When I travel I envy couples. I think traveling as a twosome saves so much money. Couples never have to worry about paying the single supplement when they book a cruise or a travel package. As a solo traveler I have to have my boyfriend or I have to coordinate with another friend to travel with and book a room in order to avoid paying as much as 50% more of the standard price because of the single supplement.
Meals at restaurants can be so much cheaper. Not only are two people paying for the meal, but there's usually some special that involves a meal for two. Portions can be so huge that I usually end up tossing the whole thing if I don't have a fridge at the hotel, if I do have a fridge it'll sit there for days because I hate eating leftovers. However if there are two of you, you can actually order an appetizer and one entree and split both. You also have the option of ordering two entrees and sharing so you can enjoy two different dishes (at this point I'm assuming the woman's married the guy because he knows how to share his food). If I were to suggest that with the solo stranger at the next table, two things will happen. If the stranger is a woman, she'll just look at me like I have two heads and decline. If the stranger is a guy, he'll think I'm a pro and he will gladly pay for dinner and the night (now remember, I want to save money not make money). So I'm usually stuck with one entree and that's fine, except I end up wanting to try two dishes instead of one and I get real curious about the one I didn't order (can you tell I'm indecisive?). In addition, restaurants usually have some kind of prix fixe meal for two people that gives couples a good deal and nada for the solo eater. I have to look for the early bird special; no matter it's good preparation for retirement.
Couples also save when it comes to renting a car. As a solo traveler, I don't get a discount because one butt is using the seat, I must pay for the whole car.
But even outside of the financial advantage, traveling as a couple seems so much better. One person can check in while the other person is parking the car. At a fast food place, one person can hold the seat while the other person gets lunch. It is so annoying to go around looking for an empty table while you are carrying your food. Not to mention that it's a lot safer to travel when there are two of you instead of one. When you go on a theme park, attractions are usually made with two people in mind. Solo travelers usually sit with a stranger or an empty seat.
Additionally, you always have someone to talk to and laugh over (and sometimes argue with) the things that you have seen and places to go. I can argue with myself but it will look stupid (not to mention deranged). Best thing of all you have another person you can reminisce your travel travails and look back at fondly.
Don't get me wrong, being a solo traveller I can go wherever I want to go without consulting another person regarding their schedule or their aptitude. I seem to have a much easier time talking to people as a solo traveler. I have so much freedom and spontaneity and I can do what I want to do and I value that immensely. But I really wish things were a lot cheaper for us solo travelers.
Original publication date: August 13, 2009