The Single Supplement: A Guide

It’s a common complaint, and it’s one we hear often. You’re trying to book a holiday, but you don’t want to travel with someone else. In short, you want to travel alone,  but the tour operator you’re booking with is asking for way more money than would be asked of a person in a couple. It’s not fair – you’re right – so we thought we’d try explain how it works, and ways in which you can arm yourself against it.

Why are there single supplements on our deals?

Unfortunately, a lot of the time that’s just how we find offers when we’re searching for great deals. Holidays and tours that include flights or transport are usually in per person rates, and as we’re not directly in control of this supply – and the price per seat on a plane is often expected to fluctuate – we’re usually given prices ‘based on two adults’.

Put simply, that’s because a supplier would rather sell two seats on a plane rather than single seats. When we’re looking for deals we’re constantly on the hunt for great single traveller prices, but unfortunately two people is still the most common pricing structure. We’ll certainly continue the search every week for Real Deals without large single supplements though, as we know there is a demand for them from our subscribers.

So that’s all very well and good, but you’re probably wondering whether there are any other sneaky ways you can try to avoid the supplement. Here are our top tips:

1. Travel in the shoulder season

You may think its a bit unfair that you have to travel at a different time to other people – but then consider that everyone else does too! We all try and travel at times that are less pricey, as peak season can really tug on the purse strings!  Going to the Mediterranean? Try May and June and September and October rather than the busy middle months. Many hotels are quieter at these times and more willing to offer better rates for single occupancy.

2. Negotiate

Charm can, potentially, get you everywhere. Calling the hotel and explaining your situation can work wonders sometimes – but sometimes you’ll just have to accept that that won’t work. Bear in mind that if you’re booking at a time when the hotel is unlikely to be sold out or is offering special deals, phone and ask the tour operator whether it will waive the supplement.

3. Book with an operator that specialises in singles holidays

There are some operators who offer holidays aimed specifically at people who want to travel alone. These won’t necessarily be cheaper than other holiday companies, but they won’t charge a supplement. We recommend the following companies:,, and!

4. Consider sharing

Some tour operators will offer to try to arrange a shared room with another single traveller of the same sex. Alternatively, you could try to find a travelling companion through a specialist singles website. A membership site which puts a particular emphasis on travel is!

5. Consider a different kind of holiday

More adventurous trips where most nights are spent camping or in refuges, youth hostels or simple lodges, and food is paid per person are less likely to charge significantly more for single bookings!