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Choose solo travel and learn how to avoid the dreaded single supplement before hitting the road.

The choice to travel alone is one that will determine a lot about your trip. You will have all the time in the world to do what you choose and you will have time for reflection and relaxation without the stressors of travelling with companions.

Unfortunately, one downside is that some cruise lines and tour companies have created a financial burden for those who decide to go it alone. Solo travellers are often faced with drastically increased prices on cruise lines and tour organized holidays, wherein companies force single folks to cover the fees for a double-occupancy room. It’s called the single supplement.

Some companies have wised up and started to waive the fees associated with being a single person in a double occupancy room. They are the frontrunners who have realized that losing a little income up front will earn them the favour of millions of single travellers in the future.

But many companies are still insisting on enforcing a single supplement of one kind or another. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid the dreaded single supplement; the tips below will help you avoid paying more for your next solo holiday.

Find a compatible travel companion

If you are determined to take a cruise and the company doesn’t offer any benefits to single travellers, then it is time to invest some effort in finding a compatible travel companion. Someone who you can share a room with, and get along with. Reach out to your friend group and see if they know anyone else that is looking to travel solo so you can find someone whose travel goals match your own.

DO invest time in this activity and do not rely on the cruise line’s matching program to find you someone appropriate. If your extended friend circles turn up empty handed in travel buddies, then there are resources online like TravBuddy, Companions2Travel and TravelBuddies where you can post your details and find a like-minded person to join you for travel.

Set a Google alert

Once you know where you want to go, and your destination is set, you can create a Google Alert to send you an email anytime there is a post matching your query. For example, if you wanted to go to Istanbul on your solo holiday, you could create a Google Alert for 'Istanbul single supplement waived' or 'Istanbul no single supplement'. Then every time a company posts a product that matches your search terms, Google will send you an email with their information. Google does all the leg work for you and you still get the benefit of the waived single supplement.

Travel during the shoulder season

The shoulder season is the period of time in between the off season and high season and it’s a wonderful time to try to schedule travel tours because you will have more room to negotiate the single supplement away. If the cruise or tour package has empty spots to fill, then they won’t have a sound argument to overcharge you. They either want some revenue or none at all. Plus the off-season is usually off for a reason. With the fewer crowds you find in the shoulder-season, it can be a more enjoyable experience.

Choose companies that waive the single supplement

Check out the Solo Travel Deals page from the Solo Traveller blog for a continuously updated list of tours, cruises and other forms of organized travel with a very low or no single supplement. Single-friendly companies have gotten the hint and have figured out that while they may miss out on some income up front by not enforcing the single supplement, in the long run they are creating customers for life and a good reputation among the millions of solo travellers who travel every year.

Save money by avoiding the single supplement and reduce your stress by getting cheap travel insurance from Cover-More New Zealand to protect you from any unexpected additional fees.

Image courtesy of Danka Peter