How to avoid the single supplement when you're travelling alone (Shutterstock)
List Words : Lyn Hughes | 27 February 2019

7 ways to avoid the single supplement

Frustrated by the single supplement while travelling solo? There are ways you can avoid paying it, as Wanderlust's editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes reveals...

1. Choose a supplement-free trip from tour operators

A solo traveller looking over Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

A solo traveller looking over Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

More tour operators are now offering a programme of supplement-free trips especially for their solo clients. Some of these are solo specialists such as Just You, Solos Holidays and Travel One.

Others are companies that have just seen the opportunity to offer departures for solo travellers, such as Voyages Jules Verne and Cox & Kings.

See our pick of the best supplement-free tours for solo travellers here

2. Consider sharing a room in a group tour

A jaunt through Japan won't be any less incredible if you're sharing a room with a same sex traveller (Shutterstock)

A jaunt through Japan won't be any less incredible if you're sharing a room with a same sex traveller (Shutterstock)

Many of the companies that offer small group tours offer the option of sharing with someone of the same sex.

Whether a cultural jaunt through Japan, a foodie break in Tuscany, or a Himalayan trek, you will probably find many other solos in the group, and a lot in common with your room mate.

You may even make a friend for life. And if there are an odd number of people you may get a room to yourself...

3. Embrace staying in a hostel

A mountain hostel in the Tatras Mountains, in Slovakia. Perhaps not what you were expecting? (Shutterstock)

A mountain hostel in the Tatras Mountains, in Slovakia. Perhaps not what you were expecting? (Shutterstock)

Think you're not a hostels person? Well, think again. Hostels vary considerably from simple multi-dorm ones to ones that are more akin to boutique hotels. The new breed of luxury hostels may even have pools, hot tubs, cinemas and dinners.

If you eschew a dorm bed and go for a private room, the chances are there will no or very little supplement, and it will be a fraction of the price of a comparable hotel.

4. Explore hospitality exchange networks

Whatever your travel style, there's a supplement-free accommodation option for you (Shutterstock)

Whatever your travel style, there's a supplement-free accommodation option for you (Shutterstock)

Why pay anything when you can stay for free? There are several networks out there that offer the opportunity to stay with like-minded people for a night or two. 

Couschsurfing is probably the best known, while Servas was the original one and attracts mature, educated types. Warmshowers.org is for touring cyclists. 

5. Stay in an accommodation rental

A home in Minsk, Belarus, available via Airbnb (Shutterstock)

A home in Minsk, Belarus, available via Airbnb (Shutterstock)

Instead of a hotel room, book a studio flat, an apartment or even a room in a house. The new breed of rental companies such as HouseTrip and Airbnb offer a much wider range of accommodation than the traditional rental companies.

Renting just a room can also be a much friendlier option than staying in an impersonal hotel.

6. Travel during the low season

Praia da Galheta beach in Florianopolis, Brazil, during low season. Not too shabby... (Shutterstock)

Praia da Galheta beach in Florianopolis, Brazil, during low season. Not too shabby... (Shutterstock)

It is understandably difficult to get any concessions in the high season. But travel out of season and you are in a much stronger position and it may be possible to get a deal.

Why go when the masses are there, anyway? If you don’t need to travel in the school holidays, then don't.

7. Don't be afraid to ask for a waiver!

Egypt had previously fallen out of favour with travellers (Shutterstock)

Egypt had previously fallen out of favour with travellers (Shutterstock)

As the old adage goes, if you don't ask, you don't get! If you are travelling in the low season for instance, when rooms are not full, or if you are travelling to a destination that has fallen out of favour, you will be in a stronger position to get the single supplement waived.

So, always phone the travel company or hotel if possible (email, if not) and ask the question.  

More top solo travel tips:

Wanderlust's complete guide to solo travelling

The best trips for solo travellers (no single supplements!)

Solo female travel safety advice, from Lyn herself

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