Solo travel vs group travel, which do you prefer? Which of these do you think is best for you?
If I get a dollar each time I get this question, I would probably be competing with the wealthiest man in the world currently. It isn’t out of place that people would ask for my preference since I’m a tourist. I love to pack for trips whether planned or last minute. Also, I can’t travel without my essentials on my travel packing list.
The joy that comes with traveling to different places cannot be explained. Now, I see you doing an eye roll while you read this. What’s the issue? After all, I wouldn’t be able to tell you tips or about the most beautiful places to visit in Africa if I were not traveling around.
Now, back to the question at hand…
I’m always at a loss for words when I get asked to pick between solo travel and group travel. On one hand, I love the freedom that comes with traveling solo. But on the other hand, I love engaging in group travels as they can be cost-effective. After all, we get to split the bill, and the expenses are lesser when compared to solo travel.
I have also shared a detailed post on how to plan the perfect vacation on a budget. Whether you’re looking to opt for either solo travel or group travel. Also, if you’re a last-minute traveler, you can read my post on how to plan a trip last minute without hassle. Is it better to travel alone or with a tour group?
Solo travel vs Group travel, which is right for you?
So, which would I pick?
Maybe this is the part where you would call me an Oliver Twist. However, I cannot pick between solo travel and group travel. The option I would go for depends on the travel mission. Why am I traveling? What do I want to do when I travel? What is the size of my pocket for this journey?
These are questions I ask myself before I embark on any journey, and the answers let me know if I would go for solo travel or group travel.
However, let us analyze both.
I can confidently tell you that solo travel vs group travel has its pros and cons. So let’s talk about them…
Pros of Solo Travel
On occasions where I’ve had to embark on solo travel, I did enjoy it to a great extent. Below are some pros of solo travel:
- Freedom: Nothing beats having your liberty in decision-making, especially as a tourist. As a solo traveler, you pick where you want to stay, hotels or hotel alternatives options, places to visit, things to do, etc. However, the contrary would have been the case if you had engaged in group travel as you would have had to consider others and their preferences.
While being a solo traveler, I do not have to deal with the nagging of anyone who feels I’m making a wrong decision. And, of course, no one wants anyone to act as their mummy or daddy while on a trip as a tourist. So, solo traveling makes this possible.
- You get to interact with more people: Interestingly, I’ve seen that people would instead approach you when you are alone than when you are in a group. I still do not get the logic behind this, but I’ve seen it happen many times. One of the best ways to network as a solo traveler is to opt to stay in hostels.
One of the things I look out for when I travel to a new place is connecting with the locals. And I’ve realized that I do more of this when I travel solo. I get to mix and mingle with more people than I would have done if I was traveling in a group. When you go on group travels, you tend to stick to only your circle, and it can limit the fun you would have.
- It helps you build confidence: Engaging in solo travel vs group travel takes lots of guts. You are alone in a new place, and it could be that you have never visited that place before.
I once had a friend back then in school who would not go anywhere without an escort. She was so shy about walking on the road alone. But when she had to engage in solo traveling, she had no choice but to mingle on her own, and it helped her build her confidence. If she had traveled in a group, she would have still found a way to drag the group along when going anywhere.
Cons of Solo Travel
They say that anything that has an advantage also has disadvantages. Hence, we need to look at the pros and cons of Solo travel vs group travel. Below are some cons of solo travel are:
- It is expensive: This is not to discourage you from traveling solo, but let me tell you that solo travel can be pretty expensive. You are responsible for all your expenses when going on a solo trip, as you would not be splitting the bills with anyone. I always ensure that my bank account is ready and prepared before engaging in solo travel.
Had it been a group trip, you know that everyone would split the expenses equally, and you do not have to worry so much. But you need a good amount of money if you plan to travel solo. Thus, I am always on the hunt for creative ways to make money while traveling the world when I engage in solo trips.
- It gets lonely: You are sure to feel lonely when you are in a new place without anyone familiar, especially if you spend more than a few days there. Yes, you might engage in various activities. However, there are times when that overwhelming feeling creeps up on you, and you would wish you were with people who could partake in such activities with you also.
There is a certain freedom that comes with solo travel, but it can also get lonely. Therefore, it is not surprising to see some people pick group travel as their favorite traveling option.
- You become a target: I’m sure you must have heard people say that it isn’t safe to travel alone, and I agree with them. While we might want to overlook some things, we cannot deny that a solo traveler is a target, especially a female solo traveler. I advise people to avoid patterns when in a new place.
