Sunday September 23, 2018
Solo Travel Savings Tips
Solo traveling is a growing trend among baby boomers and retirees. According to a recent Visa Global Intentions Study, nearly one-in-four individuals who travel today are traveling solo. Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks among solo travelers is the single supplement fee, which is an extra fee charged to single travelers who stay in a double occupancy room alone.
To help you avoid this extra charge, more and more travel companies and cruise lines are making adjustments to accommodate the growing solo-traveler market. Here are several to check into.
There are a variety of travel companies today that specialize in vacations for solo travelers, including Singles Travel International (SinglesTravelIntl.com) and Singles Travel Getaways (SinglesTravelGetaways.com). Both companies offer tours, cruises and adventures in the U.S. and overseas. These companies will match you with a roommate so that you are able to avoid the single supplement fee or will ensure that you will not be charged if a roommate cannot be found.
General Tour Operators
Large tour companies in this category that have many solo travelers include Intrepid Travel (IntrepidTravel.com) and G Adventures (Gadventures.com). Intrepid Travel handles more than 100,000 travelers each year, sending them to more than 100 countries. G Adventures has more than 700 tours around the globe and offers a variety of travel styles. Both of these companies can pair you with a roommate and some tours offer your own room option for an additional fee.
For higher-end luxury travel check out Abercrombie & Kent (AbercrombieKent.com), which offers a 50% single supplement discount on their select small group solo travel trips and cruises. You can also look into Tauck (Tauck.com), which has no single supplement on its European river cruises.
If you're interested in trips designed for adults ages 50 and older, consider ElderTreks (ElderTreks.com), Road Scholar (RoadScholar.org) and Overseas Adventure Travel (OATtravel.com).
ElderTreks specializes in exotic adventures worldwide and will match single travelers with roommates on most of its trips. The company does not charge if a match cannot be arranged.
Road Scholar offers worldwide learning adventures and has designated trips that offer the same price for solo travelers as for those traveling in pairs.
Overseas Adventure Travel operates in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Cuba, Australia and New Zealand and has free single supplements on all its land tours. It also offers either free or low-cost single supplements on its small-ship adventures.
If you enjoy cruising, there are a number of cruise lines that have some ships with single-occupancy cabins, including Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL.com), Royal Caribbean (RoyalCaribbean.com) and Vantage Deluxe World Travel's river ships (VantageTravel.com).
You can also consider booking a cruise at SinglesCruise.com, which searches a variety of different cruise lines for their single customers and provides roommate matching.
For solo women travelers, there are a host of tour companies and clubs like GutsyWomenTravel.com, Women-Traveling.com, SerenDipityTraveler.com, TheWomensTravelGroup.com and Womens-Travel-Club.com. These companies will either match you up with a roommate or reduce the single supplement fee.
If you would rather find a suitable travel partner before you book your next trip, there are a number of free websites that you can check out. See Travbuddy.com, TravelFriend.us and TravelersMeeting.com. To find a cruise buddy try CruiseMates.com, which has a message board where users can post roommate requests.
For more information on solo travel, check out SoloTravelerWorld.com, which offers solo travel tips, destinations and stories, and also publishes a monthly list of solo travel deals.
Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.