Avoiding the single supplement fee by boycotting travel companies that charge this fee.


Anyone else tired of seeing great travel deals based only on double occupancy? Better yet, are you tired of paying the single supplement?

Just this morning I found a vacation package to Colombia for $330. The tour was perfect! It included round-trip flights, hotels, transfers, a few meals and a tour manager – talk about a great value. These are the deals I live for and want to brag about but then I scrolled over to the fine print and solo travelers had to pay an extra $200 in penalties. My super cheap, almost all-inclusive trip to Colombia quickly lost its appeal.

There was no way that I was going to pay a 67% premium just because I’m a solo traveler. What would I get out of the single supplement fee? Absolutely nothing! On the other hand, at least that website publicized that there was a supplement. Ever notice when the price spikes when booking for one person instead of two, well that’s the single supplement fee at work. Lots of websites don’t even mention it; they try to sneak it in like we won’t notice.

 

Saying “No” To The Single Supplement

When travel companies charge single supplement fees they are essentially telling me that they do not value my business. They rather overcharge (steal from) me than accommodate my single status. Until the travel industry learns to appreciate my solo traveler status, I’m boycotting all tour companies, cruises, and hotels that charge a single supplement fee, even if it costs $0.99.

I’m tired of being singled out and penalized for traveling alone. Solo travel is already challenging enough without having to cover the cost of a non-existent companion. I could understand if I was paying for a luxurious experience, but having an entire room to myself is not a luxury. It is what happens when you can’t find anyone to join you on a trip. 

 

Related: Homestay: A More Authentic Travel Experience

 

What does this all mean?

Boycotting the single supplement means that I miss out on great offers and travel opportunities but I rather support businesses that do not discriminate against singles than those that do. My role to bring about change in the travel industry is to avoid the supplemental fee at all costs. And I will not negotiate because negotiating means that I accept their terms and I’m asking for some type of consideration.

I am not willing to look for roommates either! I don’t oppose roommates but if the travel industry feels strongly about booking rooms then they should pair us together and they should not charge a finder’s fee. 

I’m only one voice but I know I’m not alone in my sentiments.

The single supplement fee is a smack in the face to all solo travelers especially when companies simultaneously slash prices left and right to accommodate double occupants. So I’m going to hit them where it hurts. Instead of going on organized tours, I will continue to plan trips myself and I will take full advantage of free walking tours and the sharing economy.

The travel industry is making a big mistake by ignoring our solo travel needs for affordable travel. Collectively solo travelers are growing in number and although some brands have noticed, there’s still a lot of work to do.

Bottom line the only way the travel industry will start to change is if we keep our money in our pockets and out of theirs.

27 replies
  1. Tricia says:

    I’ve never been charged a single supplement; however, I avoid trips that charge it. I would love to go on a cruise or and all inclusive resort but probably won’t because I refuse like you to pay a few hundred dollars or double the price. Crazy ridiculous!

    Reply
  2. Hung Thai says:

    Very interesting point – and a good one. We travel on these deals for double occupancy all the time, but whenever my friend wants to join us we’d have to go find him someone to go with – it’s really annoying. It’s probably even more annoying for singles trying to score a deal. So yeah… they should really do something about this.

    Reply
  3. Christina says:

    I have never traveled solo so I wasn’t exactly sure what the single supplement fee was until recently. It really is not fair. I think they need to make more of an effort to pair people up as I am sure there would be enough people.

    Reply
  4. Sally from Passport & Plates says:

    Agreed wholeheartedly! It’s super frustrating. I often end up staying in bnbs and shared apartments instead of hotels because of this. I’ve never heard of organized tours doing it though. That’s ridiculous! Glad you aren’t letting it stop you!

    Reply
  5. Patricia Steffy says:

    That’s so frustrating!! I’ve been lucky to avoid it so far, but it would make me crazy to get charged so much more just because I came in alone. And you are right– getting a room alone is hardly a luxury!

    Reply
  6. Grassroots Nomad says:

    Totally agree! I’ve never actually missed out on something because of a single supplement because I normally travel solo without planned trips (i.e. wandering aimlessly), but I can imagine how frustrating that is! This has only happened to me once in Zambia when I wanted to do a walking safari but it was a 2 person minimum – I paid for two rather than miss out!

    Reply
  7. Amanda Williams says:

    I totally agree with you and avoid paying a single supplement at all costs. On a number of trips this has meant I have made some great new friends by sharing rooms too! Although admittedly there have been one or two occasions when my room mate was not a good match!

    Reply
  8. Aimee Horgan says:

    I agree it must be so annoying to have to be the single supplement, I really don’t understand the reasoning behind charging it. I’ve yet to do a big trip solo but one day I will and I’m sure I’ll email super frustrated with the price hikes…

    Reply
  9. Stephanie Rose says:

    It makes total sense when hotels do it, but I know you discussed wine tours and other events doing it. That makes much less sense. I would focus on finding those places and boycotting them. Or turn it into a positive business venture and create a network that connects solo travelers on a budget for these deals! I would have traveled to the DR with someone new for my last trip, but the way it worked for my last trip I didn’t have time or a network to find another solo traveler. Using hostels is the only way I can think of at the moment to save on hotel fees as a single traveler, but maybe there’s an app for that and I just don’t know about it!

    Reply
  10. Luxitality says:

    I think it’s a real disappointment that we have to miss out on something if we’re single!! It’d be great if come tour companies did this because I’m sure we cant get them all to do it 😉 HEY! NEW BUSINESS IDEA?!?! <3

    Reply
  11. Hannah Rollings says:

    I agree with your sentiment, but doesn’t this limit you a lot? I struggle to remember the last time I went somewhere with the same price for both single and double occupancy. Good luck in your fight though and I’ll try to do the same!

    Reply
  12. Tom Stevenson says:

    I didn’t actually know this was something that travel companies did, but I am in 100% agreement with you. Paying an extra $200, just because you are solo traveller is ridiculous! Considering these companies wouldn’t exist without customers, it’s amazing the way they get treated sometimes!

    Reply
  13. Lily Travella says:

    I’d never heard of the single supplement before. That’s so wrong. Why should we pay extra to take up less space and resources. Cheeky. Will definitely be looking out for this in future and boycot it with you.

    Reply
  14. Nomadic Boys says:

    Terrific idea. Ok, so we’re a couple travelling, but back in our respective solo backpacking days, it was gold dust to find a travel buddy to share a room etc to avoid this silly supplement!

    Reply
    • Danielle Desir says:

      Agreed I love taking advantage of great deals when traveling with my partner or travel buddy but its so frustrating to have to pay extra when traveling solo. Thanks so much for commenting!

      Reply

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