Please sign in to post.

Single Travelers

Planning on my first RS tour next year! So excited! Wondering about traveling solo though. Has anyone had any issues with being paired up with a roommate for the trip? How are the roommates selected? RS staff, what if there are no other singles on the tour?

Posted by
11450 posts

There is lots posted on this , concensus is it usually works out fine and they will rotate roommates so you may not get stuck with one in particular, although I am sure if you find someone you click with they would keep u together. I suppose its a crap shoot though... Many pay the single supplement to avoid any risk.

Good luck, you will have fun on the tour anyways I am sure

Posted by
8009 posts

I've been on 2 RS tours, am set to leave next week for another one and paid the single supplement for all. On the RS tours I would have been happy being paired up with any of the other solo women, but I need some privacy at the end of the day. I like to go to bed early and get up early! I have also done a couple of Road Scholar tours, again paid the single supplement and would NOT have been happy being paired with some of the solo women on those tours.

If there are no other solos on the tour you wind up with a private room. Do be aware that in some areas the single rooms are very tiny. On both of my Rick Steves tours I had a combination of both very small single rooms and regular sized double rooms, but really it didn't matter as I did not spend much time in them!

Have a wonderful time on your tour!

Posted by
16817 posts

Hi, Kathy. Pam's description is correct. The single rooms in various hotels may be small, or on a higher floor, or otherwise different from the double/twin rooms, but they will be all yours. Our tours pretty often include pairs of women traveling together, and those pairs don't mix in with any true singles. It's also not unusual to have other singles, but never definite until departure, since people may change their plans. If there is one other single woman who has not requested a single supplement, then you would always room with her. If there are two or more, then your guide would rotate the room-sharing assignments at each city stop (and you may get a single occasionally if there is an odd number of single women). If there is no other single woman, or just one who has paid the single supplement, then you will get a single room by default, at no extra charge. We look forward to having you on the tour!

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks for the replies! I think I will choose not to pay the supplemental amount and see how it works out. If roommates rotate then it should be ok. Also there's a chance for the occasional private room without having to pay extra. I think I'll go for it. One last question, with roommates will we have separate hotel safes? Trying to think of everything... Thanks!

Posted by
8009 posts

I have only ever seen 1 safe in a hotel room.

Posted by
40 posts

Try it out and see how you like having a roommate. I have been on five RS tours and had roommates three times. My first roommate was great and we really bonded. The other two were not as pleasant. Now I use my discount and purchase a single supplement for my trips. That way I can leave all my cosmetics in the bathroom and keep the room as cool as I want at night. Also, I don't feel obligated to spend all my time with a roommate. There are always interesting people on the tours and I like making new friends.

Posted by
113 posts

Kathy,

I am leaving in two weeks as a single traveler on a RS tour and I have not paid the single supplement. This will be the first of any tour where I may have to share. I am just going to wing and see what happens. I have seen our list of tour members and see one other single women so I will let you know how that goes when I return.
I have taken tours with other companies and you are required to pay the single supplement when traveling alone, so I wanted to say some money on this tour. How long are you really in your room anyway.
The single rooms on most tours are small rooms, often face the back of the hotel, alley, or garbage cans from the kitchen.

If the other woman on my tour paid the single supplement, then I will have room of my own because that is what the RS room mate policy states.

Posted by
318 posts

I have been on eight RS tours solo. I have chosen not to pay the single supplement. I have had to share a room on only two of the tours. Both times my roommate and I got along well and had no issues. On one tour I was the only single female and got a room of my own. The other five tours, I was lucky enough to get my own room without paying a supplement because the other single women had paid for the supplement. As others have mentioned, you will likely spend very little time in the hotel room. The only sacrifice you may have to make is to wake up a little early to take a shower and use the bathroom before your roommate. If you do get a roommate and things don't work out, you can always ask the guide to try to get you a single room and you will be responsible for paying the extra cost. Also, if there are multiple single women on the tour, you will most likely rotate. However, if two particular people get along well and want to keep rooming together, the guide will accommodate that request. That's what happened on one of the tours.

Posted by
162 posts

Hello there. Im a single MALE traveler and Ive never been on a tour (RS or otherwise) but Im thinking about it. Are there ever any single men on these tours? If I did go on one, I think Id be better off paying the extra to go it alone, but Id be willing to pair up with another guy to save some money if I absolutely had to.

