Ever wondered the pros
and cons to traveling solo or with others?
Photography By Josh Paton.
Is solo or group travel for you?
Working as a travel agent for the last two months it’s taught me a lot about the industry but more important a lot about how travelers travel.
I want to start by having my personal opinion on the matter. - In all honestly I say both are good but not for the same reasons and situations.
I am a great solo traveller in countries where I know my where abouts, have pre arranged things I need to do (stuff that keeps me busy) or for a solid 2/3 days of chill. On the other hand though, I enjoy group travelling too because I love the social aspect, I love being out of my comfort zone with others and I love the fact that 95% of the time it’s the cheaper way to travel.
Whether you’re doing fully independent travel in a group or with a tour company it’s has its pros for sure. For now I do want to mention some of the cons though because I personally have made the mistake of travelling with a group or not alone and have regretted it. I wouldn’t say I regret the whole experience because it taught me a lot about myself, about how other people react on certain situations and most importantly taught me that not everyone is the same or has the same interests but that’s ok!
With group travel it’s hard to get time to go off and do what you want to do. It can be a lot of scheduled activities, short time frames and quick transits between destinations. With group travel you have to think of others as well as yourself. It’s not all about you. If you want to do something most of the time the group will either have to do it too or meet in the middle.
I did a collaboration a little while back with a company called “GoGaffl”, a great concept for solo travellers but definitely needs some thought from users before you jump straight in. I am an adventurer, I love any excuse to get outdoors, to see new places and try new things. Often my friends at the time whom I wanted to travel with had full time jobs, couldn’t save enough money or just didn’t like travelling so when I was approached by GoGaffl I was so excited about the concept of having someone who wants to be just like you. I learned that travelling shouldn’t be done with strangers or people who don’t travel often. Travelling is an experience that takes you out of your comfort zone everyday, pushes you beyond exhaustion and makes you really be grateful for what you have and the ability to travel.
I’m not trying to brag or say it’s a positive quality but I have been told that I have the ability to accept the past and move on quickly, learn how to adjust to others quickly as well as know what I want. These characteristics are gold when travelling. During group travel it’s so important to know that the whole trip isn’t going to be smooth sailing the whole way through, you’re not going to agree on everything with everyone and that when you’ve had a full day out you’re not going to be too happy when someone isn’t on their best behaviour...
It’s important when deciding to travel in a group that you a) know the group well enough to have expectations that something is going to go wrong, not everyone will get along all of the time but most importantly to remember you’re all in the same boat no matter your differences. Group travelling is so rewarding if it’s done right. It’s a risk but I honestly have had my favourite time group travelling.
Ok, I hope I haven’t scared you too much out of it just yet because remember there’s always an up side.
If you haven’t travelled before or are a nervous traveller group travel is fantastic. It eliminates the stress of organising your itinerary, making friends, feeling safe and most importantly giving you other people that are feeling the same way. Group travel is my favourite type of travel on short itineraries, adventure destinations and expensive cities.
I normally don’t travel in a group for more than 2 weeks. I enjoy my own time at the best of times this is the same when I’m travelling. I find group travel so rewarding because you’re able to share experiences and create memories with others. It’s great for easily slipping into your comfort zone or helping you when you’re needing encouragement or moral support!
There are cost advantages to travelling in groups which is amazing. The cost of travelling in a group is usually about 10-40% cheaper as hotels will give you deals, tour companies have a small cost and eating is usually easier has most tour companies and groups buy in bulk.
I have done group travel in New Zealand with TopDeck, Redcat Adventures in the Whitsundays, and Dingoes 4wd tours on Fraser Island. Although these group trips were either in Australia or New Zealand, very close to home for me but even if you’re travelling cross continent they are fantastic.
Working as a travel agent and learning everyday about new products and what they can do for travellers and the world I am honestly a huge fan. I do have my favourite sellers and I’ll do another post on them or you can send me a message.
Although it sounds pretty 50/50 Group travel comes down to you. Your expectations, your personality and what you want to experience!
Now to solo travel, my frienemy... I love solo travel but also hate the no social interaction factor. I’m a very social person, I need to be around people otherwise I get bored of myself and go crazy. Solo travelling you have no support system, no one who knows exactly what you’re going through and no one who can give you the push you need in some situations. I love solo travel within Australia because you meet so many like minded people and can make friends as little or as much as you like!
Solo travel is often a little more expensive because you don’t have anyone else to split the cost, you wear it all! Solo travel is also the best type if you like freedom. Long days, early mornings, specific attractions, you get the idea...
Solo travel you also learn so much about yourself. I learned some deep stuff about myself and my mental health while I was travelling. I am grateful for the experience now because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them but it’s definitely something you don’t experience everyday.
I had serious anxiety and loneliness when I traveled solo. I had times where I wanted to get on the next plane home, where I hated myself, didn’t think I was strong enough to continue my travel and times where I was crying to hours and only stopping because I exhausted myself out and pasted out... looking back on it now it’s a little humorous because I know how to deal with it and prevent it from happening again. It’s so important when you’re travelling solo to know you can experience some pretty low times and you have to get yourself out of it. It’s so important to have a strong support system at home in case you need to call them at 3am cause you booking the wrong suburb in downtown LA and was almost robbed - true story lol.
Solo and group travel both have their pros and cons. If I’m being totally honest I would still do both but I wouldn’t do them in particular destinations knowing what I know now! I know so much more mentally about myself now that if I was ever in a situation again I know how to handle myself.
If you need help deciding which destinations are best for Solo or Group travel send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time, safe travels travellers!