New research shows that free places for children are often only offered when there are two adults accompanying each child.
Research done by FairFX also shows that firms are charging supplements for single people on holiday with a child.
Single families are paying up to £500 more for a holiday as a result.
FairFX found that seven nights at the Holiday Village Rhodes for one adult and one child with First Choice came in at £1,604.
However if the same holiday was taken by two adults and a child it was £515 cheaper at £1,089 – 32 per cent less expensive.
Meanwhile a holiday to the Princess Adriana Resort and Spa in Rhodes was £1,525 for one adult and one child, but £1,165 for two adults and a child – £359 and 24 per cent cheaper for the family with two adults.
Seven nights at the Hotel Maspalomas Princess with TUI cost one adult and one child £736.
With two adults and one child, it was £152 cheaper at £583 for the week – 21 per cent cheaper.
With Thomas Cook, it costs £1,256 for one adult and one child to head to the Sunlight Bahia Principe Tenerife.
The same holiday for a family with two adults was £254 cheaper at £1,002 – 20 per cent less than the single parent's family.
One week at Sol Cala Antena on Airtours is £800 for one adult and one child, but £76 cheaper for two adults and a child at £724, which is 10 per cent less.
Research applies to holidays taken in August flying from London Gatwick.
TUI, Virgin and First Choice offer free places for kids, but this is only when they are with two paying adults.
Airtours and Thomas Cook also offer discounted children’s places at some hotels – but again only when there are two adults paying the full price.
Thomas Cook and Airtours also don’t count children when looking at accommodation occupancy.
This means that lone parents can be charged an under-occupancy fee for the room, adding to their holiday bill.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, said: "Our research shows that families are being hit with unfair pricing inconsistencies which, in many cases, are unfavourable for single parents or parents travelling solo with their child this summer."
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: “We know families are not one size fits all and want to cater to all customer groups.
“While it is normal for hotels to base their room prices on two adults sharing, we have negotiated single parent offers at more than 200 of our hotels in 22 destinations, which we are looking to increase. We encourage all of our customers to book as early as possible for the best choice and price.”
A spokesperson for TUI said: "We take more than six million customers away each year, which are made up of various party size, whether travelling in groups, on their own, with their family, or maybe just as a couple.
They continued: "Our free child place offer is just one of our early booking incentives and is driven by how suppliers price their accommodation on two adults sharing. We take all customer feedback seriously and continuously review our holidays and our offers."
Sun Online Travel has contacted ABTA, First Choice, Airtours, Virgin and TUI for comment.
We previously revealed tips to stop single parents from having to shell out more on holiday.
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