He travels faster who travels alone ,” writes
Should we add that it also pays more?
Designed primarily for couples, friends and families, the world of tourism often puts aside those who prefer to go alone.
This is what Fanny, 30, saw when she wanted to prepare a stay in Zanzibar (Tanzania) this summer: "
For a 10-day trip, an agency established an estimate of
€3,500 for a person , while for two people, the same stay is offered at 4000
That is double the budget she had set herself.
To find a better deal, she asks for a quote from half a dozen agencies.
Same result: leaving alone costs her almost as much as leaving in pairs.
I am doubly penalized because I have to take my holidays only in July-August, when traveling is more expensive.
And I absolutely want to go alone
, ”regrets this specialized educator who will rather be heading for Europe this summer.
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This is an example of the “injustice” faced by solo travellers.
Going alone costs 53% more than as a couple or family, according to a study by the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir published in 2019. One item of expenditure particularly weighs down the budget: accommodation.
Hotels, holiday residences, bed and breakfasts... The accommodations are most often designed for two people, or even families of four.
When he stays there alone, a traveler therefore pays for the place left vacant, what is called in tour operator jargon the “single supplement”.
Most booking sites don't make it easy.
On Booking.com, the search engine is set to two people by default.
If it is possible to choose the type of accommodation, impossible to select the type of room (single, double...) desired.
You have to go through the results one by one to find out if an accommodation has a single room.
There remains the solution of shared rooms in a youth hostel, more economical but less intimate.
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Accommodation is far from the only obstacle encountered.
In the restaurant, when the shot is fired, it is not uncommon for a guest to be refused even if there are one or two free tables.
The reason is simple: unless you sit at the counter (if there is one), a single person only half occupies a table of two.
In addition, it is sometimes complicated to book an excursion, most agencies requiring at least two participants.
To ensure their profitability, giving up a client can be a necessary evil, even if it may seem discriminating.
In the eyes of a hotelier or restaurateur, a person who travels alone is necessarily on a business trip.
It is therefore perceived, often wrongly, as having more purchasing power than a family
”, observes Luc Béal, teacher-researcher at Excelia Tourism School, in La Rochelle.
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This price difference constitutes an obstacle at the start, as can be, for example, the fear of feeling insecure.
Nearly a third of travelers (30%) are looking to get away alone this year, mainly to "
take time for themselves
", according to a study by flight comparator Skyscanner.
What to concert a Kayak study which observed an astonishing trend during the last end-of-year celebrations: more and more people preferred to roam on the other side of the world than to celebrate Christmas Eve with their family.
Introspection, flexibility in departure dates, freedom to improvise your stay without compromise... So many advantages highlighted by these travellers.
Tour operators are finally interested in solos
To meet the needs of this clientele, a few agencies have specialized in 100% solo stays, such as Les Aventureurs (for 25-45 year olds) and Copines de Voyage (for women only).
To reduce accommodation costs, participants are encouraged to share their room with another member of the group.
Participating in an organized stay also allows you to benefit from preferential group rates on flights, which further reduces the bill
,” explains Olivier Masselis, co-founder of the company Hello Travel, which brings together these two brands.
On the same principle, the Les Covoyageurs agency organizes group stays between solo travelers or between fathers and mothers of single-parent families.
Among the cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line was the first, in 2010, to have fitted out individual cabins on board its ships, as well as lounges reserved for solo travellers.
On some cruises, she promises them a fare lower than the double fare.
Turnaround: it's the couples' turn to pay a “duo supplement”!
Firstly because there are more and more individual cabins available on recent ships, but also because the overcharges applied to these passengers are now the subject of competition between the companies.
Others have followed suit, such as Hurtigruten and Ponant, which do not charge the individual supplement on a selection of departures and a limited number of cabins.
Another choice, in the cruise catalog of
In terms of accommodation, new hostel brands
as Jo&Joe, The People or Generator are aimed at a young, urban clientele visiting major European cities on their own.
Halfway between youth hostels and traditional hotels, these hybrid establishments have both shared rooms, single rooms and even Japanese-style “capsules”, as well as convivial spaces to encourage meetings.
What to leave the choice, according to its desires and its budget.