Justine Waddington is the founder and director of Encounter Travel, a company that creates holiday groups exclusively for solo travellers. As a solo traveller with 60 countries under her belt and 15 years of arranging travel groups, Justine is in the unique position of being able to offer tips and advice from the perspective of an experienced solo traveller and also that of a travel agent.
SOLO TRAVEL: Is Sharing A Room Your Perfect Solution or Nightmare?
When you travel solo, sharing a room on a tour is a way around paying extra for a room to yourself. But before settling on the option to share with a stranger, you may want to weigh up the pros and cons of opting for a roommate on tour.
Plus check out some tips for when it’s not a great idea to share. It may help you to decide if you are the sharing kind of traveller.
- You take advantage of the twin share price, thus avoiding the cost of the single supplement.
- You may make a new friend for the trip, and possibly a new friend for life.
- You may even find that the person you shared with would be happy to go on other holidays with you in the future.
- You have a travel buddy in your room, not just while touring during the day.
- You have to be prepared to give up some privacy.
- The chance that you don’t like your roommate.
- Sharing a bathroom; so you need to allow more time to get ready each day.
- You can’t know if your roommate is going to snore or not.
- You need to be prepared to compromise. For example, if you like to read for 30 minutes before you sleep but your roommate doesn’t.
5 REASONS WHEN SHARING IS NOT A GREAT IDEA
You may be the nicest person in the world, but if you snore your roommate is likely to become sleep deprived, which could potentially ruin their holiday and create friction between the two of you.
2.You Like Your Privacy
You should be comfortable about the idea of sharing first off, not uncertain about it. If you can’t decide, safest bet is not too chance it.
3.You Have Never Shared
Just a thought. If you have never shared a room with a friend in adulthood (other than with a partner), then now may not be the best time to find out if you can. At least if you’ve shared a room with someone previously, you will have some idea of what to expect.
4. Up In The Night
If you get up a lot through the night, reconsider if you are going to be a good roommate. It could all be fine if your roommate is a heavy sleeper and you tiptoe to the bathroom, but you won’t know this about your roommate until you meet.
If you are a messy, that is, a really messy person, and you know you can’t change it create some angst for your roomie and may the spoiler of an otherwise great holiday for them.
And, for a final point about whether to share or not. If you do reach that point in your tour when you want to get your own room, it’s not always possible for a few reasons. Firstly, the hotel may not be have a spare room. If they do, great but you have to pay for an entire new room. Otherwise, you have to get your roommate to agree to share the cost of the additional room. In these cases, unless you strike it lucky, this extra cost remains the burden of the traveller (and not your tour company).
Plus, a Handy Tip
Check the booking terms if you request a twin share room with a stranger (roommate match), as some operators will automatically charge you the single supplement if a roommate can’t be found.
Most of the time, from my experience, is that rooming with a stranger works out to be a great option and you may even return home with a new lifelong friend.
Once you’re settled on sharing, the good news is that there’s a fair selection of tour companies, including Encounter Travel that will match you with another traveller in the group (of the same gender) so you can avoid the cost of the single supplement.
GETTING STARTED FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Check out my book, How To Travel Solo But Not Alone
READY TO FIND YOUR SOLO TRAVELLER GROUP?
Visit our holiday list of groups for solo travellers. Click Here
LIKE TO CRUISE?
Find out more about Cruise Circle for Solos
Plus join the Facebook Group Cruise Circle for Solos
100% Australian; we 'get' the Australian travel style. And, better still, our arms are open to welcome our friends from other countries around the world, who'd like to travel with friendly Aussies.
We've already racked up 14 years of experience creating and delivering the best ever holidays for solo travellers. As a boutique tour operator, we delight in detail, delivering personal service and finding your next best memory.