I am an introvert. I need time alone to recharge my energy, and I prefer one-on-one interactions. As a business owner and mother of 2 young children, time alone and predictability can be difficult to achieve. For me, it is easier to schedule larger chunks of time to recharge, such as travel. While I’ve had many incredible solo travel experiences, I am also partial to group travel. Let me explain.
1) Balance: Most itineraries offer a nice mix of group activities and leisure time. It’s still just you arriving, exploring new destinations, and having time to connect with yourself.
2) No thinking necessary: With the details taken care of, someone has already done the thinking for me. Except maybe the important decisions such as where to enjoy my sunset cocktail.
3) Education: While I’m not busy thinking (see above), I am learning a ton from an experienced tour guide! Topics from local culture to history and sights, flora and fauna, and entertaining area and personal stories.
4) Boosts the local economy: Most tour operators employ local people. Therefore, the money I spend will most likely stay in the area, and the locals tend to give a solo-group traveler insider recommendations for the best local places.
5) Authentic, local experiences: During the tour, you will experience fascinating cultures and customs, while staying in local accommodations, sampling the local cuisine and utilizing local transport. All of which is all a great way to gain insight into the area you are visiting. Since the logistics are taken care of, it means spending more time experiencing the moment.
6) Safety in numbers: I will always have someone looking out for me. It is particularly important to me in places where I don’t speak the language and where traveling as a single woman may not be as common. I also take comfort in knowing that the Tour Operator has thoroughly vetted the itinerary and vendors.
7) Cost savings: With accommodations, transportation, activities and most meals included in the package price, it is easier to budget for the trip. All you need is some spending money for adult beverages and personal items.
8) Reducing the environmental footprint: Group travel leaves a much lighter carbon footprint than if everyone hired or rented a car.
9) Accessibility: Some places are just too difficult to do alone. In the Amazon, I would have gotten lost or eaten if I took a boat out by myself.
10) Time-Savings: We don’t have a lot of time as it is, and an excellent tour will hit the highlights of the region while also taking care of the time-consuming details such as waiting in lines for tickets.
All in all, one does not have to be an extrovert or a social butterfly to enjoy the benefits of a group tour!
- Robin Glaeser