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What You Need to Know About Single Supplements

What You Need to Know About Single Supplements

Solo travelers have concerns about the single supplement as it can add a significant cost to a trip.  Some tours are without a single supplement but they are difficult to find.

What is a single supplement? The single supplement is a surcharge to those travelers not sharing a room.  For solo travelers, the surcharge for single travelers is their #1 complaint about traveling. 

Why is there a single supplement?   Hotels price their accommodations by room, not by person.  For example, if a room cost $200 and one person occupies it, the cost per person is $200.  If two people occupy it, the cost is $100 per person.  It’s almost like a rental car if you think about.  When a car is rented, the price might be $80 per day for the car.  If you share the car with another person, the car is $40 per day.  If sharing with 3 others, the cost is $20 per day.    Hotels might, however, reduce the rate by a small amount, let’s say 10%, if one person occupies it. 

What types of accommodations do NOT charge a single supplement?  Hostels with dormitory-like sleeping arrangements usually charge on a per-person basis.  I don’t know about you, but at this point in my life I am not going to sleep in a dormitory-style hostel.   

Is the single supplement discriminatory?   Well, it is unfortunate, but not discriminatory.    Tour operators need to cover costs. They would not be in business if they did not cover their costs.   A way to eliminate the single supplement is to charge those 2 travelers occupying a room more than their fair share to cover the costs of a single traveler occupying a room by themselves.  Is that discriminatory?

But aren't single rooms smaller than those rooms occupied by 2 travelers?  To minimize the single supplement, many tour companies put single travelers in smaller rooms, usually with less amenities and inferior locations or views.   The Traveling Professor listened to his travelers and no longer does this.  The Traveling Professor travelers get the same size rooms with all the amenities as those with 2 travelers.

Are solo travelers subject to other single supplement fees?  Now, that WOULD be discriminatory according to The Traveling Professor.   Single travelers should not pay any additional fees, other than those that incur an additional cost.   The Traveling Professor does not charge any other additional fees other than what is actually incurred by having a solo traveler.   As far as I know, there are no other additional fees than the cost of a room.

Is there a way to fairly eliminate the single supplement?  There are only 2 ways to eliminate the single supplement.  The first one would be to find a hotel that charges 50% of their double occupancy rate if only 1 traveler occupies the room.   In all my years in the travel business, I have not found one hotel (some hostels will do it) that would follow that policy.   The other way to do it would be to offer a tour where EVERY room is a single room only, which The Traveling Professor has done in the past. 

Take a look at The Traveling Professor small group tours.  We treat single travelers right!  Some of our tours have a small or no single supplement. 



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