For example, you shouldn’t have a routine that anyone can pick up on when you are in a new place. No one should know you for doing a particular activity at a specific time. Instead, switch things up and don’t stay in a certain place for too long if you have not made friends with the locals.
Now that we have talked about solo travel. We can’t compare Solo travel vs group travel without touching on the pros and cons of group travel.
Now, over to group travel.
Let’s take a look at the group travel option.
Pros of group travel
For those who have group travel as their preferred traveling option, let’s see what they enjoy…
- It is cheaper: It is considerably cheaper to travel in a group than to travel solo. When booking tours in a group, you can be sure to get discounts, and everyone shares the money equally. Whatever expenses incurred during the trip aren’t yours alone to bear. Many people say that the fear of bearing all the expenses is one reason that stops them from traveling and exploring places. Therefore, they are always looking for opportunities that allow them to travel in groups. Now, you do not need to have a heavy bank account before you can visit your favorite places if you plan to do group travels.
- There is a sense of safety and security: Recall how I mentioned that solo travelers are usually targets of perpetrators of hostile acts. Well, this rarely happens when you engage in group traveling. It would be harder for someone to rob a group of people but more straightforward for them to target a solo traveler.
People say there is safety in numbers, which plays out in group travels. When you are part of a group in a new place, you do not need to be paranoid as you are sure that you have familiar people around you, and things will be smoother. Thus, traveling in a group gives a sense of security. This is a deciding factor for choosing between Solo travel vs group travel.
- It is less stressful: Oh, the burden of planning a journey alone! The stress of picking the best accommodation option, thinking of things to do when you arrive in the city, trying to figure out the culture, etc. If you have ever traveled solo before, I’m sure you can relate to all these, and it’s one of the reasons why people are hesitant to travel.
However, you do not need to deal with such stress when traveling in a group as everyone would share the responsibilities equally. Everyone would have a specific thing to attend to, and the workload would be lesser than when you have to plan a solo trip.
One great way to travel in a group is via group tours. The best group tour I would recommend for your trip anywhere in the world is GetYourGuide. They plan the best tours taking the stress off you on your trip. Also, you get to network and make new friends on your vacation. Click here to book the GetYourGuide tour group for your next trip.
Cons of Group Travel
Are there disadvantages to group travel? Yes! Some of them are:
- You do not have autonomous decisions: There are limitations to what you can do when traveling in a group. You cannot wake up one morning and say you want to go to a water park and think that everyone would support your decision. Before indulging in any activity, you must run it by the group and ensure everyone agrees.
The lack of freedom in decision-making is a downside of group traveling. In addition, you would mostly have to work with the schedule of the group, and it can be annoying. However, it would be best if you tried to enjoy it and make the most fun out of it.
- Lesser interactions: If you love to explore and interact with lots of people when you travel, you can be sure that there will be fewer interactions when you engage in group travel. First, you would have your group members on alert when you venture away from the group, and they begin to panic when they cannot find you. Of course, you wouldn’t want this to happen, so you tend to stick with the group.
There is also the fact that people would shy away from approaching you when they notice that you are in a group, and it reduces your interaction rate. I know that this would not be an issue for introverts.
- Zero privacy: One minute, you are texting someone, thinking you’re having a private conversation on your phone; the next minute, a group member is laughing over your shoulder. Yes, it can be annoying to travel in a group as there is usually no privacy. People often complain that they do not get time for themselves when they engage in group trips as group members are often in their business.
In addition, most group travels would have people sharing rooms, limiting your privacy. The best way to get over this is to remember that it isn’t a permanent situation, and you are there to have fun.
Knowing the pros and cons of solo travel vs group travel makes it easier for you to pick a preference.
Irrespective of your decision between solo travel vs group travel, ensure to pack cute outfits when traveling!
Plan your trip anywhere in the world with these travel resources.
- Book your flight ticket using the Aviasales search engine.
- How to find the cheapest flight tickets anywhere in the world.
- Book your stay at any hotel in the world using Trivago.
- Opt for hotel alternatives for your accommodation by booking a hostel using Hostel world.
- Prefer to book an Airbnb. Here are my best tips for booking Airbnb as a first-timer.
- Get travel insurance for your health and against uncertainties using Insubuy for US-based travelers.
- Book a tour if you choose to opt for group travel via GetYourGuide.
- Book the best airport transfers to your final destination via GetTransfer.
Feel free to comment on why you’d prefer solo travel vs group travel. Have you gone on solo travel vs group travel, share your experiences below.