When you book a tour or cruise, you normally pay a per-person, double occupancy price. If you’re traveling alone, you are charged a higher price, normally called a single supplement. The single supplement is usually quite high — up to 50 percent of the trip cost — because it is designed to recoup the income that would have been generated by a second traveler.
Fortunately, some tour operators recognize that many seniors are solo travelers and now offer "single-friendly" trips.
01 of 09
What is a Single-Friendly Tour or Cruise?
Single-friendly tour groups and cruise lines offer no-cost or low-cost single supplements or provide “guaranteed share” options. By participating in a guaranteed share program, you agree to be matched with a roommate, nearly always of the same sex and smoking preference. In return, your single supplement is waived. Should your tour operator or cruise line be unable to match you with a roommate, you’ll still pay either a reduced single supplement or none at all.
02 of 09
Companies & Organizations That Provide Single Seniors Tour Information
03 of 09
Connecting: Solo Travel Network
Connecting: Solo Travel Network (CSTN) is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that specializes in finding information for single senior travelers. Members receive a useful newsletter and three e-books – Single-Friendly Travel Directory, Going Solo Tales and Going Solo Tips. The website lists single-friendly tour operators, cruises, hotels and more.
Tip: CSTN is aimed at all ages. You will still need to investigate each cruise line and tour operator to ensure that the trip’s activity level and demographics are right for you.
04 of 09
Solo Traveler's Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt share their solo travel adventures, tips and tricks on their appropriately-named blog. Whether you're looking for information on where to go or how to avoid the single supplement, this nuts-and-bolts blog can help you plan your trip. The Solo Traveler Deals page highlights upcoming trips aimed at solo travelers.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Tour Operators and Cruise Lines That Cater to Single Seniors
06 of 09
Singles Travel International
Singles Travel International offers trips and cruises for all age ranges. They offer cruises for singles ages 50 and over several times each year. However, most of Singles Travel International’s trips and cruises are open to singles of all ages. You can go on safari, get away for a weekend or explore Italy, and you choose either a room sharing option or higher-cost private room. (Smokers, snorers and travelers who use a CPAP machine may need to pay for a higher-cost single room if a roommate cannot be found for them.)
Tip: Some trips take you far from medical assistance. Carefully review the itinerary details before you book your tour.
07 of 09
Silversea Cruises is a luxury cruise line that offers reduced single supplements on some of its cruises. Silversea also has a Gentlemen Hosts program on some cruises; single women who want to eat or dance with someone can enjoy the companionship of a polite, polished gentleman. Condé Nast Traveller chose Silversea as the “World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line” in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and Silversea's awards list continues to grow.
08 of 09
Solo’s Holidays offers international trips and activity trips for singles in three different age ranges, over 30s, over 40s and over 50s, as well as tours for singles of all ages. Because this tour operator is based in the UK, trips depart from London and are priced in British pounds. They offer single rooms and private facilities. Most trips do not have a single supplement.
Tip: As of this writing, it is easier to find Solo's Holidays trips for travelers age 45 and up than for travelers age 50 and up.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Tauck World Discovery
Tauck World Discovery, a luxury tour operator, offers group tours, riverboat and small ship cruises and rail tours (combined with motorcoach tours or cruises). On some trips and river cruises,Tauck reduces or eliminates its single supplement.
(Tip: Check Tauck World Discovery's Traveling Solo web page for an up to date listing of discounts on solo travel adventures.)