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Interesting Situations or "Horror Stories" with Single Roommates?

I am excited about my first Rick Steves Tour this fall to Sicily. I opted to share a room versus the single suppliment. As an experienced independent European traveler I can't help but think about the risk of sharing a room with another tour member. My wife (or sons) and I normally travel together, but work is preventing her from traveling this year. So, she wants me to scout out the group tour concept on my own!
I'm outgoing with a sense of humor and not afraid to make new friends. With that said, there must be some great "roommate stories" out there?

Posted by
1449 posts

I have found all the people on the Rick Steves Tours to be friendly so probably no worries on that front. However on my last tour the guy I was assigned to room with snored terribly. In fact it was probably sleep apnea. Earplugs didn't block the sound, believe me I had them jammed in! By the end of the trip I was exhausted from not sleeping through the night. Oh my next trip I'm ponying up for the single supplement.

Posted by
440 posts

Snoring would be a problem but pack earplugs and eyemask. I am sure you will make some great friends. Enjoy your trip

Posted by
936 posts

Mike, do take the earplugs. On our tour we had a gentleman who snored so loudly that the next room was awakened. She was using earplugs too. The guide quit assigning her the room next door when she made him aware of the situation. You could get lucky and be the only single male on the tour!

Posted by
6699 posts

I may be wrong, but anecdotally, there don't seem to be a lot of single males traveling on RS tours. If they do, they're likely to take the single supplement. I'm thinking you'll luck out and not get a roommate, or you'll switch roommates (RS tours do this) in such a way that you'll get your own room every "n th" day. That's what happened to me on an 11-day trip (I had my own room every 3rd day or so). As far as stories go, who's going to rat out their former roommate on an RS forum? That's bad form. Truthfully, mine were great and so there's nothing interesting to report. The only downside, if any, was less sleep (not due to snoring, but due to hanging out and talking). I don't regret sharing a room at all, it turned out totally fine and saved me a lot of money.

Posted by
651 posts

Roommate risk is not acceptable on a trip this expensive. Single supplement every time.

Posted by
1932 posts

You didn't specifically ask for advice about whether or not you SHOULD book a single room but it seems in voicing your apprehension you were looking for some so...oh my gosh...I would pay the single supplement if you can at all make it work. $575 for that tour, which is a lot, but for me, I need a private place to unwind and a chance for a good night's sleep. The snoring would do me in and, perhaps it just speaks to my choice in mates, but men seem to snore;)

Posted by
61 posts

I have not paid the single supplement and was assigned a roommate on only one of four tours (not on either of the RS tours), so you might get lucky. The one roommate I did have was fascinating and pleasant.

Posted by
1173 posts

You may have more than one roommate, as the policy is that if there are three or more single ( men only of course room with men, same goes for women) men on the tour. Over the course of the tour you will be assigned a different roommate each leg of the trip. The only time you will have the same roommate is if there is only one other single man or on the week long tours.

I agree the biggest problem may be snoring. I went on one tour and the woman I roomed with I knew from another tour and after we booked then she told me she snores and boy did she. It did not help that she was drinking a lot on the tour and I found an empy wine bottle in the bathroom wastebin! I did not get much sleep on that tour, but some of the rooms had two rooms in it, so that was very helpful! But aside from her and her issues on that tour, I had the best time as I met other single woman to hang out with so in the end I was glad I went on that tour.

I met another woman on a tour and we decided to go on two more tours and she was the best roommate you could ever have!

Posted by
1068 posts

I have neither interesting nor horror stories to share. On several RS tours and those of other companies, I initially did not pay the single supplement and was rewarded with a private room. After an experience with a roommate, I now opt for the single supplement. A few years after that, I had the single supplement, I was on another tour which had two single males who roomed together. All I can say is that I am very glad I had the single. One of them would have been fine, but the other was cut from a different cloth. My feeling after taking many tours is that there are not a lot of single males seeking roommates and, for the most part, I am okay with not meeting friends that way.

Posted by
714 posts

I had a room mate on my first RS tour - hill towns of Italy and it worked well as we were very compatible. I have had an experience where I was to share a room for a few nights with someone who annoyed everyone on the trip, I was not looking forward to it but a lady who had paid a single supplement for her own room offered to share. Phew! Since then I have opted for the single supplement. I am unmarried and used to my own company and I find that after a day in the company of 20 others, however pleasant they are, I really do like to retreat to my own space, write my diary and chill. I can even think of good friends I wouldn't want to share with!

Posted by
4573 posts

I know that if I ever travel alone, I'll have to pay the single supplement. I think I would be a terrible roommate.

Let's see, let me count the ways.... I hate air conditioning. I hate television. When I sleep I want it dark and quiet. Unless the weather is terrible or the outside noise is horrible, I want the window open. And I don't want to talk to anybody first thing in the morning.

Other than that, I'm good company! You may send your sympathies to my long-suffering DH.

Posted by
3748 posts

I took the 1-week RS Paris trip one year when my hubby couldn't travel with me. I roomed with a younger woman and the experience was excellent. But, another set of women who were paired together (the trip is all one location/hotel, so we were paired for the entire trip) ended up moving to separate rooms & paying extra after 1-2 nights because of snoring & personalities.

Since you mention a sense of humor & openness to make new friends, you would probably enjoy skipping the single supplement.

