In 2015, almost a quarter of international travelers surveyed by the Visa Global Travel Intentions study had taken their last leisure trip alone. This number is rising (up almost 10% from 2013) and tour operators are continually improving their offers to appeal to solo travelers. If you’re one of the growing number of solo travelers looking for a group tour, do your research before booking a trip.
Single Supplement Fees
Every group tour operator treats single bookings differently, which can make comparing tours more difficult! One of the biggest variations among companies is pricing. Some tour companies charge a “single supplement” fee. Because it can be more expensive for the tour operator to book your accommodations and even some excursions, they pass those costs on to you within the single supplement fee. Other tour companies waive the fee, but pair you with another single traveler, with whom you’ll share accommodations. It’s also common for fees to exist for solo travelers during the busy season, but tour groups may be more accommodating in the off season.
There are tour companies that cater solely to single travelers. Larger group tour operators may offer tours designed for solo travelers or invite singles to join tours made up of couples, friends and families. There are also tour operators who specialize in trips for young travelers, senior travelers and women; these operators are usually welcoming to people traveling alone.
Some tours, especially those designed specifically for solo travelers, emphasize small group sizes. You’ll be able to get to know everyone well throughout your journey but may feel limited if you love meeting new people. Some tour operators share group members’ contact information before the trip so solo travelers can get to know each other. This can help solo travelers feel more at ease at the beginning of their trip, especially if they’ll be sharing a room.