Traveling alone or in groups

When the time approaches to plan a vacation, many travelers are wondering if it is better to travel alone or in a group. Both solutions have their positive and negative aspects and it is not easy to make a choice; there is no one solution better than another, since everything depends on the character of the traveller, destination of travel, etc., there Are many factors that affect this choice, and that it is necessary to take into account when you program a trip. Below I have tried to analyze some aspects that can help you understand which type of trip is best for you.

Better alone than in ill company?

There may be several reasons that drive people to book a group tour. The most common is the fear of suffering from loneliness. Traveling in a group allows you to meet new people, even if you do not have the ability to choose which people will be part of the group: sometimes you can be lucky and happen in a group of people, sociable and funny, but do not always have this luck. In this aspect you need to consider your character: are you the kind of person who loves to be always in the company or sometimes you need your own space and moments of solitude all to yourself? Remember that there are during the trips organized moments of “freedom” in which maybe you can make a trip by yourself and stay away from others, but sometimes you’ll be forced to surround yourself with people even when you don’t have the desire. And you will also need to be available to listen to the needs of others:when you are in a group it is difficult to make decisions that satisfied all.

Traveling alone you’ll have more time to dedicate to yourself, allowing you to choose when being alone (not always, sometimes it happens to be only when you do not want to) and when to stay in the company. In addition, it pushes you to step out of your ‘comfort zone’: when you are traveling in the company, in fact, tend to socialize less with locals or with other travelers while when you are alone it is a sense forced to approach other people just to chat, unless you intend to spend the whole journey in solitude.

Cost

The cost of the trip is another factor to consider. For those who have at disposal a certain budget which may not exceed, or would you prefer to know in advance how much to spend with no surprises, it is advisable to choose a tour group that offers a greater certainty on the total cost of the trip. Then, it is necessary to make a comparison between the costs of the two types of holiday: you try to analyse the individual activities and all the services provided by the travel group and calculate how much you would spend by yourself. Sometimes it is difficult to establish a priori which of the two solutions is more advantageous: if it is true that on the one hand, the tour group offer hotel, transportation and meals from the higher price (and maybe here you could save a part of your budget if you are travelling alone), on the other hand, the visits and excursions have a lower price than what you’d pay individually. Therefore, consider whether it’s worth spending more on the service offered.

The organization

As regards the organizational aspect, travel in a group, it is certainly easier and less demanding: you don’t have to book hotels, flights, activities, etc, as everything is arranged by the tour operator.

And, also, in case there are problems or unforeseen, you will always have the assistance of the guide and the tour operator, while when you are alone you have to learn to deal in an autonomous way, which can sometimes be really stressful; even if there is to say that the moments of difficulties and the unexpected turn almost always funny stories to tell to your friends to return from the vacation.

Yet

Some destinations can be visited alone, but in every case it is necessary to prepare for, and learn a series of rules to spend a holiday, quiet and safe. And there could be a few things to avoid, in particular, for the young women: for example, go around alone at night. When you are traveling in a group you actually feel more confidentespecially when it comes to tourist destinations more ‘dangerous’. Sometimes rather than travel with the fear something could happen, or give up the journey is always best to book an organized tour.

Freedom and knowledge

When you are traveling in a group, every single activity is organised in detail and there are times to be respected. Sometimes you will want to spend more time than the one established in the program to visit an attraction, however you may need to do an activity that does not interest you at all.

When you are traveling by yourself you can decide your own program according to what you want to see and sometimes it happens that the traveller decides to change the itinerary to your liking even at the last moment.

But sometimes traveling alone brings to the travelers not to visit certain places because they might be little known and not mentioned in the guides; you also need to consider the preparation: before starting by yourself you need to find information about places to visit to understand how to structure your route. In the travel group you will have an expert guide at your disposal that is usually an inhabitant of the place, and then knows perfectly the place you are visiting and provides you with very detailed information and curiosity; the guide could also discover the places that alone you would not have ever visited.

