Solo travel and group travel both have their advantages and disadvantages. Should you go on a solo trip or a group trip? The complex answer is: it depends on the particular trip.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Solo Travel
We all know how much I love solo travel. I obviously have an entire blog dedicated to it. Nothing teaches you about yourself the way solo travel does. If you just went through a traumatizing life event or are feeling lost in life, I highly recommend taking a solo trip and just figuring yourself out for a bit. It’ll help you gain independence and take control of your own life.
On the other hand though, solo travel can be extremely stressful. Making every decision alone can be confusing and tough especially if you’re an inexperienced traveler. If you get lost or stuck in a scary situation, you’re the only one that can dig yourself out. There are risks with anything though, and I have plenty of solo travel tips to keep you safe!
Advantages and Disadvantages of Group Travel
Traveling with friends or family can be a ton of fun! Nothing brings you closer together than pushing each other through a tough hike or staying up for 3 days straight drinking tequila.
On the other hand though it can be tough when everyone doesn’t want to do the same thing. Someone can end up feeling left out or like they wasted their vacation. Fights can arise, and friendships can end in the blink of an eye.
When should you take a solo trip?
You’re looking To gain some independence
As social as I am, I would consider myself to be an introvert in the sense that I require time alone in order to recharge. Lately I’ve been taking a lot of solo trips because I’ve just been around people so much. I talk to people at work all day, hang out with a group of friends regularly, and sleep with a significant other. I’m sure all of you can relate to one or more of these things.
This is when it’s extra important to schedule alone time for yourself. While having a community of people that you can rely on is great, in order to be truly happy you have to always remember how to enjoy spending time with yourself. So go on a camping trip just for the night, take yourself out for the weekend to do something your friends may not be interested in, or relax alone at the spa. Take yourself on a date. Just enjoy some me time!
You’re looking to get out of your comfort zone
When was the last time you did something that scared you? The last time you crossed something off your bucket list? Are you using up your vacation days to go to Florida for Christmas with your family… again? Are you even using all of your vacation days? You should be.
Do that thing you’ve been saying for years that you’ve always wanted to do. Buy a one way ticket to Thailand, go skydiving through the alps, sign up for a hiking trip in Patagonia, or eat your heart out in Rome.
Nothing forces you out of your comfort zone quite like being in an unfamiliar place where you don’t know anybody and have no clue what the heck is going on. Nothing teaches you compassion like visiting communities that are less fortunate. And nothing opens your mind like having conversations with people who have completely different experiences and values than you. These experiences force you to grow and change in ways that make you a better, smarter, and kinder person.
You’re in need of some soul searching
The first time I went on a solo trip, it was because I was extremely unhappy with where I was in life and had no clue how to move forward. I had just gone through a break up and needed to figure out what I wanted my future to look like. So I bought the cheapest flight into Europe (Barcelona), the cheapest flight out (Amsterdam), and went everywhere and everywhere I’d ever dreamed of going in between.
This taught me what I liked and disliked in a place. It taught me to enjoy what I’m doing without trying to please anyone else. I became comfortable with making my own decisions. I journaled a lot. And I became confident in who I was and what I wanted. Then when I went back home I ditched the things that were toxic, incorporated more of the things I liked, and changed my life to align with my long term goals.
When should you take a group trip?
You’re just looking for a good time
It’s hard to party when you’re traveling by yourself. You always have to be aware of your surroundings and defend yourself if something were to go wrong. Sometimes you want to run away to the beach with the ladies for the weekend just to drink margaritas and make bad decisions. Maybe you have an awesome group of friends to travel with, and want to create some memories to talk about for years to come. Maybe you have a birthday, wedding, or a job promotion to celebrate. Or maybe you just went through a breakup and need a little pick me up. Whatever the reason, traveling with friends is a ton of fun and definitely has its place.
You’re looking to travel on a budget
Having at least a person or two to split costs with can go a long way. If you don’t have the budget to travel alone, consider getting a bunch of friends together to rent a house or go on a group tour. The more people you get to go along the cheaper your trip will be. If you want to go on a group trip and can’t find anyone to go with you, join a Contiki tour or other excursion. They’re budget friendly and a great way to meet new people!
You don’t want to be in charge
Maybe you’re an inexperienced traveler or you just feel like relaxing and going with the flow. Whatever the reason is, sometimes it’s really nice to not have to be the one calling all the shots every once in a while. Maybe you’ll end up trying a new activity or restaurant that you wouldn’t have found yourself!