Group travel and solo travel will provide very different experiences meanwhile going to the same places. For a budget conscience person, the deciding factor on when to go solo and when to go in a group will be the destination or the activities.
For example, South East Asia can be done super cheap on your own. It is easy to get around, cheap to fly around, cheap to eat and cheap to sleep. On the other hand Africa would be very difficult to get around on your own as public transport throughout the massive continent is few and far between and activities such as game drives are cheapest when the cost is shared.
The activities can also play a huge factor in the price when you are on your own or in a group. Travelling South America can be done fairly cheap, but if you want to go to the Galapagos Islands, it’s best to board a boat with a group. Also when trekking it’s best done in a group so you can share the costs of guides and porters on such treks as the Inca Trail or Lares trek in Peru or the W circuit in Patagonia.
You can focus more on yourself and personal growth when you are off on your own. You will definitely still meet friends, but a lot of the time you will have to go out of your comfort zone to do so. Perhaps by walking up to a stranger for a conversation or asking someone if you can join them at their dinner table – I think this is a fun challenge though.
When heading out solo it is definitely an asset to know a local language, but not essential, you can travel with dictionaries, electronic translators and your body language. You will be surprised how much you can communicate with someone without speaking the language.
- Some places I would go to solo are:
- South East Asia
- Central America
- South America
- New Zealand
*The above are with the exception of treks and the Galapagos Islands.
Group travel can be great when wanting an opportunity to travel with others and share costs of transfers, activities and possible discounted rates on hotels. It provides a great atmosphere for meeting people with similar interests who can quite easily become lifelong friends.
It can also provide your loved ones at home with some piece of mind that you are with a responsible tour operator. That said, you might feel safer, but I am a firm believe that solo travel is just as safe as long as you are using your common sense.
- Some places I would book onto a group are:
- Africa (with the exception of major cities)
- Russia to Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Express
- Outback, Australia
The choice to go solo or in a group is definitely a personal one and I encourage you to consider your budget and what you hope to achieve from your travels when trying to decide. Hopefully you will have the chance to experience both ways of travelling as they both bring something different to your memory book.
Me and my group in Botswana (with G Adventures)
Travelling Solo in Queenstown, New Zealand