Usually, there are two main ways to travel. You can travel all by yourself, or you can travel as part of a group. For argument’s sake, a group is basically any instance where at least one other person joins you. So, if you travel with one friend, then I’m classing that in the group category!
Loads of people always ask which approach is better. Do you get more out of your travel experience when you’re alone or with others? It’s hard to give a clear answer as it genuinely depends on where you’re going, what you’re doing, and who you’re travelling with.
However, we can look at some of the pros and cons of both options. This way, you can decide for yourself which method might suit you!
Solo travel gives you more control & flexibility
The main argument in favour of solo travel is that you’re in control of everything. You decide what to do and when to do it. You’re not bothered by other people’s schedules, you can make changes at the last minute – there’s way more flexibility about this approach.
Also, when travelling on your own, you have the luxury of not needing to wait for anyone. If you’re ready to go out and explore, then you can. When you travel with a group, you have to wait for everyone to be ready to go. Even if there are two of you, your travel partner may take an extra hour longer than you to get ready every morning! So, if you want more freedom, then travelling alone might be for you.
Group travel is safer
There’s no denying that travelling with other people is the safer of the two options. It’s pretty straightforward and simple to understand. The more of you there are, the less likely it is that you’ll end up in dangerous situations. This is one of the main advantages of group travel, and it’s a key reason why lots of people actively seek out travel partners or group trips to go on.
If you’re on your own, then there’s definitely going to be an increased risk. Without wanting to scare you, it’s obvious that people will target individuals travelling on their own. Unfortunately, this is even more the case when young women travel alone. I’m not saying you should never travel solo, but take more safety precautions if you do. Oh, and pick and choose where to travel on your own. Going for a weekend away in Sweden is a lot safer than taking a month out to travel to South America on your own!
Solo travel builds confidence
Forcing yourself to go out in the big wide world is a massive step to take. Some people struggle to go to the shops on their own, let alone travel to a distant country. So, if you’re looking to improve your confidence and feel more independent, then solo travel is the way to go. It forces you out of your comfort zone and means you have to talk to other people. You need to speak to local guides or people that live in the places you’re visiting. You have to ask for directions or advice – it really builds you up as a person. Most people return from travelling on their own and feel like they’ve evolved as human beings. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point!
While group travel will still help you feel more confident, it’s nowhere near the same experience. You can rely on the more talkative people in your group to do all the talking and interacting. You’re not forced out of your comfort zone as much, and it’s not as life-changing an experience – from a personal development point of view.
Group travel often helps you visit more places
The thing with group travel is that it sometimes makes it a lot easier to visit destinations that you’d struggle to go to on your own. Let’s say you wanted to go to Asia, this is a big trip to make on your own. Think about how long you’ll have to spend trying to figure out where to stay and where to go. It will cost a lot, and you may realise that it’s not possible for you right now. By contrast, a quick Google search will bring up loads of group trips to China, all packaged up and ready for you to buy. You travel with lots of other people, everything sorted for you, and it’s far more accessible.
Travelling with a group – either with mates or as part of a holiday package – usually ends up being cheaper. This is because the costs are split between multiple people. Again, this makes impossible holidays seem possible.
Solo travel can help you make more friends
This is probably the most debatable point in the article. I think that most people make more friends when they travel on their own. This goes back to the point I made about confidence; you’re forced to interact with others. It’s impossible to travel on your own and be an introverted hermit. You literally need to speak to people, and this means you have more opportunities to make friends.
Yes, if you travel in a group, then you can still make a lot of friends. Especially if you’ve booked onto a group holiday with people you don’t know. But, if you’re on holiday with your friends, then you may stick together a lot. There’s no need to go out and speak to other travellers unless you have to. You’ve got each other’s company, so you don’t feel the need to make as many friends.
In summary, both approaches have pros and cons. The best advice I can give is that you weigh up both options before planning your next trip. Think about where you’re going. Is it safe enough to travel on your own? Think about why you want to go away. Are you looking to challenge yourself and meet new people, or do you just want to have fun? By asking lots of different questions, you’ll soon figure out if your next trip will be better with friends/a group, or on your own.