Posted by
366 posts

I have done both shared rooms and paying the single supplement. I was lucky enough to be the only single on a 12 day tour so I got my own room. I have only had problems on the city tours where you have the same roommate all the time. One insisted on calling her boyfriend at midnight each night and stayed out late and woke me up to let her in the room. She refused to come back and get a key before going out for the night and another who snored so loud she woke me up even though I had earplugs in. In that case I moved to another room.

On the other hand one time there were only two single women and we had a great time as roommates.

But I do enjoy having a room to myself to relax at the end of the day so now I pay the single supplement.

Posted by
38 posts

I've travelled on 10 tours, eight of them as a single not paying the supplement. Twice I was the only single so I got a room to myself. Those were a tiny bit disappointing, even thought I will continue with some tales of roommates! On one tour, my roommate constantly got the one and only room key and disappeared. When we arrived at a new hotel I would have to wait until last and ask where the room was and if there was another key for me. She would also go out with the key. One night, I was actually locked out of my room for hours. The hotel (which will remain nameless and cityless) wouldn't/couldn't help me. That was bad and of course, our fearless guide was most apologetic the next day when he/she heard about it. Another roommate had her best friend on the tour. Her friend wanted a single, so had paid the supplement, so we roomed together. I can't really complain about her. She was perfectly fine and friendly, but the last night, she decided to room with her friend. Maybe I was the guilty party there- no idea what happened. 4 other trips the roommates were fine, fiendly, happy to hang out together. I will be doing it again in September.

Posted by
1920 posts

mrobin,
I'm curious which tour you will be on in Sept. I'm on the 8 Days in the Heart of Ireland tour and will have a roommate as I did not pay the single supplement. My friend I'm traveling with paid to have her own room so the RS office tells me I will have a roommate. I'm looking forward to it. I do have my fingers crossed that she does not snore! I had a roommate on my last tour - The Best of Rome in 7 Days - and it worked out well. She was a young college student and was quiet and easy to coordinate the wake up times with (we each had our own key). I always woke up earlier and went to breakfast before she woke up. Perfect!

Posted by
3460 posts

Been on 10 RS trips. Took the chance with roommates the first 4, and only had to share on 2 trips. Decided I would pay the single supplement because I am old and set in my ways. :-)

First trip where I had to share there were a total of 3 males so we had a different roommate every stop and had one stop with the room to myself. One of them snored terribly, confessing he uses a CPAP and forgot to bring it. The other one was apparently dragging his entire worldly possessions with him meaning there was little or no space for my one carry on bag of stuff. Both were very nice people, just not people I want to spend the night with.

Second trip I had to share it was with the assistant tour guide. He had work to do and was up till all hours of the night. I wanted to sleep. After only a couple nights, I paid for a separate room the rest of the trip.

I'm sure my roommates probably had complaints about me too.

So now I pay the supplement. And I still meet lots of people, many who I consider friends that I get to spend plenty of time with on the tours. It does mean I get the smallest, hardest to get to, usually top floor in the hotels without elevators, room on many nights. This is something you have to realize -- paying the single supplement does NOT get you a double room it just means you have a room alone. But at least I can turn the lights out when I am ready and sleep as late as I want (as long as I get to the bus on time) and not worry that someone will be in my shower.

Posted by
11 posts

Judy B,
I'll bet we are roommates on the Heart of Ireland tour, and I'm excited to meet you. BTW, I don't snore. See you soom

Posted by
31271 posts

Mike,

I haven't personally experienced any problems on tours, but have observed experiences by other people who had "difficult" room mates. Consequently I've chosen to pay the single supplement on most of my tours. I suppose I'm like Mark in that I'm "old and set in my ways".

Posted by
1920 posts

Hi Jeanne,
I called the RS office and they confirmed we will be roommates. To allay your possible concern about privacy, I said that we had met on the Travel forum and discovered we are on the same tour. I then mentioned "Jeanne from Pa."and she told me we would be roommates.
I'm relieved to hear you do not snore...I don't snore either!

I wrote you a PM.
I'm looking forward to meeting you, too. It will be a wonderful trip.

Posted by
52 posts

Thank you to everyone for your feedback and insights. After reading Jane's funny comments I now fear for those who might have to room with me...just kidding! However, I don't snore.
My wife (who cannot make this trip) is now reading the thread and looking forward to a RS tour. I'm worried she might opt for the single suppliment.

Posted by
3460 posts

One additional vote for the single supplement: many hotels and B&B still have only one key per room! So either both of you have to come and go together, or if the early arriver has the key they have to stay awake or get woken when the later roommate arrives, or if the keyless one gets there first they have to wait to get let in.

While this has improved over the years with the more recently updated hotels having the key card entry systems allowing as many keys per room as needed, you still find plenty of hotels and B&Bs, especially out in the less populated areas with the single key per room.

Posted by
31271 posts

"many hotels and B&B still have only one key per room! So either both of you have to come and go together, or if the early arriver has the key they have to stay awake or get woken when the later roommate arrives, or if the keyless one gets there first they have to wait to get let in."

Given the fact that it's the custom at many European hotels to leave the key at the front desk when going out, that's not a huge problem. If the first person back to the room has to wake up briefly to let the room mate in, that goes with the territory. With two people sharing a room on a tour, there are always a few "minor adjustments" to be made.