Solo Travel – 10 Ways to Save on Single Supplements

In your school days, you may have found, as I did, that economics really is the “dismal science”. However, I did learn one key fact. Supply and demand drive prices. For solo travel, the surcharge or “single supplement” does vary partly in keeping with this tried and true rule. The good news? If you prowl through the Internet, you can find ways to save on solo travel when demand is down. The bad news? Reduced or no single supplement offerings are limited in number and go fast.

Here are 10 ways to save.

1. Don’t ask for one room. Ask for a “room for one’. In Europe, lodging is often sold with solo pricing. Be sure to see if it is a solo price for a standard room or a small single room. Look at the size offered for single occupants. Then consider the amount of time you will spend in your room. I often take 10-12 hour day trips abroad with almost no time spent in my hotel room except to catch some sleep before heading out again.

2. Get there first. Book even one year ahead since few slots are reduced for solos. This is really important if you go in-season. Holiday resorts and hot spots in summer may have return visitors book the next year when they check out.

3. Head to the airport when everyone else is heading home. Off-season travel is the best way to get immediate 50% off reductions. In the south of France, rates go down as fast as Sept 9. Ski resorts, like the fabled Sun Valley Lodge, have specials just before Christmas. In winter and spring, European discounts can be half-price as well.

4. Get excited about rainy weather or extreme heat and cold. You will have to think how far you want to take this. I had a thrilling short term work trip one Jan. in Siberia. I also went on tour in India during the monsoons. In some cases, the negative pronouncements may not impact your trip. A good example? The risk of hurricanes each fall is less likely to touch the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) making for better pricing. In Africa, for example, safari rates are lower during the rainy or “green” season if you can get away, and don’t mind the possibility of short, heavy rains.

5. Look for new travel providers. Hotels that are just opening or reopening after renovations have specials to gain or regain market share. The Hotel Castille in Paris, for example, had short-term deep discounts when it reopened just steps from fashionable boutiques. Thereafter, the rates increased in keeping with other high-end small hotels

6. Be a contrarian. Don’t pay a premium for what’s currently trending. Prowl the Internet for undervalued regions. If it is all the rage, prices will soar. In the 1980’s, I somehow found a Montenegro resort right off the Albanian border. Since then, Sveti Stefan, where I stayed, has been updated as reflected in its 5 star pricing. The moral of the story is get there before the crowds discover a destination.

7. If you can’t pronounce it or spell it, you’ll love the prices! Substitute the road less traveled. If you have a dream to see the Parthenon you must go to Greece. (That is unless you live in North America and would like to see a perfect replica in Nashville, Tenn.!) Regional air carriers are a good way to find out great largely undiscovered places at low prices. One example: I dreamed of Tahiti in my early post-graduate days. When rates were high there, Air New Zealand suggested alternatives: Rarotonga and Aitutaki. I took them up on it and had the trip of a life time dining out on the stories for years.

8. Scour the Internet for national and regional programs offered by tourist boards. Check ahead as they may only be available abroad. One of the best deals I found in the 1990’s was with then “Lan Chile”. From the US, I purchased three stand-by tickets for a total of $200 to go anywhere in the country. At that price, I made my way to Antarctica Chile, at the end of the world!

9. Use flexible dates to grab week-day deals. Hotels and airline rates often go up and down together. Why is that? That takes us back to supply and demand. When planes and hotels have low load factors, prices are softer.

10. Share to save. Look for tours that have no single supplements by agreeing to share. The benefit to this approach? It is a way to save if your travel dates are not flexible, and no to low single supplement deals are not available.

In any case, before you give up on fitting solo travel into your budget, look at these options.

Why Global Financial Crisis Forces Travel Cuts

Nowadays, any economical instability in the market of investments may threaten the financial lives of millions of employees, businessmen and tax payers. The current global financial crisis, the whole world in enduring, has caused numerous financial setbacks to many businesses that were forced to start economizing and cutting back on expenses.

Thus, many luxurious services have been cut back to overcome the crisis and the losses that resulted. As a result, the travel industry has suffered from travel cuts induced by the global financial crisis itself and caused by the decrease in travel demands especially by businessman and regular travelers.

Current statistics show that the third of companies have actually halted all their business trips as they seek to cut their travel spending which is considered a high business expense. According to a new survey made by Business Travel Coalition (BTC) that polled over 200 companies, one in four firms have established emergency cuts to their overall travel spending in response to the current global financial downturn.

