Scenario: For the past year, you and your BFF Malika have been planning an epic trip to Bali. Unfortunately, she informs you that she just got a promotion on her job and is no longer able to take the time off from work. Dilemma: Do you cancel the trip, go solo or find a group to go with? Let us explore the benefits and cons of group travel.
Benefits of Group Travel
You have now decided that you still want to go to Bali but you don’t want to travel alone. Read about the pros of traveling with a group.
Create a Bond: In 2007, I went on my first summer study abroad trip to Ghana with 12 wonderful women. I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit apprehensive about traveling with all women. I’m happy to say that we created a strong bond and have been friends for over 12 years. We have celebrated special moments such as graduations, births, marriages, travels and so much more.
Family: My family worries when I travel and dislikes that I travel solo. When I travel in a group my mother feels a sense of relief that I am traveling with other people.
Photos: When I’m traveling solo, I have to use a tripod or ask strangers to take my pictures. When I travel with a group, I can ask someone in the group to snap a quick photo. Best of all, most photos will be of the group and those memories are priceless.
Relationships: Are you looking for love? You may just find the love of your life while traveling. Plot twist: they could actually be traveling on the group trip with you.
Safety in numbers: As a solo traveler you can easily become a target because you’re alone. If you travel in a group, a thief is less likely to prey or try to steal your personal belongings.
Shared Experiences: After volunteering in the Virgin Islands, I continued to stay in contact with other volunteers whom I now call family. I can say things like,” you remember star gazing on the beach” or we can laugh about the guy flirting with us at the restaurant. It is wonderful when you can reminisce and share travel stories.
Show up: Planning your own trip can be a difficult task. I prefer to have someone else plan my trip. I just want to arrive on a Caribbean Island, enjoy great food, be pampered and have fun.
Cons of Traveling with a Group
While I love traveling with a group there are cons of group travel.
Compatibility: Let’s be honest, you are not going to get along or vibe with everyone you meet. Due to having various personalities, it can be difficult to travel with strangers for a significant amount of time.
Tip: Communicate directly with the person that you are having issues with or talk to the group leader about your concerns.
Cost: Many people often ask my advice regarding the pricing of group trips. Although the trip may be more expensive, you must recognize that you are paying for convenience. The organizers of the trip ensure that travel-related items such as lodging, excursions, and food are taken care of before you arrive.
Tip: Pay the cost, travel to the destination and live your best life with new friends.
Itinerary: When you sign up for a group trip, the itinerary is already organized prior to booking. For example, you examine the Bali itinerary and notice that the monkey sanctuary is not included in the itinerary. It is a possibility that you may be participating in activities that may not interest you.
Tip: Ask if you can do a different excursion while the group is exploring or go during allotted free time.
Lack of free/alone time: Most group trips are filled with daily activities. While excursions are fun and exciting they can be both tiresome and overwhelming. Some people need to be alone in order to recharge mentally and emotionally. This can be difficult to do when traveling with a large group.
Tip: Listen to your body. You can always opt-out of some of the activities if you need to rest.
Click on the photo above and take the quiz to see if you are ready for your first group trip.
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Did you know that I am organizing a group trip to Ghana in December 2019? Stay tuned for 2020 group trips.