Are you wondering if you should try solo travel vs a tour? Keep on reading to learn what to expect from both, and some things to keep in mind when making your decision!
If you’ve been around this blog before, chances are that you already know that solo travel is definitely something I recommend everyone experience at least once in their lifetime! But what about taking a tour for travel?
Solo travel gives you such a sense of freedom, and I truly believe that it’s something that helps you grow as a person in many ways. I also find that traveling alone and figuring out how to make everything happen by yourself grows a deep sense of self confidence that you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten by staying at home, or even by traveling with friends or family.
However, I also understand that solo travel can feel quite daunting for many people, and maybe for some it would be best to dip their toe into solo travel slowly. This step could definitely be taken by joining a travel tour!
Traveling Solo on a Tour
There are many different types of travel group tours out there, so it’s important to research the different companies, check out their reviews, and be sure to know what types of trips they offer, especially if you’re traveling alone for the first time.
For example, tour operator companies like Contiki and TopDeck are more for groups of people under 30 who will enjoy partying at the location they arrive at in the evenings.
If partying isn’t your thing, this may end up feeling very overwhelming for you, and you might decide to try a company that is more quiet, like something offered at intrepid.
Also, it’s great to have an idea of what type of travel you’re interested in. Usually companies have quite a variety of trips to suit different people’s style of travel. You could sign up for a very adventurous tour, or a slower paces tour. You can also choose to travel with a small group, or a larger group.
Another thing to keep in mind with a tour led trip is the accommodation. Are you someone who love to stay in hostels and meet other travelers? Or do you prefer a higher end hotel? Again, different companies and different levels of tours will have different options, so to ensure an enjoyable experience, make sure you know what you would feel most comfortable with before making your final decision.
There are certainly many benefits of traveling on a group tour. You’ll always have people around to take pictures of you at really cool destinations, instead of trusting someone with your phone/camera and hoping they won’t run away with it. (Don’t overthink this if you’re traveling solo. Always be cautious, but there will still most often be good samaritans around who will take nice pictures of you and return the camera).
Traveling on a tour is also an amazing way to meet new people who you will always have a bond with! If you end up staying in touch after the tour, you’ll always have these people to reminisce over good times with about this trip. It’s a great way to make some new friends.
You’ll also always have a tour guide explaining the wonderful places that you’re seeing on your group tour. This is a great way to learn the history of the fun bucket list destinations that you’re seeing on the group trip.
You won’t have to eat alone! This one seems to really trip people up when it comes to solo travel, especially if you’re a foodie! When you travel with a group, most often a lot of the meals do come included as group meals. The ones that aren’t included (mostly lunches) will still likely not find you alone because you can explore new restaurants with your new travel friends.
Also traveling as part of a tour can sometimes be more affordable than traveling solo. Of course this depends on what type of accommodation and transportation you decide to go with, but when you book with a tour group you can save money on shared accommodations and get group rates.
Traveling Solo Benefits
Now with all of that being said about travel tours, traveling fully solo has many wonderful benefits.
When you are traveling solo, there is so much freedom that comes with it. You have complete control over your schedule. When you travel with others there is some compromise that goes with that so that everyone can try to see what they want. When you’re traveling alone, you don’t have to worry about putting money and time into seeing something that you may not be very interested in, and you don’t have to worry about missing something that you’re really excited about due to anyone else!
Related: Best Places to Travel Solo for Women
You also have the full freedom to choose where to stay. Are you more introverted and enjoy having your own space with your accommodation, but feel your friends would prefer to party with other people at a hostel in the evenings? Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that if you’re on your own!
Or maybe you’re the friend who would like to meet new people at a hostel, but your friends may not be into that. Again, you don’t have to compromise!
You get to eat alone! I know that many people don’t consider this something to be excited about, but it really is exciting! If you’re a foodie and you’re traveling with someone who isn’t, then they won’t be as adventurous and excited about spending money on new food options.
Or if you’re not much of a foodie, then you don’t have to worry about putting out extra money on food if you’re traveling with someone who gets really excited about exploring the city through their taste buds!
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Deciding on Solo Travel vs Tour
- If traveling alone still makes you nervous, you can always start small by doing an overnight in your own city, or a neighbouring city! This is a great way to get used to exploring on your own without being super far out of your comfort zone
- When traveling solo, it’s a good idea for at least one close person in your life to have a general idea of your itinerary or where you’re staying for extra security. I honestly do this even if I’m traveling with friends or family, it’s just a good practice.
- If you’re choosing to travel on a tour, do your research and know what you want out of your travel experience before booking. Always check reviews to make sure you’re going with a reputable company.
- Super important if you’re traveling solo, be sure to check reviews of accommodations that you’re looking into. If you’re looking into hotels, read reviews on multiple review and booking websites, and if you’re staying at an Airbnb, pay extra attention to reviews from fellow solo female travelers.
- Always have a backup of money and bank cards in different areas on you and in your accommodation, just in case you find yourself being pickpocketed. Again, this is just a good tip for any traveler, not necessarily just for solo travel.
I hope this was helpful for you in your decision process on whether you should experience a solo travel vs tour traveling experience. Feel free to tag us in your Instagram travels @shescatchingflights.