12th Aug 2016
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Does travelling solo have to cost the earth?
Does travelling solo have to cost the earth?

Ray has recently retired and is looking to spend this years Christmas holiday somewhere in Asia. But because he is travelling alone he thinks having to pay the single supplement may make the cost too inhibitive.

Q. Having recently retired, I am interested in a holiday this Christmas somewhere in Asia. For the first time I will be a solo traveller and find the cost somewhat inhibitive because of the single supplement. Guess there is little one can do about this, either pay the premium or decide not to travel.

A. Hello Ray. Travelling does not necessarily mean spending a kings ransom. There are a few  alternatives we can suggest.

Solo travel – Asia
Asia is one of the most fascinating continents to visit but when faced with going there alone, many people would have second thoughts. Travel IndoChina arranges small group tours, with numbers varying between 12 and 18, to all areas of Asia. Cambodia, India, Japan and Vietnam are just some of the countries of which you can enjoy a flavour. Travel Indo China also offers a ‘willing to share’ option, where, if you are happy to share with someone, you don’t pay a single supplement. And the bonus is that if no one is available to share, you get a room to yourself with no supplement.

For more details, visit travelindochine.com.au

Solo travellers club
Many travel agencies have responded to the need for affordable solo travel deals by forming solo travellers clubs. Through such clubs you can meet like-minded travel companions before you head off on a trip, suggest places to visit and find someone to share with, thus avoiding single supplements. Seniors Holiday Travel is one such agency which has formed a club and there are planned trips to Egypt and Italy next year.

For more details, visit seniorsholidaytravel.com.au

Houseswapping
If you are looking for truly free accommodation, and you own your own home, you may wish to look into house-swapping. This involves using a company to match you up with a homeowner in another country. Both homeowners co-ordinate their travel and, quite literally, swap houses for an agreed period of time. It can be a great way to experience new places as a local might. Why not take a look at the HomeLink website to learn more?

The Couchsurfing website services millions of members in more than 230 countries and territories worldwide. It offers contacts for locals who are happy to have you stay, travellers seeking companions and lots of low cost or free events. It’s a community benefit site and we highly recommend you check it out.

Formerly published as Does travelling solo have to cost the earth?

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    COMMENTS

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    Pamiea
    16th Aug 2016
    2:57pm
    Hi Ray
    if you are going to Bali you may wish to stay at Champlung Mas in Legian. I am a single traveller and found this hotel to be very clean, large room and whilst the aircon is not the best its ok. Central to lots of areas. I think I paid the equivalent of around $32 per night.
    KSS
    17th Aug 2016
    12:37pm
    Just do a bit of research on the interweb! You do NOT pay the single supplement on flights and many hotels these days charge by the room not the person. Of course it depends on what you want to do and where e.g. are you going as an independent traveller or joining a group tour. Personally I would not want to be paired up with a stranger just to avoid the single supplement how ever fair/unfair it may be.
    Dreamer
    17th Aug 2016
    12:54pm
    Plan your own holiday. Research. Checkout itineraries recommended by other travellers. Book your airfares to wherever you want to go, Malaysia, Vietnam? Book your accommodation. Airbnb has hosts everywhere.
    bandy
    18th Aug 2016
    4:38pm
    Ray my advice for you would be start in Vietnam(Ho Chi Minh city)pre book a room & spend a couple of days to get the feel of the place,then when your ready you can book bus trips airflights through the hotel or your self. I've spent many a Christmas in Asia Saigon really gets into it,and it can be an exciting experience.
    Rob
    19th Aug 2016
    2:14am
    Choose a cheap country like Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka. Indonesia is also quite cheap. Singapore, Japan and Korea are much more expensive.

    Travel in the off season. Christmas is the most expensive time of the year.

    Use budget airlines, like Air Asia, Jetstar. When booking, be flexible on your dates and time of day. Most websites will give you the lowest prices for several days around your travel date. By changing your dates by just a few days may halve your airline cost.
    Use a web site like Bookings.com for your accommodation. After you give dates, and place you want to stay, you will be given many choices, and generally there will be very expensive ones shown first. You should click to say you want the hotels sorted with the lowest cost first.Start looking at this.When you see a place that looks possible, click on it and you will get a lot of details. Check the map on the site to see where the hotel is. Look at several places. A lot of places are expensive because they have a lot of things that you do not need. Air conditioning adds a lot of cost.
    When I choose a room, I want private bathroom, fan (not AC), wifi and location. Generally anything else for me is not required although some things are good.

    Outside big cities, I would expect to pay
    Indonesia under $A20
    Thailand under $A15
    Sri Lanka under $A20
    India is quite variable but last time, I was there,most were $A10 to 20
    Cambodia under $A15
    Laos under $A15
    Viet Nam under $A15

    Some of these places may have AC, cable TV, hot water,breakfast,but some may not include any of these features. If you pay more,you may get them.
    Generally,if you book your accommodation through a travel agent,they will have much higher costs,although some places may be better than what I have indicated.
    Most of my places are modern and fairly clean, although they are variable. The web sites usually have customer comments that are objective.Some points that are quite negative may be important for you or they may not be.
    Many places that I stay at are small and owned and operated by a family and mostly the family is friendly. Knowledge of English is variable, so as an inexperienced,look for comments on this.

    When you are budget traveling, be patient. When you want to rudely complain,do not do this. Be polite. Asian culture puts a lot of importance on people not losing face.
    When things go wrong sit back and see how the locals react. This is part of the experience of travel. When the bus unexpectedly leaves late by halfan hour, you will generally see that the locals,just sit back and enjoy the opportunity to talk with their companion or look at their mobile phone


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