group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons

Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons

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The question that every traveler must face when planning a trip to go conquer their bucket list is: group tour vs solo travel

I have done my fair share of solo (female) travel and organized group travel, and I do get this question a lot when talking about travel!

So let’s chat about the pros and cons of group tour vs solo travel so that you can move forward with what is best for you and your needs!

Pros of a Group Tour

1. Everything is done for you

I would love to think of myself as a hardworking individual. However, sometimes it is really nice just to be LAZY! Also, contrary to popular belief, I don’t always love planning every single detail of a trip out.

This is one of the amazing reasons that I love traveling with a group tour vs solo travel! They do the entire itinerary, transportation, and logistics for you. All you have to do is simply show up and my lazy traveling self lives for it.

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
The team of fierce explorers that accompanied us on our trek through the Salkantay and Incan Trail in Peru.

2. Safety

This is probably the biggest advantage of traveling with a a group tour vs solo travel. Safety is truly in the numbers (and with a professional guide).

This drastically reduces risk, especially if you stay in your group or with the guide. There are some places that, personally, I would not travel to if it weren’t in an organized group just due to safety reasons.

Also, if anything were to happen or you would need medical attention, you would have staff that could assist you with the entire process. And trust me…that is worth its weight in gold! I have one shocking story about my ear in Vietnam!

There are also some activities that require you to go with a guide, like the Skylodge Adventure Suites in Peru or some African Safaris.

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
My tour group for the Komodo Islands in Indonesia.

3. It forces you to meet new people

Another reason that I love company group tours vs solo travel is that it puts you in a position where you have to meet new people. And trust me–after a week or two together…you are very close with your new travel buddies.

I have found that this is an amazing way to meet new friends and I have met countless incredible people this way that I still keep in contact with today!

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Rafting Tully River with a group.

4. You experience things that you might have missed

Although you might have an idea of what you want to see when you travel to a certain location, I guarantee that there will be that one thing that you never knew you wanted to see!

When solo traveling, it is a lot harder to find these and I would have to read many blogs or talk with locals.

If you pick a company that knows its stuff, then they have done all that work for you! You would not believe the number of times I have thought to myself: “How did I not know this was here? I would have been so disappointed if I didn’t see this!”

5. You learn a lot more about the place and its history

When traveling with a company, you normally have a guide (and maybe a driver or more people) who is very knowledgeable about the location!

Therefore, you have ample opportunity to ask all of your questions: culture, history, language, and more!

When you aren’t worrying about where to go and planning everything, you can actually take up the sites and learn about where you are from your professional guide.  

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Hiking Fox Glacier in New Zealand with my travel group.

Group Tour Ideas for Your Next Bucket List Place

Cons of a Group Tour

1. You have little freedom

When you sign on to join an organized group tour vs solo travel, you are at the mercy of their itinerary. Yes, this frees up countless hours of planning for you, but also cements your time.

True, most of them hit the main things, but there is always that one thing you wanted to do but could not because you were with a group and did not have time to stray. 

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Jumping for joy in New Zealand with my tour group friends that later became some of my close friends! We still FaceTime to this day, but we have a hard time finding a time since we are in the US, Australia, and Germany!

2. Yes, you make new friends, but that also means you are stuck with them constantly

Now for me as a single solo traveler, this was not a deal breaker for me. I enjoyed being around my new travel friends constantly.

However, if you were traveling with your partner, you might want some time alone to do your own thing. Depending on the company, this might not always be a possibility. You might get parts of the day here and there, but generally, you are always in a group.

This is definitely not for everyone. I went on a guided trip around Europe with my best friend once and we had a blast, but there were some moments when we just wanted to explore on our own. 

3. It might be more expensive

This will largely depend on how you approach your travel, but if you were on a tight budget you would have more control over how you spend your money. With an organized company travel, it is more of an inclusive mentality.

In the past when I have done organized travel, they have even decided on some of the restaurants for us. When you are locked in a tour, you get less flexibility about when and where to spend your money.

Also, some tours might be more expensive than if you were to just do them on your own. Don’t forget about tipping your guide, driver, and other staff at the end of your journey!

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
My group in Fiji! Would definitely recommend this option if you want to travel to Fiji but are on a budget.

Pros of Solo Travel

1. It is very freeing.

Just a quick point about true solo travel–it is EXTREMELY liberating!

I truly believe that everyone should solo travel by themselves. There is something so empowering about exploring a destination by yourself and choosing what you want to experience.

The majority of people, myself included, feel awkward being alone (imagine going out to eat or watching a movie alone). But by traveling alone and overcoming this, it brings a level of confidence that is hard to explain, but I think everyone needs to feel. 

If you are looking for easy solo travel destinations, I would start with France (or anywhere in Western Europe), Australia, and New Zealand to start. Then move on to more of the “harder” solo travel destinations like Peru, Indonesia, or Tanzania.

2. If you LOVE planning every second of the trip

Not traveling with a group gives you the freedom to do what you want and when you want it. This allows you to go on the trip that you have designed, not someone else.

By doing such, there is a higher chance you will get to see and do everything that you set out to do and not miss anything. 

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Going on a hot air balloon by myself during a solo trip to Australia.

3. You are traveling with someone else.

Now, I also want to touch on if you’re not traveling alone and you aren’t in an organized group provided by a company. For example, you go on vacation with your partner, spouse, or best friend. For this purpose, I am going to call this tandem travel.

Did I just make that up? Maybe. With that being said, one of the perks of just traveling with you and a buddy is it gives you the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. 

