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How to save on solo travel

By Brad Tuttle
Some companies waive single supplement fees in the off-seasons.
Some companies waive single supplement fees in the off-seasons.
  • River cruise lines often discount or waive single-supplement charges in the off-season
  • Many European B&Bs have single rooms, and some smaller inns charge per person
  • Norwegian Cruise Line has 128 studio cabins on its new Epic ship

(Budget Travel) -- Six ideas that help you skirt (or shave) the single-supplement fee:

River Cruises

In the off-seasons, most river cruise companies discount or waive their single-supplement charges entirely. There's no fee, for instance, on 17 different European itineraries with Avalon Waterways in early spring and late fall of this year, including April departures of the 10-night "Legendary Danube," which sails from Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest and is one of Avalon's most popular voyages ($3,049 per person).

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Bed & Breakfasts

Many European B&Bs have single rooms, and some smaller inns charge on a per-person basis. Take for example, the Bayberry House, a beachfront mansion in Galway, Ireland, where solo travelers pay $61 nightly for a private single room, while travelers sharing a double pay $48 each.

Japanese Inns

The rates at ryokans, Japan's traditional inns, are always assessed per person-whether a room is occupied by one, two or even four people. (One caveat: During Japan's peak travel seasons -- especially in March and April when the cherry blossoms bloom -- some ryokans may not accept single travelers.) Even better, certain ryokans specifically list single rooms, like Tokyo's Kimi Ryokan (singles from $55).

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Ocean Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line made news -- and many solo traveler fans -- last summer by debuting 128 studio cabins, reserved strictly for singles on its new Epic ship. The 100-square-foot rooms have full-size beds and streamlined wall units with closets, built-in sinks and flat-screen TVs. Rates start at less than $800 per cabin.

Group Tour

Tour operators such as Intrepid Travel and Gap Adventures offer to pair solo travelers with a same-sex roommate. Others will waive the single-supplement fee: Cosmos charges no fee for most of its tours this year in North America, Europe, and Africa, including a weeklong "Ontario & French Canada" trip ($1,149 per person).

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Club Med regularly rolls out promotions in which the single-supplement is discounted or waived entirely, especially during off-peak travel periods from late spring through late fall. Its oceanfront Turks and Caicos resort features frequent discounts: Double rooms that normally go for $270 are offered for as little as $180 to solo travelers.

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