Tips for Solo Travelers
Ken Knezick, Island Dreams Travel - Copyright 2019
Fortunate are those who have a dependable travel companion and in-water buddy for their scuba travel adventures. But for a variety of reasons, many divers end up traveling solo from time to time. Single travelers do enjoy more autonomy and flexibility. They can make quick decisions and benefit from one-time sale opportunities. Yet solo travelers are also concerned about paying the “single supplement” and even more so about who to buddy with on the scuba dives. I’m sharing a few thoughts on these issues and will offer some suggestions that can make solo travel easier and more cost-effective.
What's a Single Supplement? – Most of our dive resorts post a per person package price based on double occupancy. They may also post the single occupancy price, which will be more than the per person double rate, but most always less then 2x the double occupancy rate. So how does that work? If the hotel charges $100 per room per night, that cost is the same for one lodger or for two. A single guest must pay $100 for that night, while two people sharing the cost would each pay $50. So, if a dive resort charges a per person price, based on double occupancy, then two people are splitting the cost of that lodging room. When there is a different price for single occupancy, it simply means that one person is paying all the room cost. The resort is not trying to penalize you. The single occupant is simply paying for the room…and in return has the benefit of enjoying it in comfort and privacy.
What is Twin-share? – They are few, but some dive resorts sell their lodging based on twin-share. If you prefer not to book a single room, then use the twin-share rate and pay only one half of that lodging room rate, while the resort has the option to match you up with a same-sex roommate. No guarantee, but you may end up with your own room anyway.
Join a Group Tour – Island Dreams sells its conducted group trips based on twin-share. This is a great way to overcome the single supplement, have the services of an expert tour guide, and travel with active, like-minded people. Many a lasting friendship has flowered from our Island Dreams groups, after which you may find yourself with plenty of dive buddies to choose from.
Travel with a Dive Club – Is there an active dive club in your area? They most likely operate club dive trips. Get past the occasional insiders' clique atmosphere and you may find unique travel opportunities, capable dive buddies, and fun new friends. At the least you'll find some friendly drinkers with a diving problem.
Liveaboard Dive Boats – Most liveaboards sell their cabins based on twin-share; thus an effective choice for single divers. Dive vessels of varying degrees of luxury are awaiting you quite literally around the world. They have amenable tour conductors and experienced dive guides. Just don’t forget your dive gear, a few bathing suits, and Dramamine.
Dive Resorts that sell Twin-Share – I’d like to compile a list of these single-friendly resorts and I invite you to contribute. Let’s see how many dive resorts we can identify that offer solo travelers a twin-share pricing option. I’ll start us off with one of my favorites: Wakatobi Resort, Indonesia. I am actively seeking others and invite you to share your own favorite twin-share resorts.Guest Submissions:
Jeanne R. suggests Dumaguete Resort, Anilao Photo Academy, Blue Manta liveaboard, and the Febrina.
Other suggestions are welcomed.
Selecting / Or Being Assigned / a Dive Buddy? – Okay, lodging handled, what to do at the dive shop? My suggestion is, communicate. Get to the shop early, introduce yourself, and discuss the matter of dive buddy assignments. Don’t try to come off as Jacques Cousteau. Just honestly describe your training, skill and experience level. Tell them how many dives you have logged and the date of your most recent dive. Then ask them to help you find the best possible buddy match to allow you the best possible dive experience. That’s what they are there for. Should a good dive buddy not show, an option is to ask to tag along with the professional dive guide. It will be your responsibility to keep up with her or him, but you will for sure get the best tour of the reef by a local guide who visits the inhabitants often.
Share your Thoughts and Experiences – I hope this little analysis will prove helpful. If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or twin-share dive resorts to add to our list, please email me. Be it solo, double, or underwater ménage a whatever, I wish you great diving!