 through to 100% of the rate of a double occupancy room rate. The % charge is dependent on the amount the operator calculates is necessary to cover costs. Accommodation may be slightly different, operators are not normally willing to reduce the cost for using a room if a solo traveler. Most operators charge per room for accommodation versus a per per person rate. To justify not providing a single supplement fee providers explain that the cost of cleaning and maintenance for a room is the still the same whether the room is occupied by one or more people.

How can you avoid paying a single supplement?

As solo travelling is becoming more popular, companies who see the value in looking after these travelers are coming the party with better options. When looking into booking solo travel it's important to investigate which companies charge a single supplement and at what rate as this will affect your travel budget. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to fully avoid paying a single supplement completely especially if you are wanting a specific destination on a specific date but there are ways to maximise your chances of reducing its affects.

How to reduce costs when travelling solo?

  • Ask your travel agent to search for travel options with companies who limit or don't require a high single supplement fee.
  • Be flexible with your travel arrangements, operators are more likely to offer better options if the trip is not filled closer to the departure date. Watch out for last minute offers.
  • Look at travelling either at the start of the season or towards the end, peak times limit your options.
  • Search for accommodation providers who provide single rooms as an option instead of a double room.
  • Some travel companies offer a "share option", which is great if you are paired up with someone compatible, however not worth the $ saving if they are not.
  • If all else fails, find a close friend or family member that needs a holiday to split the room cost.

Solo travel is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for people to see the world. If navigating your way through the single supplement and finding the best option to stretch you travel budget further is overwhelming, then we can help. Using an independent travel agent will ensure that you will have the best deal, with the best options, looking after your best interest.

If you are on the other side of 50 and looking for specific travel options, check out our Over Fifties Travel page for more inspiration. Or drop in, call us on 3284 5192 or send us an email at travel@redcliffetravel.com.au to start organising options for your next travel adventure

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