Sometimes you just want to go traveling, but you have no one to go with and you want to be in a group. This is where women or co-ed travel groups will be very useful, because they can provide the group atmosphere even if you have no travel buddy of your own.
What is a travel group?
For relatively new travelers, this word might be a little confusing. However, a travel group is only referring to any organized multi-day trip where you meet other travelers that booked the same trip. More often than not these will be complete strangers, and the groups can range from a few people up to full coach buses, but you can always find smaller groups too.
Each group will have a trip leader or tour guide, pre-planned activities, and most of your lodging and food costs are rolled into the price you pay to book the trip. These groups are designed so you do not have to do extensive planning in order to have fun and travel, and enjoy the area you are traveling to.
Also Read: Top 10 Women’s Travel Groups
The Pros and Cons:
Pros of Travel Groups
Easy to Plan
Since the trip is already laid out for you once you sign up, there is very little planning involved. The only thing you really need to plan is when you want to go on a trip and the locations you can choose from. Other than that, you might have to schedule flights or get your passport ready, but it is not like you have to schedule the whole trip from scratch.
Meet New People
This might be a great opportunity to meet people from all different walks of life or job professions. Sometimes this can be a breath of fresh air, as you can get several different opinions on a subject, or a new perspective on something you may not think is that spectacular. As an introverted person myself, this is a great chance to open up and see what happens.
Similar to the planning pro, you will never have to figure out where to go, unless you have free time to explore, because there will always be a tour guide. This means not getting lost on public transportation or the wilderness since your travel guide should have all the information needed to get you around the travel spot. They also have background knowledge about the places you are traveling to, and could be the perfect person to ask for fun facts about the region.
Safety in Numbers
This pro is huge for solo women who travel, because you will always have at least one other person with you at all times, so you can help each other if you get lost, or just have someone to talk to. It also is beneficial at nighttime when dangers increase for lone women walking on the streets.
A lot of travel sites or groups can get lower rates for certain attractions or travel costs, because there is a larger group of people booking the same tickets. Just like when you were in high school and took a field trip, these rates could help save some money that you wouldn’t have if traveling solo. This means you can do more with the money you have, and possibly see sights not available to you before.
No Excessive Research/Planning Ahead
Similar to being easy to plan, you will only have to book your spot and possibly figure out what documentation or flights you may need to get to the location. Everything else has been researched and plotted out in terms of the daily activities, hotels, and restaurants, so you will never have to worry about day-to-day events as much as when traveling solo.
Read More: Travel Guide Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Cons of Travel Groups
As always, there are some cons about traveling in a group and this might be the biggest one. Since everything is planned out, there is probably little time to fit in anything else or go exploring in whatever city you decide to visit. This may become annoying, especially if you like to meander around and see what you can find.
Getting Along with Travel Mates
Even though you get to meet new people, they might not be the best travel buddies. Sometimes people can get on each other’s nerves being in close quarters for a longer stretch of time, so just be aware that having a group is nice, but it can become strained if there are people who do not mix well in the group. Sometimes travel groups try to avoid this by grouping together similar ages or occupations, but there is always the risk since you are with complete strangers.
There is a chance you may become quite tired by the end of the trip, as the travel guides will pack as much as they can in one day, so you can get the full experience of the city you are visiting. Though there are options that feature “slow-travel” where you have more free time, most travel groups want to make sure you get what you paid for. If you are not into constantly moving, maybe try one of the slower travel options, or find a trip that has more free time built in.
Also Read: 10 Solo Travel Tips to Get You Wandering
No Hiding You’re a Tourist
This one is kind-of funny, because no matter where you go out of the country you will be seen as a tourist. When I traveled to Oslo, most of the people spoke English along with Norwegian, but I still stuck out as “American” or “foreign” to them. But, if you use a travel group this feeling will be quite prevalent as you cannot escape the tourist persona. If this doesn’t bother you, then you should still have a good time, but if it does maybe think about a smaller travel group.
Only See Main Attractions – No Hidden Gems
Since this is a pre-planned trip, a lot of groups tend to hit the “main” tourist spots and miss those hidden gems that make the city unique. But, some groups also tend to show the off-the-beaten-path spots that you never would have found by yourself. The best way to figure out what you will be seeing is to research the travel groups and itineraries, and then find the best trip that balances both.
No Privacy/Alone Time
Similar to getting along with your travel mates, you will also be with them all the time even at night as several book hotel rooms as doubles. This may not be too big of an issue, but if you are an introvert you can get socially burned out fast. There are some options though that can alleviate this problem. You can either request solo rooming if the option is available for a small extra cost, or try to talk to your roommate about implementing time in the room where you can decompress.
Check Out: Travel Guide Oslo, Norway
There are a bunch more pros and cons to joining a travel group, but you will not know if you like it or not without trying. Even if your are more of a solo female traveler, take the opportunity to try a travel group once. You might enjoy it enough to do it more often, and it is a great opportunity to meet new people in a new city.