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  1. #1

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    Buying tickets as single or couple

    I have noticed that sites like Hotwire list ticket prices as 'for two' but in bold letters they show half the price as 'per person'. I find that rather misleading.

    I think it's the same way with cruise companies or vacation packages. They rarely list rates for ONE person.

    What happens if you are traveling alone, which is my case most of the time? Do they charge substantially more for that single person (or even the double)? Usually I just book the airline ticket, hotel, tours ticket, etc. independently/separately, but it seems the package rates are lower, at least what they list. The hotel should not make much of a difference but the airline tickets (1 vs. 2) would.

    Anyone has experience with these packages, while traveling alone? I would not want to pay for two when only one person is traveling.

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    I'm confused about the cruise question - we are going on a cruise next month. The price we were quoted was for per person There did not seem to be a discount for reserving for two in the same room. I just checked on the cruise line - the price per person was the same whether you were a single person in the cabin or a couple in a cabin.

    We chose to do airline tickets separate from the cruise line package as it was way cheaper to do that as well as obtaining a hotel room the night before the cruise than through their package.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    What happens if you are traveling alone, which is my case most of the time? Do they charge substantially more for that single person (or even the double)? Usually I just book the airline ticket, hotel, tours ticket, etc. independently/separately, but it seems the package rates are lower, at least what they list. The hotel should not make much of a difference but the airline tickets (1 vs. 2) would.
    Try to buy a single ticket--you will get a price before you buy. Check it against the advertised price for two and see if it's more than half.

    Otherwise, I don't know how you would ever know, as I would think companies vary in the way they price and so someone's personal experience wouldn't give you a definitive answer.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    I always look in the small print for the words single supplement. A lot of times tour operators will quote prices based on double occupancy, and if you're single, you get to pay more. Not sure if this applies to cruise lines, as I've never been on one, but it does apply to a lot of hotels.

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    Like Katie says--look for "single supplement." I payed probably ca. $200 more than the list for the cabin on QM2 because I was traveling alone. On the one hand, I understand--if there were TWO people, they'd be getting $4000 (rounding here), so they're losing an entire fare. OTOH, it's really, really annoying for someone who travels alone. I mean, you get penalized for taxes for being single, do you have to get penalized while traveling, too?

    At least with Cunard, you can always call and just ask before booking. I'm sure other cruise companies work the same way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Try to buy a single ticket--you will get a price before you buy. Check it against the advertised price for two and see if it's more than half.

    Otherwise, I don't know how you would ever know, as I would think companies vary in the way they price and so someone's personal experience wouldn't give you a definitive answer.
    I did enter '1' in the ticket and still it gave me price for a couple; that's why it's so frustrating. Why can't they simply list a price for one person when I am asking for ONE ticket?

    I am not really interested in a cruise. It is a simple fly/hotel/sightseeing type trip I am looking at. I just used cruise as an example (in addition to a regular trip that has air + hotel together).

  7. #7

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    Most hotels charge by the room, although they do restrict the number of people who can share the room. In Portland I would have paid the same for the room whether I was by myself or with a friend. However I went with my sisters & the hotel charged something like $20 a day for the 3rd person. Most cruises say they charge per person but a single pays more than a couple does per person because a couple is only taking up one room.

    However, when you're using a site like Hotwire & you put in "1", there is no confusion about the price. Their system knows there isn't going to be double occupancy so it prices accordingly.

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    I don't think I've ever had a hotel single-supplement. Or airlines. I also use AAA a lot which does change the price. At dance comps where I wind up sharing rooms it's been the same rate I'd have paid alone as they're just using the room.

    In fact, I'm not 100% sure Amtrak single-supplements in the sleepers, even...I've never shared a roommette where I was paying (as opposed to traveling with my Mom or something as a kid) and I don't recall the ticket fare being different, a butt in a seat was a butt in a seat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I am not really interested in a cruise. It is a simple fly/hotel/sightseeing type trip I am looking at. I just used cruise as an example (in addition to a regular trip that has air + hotel together).
    Both package tour companies and online travel agencies tend to price everything based on couples because that's how the vast majority of their customers travel. It's just easier for them to base all their pricing -- and advertising -- on that baseline.

    I tend to book air and hotel separately, and then arrange sightseeing when I get there, and the "single" issue doesn't come up that way. I've never found much of a discount when I buy a "package" so there doesn't seem to be any point going that route.

    If you do want a tour package (with one group that does all the hotel bookings, takes you from point A to B to C etc.), there are a couple of tour companies that don't charge single supplement. Intrepid and their partner company G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures) is one such outfit, and I can't recommend them highly enough. I love their philosophy of travel (minimal footprint, using local-owned businesses, off-the-beaten-track stuff, small groups). and I've done 4 trips with them that have all been amaing. However if there's another single of the same sex on the tour they will pair you up in the same room, but that's proved to be a lot of fun whenever I've done it. Not for everyone though, obviously.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I did enter '1' in the ticket and still it gave me price for a couple; that's why it's so frustrating. Why can't they simply list a price for one person when I am asking for ONE ticket?

    .
    Because their internal options/filters are crap probably. When searching for hotels in Mexico for 3 people, 2 adults, 1 kid all the sites gave me options for adult only resorts and hotels...

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