The idea of traveling the world solo, at your own pace, doing your own thing sounds perfect to some people, and for good reason.
However, there are also many benefits to ditching the lone-wolf routine for a vacation that you enjoy with others.
Before you venture out on a group trip for the first time, talk to a group travel operator about what you should expect. Weigh the pros and cons against your own personal needs before making a final decision.
"You will get to meet other people on the trip, and you don't have to worry about friends flaking out on you," said Katiana Jolimeau of Trips Travel Agency. "Instead, you meet a group of possibly like-minded individuals and travel around with them."
Unfortunately, when you are traveling solo, all of the financial responsibility falls on you and there aren't many discounts for a single traveler.
In fact, single travelers can sometimes wind up paying more, though that's not so when you travel with a group.
"You can save anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars when you travel with a group," said Greg Geronemus, the co-CEO of smarTours. "Tour operators have significant purchasing power with airlines, hotels and restaurants. By going in a group, you spread lots of costs across a group of people instead of absorbing all the costs yourself."
Let's face it: Not only is all of the financial responsibility on you when you're traveling by yourself but so are all the planning hassles as well. If you're looking for someone to help take the logistics off of your plate, a group tour might be perfect for you.
Geronemus explained how a tour operator does all the legwork and planning for you: "Guides are there to help with any need that might arise. It's going on vacation with no worries."
When a group tour is all-inclusive, it can take even more off of your plate.
"As they are at smarTours, Boomers love having everything taken care of for them, from air to hotels to sightseeing," said Geronemus. "Guided, escorted group tours make people feel safer and more secure in their travels. The support of an experienced tour guide and the feeling of safety in numbers with a group create a wonderful, low-stress travel experience for boomers and seniors.
What if you're looking for a group tour, but you still want to travel by yourself? You can actually do both.
"Group tours are also excellent for solo travelers," said Geronemus. "You can travel solo without being alone."
By booking a group tour, you also have the comfort of a tour leader and others in your broader group, but you still have the independence and flexibility to create your own adventure.
"Going solo on a group trip also allows you to meet new people and make new friends without being tied to the person you're traveling with," said Geronemus. "We see it all the time on our trips. Women initially travel with us independently, but often find life-long friends."
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