Should I Travel Solo or with a Group?
Updated: Oct 10, 2022
Solo or with a Group Travel? Nine thoughts to consider.
I need a major travel fix at least twice a year. It brings fun, adventure, rejuvenation, and new learning opportunities. It also allows me to get off the Merry Go Round of Life, and live in the moment.
For me, one of the best parts of traveling is Planning! I spend hours on the internet looking for unique destinations and itineraries. I then reach out to my network and get their recommendations. Once I make that determination and before making reservations, I make the decision as to if I am going to travel solo or with a group.
What do I mean by Solo or Group Travel?
Group Travel refers to traveling in an organized tour with a guide, other travelers, and a set itinerary, schedule, and price that is confirmed when you book.
Solo Travel is traveling independently with a companion or by yourself. What you do when you arrive is up to you. You can plan this in advance or as you go.
Which do I prefer – Solo or Group Travel?
It depends. While I am quite comfortable traveling by myself, I recognize the merits of group travel. For me, it hinges on where and how I am traveling.
Freedom. When traveling solo, you can do whatever you like – you don’t have to compromise. I always like to get up with the Sun and get going. Or if I had a late night, I can sleep in and recover. What I want to do on a specific day can change a hundred times – depending upon the weather or what time of year it is. The bottom line is that you get to do what you want when you want. On an organized tour, you arrive and leave a city or region at the mercy of the schedule, regardless of whether you are ready to move on or not.
Companions. Solo travel means never getting stuck with annoying people. You can bond with people you meet at your hotel, restaurant, or on a train – but if the mood changes you can move on and spend time alone or meet new people.
Adventure. When traveling solo, you have to be extra cautious to keep yourself safe. Outdoor adventures are better organized by professionals as they have access to the infrastructure and facilities that a group can access.
Safety. You are always better looked after in a group. For example, most Egypt Group Tours provide security guards for the entire trip. This can be comforting.
Cost. When you travel solo – it is easier to manage your own budget and modify it as you go. Group Travel usually has higher costs as a result of the services that they provide. You don’t have to pay for the scheduled dinners every night and can skip some of the more expensive activities. I reward myself for sticking to my budget towards the end of my trip by splurging on a luxury hotel for one night.
Tour Guide. This can be the best and most efficient way to enjoy a vacation, especially while traveling to a place you aren’t familiar with – or where you don’t speak the language. It is safe and secure, and you are less likely of getting tricked by scammers. When you travel on a tour, everything is well-organized with precautionary measures. They know the best times to avoid lines and know what days the sites are closed. If you get lost or get sick, your tour guide has your back.
Safety. Traveling alone can often be risky There are also chances that you might get mugged or worse. If you are alone, you can’t immediately reach out for help. On the other hand, group travel offers safety and immediate help from your tour guide or fellow travelers.
Hotels and Restaurants. During group travel, you don’t have to worry about finding the best hotels or restaurants. The tour company has done this before – and knows the best places to eat and sleep. This can save you a lot of time as the choices have already been made.
Activities/Itinerary. If you are short on time and you have no idea about an ideal itinerary – tour packages can be the best option. A set itinerary with major attractions and exclusive accommodations will be provided for you. This will allow you to spend your time wisely to get the most out of your vacation.
I travel on both solo and group tours. It depends upon the destination. Visiting a major City such as Paris, Rome or London is something I prefer to do solo. You can immerse yourself in the culture and get opportunities to bond with locals as traveling in a group scares people away. Another advantage is time – do you like to spend all day in a museum or two hours at the most? I like to visit museums right when they open – hit the highlights and then leave when the crowds get there.
There are situations when I will only travel with a group. This usually boils down to safety and/or logistic issues. Can you even imagine going on Safari in the Serengeti on your own? Danger just doesn’t come down to wild animals – there are also Political Risks. A River Cruise led by a Tour Group with security is the best way to visit the treasures of Egypt. As to logistics, there are two types of vacations that scream group travel – Scuba Diving and Cycling Tours. The logistics, equipment requirements, and cost-efficiency factors for me make Group Travel the best choice.
Two final recommendations to consider. If my budget allows – I always request a single room when traveling with a group – as in not sharing(with someone I don’t know). I need time alone to recharge and having someone around 24/7 can be stressful. There are Tour Companies that offer rooms for the single traveler with no surcharge. An outfit that I have traveled on five occasions and can recommend is Overseas Adventure Travel. My final recommendation is to get out there and travel. Adventure Awaits!