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Solo traveler

I will be doing BOE 14 days in September as a solo traveler. Given the changes in bus seating and other COVID changes... are they still rooming two solo travelers together? Or separate (not wearing masks in your own hotel room)? Has anyone run into this?

Posted by
1381 posts

You'll have to contact the office to find out for certain, but if you haven't paid for the single supplement I would think you will be sharing, depending on what other singles are on the tour.

Posted by
7257 posts

I would ask the officials you paid at Rick Steves also. Most here on the forum are DIY tourists that just use the guidebooks and ask for clarification, itinerary, hotel restaurant recommendations and how to get around on public transportation help.

Posted by
5508 posts

That is a great question which I had not thought about since I always pay the single supplement. I would encourage you to call the office and ask. My guess would be that there is still the option of rooming with someone and masks are not required in the room, but only the tour office can tell you for sure.

If you find that possibility uncomfortable, then the single supplement might be an option to consider.

Posted by
1236 posts

If you are afraid of (not)masking, I would definitely get the single supplement as many people have a different idea of if and when to mask. Peace of mind is worth the $$.

Posted by
12 posts

So pre COVID was pre-COVID and people would rotate on the bus. And if there were say 4 single ladies they would rotate pairs between hotels. I definitely don't see that happening - The same pairs would stay together unless there was a reason. However, to extending the same thinking, (and with smaller groups) would RS tours just separate everyone regardless of supplements? That's what I thinking, wondering if anyone fell into this situation or had happened on a tour they were on.

Posted by
4590 posts

When I took one of the RS tours several years ago, I just roomed with a person and didn’t pay the single supplement. I would assume that any solo traveler will be paired with another person unless they pay the single supplement price since the cost of a solo room is more than the cost of half of a double room. The tour could probably still justify that plan because everyone on the tour has a Covid test pre-tour.

I had a single supplement reserved for the RS Best of the Adriatic tour this year, but we decided to both go next year, instead, so I can’t give a definitive answer.

Posted by
5508 posts

Regarding the single supplement. Sometimes a person who has not paid for a single supplement gets the benefit of one anyway. For example, if there is only one solo traveler of a gender, they will have their own room. The other example would be if every other solo traveler paid the single supplement and you did not, you will still end up with your own room.

You do raise some interesting questions. Do let us know what the RS tours office says after you speak with them.

Posted by
60 posts

If you are concerned, I would call and see if you could still pay for a single supplement. They may still be available for your tour. I am a solo traveler on the Southern England tour in June. I paid for the single supplement because I wanted the peace of mind knowing that I would have a room to myself. I assumed that they would be rooming solo travelers together or they would have required ALL solo travelers to pay the single supplement. I hope it all works out for you. Enjoy your trip!!

Posted by
1677 posts

I agree the tour office is going to have the best info. But I'm guessing there haven't been enough tours yet this year to have answers to your question. Given the size of tours generally, if the RS office had changed policy about singles sharing rooms they would have required everyone to pay the single supplement.

As an aside, I've done 4 RS tours as single and never paid the supplement. One tour I had the same roommate the whole time because we were the only two singles. Another we rotated between three of us so every third stop I had my own room. On my Ireland tour there were six singles that rotated sharing. On the last tour I got my own room because all the other singles paid the supplement. (FWIW, if I do another tour I'll pay the supplement or travel with a known companion)

Posted by
12 posts

For anyone find this tread later. I did call the office.

They are still planning on rooming singles together and rotating pairs at each hotel if there are more than 3 solo people same gender.

Posted by
201 posts

Good question, but here is my two cents. I booked as a solo traveler on an upcoming Loire Valley tour in the fall and paid the single supplement because I definitely do not want to room with anyone, COVID or not. It's worth every penny! I did this for the Germany Austria Switzerland tour in 2019 and I'm so glad I did. It's good to have solace when you spend so much time with the same group of people for 2 weeks. 😉

Posted by
1666 posts

Jill, when are you on the South of France tour? I’m on it Sept 11-23. As a solo traveler for the first time this trip, it’s well worth the extra money for a single room even without Covid. I like my quiet time and routine. It can be difficult at times to room with a friend. I can’t imagine rooming with a stranger.

Posted by
88 posts

I always travel solo and always get my own room--I would never share. I need my quiet time and I get up VERY early and most others do not. It is nice to have the room in tiny European rooms to have the extra space as well.

Posted by
201 posts

@horsewoofie. I'm doing the 9/25-10/7 tour, so we will just miss each other! I totally agree with your point of view. I can be an extrovert but I do need my alone time at the end of the day. Plus it gives me time to do my laundry, not have to worry about having the room a certain way, I can blog, Etc.

I also snore. Lol

Posted by
5508 posts

@jzellers
I think you made a good decision. You are investing a significant amount of money on your tour and investing this bit more will help insure that you have a great time both day and night.

Posted by
772 posts

I did add the single room. I think I'll enjoy it more... plus I snore.

I think you did the right thing. Both for yourself and for the other singles on the tour.

I went as a single on RS tours and everyone I was assigned to room with were great people. However the 2nd time the guy I was rooming with was a very heavy snorer. It would wake me up and by the end of the tour I was more tired than at the start! In the future I'm paying the single supplement.

Posted by
22 posts

My first two RS Tours were city tours, and I didn't pay the single supplement because 1) I wanted to save money, and 2) I didn't go away to college or have a sister so I didn't have any roommate experience. First tour/roommate and I did fine. We worked out a shower schedule and otherwise kept to ourselves. No bonding but no problems, either. Second tour/roommate was "different". Nothing too out there but odd enough that that was the last time I didn't pay the single supplement.

As a side note, on my first RS Tour another tour member who didn't pay the single supplement really hit the jackpot as she got a huge room all to herself, and since it was a city tour she was set for the whole week!

Posted by
71 posts

I thought about this a bit too late....the trip has always seemed so far away!!! it appears I'll be sharing on the VFR tour the end of this month. I will have had my 4th shot by then but I am immunocompromised. Sharing a space, for hours over night, without a mask is making me a bit nervous. I just emailed and asked if it was too late to request a single room....

Posted by
726 posts

I would never take roommate risk. Single supplement all the way.

Posted by
5508 posts

@Christine, sharing a room is going to be the least of your worries if you are immunocompromised . I don’t think it is possible to adequately describe how Covid mitigation measures have virtually disappeared in many places. You almost have to experience it to believe it after all this time.

While there is still a chance on the single supplement, the bigger question is are you going to be comfortable being in close proximity to countless coughing people you meet in the course of travel that will not be wearing a mask? Maybe this is something to discuss with your doctor? If he/she says ok and you can get your mind to relax about this, then I think you are good to go.

PS it was quite striking to me while walking the length of the Covid Memorial Wall in London today, just how real the terrible cost of this pandemic has been.

Posted by
15 posts

I emailed the office about the bus seating and they said this: We do not have assigned seats anymore, but we are still requiring masks on the bus. The buses are also being sanitized every evening.

I'm going on my 4th RS tour in two weeks. For the previous 3 I've paid the single supplement once and had a single room to myself the other two trips. In my experience many/most single women pay the supplement, but I'm paying the single supplement this time. I definitely agree with the other posts here that the guarantee of a room to myself is worth the extra $$.

Have a wonderful time on your trip!

Posted by
10 posts

Hi there. I went on the Heart of Portugal tour in March. I was a solo traveler and chose not to pay the single supplement. I was assigned a roommate. We had no problems and got along great. If you are concerned about Covid and sharing, do pay the single supplement. We were not assigned seats on the bus. People just chose the seats they wanted. Have a great time!