We need strict guidelines to stop solo travellers being ripped off, says VICTORIA BISCHOFF

For years, solo travellers have been penalised with extra fees — and today, we lay bare the scale of the rip-off

For years, solo travellers have been penalised with extra fees — and today, we lay bare the scale of the rip-off.

It is particularly cruel for those who have been recently widowed and are just trying to get on with their lives.

I can understand why some firms charge single travellers a little extra to have a double room to themselves, but, in some cases, holidaymakers who travel alone are paying almost twice as much as those who are part of a couple, as we reveal today.

For years, solo travellers have been penalised with extra fees — and today, we lay bare the scale of the rip-off

Even worse are those hotels and tour operators that charge an additional supplement, only to put guests in a single room.

Yet, despite years of complaints, the travel industry remains deaf to the needs of solo travellers.

Surely this is utter commercial madness, given that there are more than 16 million single people in England and Wales alone.

Many cruise ships appear not to have any, or very few, cabins for single people. Hotels, too, often have only double rooms.

It should be standard practice that a certain number of rooms and cabins are provided for single people.

There should also be strict industry guidelines in place on how much extra firms can charge solo travellers. 

At the very least, companies should be forced to disclose more clearly their prices for those who travel alone.

Mark the mules

Meet 15-year-old schoolchildren ‘C’ and ‘M’. Recently, ‘C’ was the target of a knife-wielding gang, who demanded that he hand over his bank card, account details and phone number.

‘M’ was approached by a group of older school peers and subjected to threats of violence until she gave up her bank card and PIN.

These teenagers are victims of a growing trend where criminal gangs prey on children as young as 11 to launder their dirty money, as they think they will be less likely to raise suspicion.

As the Mail revealed on Monday, it means that many youngsters are being targeted by so-called ‘mule’ recruiters outside the school gates and on their local bus routes, and lured in via social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.

Fortunately, in the cases of ‘C’ and ‘M’, their bank, Barclays, was quick to notice something was amiss and froze their accounts while it investigated.

Though banks and police have launched a major campaign to raise awareness, more still needs to be done to block criminals’ profiles on social media.

You can help by urging your children and grandchildren to steer clear of too-good-to-be-true adverts and reminding them never to share their bank account details. For more advice, visit moneymules.co.uk

Smart tip

A big thank you for all your letters and emails over the past week about whether your smart meter has helped save you money — it was quite a mixed postbag! 

Money Mail reader John doesn’t think we need a machine to tell us how much power we are using. ‘I’ve had a smart meter for 72 years: it’s called a brain,’ he says. ‘Every electricity appliance has a power rating label. 

So, based on 1kW of electricity costing approximately 15p per hour, if I use a 9kW electric shower for an hour it will cost £1.35. Easy maths.’

Keep your letters and emails coming.

Get rich quick

Finally, don’t miss our How To Get Rich series, starting on Saturday and continuing all next week in the Mail.

To get a headstart, click here where we explain how to calculate what your wealth is now — so you’ll be in a prime position to transform your fortunes.



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