Posted by
2258 posts

I have been on two RS tours in Italy as a single male traveler, on the My Way Italy tour in 2013 and the Sicily tour in 2014, both great experiences. In both cases I was the only single male traveler. There were a few single female travelers on each tour. There were also a couple pairs of single men or single women traveling and rooming together, friends or couples, I didn't know or care which. I never felt out of place in the group, was friendly with everybody, enjoyed our group activities and meals, liked having two seats on the bus to myself. There was never anyone I did not like or enjoy, but also I often made no special or lasting bonds. During free time, I often went off on my own, sometimes with one, or two, or a few others. Certainly in those cases, any decision-making was simpler when I was off on my own, but then mealtime was less a special event. I would not hesitate, and would likely not pay the single supplement. I think not too many guys take tours on their own. As for the question about hotel safes, I have never bothered to use one, and think locking any valuables in my suitcase is even more safe, but of all the problems I can imagine confronting on a trip, I think that the possibility that another RS tour member would steal my money or stuff is about the least likely of all. I also cannot imagine that a hotel would have two separate safes in a double room. I hope some of that is useful to someone.

Posted by
1520 posts

All prior advice is solid. I've done 4 tours solo and did not pay the single supplement on any of them. First tour there were just two single women so we were paired up the whole trip (it was not a great match, but we did our best). Second tour there were 10 singles - three sets traveling together, and four of us that rotated roommates each tour stop (worked great). Third tour there were 3 singles and we got a "solo" room every third stop. Two of us got along great, the third was...well, let's just say we were glad the trip was over. Fourth tour there were four singles, three paid the supplement so I got a solo room by default (though I could have roomed with any of the three and we'd have got along great). I've only ever had three single guys on a tour - one roomed with a (girl)friend, and the other two on the same tour and they each paid the supplement.

Since you never know who will sign up, here's what I would consider as you decide whether the supplement is worth the cost. Are you flexible in your daily routine? Can you put aside your personal preferences and accept you'll be sharing space, sometimes close quarters? How well do you compromise? Have you ever traveled solo? Do you get along with most people at work/social situations? Do you need "personal space"?

For me, as I get older I find that I need quiet at the end of my day, room to stretch out (in my undies, if that's what I feel like), and not feel obligated to be on my best behavior with someone I just met. So in the future, I'll either bring my own travel buddy (who doesn't mind my eccentricities) or pay the supplement. That said, my first couple of trips it was nice to have a roommate to visit with and sometimes do things with (though, please do NOT assume your roommate wants to do everything with you - it is polite to ask/invite but not assume you're matched for all eternity).

Good luck with your decision making. Send me a PM if you want more info.

Posted by
103 posts

It's a roll of the dice. I definitely want my quiet time and personal space so I pay the supplement. I realize there are times when I wouldh've had a single room (without paying a supplement) as other singles were traveling together. But I don't want to chance not having my own room.

The rest of the time you're with people so this works for me as a solo traveler. I have heard all kinds of stories, both good and not so good. You know your needs best. Go with your gut.

Posted by
1 posts

I've been on 6 RS tours, and only once did I pay the single supplement. It's a lot of money, maybe $700. Think of all the fun you can have with $700! I'd much rather deal with the minor annoyances and save my money. Is it really so bad to share counter space? Wear earplugs to bed? But that said, I've had mostly great experiences with roommates. RS tours seem to self-select like minded travelers. Especially if you rotate, you get to know more members of the group, and it makes me feel more social and more engaged with the group. In free time, I do my own thing - I don't hang out exclusively with my roomie or necessarily go to meals with them. I figure that everyone likes some time on their own - when I sit on my bed and open a book to show I want to read instead of chatting, my roommate is probably happy to have some quiet time herself.

Posted by
639 posts

I'm spending a lot of money for the tour and flight. Roommate risk is a risk I'm not willing to take. Single supplement is sanity insurance. Just my $0.02.

Posted by
31218 posts

Kathy,

I've taken seven RS tours so far and didn't pay the single supplement on the first couple. As it turned out, there were no other single males, so I got my own room. After seeing some of the "experiences" that a few of the ladies in the group had with their room mates on various tours, I decided to pay the supplement for the remainder of my tours.

I stay in Hostels on occasion so I'm used to "communal living", but on a tour I prefer to have my own space.