Whether one prefers solitary or group travel seems to be a largely based on personal preference—influenced by past travel experience, gender, language skills or fluency—and budget restraints. Not surprisingly, men take solo trips more often than women. Also, the more money a traveler has available to spend and his degree of fluency in the destination country’s language, the more apt an individual is to travel independently. Finally, a higher travel budget allows more well-to-do travelers to independently purchase the amenities offered by larger group tours or to stay in hotels with concierge services. So unless you have your own specifically outlined itinerary, why not take advantage of some of the many benefits of traveling in a group?
Benefits of Group Travel
On the other side of the equation, there are several positives to traveling in both small and large groups. Some of these advantages include saving money, safety, social aspects and already completed, up-to-date research and organization. Further, with the specificity of some of today’s current holiday planning companies, you’ll also enjoy the comfort of knowing that—although your fellow adventurers will be temporary strangers—you already share a good deal of common interests.
The Many Means of Saving Money Through Group Travel
At the risk of suggesting that you might be touring your country of choice with nine Ebenezer Scrooges, traveling in a group is a huge financial benefit in several different ways. Travel companies frequently receive discounts on means of travel (airline flights, train bookings or cruise ships), accommodations and admission to special tours due to their long-term relationships with providers—and the assumption of their guaranteed return visits. Some of these savings are then passed down to you to encourage your status as a tour company customer. In addition to these fun savings, an equally important aspect is your ability to purchase group travel insurance at a more deeply discounted rate than what you might pay as a single traveler.
Safety Issues During Group Travel
Traveling by group can help ensure your safety in at least two different ways. Foremost, the old adage usually holds true that there is safety in numbers. While you’ll still need to take precautions to protect your money and identity against easy access by pickpockets, you’re less likely to be targeted as a robbery or scam victim. Second, tour guides are familiar with the area and the usual scams and can warn you ahead of time to be wary of these aspects.
Other Benefits of Group Travel
Although you may well prefer a novel with your meal as opposed to a less exciting dinner companion, traveling in a group does allow you access to individuals you know are not thieves, scammers or psychiatric hospital escapees. You can also relax knowing that reservations are already confirmed and tours are already scheduled for your enjoyment.
With the variety of tours available today, you can choose small groups or large groups in which to travel, groups who prefer cycling to walking, groups who are fluent in the language of the country visited and many other characteristics. Group travel has grown into a specialized industry and no longer necessarily involves being herded about like cattle by tour guides with megaphones.