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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: Would you know of any trips catering to single people? It seems everything in travel advertisements are based on double occupancy. I am planning to go to any all-inclusive-any star-on the beach resort departing from Toronto.

A: In most cases, the advertisements you read will quote prices based on double occupancy. Generally, when a single traveller books a package, they will often incur what's known in the business as a "single supplemental fee." Put in simple terms, it's a surcharge. As one industry insider described the fee, it's added since the majority of travellers are in pairs, resulting in packages where the cost is based on 50% of the room rate. Sadly this means someone has to pay the difference if there is only one traveller in the room and, you guessed it, it's him or her.

However, I do have friends and colleagues who enjoy the benefits of solo travel. They tell me that many adventure tour companies do not charge extra for singles, as long as you are prepared to share with another person of the same sex. "I have taken some of these tours in the past and, of course, it is hit and miss--depending on the chemistry, the traveller and the room-mate," offers Steve Gillick, president and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC) about guaranteed shares.

This arrangement usually occurs for escorted Europebound trips when the tour company manages to find a suitable roomate. For seniors, often Seniors Tours will match a client with another, if the opportunity arises. But there is no guarantee that they will succeed in matching in which case the single traveller would have to pay a supplement. "During off peak season, there are a number of resorts that cleverly waive the single supplement, helping fill their rooms," says Martha Chapman of Signature Vacations. As far as staying at a hot and sunny beach resort for single travellers, Signature Vacations has a few.

Try the Jolly Beach Resort in Antigua where there is no supplement in the supersaver category room now through the summer; the Brisas Guardlavaca in Holguin, Cuba (May 1 to July 15) and Hotel Santana in the Dominican Republic (May 1 to Jun 30). "Interestingly the famous Body Holiday at LeSport actually has slightly smaller rooms which are reserved strictly for singles--one of the few hotels in the Caribbean to do so. They also have single-friendly features such as restaurant tables reserved for their solo guests," adds Martha. The best bet is to shop around, talk to your preferred travel agent and comparison shop. For more details on Signature Vacations packages log onto www.signaturevacations.ca or dial toll-free 1.866.324.2883.

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