As an avid traveler, I can write several dozen blog posts about how convenient it is to travel on your own. You are your own boss and can visit just the places you always wanted. While I’m a lone wolf at heart, I can’t overlook the fun and excitement of group travels. Whether you are lucky enough to collect a group of friends for your next trip or resourceful enough to find a team of like-minded strangers, group travel is fun.
After traveling alone or with one friend or a girlfriend I was sort of hesitant about going with a group. I had a thousand of organizational questions like:
- What if they refuse to go where I want?
- What if they are early risers and I want to sleep in?
- Do we always split the restaurant bill or make the poor waiter create separate checks for each one of us?
Surprising enough, when I finally got all my bravery together and tried a group trip to Europe a few months ago, I completely forgot about all these questions. I came up with new ones.
- Why are there only 24 hours in a day? I need at least three more to talk to these people before going to sleep.
- Where do I find the appropriate words and Telegram stickers to express all the overwhelming emotions in the group chat.
- Did I really pay that little for the hotel?
- When do we go again?
After the first wave of excitement washed over me, I tried to get myself together and record all the advantages and disadvantages of group trips.
- It’s cheaper. Heck, yes! Sharing the tour tickets, hotel, and food costs is not just nice, it’s exciting. For the money you spend staying in one city for a week alone, you can go with a group for at least 10 days.
- It’s more fun. I never had to think about what to do in the evenings. Socializing was always on the menu.
- It’s safer. Many places I visited are not safe for a lone traveler in the night. When there are six of you, you just don’t care.
- Individual tours. This is the best one. You don’t have to wait for scheduled excursions and tour guides so you can join in. You can order a personal tour for your own group and feel like kings.
- Photos. No more strange-looking selfies! You always have someone to take an awesome picture of you in the most exciting places. At the end of the day, you can choose a few out of a hundred from 4 smartphones and one professional camera.
- The element of surprise. Even if you are traveling with friends, you might learn some unexpected stuff about them on the road. For example, they may turn out to be too lazy or overly active. They may love fighting with their girlfriends all night long. Or they spend long hours in the bathroom in the morning (in case you all live together).
- You are not free to plan. I know I already mentioned this, but I want to stress this fact. You may not get to see everything you wanted. However, you and the group can plan for some free time when everyone goes where he or she wishes.
- No alone time. When you are traveling with a group, forget about alone time. For me, it was the hardest challenge. By the end of the trip, I kind of got used to it. But the next time, I’m definitely booking a separate room.
- They may hate Chinese food. The choice of a place to eat is always tough. We all liked different food. You need to plan for such things in advance and search for food courts or restaurants that serve a big variety of dishes.
Overall, my group trip was fun. I’ll definitely do it again soon.