I had traveled solo, with family, with friends, and with a group of unknown travelers tours. I had traveled in any available option and had different experiences every time, some were a good experience and some were not so good. There are always some advantages and disadvantages with Group Travel Vs Solo Travel.
Let me share my travel experiences.
I had written about it in my previous blog…..Travelling Solo – Advantages and Disadvantages with Dos & Don’ts
This is easiest for me because my family is no fuss. We live together so we understand each other’s shortcoming & likes dislikes better. I had traveled with my family and not with extended family so I can say it always helped me. I have responsibility but as at the same time, I know I have someone to fall back. Traveling helps us bond better and increase our understanding.
With group tours
Lots depend upon the local group leader, if that person is able to manage well then things go well because in a group there are all kind of people.
Apart from fixed itinerary, we get enough free time in “At leisure” category. Which means that we get time on our own to explore the place if we plan well & make use of this time. I had explored many places and local markets or restaurants during this “At leisure” time, while many of the people just lazed around in hotel or rooms.
With all women groups
I traveled twice with all women groups. I met strangers when we started the travel and by end of the trip, we become good friends.
The important thing to keep in mind wth these tours that we should be open to eat, sleep and live with total strangers (Living means you will share a room with a total stranger if opted for twin sharing). It is a good way to travel if we are not comfortable to travel alone & not getting someone to travel with us or if I like to meet people or if I am introvert then it is a good way to open up with strangers.
Trekking with unknown people
I did one 4 nights trek with total strangers. I had noticed that trek is tough and not like usual travel. Most of the days I shared the tent with 2 other trekkers. Trekking made me realized that if a person will trek with a friend or boyfriend or girlfriend than he/she will understand the compatibility level much better than any other circumstance.
When traveling with a friend, it’s easy to finalize travel plans like dates, places to visit or what we want to see and what we want to eat. Sometimes we are friends with someone for years and thinks that we know the person well but when we travel with them, we realize that we don’t know each other so well. Meeting a friend for few hours a day or hanging around for few hours is a different thing than living 24×7 with the same friend. When we travel together we come across so many things, which irritate us a lot. I had experienced these things with different friends while traveling. When we met each other for few hours we had no issues but after traveling together we realized each other’s irritating habits.It never thought of these when while knowing each other),
These can be small things like – one can’t get out of bed
one can’t get out of bed until the time she had her bed tea whatever may happen, another leave the washroom in a state that you wonder “Ahh she is so messy, why I never realized this before”,
another leave the washroom in a state that I wondered “Ahh she is so messy, why I never realized this before”,
someone will watch TV until midnight even when I am trying to sleep,
or someone spends too much time in the bathroom to get ready that I wonder if she had gone to sleep,
the problem can be with the AC. I like AC but a friend had problem with it & I don’t know what to do if I am feeling hot (Everyone is different),
Or a friend of mine is so obsessed with getting the perfect click in front of monument or any place that I wonder “Is she modeling or just wanted to record a memory”,
Food is another issue for me because I like to explore local food. On one such trip, 3 of us planned what all we will eat but one of the friend delayed everywhere or insisted on doing shopping and dragged us by saying how can you leave me alone for food. All the emotional drama and that it messed up our plan & our culinary adventure.There are many other small things, which are different between friends and easy to handle.
There are many other small things, which are different between friends and easy to handle. Some you can’t handle because of emotional attachment e have with friends.
There is no perfect way to travel. It all depends upon our need and comfort. If we are nervous traveling alone, managing and planning everything on our own than group travel is something best suited for us.
When we travel solo, all good or bad decisions are our and we have to manage all situations on our own but at the same time, we can do things at our pace. We get a lot of freedom to do as we like.
Traveling with a friend, who doesn’t share the same interest as yours can be disastrous. It will not only create bad travel experience but all spoil our friendship.
Decide as you feel comfortable and travel the way you will happy.