Solo travellers paying almost 90% more than couples for holidays, study finds

There’s less choice for those holidaying alone too  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
There’s less choice for those holidaying alone too (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Solo travellers are paying almost 90 per cent more than couples when booking holidays abroad and in the UK, according to new research.

A study conducted by consumer choice brand Which? found that this discrepancy occurs even when travellers opt for a smaller room designed for single occupancy and on all-inclusive trips.

Which? also noted that solo holidaymakers have far less choice than couples when choosing a holiday.

The Which? research analysed thousands of package holiday deals from Jet2holidays and Tui, the UK’s largest tour operators.

It focused on popular destinations including Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

Findings show that, on average, a solo holidaymaker travelling with Tui could be facing costs that are 47 per cent higher than someone heading away as part of a pair. The standard cost for a solo traveller came out at £1,147, compared to £781 per person for two people.

Those travelling alone with Jet2holidays were looking to pay 36 per cent more on average than a couple. Solo holidaymakers paid £1,320 on average for a week away, compared to £970 each for a couple.

One Tui example highlighted by Which? was an all-inclusive trip to Majorca in June. When investigating the cost differences, Which? was quoted £840 per person based on two people sharing, with an upgrade to a larger room also offered for the same price.

In comparison, a holidaymaker travelling alone would be charged 70 per cent more, with the cost coming to £1,448 for the same package and without any upgrade offered.

The biggest price difference spotted was for a Mediterranean cruise with P&O, which would cost 87 per cent more to occupy a single occupancy cabin when compared with two people sharing a larger double room

The holiday is set to depart in May 2023, and Which? was told it would cost £749 per person for a couple, including flights. A single traveller would have to pay £1,198 for the same trip, 37 per cent more; however, this figure increased by an extra £200 if they selected a smaller single occupancy room.

Abta - The Travel Association recently reported that 11 per cent of travellers headed on holiday alone between August 2021-August 2022.

Deputy Editor of Which? Travel, Jo Rhodes, said: “Single supplements are a common expense faced by solo travellers, and are often used to cover the cost of one person occupying a room intended for double occupancy. However, our research has found solo travellers routinely paying over the odds, even for smaller, single rooms.”

In terms of package holiday choice for solo travellers, it was determined that there are 10 per cent fewer options made available by Tui and 20 per cent fewer from Jet2.

“With inconsistent pricing across the industry, solo travellers can very easily miss out on the best prices,” said Ms Rhodes.

“If you are planning a trip, make sure to shop around and wherever possible look for companies that waive single supplements.”