The survey was initially commissioned by the BTC in response to members’ concerns about the prospect of a new recession. About 40% of the companies surveyed from 14 different countries said they have established a complete and total travel freeze, while about 25% said they have cut air travel only. Almost 75% of the firms that established the cuts have admitted that the measures about cutbacks will stay in place until further notice or even until a certain change in the current situation.

The researches completed also found that the cuts in travel budgets have been fine news for most of the low-cost carriers present in the USA. BTC spokesman stated that we have entered an eerie similar to the cyclical downturn that happened in Autumn 2000. However, there is an increase in the order-of-magnitude in the significance of the present condition and in corporate reactions concerning travel expenses.

Many firms began cutting back on air travel expenses at the beginning of the year due to the worsening of financial data points. Surveys made in the first quarter of the financial year did not recognize a pullback trend. However, by middle of the year, it was broad based. BTC wanted to unequivocally capture the firms’ reaction to the economical crisis in order to be prepared for next year.

As the need of travel increased with the grow of businesses, the travel cuts have surely brought bad news to big firms. As a result, alternatives were admitted to replace this essential need. Half of the firms that were surveyed stated that they are seeking alternatives such as video conferences, cancelling overnight trips and even train travels.

Whereas other firms have established new policies that limit the staff’s traveling needs and force them to use some no-frills airlines like Easyjet or even Ryanair.

Another survey that supported the BTC one has also suggested that about half of the corporations polled have the goal of reducing their travel budgets before the ending of the economical year that is in March 2009.

A poll also made by KDS, travel management company, stated that almost 40% of corporations have been actually obligated to call off previously-reserved business trips while the other third had to call off many international meetings and replace them with alternatives like video conference calls.

These travel cuts that the current financial crisis have deteriorated the travel industries and led to many losses to numerous international airlines. Some airlines were actually forced to decrease their number of annual flights especially from places that have encountered a decrease in travel expenses. The new policies are to stay in place until further studies are made about the upcoming financial crisis.

The current economical crisis has surely been of bad news to thousands of industries and corporations. Though the travel cuts might have helped some low-budget businesses decrease expenses, but it surely have disrupted the high-income businesses that depend mainly on traveling.

The next financial year will surely state the precision of any further responses and policies that the corporations will follow. The current policies will surely remain running for quite some time until the financial crisis starts to vanquish.

Update: Changes To Australian Carry On Luggage Rules

OK so heads up if you are traveling around or to or from Australia from June 30th new rules are coming into play to protect us, the new rules may affect your luggage plans.

Other countries are also bringing in similar carry on powder rules for flying so keep an eye on the travel news.

Below is a quick overview of the rules for carry on products including the new updates.

Airline security are categorising powders into two groups; organic and inorganic.

Restrictions of 350ml or 350g apply to “INORGANIC” powders.

No restrictions on “ORGANIC” powders.

All powders will need to be presented at security along with the usual gels, aerosols and liquids.

As we all know (I hope) You are only able to take liquids, aerosols and gels in containers up to 100ml in size in your carry-on baggage.

Liquids, aerosols and gels must be presented in a resealable clear plastic baggy (Check out the Elephant Stripes Hanging Toiletry Bags Which come with a handy detachable clear plastic compartment!).

New Rule: ‘Inorganic powders’ i.e. salt (really?), talcum powder and sand (yup!) you will be limited to 350ml or 350g per person.

Rule Difference: ‘Organic powders’ are things made from living matter, examples include most protein powder and baby formula. However, ALL powders will need to be presented at security (They don’t need to be in a clear bag though).

Duty free purchases in a sealed bag can be taken on board. However, if you have stopovers during your flight, you may have restrictions when you board again… buyer beware.

Of course there are exceptions for baby products, medical (prescription and non-prescription) items and dietary requirements (They still need to be screened though).

I hope this has helped to clarify the rules changes so you will not get caught out. Its always good to have a reminder of the basic of carry on luggage rules as well.

Many people prefer now to travel with carry on only as it gives such a feeling of freedom but the carry on rules are more subject to change to it is important to keep an eye on updates.

For more great travel tips and updates make sure you check out Elephant Stripes travel blog and online travel gear store.

Product mention: Elephant Stripes Hanging Toiletry Bags https://www.elephantstripes.co.nz/product-category/accessories/cosmetic-bags

References:

http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/onboard/liquids-aerosols-and-gels.aspx

https://bne.com.au/passenger/passenger-information/security-screening/powders-liquids-aerosols-and-gels