Ultimately we will list below the pros and cons of organized tours:

Prons

  • Organized trips offer an experience more safe in the places considered most dangerous.
  • To have a guide who speaks the local language is very useful if you spoke English, or if you were in a country where English is not widespread; in this way you will help to resolve any problems, to orientate yourself or simply order in the restaurant.
  • Some activities, such as extreme sports, are not possible without a guide.
  • With a guide, prepared at your side, you can have detailed information and complete on the place you are visiting, making the most of your holiday.
  • With the organized tours, you will have a discount on entry to museums and attractions and you will be taken to the file thanks to the dedicated inputs to the groups.
  • In some countries, where the inhabitants are not very open to tourists, or where communication is difficult due to the language, at least you’ll have someone to talk to.
  • With the organized tours, you’ll already know what you will spend before your departure (except souvenirs and personal purchases) and not have to worry about organizing the trip.
  • If you have a little time to visit a destination, starting with an organised trip you will visit the main sites by capturing the essence of the city

Cons

  • Often the information and the proposed routes from the organized tours are the same that you can find in a simple tour guide, and adding the support of some app.
  • With a group tour you don’t have control over what you eat and there are set times to meet.
  • If your dream is to mingle among the local people, immersing yourself fully in the culture of the place, to know that in a tour you will be inevitably of the tourists. And also a favorite target by pickpockets.
  • In organized tours, the cost of accommodation, transport and guides can push up the price.
  • There are some places that are often ignored by the travel group and maybe you would discover while walking alone through the streets of the city.
  • You will have less chance of getting to know the people or other solo travelers.

Alternatives

Even if you decide to travel alone, you can still try the experience of being part of a guided tour to visit a certain museum or take part in an extreme sport in the company. In this way you will have the chance to have fun and meet new people and, at the end of the tour, you will return to your beloved freedom. If you are staying in the hostel, many of these organized tours or evenings, sometimes even for free, to visit the most characteristic corners of the city or dine together in a traditional restaurant: in this way you will have the opportunity to get to know other solo travellers and share your experiences.

If, instead, scares you a bit the idea of leaving it alone, but do not want to take part in an organized tour, you can look for a travel companion on the online forum; it is not said that you have to spend together the whole trip, but sometimes you can even find someone with whom to share the flight or to visit a particular location.

There are also some websites that organize group trips for independent travelers: this formula newly born is ideal for anyone who loves the ‘stiffness’ of the organised trips because even if it is established a general itinerary of the trip, it then proceeds according to the will of the group and making detours and stops when required by travellers; also through the website, is it possible to know your travel companions prior to departure.

Alternatively , you can opt for a private guide that offers you a personalized tour based on what you want to visit; it is slightly more expensive than a group tour, so it would be better to be in a small group of 2-3 people to split the cost, but you have the advantage of deciding your own itinerary and be able to interact more with your guide to have more information.

Local lifestyle, in a group

When you are traveling in an organized tour is much more difficult to immerse yourself in the local culture and to discover the habits of the inhabitants, but it is not impossible. There are some tips and tricks that will allow you to meet the inhabitants and discover the local way of life, for example by speaking with the guide: generally the guide is an inhabitant of the place , and between one visit and another may give you information on local customs and on the places most frequented by the locals. It would not be a bad idea to follow his directions and visit the meeting points of the inhabitants in the free time to breathe in the authentic atmosphere of the locality in which you find yourself.

Conclusions

Whatever type of trip you decide to take, know that for any solution there are advantages and disadvantages. The most noticeable difference between the two types of travel, alone or in a group, is the person who controls and takes responsibility for the trip: you in the event of a lonesome trip and the guide/tour operator in group travel. In any case, you can decide from time to time and according to the destination what kind of trip to choose from: if you’ve always traveled alone, it would be nice for once to take part in an organised tour to try a new experience, but if you always travelled in a group, why don’t you take for a time control and leave for a road trip?

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