Beating the Single Supplement Fees
By Jody Yetti
Faced with the grim reality that a much needed getaway hangs in the balance only if you pay double for it makes you wonder, Which is more stressful – staying home or writing that check? What’s a single girl to do while this question lingers in the background?
Simple: Beat them at their own game with the single supplement fee.
The single supplement fee occurs when you choose to travel alone, without a traveling companion, and you’re forced to pay twice the rate for being a single traveler.
Give the Gift of Travel
Let’s say you always wanted to go on a cruise. You call your travel agent, and she tells you it’s virtually close to the same total cost to travel as a single than if you brought a friend. But your friends just aren’t in the same financial position as you are at the moment.
Gift the opportunity and enjoy the companionship and savings. Take mom for Mother’s Day or your niece for her graduation. Consider a ‘freedom cruise’ for your newly divorced best friend or a very generous birthday gift for just about anyone else you would share a room with.
Another option is to trade your solo trip for a girls’ getaway. Take two friends and make it a triple. Divide the cost by three and it makes the per person total much lower and affordable for all, not to mention the fun you’ll have traveling with your girlfriends.
Understanding the Travel Biz
So why are you are charged double? The tour operator or cruise line isn’t deliberately trying to incite angst in their perspective clients by charging double, but they are trying to recoup the expenses they lose on the double occupancy rate. With two travelers operators and guides are compensated twice. Even more important is that when there are two people who wish to travel and there is limited availability, if a single person occupies the room, they lose revenue if there are no rooms left to accommodate two persons.
There have been instances where certain tours, to increase less desirable sales in markets not quite as mainstream, will waive single supplement fees so that the single traveler can get a room without additional penalty. This allows tours that normally would have been canceled for lack of participation to go out with at least some capacity and not have to disappoint those who have already made a reservation.
How do you know when these specials are being offered? Plan ahead.
Under normal circumstances, peak travel dates hardly ever offer waived fees but off-season travel will sometimes allow shared situations that will match two compatible travelers in a shared room. This allows you to pay a rate based on double occupancy without having to find your own roommate. Some tour operators will allow you to be a ‘single’ if no other person makes a reservation, and then you can end up booking as a’single’ and not paying a supplement for it.
Planning a much needed getaway should never deter you from traveling alone. Find a travel professional who will take the time to price out options that will suit your budget and travel preferences.
There are times when peace of mind takes precedence over cost. As any stressed out single gal will tell you, it is what it is. But when you need a vacation, it is all about you.
Jody Yetti, a single woman business owner and seasoned traveler, has been in the travel industry for more than 20 years. She owns Jody’s Travel Inc., a full-service travel agency for single women and other savvy travelers, located in Moriches, NY. Jody can be reached at 631-281-3636 or www.jodystravelagency.com.