Both choices have their ups and downs, so here are some pros and cons of deciding to travel independently or joining a group tour.
If you have an adventurous spirit, enjoy travelling at your own pace, and immersing yourself in the culture, then independent travel is probably the best bet for you.
Travelling alone rather than as part of a group isn’t for everyone, but exploring on your own isn’t as daunting as you might think.
While more effort would need to go into planning and research before you go, your agenda is entirely your own, and you can be more spontaneous when it comes to what you do and where you choose to explore.
Days are yours to do exactly what you feel like doing, and you have the freedom to move around as you please. Nothing beats travelling solo with only time and a guidebook in hand.
Travel can sometimes be challenging and difficult in certain areas of the world that lack infrastructure.
Depending on your location, it can be easier to see and do more on a group tour as opposed to trying to figure things out on your own, which can be helpful when you’re pressed for time, as well as being safer.
If you don’t feel up to a challenge or are travelling to a country with safety issues, then you might be better off with a group.
Travel in a Group
If you have limited time, want to cover a large amount of ground and visit all the main attractions of a certain city, then group tours are probably the better option. While guided tours aren’t for everyone, there is an array of different types to choose from that range in size, the level of adventure, and itinerary and could be the ideal way to cover everything you want to do.
Guided tours allow you to sit back and relax in the knowledge that all of the important details, such as where you’ll be sleeping and how you’ll be getting around are planned out for you, leaving you to make the most of the experience.
Group travel can also make it less intimidating to travel to places you might otherwise be nervous to go to on your own, as well as being safer than travelling alone, and it allows you to meet new people and share your experiences with them along the way.
While group tours take the hassle and stress out of planning and making decisions, they also run the risk of losing the spontaneity and sense of discovery that comes with travelling. While some organised tours build in free time for you to explore on your own, many don’t, which means you might not have the freedom to explore something interesting that catches your eye if it’s not on the pre-planned itinerary.
Guided tours can also be overwhelming if the groups are too large — anything more than 12 people could start to be claustrophobic — as well as the type of people you are travelling with. While you might very well get along with most of the guests of the tour, you run the risk of having to spend your entire trip with people you haven’t clicked with.
The bottom line with travel
Want to head to a place that’s too daunting to tackle on your own, or pressed for time and are keen to pack in all the main attractions? A group tour could be the answer to seeing a place in a comfortable and stress-free way. However, if you’re feeling more adventurous and have more time, you might consider heading off on your own.
Think about where you’re going, the type of trip you want to have, and who, if anyone, you want to share it with to help you decide whether to go with a group or on your own.