Top tips for solo trips (including how to avoid the single supplement)

Revealed: Top tips for solo trips, from how to stay safe to ways to avoid paying the dreaded single supplement

  • To enhance the experience, learn a little of the local lingo and pack a phrasebook
  • Only take what you need in terms of cash and credit cards when going out 
  • READ MORE: The one passport detail Britons are being warned not to overlook

Solo travel offers endless rewards, but if you haven’t tried it before it can feel daunting.  

Here, we answer some of the most common questions about solo travel to help you get the most out of the experience.

Q. Why do tour operators often charge more for single travellers than for those in couples?

A. This is all down to the dreaded ‘single supplement’ — a charge tour operators justify by saying that rooms with one person in them generate less income.

Q. But this is surely unfair if you are put in a single room?

Solo travel offers endless rewards, but if you haven’t tried it before it can feel daunting

A. Yes, when there is a single room there should be no single supplement. When booking, make sure you establish what type of room you are in. Where there is an extra payment, you should at least be in a double room.

Q. How can you find holidays without single supplements?

A. With the number of people living alone rising, operators are starting to adapt and offer such trips. Look at the ‘holidays and tours with no single supplements’ page of, which has trips in Italy, France, Costa Rica and Somalia.

And Mercury Holidays’ website has a listing of ‘no single supplement and solo offers’ at Also check out the Solo Holidays section at Most tour operators’ websites now have such sections.

Q. What about specialist companies for solo travellers?

A. Established in 1982, Solos Holidays offers breaks across the globe with no single supplements, including group tours in Africa, the Caribbean, America and Australia ( There is also Friendship Travel, which has beach holidays, escorted tours and ski getaways ( Just You is another market leader, with tours in America and India, festive period breaks and some tours exclusively for female travellers.

Q. Are there operators that specially cater for older holidaymakers?

A. Yes. Try One Traveller, a family-run company that pitches itself at the ‘mature solo traveller’. It was set up in 2007 and offers guaranteed private rooms and no single supplements with trips as varied as five days in Norfolk (from £990) to 16 days in China (from £4,390) — see

Meanwhile, Saga Holidays has trips designed for solo travellers aged over 50, including tours, hotel stays and cruises. Its fun-looking Astronomy And Geology In Tenerife seven-night tour is from £1,403pp with no supplement (

Q. Are there any other solo cruise specialists?

A. Many ships now have supplement-free single cabins, but you need to snap them up quickly as they can be limited in number. Saga’s new ship, Spirit Of Discovery, has a particularly good selection though, with 100 cabins, which works out as a fifth of them all, an ‘industry first’, it says — so Saga is definitely worth trying. Alternatively, see the P&O’s Cruises for Solo Travellers page at, which is highlighting a 24-night cruise in America and Canada from £1,999.

Meanwhile, Riviera is a good pick for European river cruises on the Danube and the Rhine (

When travelling solo, it’s recommended that you learn a little of the local lingo to help enhance the experience

Q. Some firms offer ‘supplement-free’ trips, but you have to share rooms — how do you avoid that?

A. Check very carefully when booking. Such trips are often arranged by adventure tour companies, with shared rooms always on a single sex basis — and this is declared upfront (although the detail may be slighty buried on websites). See ‘solo adventure holidays’ at or ‘solo travel holidays’ at

Q. Are there any must-dos when travelling overseas?

A. It’s best not to wander too much off the beaten track, especially in riskier countries. Go with another member of a group tour when, for example, visiting a bustling bazaar or venturing out to experience nightlife.

Q. What other safety precautions should you take?

A. If someone strikes up a conversation with you out of the blue, always be wary, especially if they offer to show you around. And only take what you need in terms of cash and credit cards when going out and about (leave other valuables secured in a room safe).

Q. Any other tips that will enhance my experience?

A. Learn a little of the local lingo and pack a phrasebook. Download the Google Map of your destination ahead of going so you can access it offline.

Try one of the increasingly common ‘free tours’ of cities, as they can be both informative and sociable.

Q. Is there an online forum for us solo travellers?

A. Yes, take a look at and also the ‘chat room’ at

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