Solo vs Group Travel. There's a lot to consider. Which one is right for you?
Solo vs Group Travel. There’s a lot to consider. Which one is right for you?

This is a guest post by Frank Lee.

Traveling is one of the greatest pleasures of life especially for those who’ve been bitten by the bug of wanderlust. It is a pleasure which is hard to relinquish but there are many things which one needs to take into account before setting for long journeys in foreign lands. Two common types of traveling are solo travel and group travel. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and the final decision ultimately falls on the traveler.

The factors which affect the choice of travel are numerous, however there are some which particularly stand out and hence are the most important ones.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important factors to help you make an informed decision when the time comes for you to make a choice.

Read also: What You Should Know Before Vacationing With a Friend

Which will you choose? Solo Travel vs Group Travel

Cost

This is perhaps the most important thing which is going to determine the quality of your trip. Often discounts are available for group travelers but, in general, a solo traveler has a better chance of saving money. A solo traveler can make a large number of impromptu decisions to save costs which are predetermined in group travels such as the choice of a less expensive hotel, getting a cheaper meal or using the less expensive option for transportation. During your solo trips, you can also save some money at different cafes and modes of transportation by using offers from Groupon.

However, group travel has the benefit that you’ll know about all your expenses before you’ve started the journey. If you’re someone who doesn’t like surprises then group travel offers that kind of certainty.

Traveling in a group doesn't give you much flexibility and independence
Traveling in a group doesn’t give you much flexibility and independence

Independence

The independence which comes from traveling solo is unmatched by any other mode of travel. Solo travel provides one a wide-range of experience which doesn’t need to be compromised by someone else’s schedule. Only solo travelers can decide to leave a place early or spend more time in one part of the trip. This independence also brings an unmatched level of flexibility where one doesn’t have to make compromises such as waking up early when your companions sleep till noon or vice versa.

Double Fun

In contrast to independence, traveling with someone can greatly enhance the joy of traveling. When we’re alone, we might not take some of the riskier trips or try some exotic foods because of our natural aversion to them but having someone with you can greatly increase your confidence and you would be more inclined to do things which you may not have done on your own. Companions on a trip may provide different ways of looking at things and introduce you to things you may have missed on your own.

Companions

Now, one must understand that there is a huge difference between traveling solo and being lonely. Often people forget this important distinction. A group travel gives you a chance of making new friends and understanding different views on different things in life, however, there is a high chance that the group will lack diversity if they’re all from the same origin. A solo traveler, on the other hand, gets a chance to meet people from a great number of different backgrounds, speaking different languages and having a diverse view on things in life. The caveat is that you’ll have to put in some effort in order to talk to the locals.

A solo trip can provide you solitude and a time for self-reflection when you need it whereas this is hardly possible in group travels.

Drinking tea with my travel friend Sarah and some new friends we met in China.
Drinking tea with my travel friend Sarah and some new friends we met in China.

Ease

One important reason why group travels are popular is because of the ease they offer in traveling whereas solo travel is more challenging in many regards. A solo traveler has to research every tiny detail of the trip from scratch and if anything goes wrong during the trip then he has to take responsibility and make alternate plans. In a group travel, though, the traveler has no management tasks as someone else is making all the reservations and taking care of everything, all that the traveler needs to do is to just show up.

Safety

One of the biggest concerns while traveling in foreign lands is that of your personal safety. Even though most places are generally safe to travel alone, there are still a large number of things one has to take care of especially cultural differences need to be researched to better blend in. Safety is generally not a major concern when traveling in a group.

Read also: How to Stay Safe While on Vacation

Quality

It is very hard to define the quality of a journey as there are no tangible parameters to judge this. However, it has been seen that solo travels give one a peace of mind whereas traveling in a group is generally a rushed experience. You can make your solo journey richer by exploring things in detail whereas group trips have to follow schedules and there may be activities you want to take part in but they’re not included in the trip.

However, group travels usually have tour guides with them who have extensive knowledge of things and they can explain more in a short time which you’d find in a much longer time on your own. They can also take you to places which you may have missed because of incomplete research.

You can weigh all these factors against each other and see which things are more important to you as compared to others and based on those parameters you can decide which is the right way of traveling for you: solo travel vs group travel.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This guest post is written by Frank Lee, he works at Rebates Zone, you can follow him @franklee84.

11 thoughts on “Solo Travel vs Group Travel: Which One is Right for You?

  1. Erika Bisbocci says:

    Great roundup of solo vs group travel. Personally, I prefer to travel alone or with maximum 3 other people. While you definitely point to some benefits of group travel (safety, guide, companionship) I’d always be afraid that the others in my group would have priorities that are very different from my own while traveling.

  2. Mar Pages says:

    I enjoy traveling solo because I only have myself to worry about. I can do what I want, when I want without worry about another person waiting for me. That said, I love traveling with my loved ones! Or to even have someone to help me with documenting a trip can make a big difference. (so many cameras)

  3. John Morris says:

    I prefer solo travel, but it can be lonely at times. I am very good at making new connections when traveling, but sometimes I get so focused on what I’m doing that I miss out on those opportunities. I can be a bit of a control freak, so traveling with friends who are not experienced travelers is a bit frustrating for me.

  4. Meg Jerrard says:

    Great pros and cons of both – I personally like a little bit of a mix. I love solo travel, though sometimes it’s fun to mix it up for a bit and join a group. Generally I prefer to travel alone, though it’s always nice to create shared memories sometimes 🙂

  5. Mags says:

    This is a great post. It’s a really hard question to answer. I really try to do a combination of both. Finding the right group to travel with is so important. You can end up hating your closest friends at the end of a long trip!

  6. Jennifer Melroy says:

    I like some group travel like an African Safari but for cities, I would rather solo or travel with just one other person. I am very anti-planning and so I tend to have no plan.

  7. Deborah Regen says:

    There are a lot of variables here, including the country destination and the personality of each individual. Some people are comfortable traveling solo but only in large cities where there is more than enough to do and plenty of other travelers to meet in addition to the locals. They might be less inclined to go wandering by themselves around undeveloped rural areas. In those cases, a carefully-chosen small and responsible group tour provider may be the way to go.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Very good points, Deborah. Whenever I’ve been to smaller places by myself, I try to find a few group activities to participate in. It’s always good to remember that you can go there alone, but don’t have to spend all your time alone. I’ve fuond that Viator tours are a great way to add group activities to a solo itinerary.

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