This can give you more privacy. As opposed to the organized group where you are with the same group constantly, traveling without the help of a company can provide you with more privacy. This is ideal for someone on a romantic getaway.

Sometimes you don’t want to make new friends; sometimes you just want to be with that loved one and no one (and that’s okay!).

Cons of Solo Travel

1. It’s a lot of work

There is something to be said for giving up some freedom and sticking to a company’s itinerary. It is because it takes a lot of work to do everything all by yourself.

This is personal preference–some people enjoy this while others do not. I am personally a big fan of just showing up and letting a company do all of the work for me. 

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Exploring Angkor Wat, Cambodia while healing from a post-op ear surgery in Vietnam.

2. Safety can be a bigger issue

Now, there IS a way to travel safely as a solo or tandem traveler. However, it does take more of an effort and always scanning your environment.

Although safety issues can never truly be illuminated, they can be reduced further if you are in a bigger group.

Scammers and other safety concerns can be targeted more on individuals. As I said, it is unavoidable and completely doable but you are still at higher risk if you are alone. 

3. It is harder to make friends

Again, if you prefer to be alone and stay alone then this isn’t an issue. For me, I quite enjoy making connections when I travel.

When solo traveling, my favorite thing to do is make friends with locals. This is a very beneficial experience and creates long-term connections and recommendations, but can be more work and, linking to the last point, increases the risk of scams or other safety concerns

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Just because it is harder to make friends traveling solo doesn’t mean you won’t! It just means it might be more unexpected…like my koala friend here!

4. You may miss something

Again, unless you are friends with some locals or residents who can give you recommendations, there is a very good chance you might miss something amazing that you never knew you existed.

One time I was in Rome and wanted to see St. Peter’s Basilica. On a taxi ride, I ended up talking to him about this and he took me to a door that was perfectly placed where you could see the basilica through the keyhole.

If it weren’t for him, I would have had no clue that it even existed, but on the other hand, it was more work talking to him as a local and there was the obvious risk to my safety since I didn’t know where he was taking me in the taxi.

What do I prefer?

If I had to pick between solo travel and organized travel, I honestly think I would go for a hybrid of both

For example, when I backpacked around the world, I went on several organized tours from companies, but they would always start and end in certain locations. I would do my own travels before and after on my own and do everything that was not included in the tour.

Then, I would go on an organized trip for the parts that I wasn’t too comfortable with doing on my own. I did miss out on some things that I wanted to do, but overall I liked the experience of doing it hybrid. 

If you want my recommendation, they would be based on these factors:

group tour vs solo travel, Group Tour vs Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
Meeting back up with friends that I had met on my tour group to India earlier for a girl’s weekend in Sydney.

What kind of traveler are you when thinking about Group Tour or Solo Travel? 

Are you the kind of traveler who just wants to show up with no stress and bask in your environment and this experience? Organized travel! 

Or are you the traveler who wants to handpick their activities and enjoys planning? Solo travel!

Do you want to experience the location or experience the person in the location? 

Are you traveling because you want to learn about your location and see the main parts of it? An organized trip might be the best option to utilize your time and learn as much as you can! 

Or are you traveling with a partner or friend for a special occasion such as a honeymoon? If your trip is about bonding with the other person, then I would suggest skipping the company tour. 

Are you okay with a little adventure, unknown factors, and potential obstacles? 

If something goes wrong during your travels, are you prepared to handle it by yourself? Are you okay with being a little more adventurous and putting in more effort with making friends, finding recommendations, and overcoming potential stressors? Then I would recommend solo travel. 

If you want to be supported at all times, make some easy friends, and have all the activities already decided, then an organized tour might be the more stress-free option you are craving.

Final Word of Group Tour vs Solo Travel

In conclusion, while both group travel and solo adventures have their unique advantages and challenges, a hybrid approach offers the best of both worlds.

By blending the camaraderie and shared experiences of group travel with the flexibility and independence of solo exploration, travelers can enjoy a more balanced and fulfilling journey.

This approach allows for personal growth and spontaneity, while also providing the support and companionship that can enhance the overall travel experience.

Embracing a hybrid travel style enables adventurers to tailor their trips to their preferences, ensuring that each journey is as enriching and enjoyable as possible.

Luckily, this is completely dependent on you and your needs – so there really isn’t a “right” answer.

More Articles to Inspire You to Travel

Group Travel Trips I’ve done

Solo Travel trips I’ve Done

Travel Resources for You

Adventure Bucket List Resources

I am here to help your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible! That way you can check off that bucket list with minimal complications and spending!

AIRFARE – It is no surprise that like many travelers, I have found that Hopper is one of the best resources to use when finding cheap flights. 

ACCOMMODATION – My two favorites are Booking.Com for hotels and VRBO for rentals. 

GUIDED TOURS –  If you are looking for quick and easy tours, check out GetYourGuide and Viator

MULTI-DAY TOURS –  For more in-depth tours that span several days, TourHub has many great options with reputable travel companies. Use my code (ALEXANDRA1GURU) for up to 5% off your next bucket list adventure. 

TRANSPORTATION –  You can either rent a car yourself with Discover Cars or do a guided bus tours like Big Bus Tours

CREDIT CARD –  I always use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all of my purchases. There is no annual fee and you get 1.5% cash back and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel. 

SIM CARDS –  Avoid expensive roaming charges with an eSim card with Airalo.

TRAVELER’S INSURANCE –  Check out VisitorsCoverage for affordable insurance plans.

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