India Wednesday

Solo Travel Vs Group Travel: Choose The Best One!

Travelling is one of the things that we all crave for. No matter how much we travel, there is always a wiggle room for travelling and exploring. And this never-ending desire is what we live for. Deciding to travel the world is itself an enormous decision and with this decision comes various small decisions and confusion. People who have just started travelling often look for guidance on whether to choose solo travel or group travel. This post will guide you perfectly on your journey.

Solo travelling

Solo travel is mostly a choice and not an option. Solo travelling means that a person is travelling and exploring places and things alone. They can also meet people and even spend time in groups but they have complete freedom over their journey. From schedule to budget, one has complete right and freedom to make decisions.

Group Travel

Group travel refers to a bunch of people who will be travelling with you along with a travel guide to the same place, with the same budget and schedule. You will have more or less the same experience while travelling with a group. There is not much freedom left with you and you always have one thing in mind ”you’re not alone”.This phrase is good in some cases while in some cases it turns out to be a headache.

Both solo travel and group travel have their pros and cons. Before deciding on what to choose, first let’s have a look at their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of group travelling:

1. Group of people

As the name suggests, group travel is when we travel with a group or bunch of travel enthusiasts. With these people, you have at least one thing in common and that is you all love to travel. Studies say that it is easier to be friends with whom you have mutual interests and it is easy to talk to them as well and you have a whole group. It may not be necessary that you get along with all of them but there will be many of them. The bond that you will build is not going to be temporary and the memories and fun that you will experience will last for life. There will never be a lack of topics to start a conversation as you have plenty of common experiences and memories.

2. Managing budget and schedule is easier

Want a journey with a light mood where you don’t have to keep a record of your budget and schedule and indulge complete focus in your travel journey then a group tour can make your work easier. A travel guide decides your itinerary/schedule and your budget is decided before your journey begins.

3. Someone is always there for you

The best thing about group travel is that you don’t have to face any situation alone and there is always someone to help you whether you fall sick during the journey, don’t know the regional language,  you want to have more information about historical places, you want to have cultural insights, know about local practices that people follow or have an idea about the law and order of a place. Don’t worry, a travel guide will have all these things sorted for you and will save a lot of your time.

4. Group travellers

It is better to take group travel if you’ve just started with travelling as it is quite safe and relaxing, which will help you build confidence and in the process, you’ll learn a lot of things which will help in your further journey. While solo travel is best after you gain some experience so that you can proceed with your journey confidently. Group travel is safest when it comes to travelling to certain places where law and order or culture and people are quite disturbing. Imagine you want to see the night view of a place where it is not quite safe to go alone. Group travel may help.

Disadvantages of group travel:-

1. Less freedom/control

Group travelling is less flexible and may not quench your thirst for the freedom you are seeking as a traveler. Your tour guide decides your schedule and budget. Their schedule may/may not include the places that you desire to travel to. Imagine if you want to stay in a place a bit longer or you want to revisit a place, or some days you want to simply stay at a hostel/hotel and don’t want to travel at all, want to just stargaze or watch nature’s beauty… but damn! Your travel guide has different plans and schedules. If the rest of the people agree with the travel guide and the schedule he/she has set, then you will feel quite pressured to agree with the majority, or else you’ll feel like being left out.

2. Not pocket-friendly

Group travel charges for making your travel journey easier, which is a reason they charge you more. Group travel is expensive and may not fit in your budget and the ones fitting in your budget may lack facilities and comfort. You cannot stick to a budget while planning to travel in a group as it will turn out to be a bit more expensive. You can’t alter your budget and will have to spend according to the travel agency/guide. One has to pay the amount before the travel journey begins so there is no chance left for increasing/decreasing the budget as per your requirements.

3. You’re not alone

As I have stated earlier, this phrase is both an advantage and disadvantage. When discussing disadvantages, in a group tour you are travelling with different people having different mindsets and who belong to different backgrounds. You may/may not bond up with them. Imagine staying with a few annoying people, who misbehave during your whole trip. If the travel guide is leading the group correctly then things will be fine, but if he/she is not doing so then it can spoil your trip and mood, which is a major disadvantage.

Advantage of solo travelling :-

1. Unique experience

Unlike group travel where everyone has more or less the same experience while travelling solo you’ll have a whole new experience. From spending time with yourself to meeting locals, building bonds with strangers, facing likely and unlikely situations on your own, booking your tickets, choosing hotel/hostels, figuring out things on your own, and making a lot of decisions is a unique experience in itself and it boosts confidence. You will have to strike up a conversation with people and even ask for help from locals. One thing is sure, after a solo trip, you will not be hesitant anymore. All this will lead to your personal growth and it’s a huge advantage while talking about solo travelling.

2. Freedom and flexibility

Freedom is the basis of any travelling plan. Whether it’s about spending time with yourself away from the crowd, freedom from office/work, a little escape from responsibilities, or just freedom of thoughts. Freedom is one of those things that we seek throughout our lives. Solo travel is a wonderful way of experiencing freedom whether it is about choosing your destination, deciding your schedule on your own, planning the budget, staying in the hostel/hotel you wish, visiting restaurants you love, eating food you like, meeting or bonding with people you want to. Solo travelling fulfills all your desires or personal preferences. Solo travelling puts your personal preferences above all other things.

3. Budget-friendly

Solo travelling is budget-friendly and there is always a chance of altering the budget. You are the one to decide your budget and spend accordingly.  No unnecessary expenses and no hidden costs are levied on you. There is complete transparency as to where you are spending the money. This makes solo trips cheaper as compared to group travel.

Disadvantages of solo travelling :-

1. Isolation/friendlessness

While solo travelling, one may feel lonely as you don’t have a group, you are travelling all alone and while staying in the hostel, you will have to initiate a conversation. The friendships made while solo travelling may at times not last long and it is not easy to build special bonds. You may have to initiate a talk with quite a few people in the streets, hostels, and restaurants to find a few of them with similar interests as you have. When stuck in some adverse situation, you don’t have a guide or your group to help you. You may feel lonely if anything goes wrong or any problem arises during the journey.

2. Planning/time-consuming activities

In solo travelling, a lot of your time gets utilized in planning for your schedule. Everything is planned by you and you are the one who has to keep everything in mind. From where to stay, where to eat to whom to talk everything is to be decided by you. If you have not done enough research about the place, this all can turn out to be a headache for you. You may at times make the wrong decisions and later regret them. Some people plan the whole trip in advance while some figure out things as they proceed with their journey. Both of these require your attention and time, hence you may not enjoy the journey freely or in a light mood. This is a drawback in the case of solo travelling.

3. Security

While travelling solo, security is the biggest question. Security is a major reason why family and friends advise us not to travel solo. Travelling solo in certain places is not preferable because at these places you can get fooled if you are not cautious enough. In places where you want to have a view of the nightlife, travelling alone is not advisable. Researching about the places before visiting is best for solo travelers.

Here are some security tips for solo travelers:-

  • Research places you are going to visit and choose the most secure locality for your stay.

  • Stay connected with your family members, share your itinerary/schedule with them, and regularly update them with your location.

  • Try to build friendships or strike conversations with the locals, they will help you with regional language; knowing the place, culture, and practices in a better way.

  • Keep your belongings such as your wallet, passport, and mobile phone in the safest place. These are the things that’ll help you if you run into a problem.

  • Always travel with some essential medicines that will prove to be a savior if you fall sick during your travel journey.


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