Get Us in Your Inbox
I was having lunch the other day with a travel industry friend, and the subject of the single supplement came up. I told him that I get a lot of questions about the topic — especially from people who don’t travel a lot — and I imagine that it must be much worse for advisors and suppliers. To some consumers, it just doesn’t make sense that one person has to pay more to travel than two people.
My friend, who used to work for a tour operator, says he likes to explain it in terms of a rental car: If someone books a car with four people, the price will be less per person than if one driver travels alone.
“This makes logical sense, but I know that, emotionally, it still seems unfair to the single traveler,” he said. “It feels like a penalty. It’s a perception problem.”
Fortunately, as you can read in this issue’s cover story (“Superparents Who Fly Solo,” page 10), some companies are figuring out ways to eliminate the single supplement. This is especially welcome news to the growing number of single parents who often have to plan trips with an odd number of travelers, or who book with companies that allow kids to travel or stay for free, but then charge a single adult an extra fee.
This change is part of a greater movement across the industry to respond to the needs of non-nuclear families. It really doesn’t take a lot of creative thinking to come up with solutions that are more welcoming to these parents — who might, at times, need a little extra help and understanding.
Advisors can’t leave all the work to the suppliers, however. An agent should be ready with fresh ideas for every type of family, so that more parents can share the wonder of travel with their kids.