Some GTOs have actually found a positive side to encouraging their members to share a room.

GTO Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor.

Chris Taylor, Wey Valley Theatre and Travel Club, said: “On the holidays I ran, I aim to put ladies who have asked for single rooms, together in the same room. A few insist that they are happy to pay the single supplement, but many are pleased to be ditching the extra money required and thus spending less on the holiday.

She said it has worked from the very first holiday she ran to German Christmas markets back in 2008. Chris explained: “I emailed the two ladies who had asked for single rooms to find out if they would consider sharing because of the cost of the supplement and because the hotel was only able to allocate us one single room.

Christine Taylor's Italy holiday

Some of Chris’ group in Pompeii, Italy. 

“They both said they would consider it and so I sent them each other’s contact details and suggested they meet for a coffee before deciding. Luckily, the tactic worked; the ladies met, decided they could get on with each other for a few days and that was that.”

Now whenever Chris advertises a holiday she always says that there will almost certainly be those travelling alone who may wish to join forces to beat the supplement.

“A few insist that they are happy to pay the single supplement, but many are pleased to be ditching the extra money required and thus spending less on the holiday.”

GTO Chris Taylor

She explained: “It works very well indeed. In fact, I can think of at least four pairs of ladies who didn’t know each other previously but shared a room on a holiday and who now are firm friends, and book together on theatre trips and day trips where single supplements don’t even need to be considered.

“This system only works well, however, if the tour operator agrees to bill the ladies separately and then send the holiday information to each address.

“The single supplement can be a difficult situation to overcome. It is understandable from the hotel’s viewpoint as of course they would prefer to have rooms with two paying guests rather than one, but it is a dilemma.”

GTO Gwen Wright and her group on their Agean to Ionian Seas holiday

Source: John Wright

GTO Gwen Wright said some of her members do arrange to share rooms to reduce costs, particularly as single room bookings fly off the shelf. 

Gwen Wright, the Arts Society (Cranleigh branch) finds that bookings for single rooms fly off the shelves and are generally full in one day. She said: “The extra cost does not seem a huge problem as people do value privacy but others do arrange to share with friends to reduce costs.”

Others have looked at spreading the cost across the whole group. Roger Tacq, Huntingdon U3A, said he has a large percentage of ladies who want a room of their own.

He told us: “I always specify that we want about 16 singles with as low a charge as possible, even if it means increasing the price for the remaining passengers in order to get the single supplement lower. This has generally worked.”