If tour operators and cruise lines are having trouble filling slots in the near future, solo travelers may have luck in getting the awful, horrible (the word "dreaded" has become overused) solo supplement waived or lowered. So says Budget Travel at CNN.com.
I've written here before about the single supplement but I like to return to the topic any time I find useful tips I haven't touched on before. And sometimes to repeat tips for new readers who may not have gotten to all my previous posts. (What? Get crackin'! You still have 158 posts to go...)
A summary of some Budget Travel tips:
As in six months in advance. Some companies waive the supplement for the first few people who sign up.
Wait until the last minute.
Hm. "But didn't you just said to 'book early?' " Yes, well, the closer to the trip it gets, the more likely a tour operator is to cut deals, if it's a choice between leaving a spot unused versus cutting a solo traveler some slack.
Sob stories are good. Being friendly can work too. Small operators usually have more flexibility to offer deals that large ones.
This one's a no-brainer.
Develop a relationship with a travel agent.
If you're a regular cruiser, for instance, an agent who knows you can give you a heads up when there's a deal to be had.
Use a European operator
Europeans are not as accepting of the lousy, rotten (but not dreaded) single supplement. And they're more cost-conscious overall. Companies that cater to them take that into account.
The problem I see for Americans is that the weak dollar may make such trips more expensive overall than an American-based trip. Even when a single supplement is charged. So tread carefully.
Photos: Ellen Perlman. Snow carving festival, Jackson, New Hampshire. A fabulous cross country center.
Meant to inspire you to plan a winter getaway - either TO the snow or AWAY from it.