I find it really annoying that one can't travel alone anywhere without having to pay for two ("based on double occupancy"). Is there any cruise or package plan for one person? I am a widow and would like to travel, but everyone seems to penalize you for traveling alone. PLEASE HELP. Thanks.
–Carolyn, Dallas, Pa.
Carolyn, you're not alone! Roughly one in 10 leisure travelers travels alone, which means that there are millions of people out there who often feel ignored by an industry that generally seems to favor couples or families over solo travelers.
However, there's hope for those who prefer to travel alone, because many tour operators and cruise lines are becoming more single-friendly. Some companies are known for their single-friendliness and are quite up front about it, while others are more coy.
Intrepid Travel, for example, never charges a single supplement because they specialize in mid-price adventure trips for independent (read solo) travelers, to places like Peru and Nepal. Neither does Adventure Women, which has been offering tours for adventurous solo women for 28 years.
In 2010 their trips include whale-watching in Baja, California, watersports in the Caribbean, and trekking on New Zealand’s South Island. Though you won't pay a single supplement with these companies, you won’t necessarily get your own room either, because they pair you up with a roommate. Even if there is an odd number of people on your trip, which means one "leftover" person won't have to share a room, they still won’t have to pay the single supplement.
If you're a fan of cruises, Lea Lane, author of Fodor's Solo Travel book, suggests these cruise companies that have waived or heavily discounted singles' supplements in the past: Cruise West, Hurtigruten/Coastal Voyage, and Uniworld.
Cruise West allows singles to travel at the "twin" rate in B or C cabins on its Alaska Gold Rush Inside Passage, Prince William Sound, and Antarctica cruises. In addition, single rates are available on all cabins and all departures, at a surcharge over the twin price.