For the longest time, we’ve been advocates of independent travel and solo travel – so why then are we looking to do more group travel after 8 years of travelling? And no, it’s not because we’re older.
Meet new friends
One of the best parts of group travel is the opportunity to meet people from all kinds of backgrounds who share a similar passion for travel. Yes, there are opportunities to meet others when you travel independently but these are generally rare encounters and often too fleeting when they do happen. Group travel brings people together to share experiences, learn about other cultures and history as well as sharing the joy of tasting delicious food. It’s a particularly great way to travel for those of us who are more introverted or find it difficult to strike up conversations with strangers.
Depending on the type of person you are, the thought of planning your travels is either exciting or overwhelming. Group travel offers the convenience of having much of the logistics taken care of by professionals and local experts. From accommodations to transportation and activities, the minute details are meticulously planned, allowing you to focus on immersing yourself in the experience.
Trying new experiences
Stepping out of your comfort zone is a pivotal part of any travel experience. In a group setting, you’re often trying new activities or food you may not have considered or even heard of. Trying these new experiences also becomes less daunting when others are also experiencing it with you. Previously, we joined a group to go paragliding in Switzerland but Eric is incredibly scared of heights so you can imagine how nervous he was. But once we joined up with the group, he found comfort in knowing other members were feeling the same emotions him.
Local tour guides are invaluable assets during group travel. Their insider knowledge and deep understanding of a destination provides a level of insight that guidebooks can’t replicate. These guides open up off-the-beaten-paths, introduce you to authentic local customs, and share stories that enrich your understanding of the culture. You could do all the research before arriving at a destination but unless you want to carry and read a Lonely Planet book while walking around, having a knowledgeable local guide transforms the experience from being a tourist to truly being a traveller immersed in the destination.
Travel has become much safer for all travellers including solo, but there’s always an enhanced sense of safety and security when you’re travelling with a group as it ensures you’re never alone. From navigating unfamiliar streets to handling unexpected situations, having fellow travellers, tour organisers and local experts by your side provides a safety net and peace of mind. Group leaders and guides are trained to address challenges swiftly, making your journey smoother and more enjoyable.
So are you saying only do group travel?
No definitely not. Despite the clear benefits of group travel, it would be silly of us to not acknowledge the benefits of solo/independent travel. There’s a great sense of adventure and growth that comes from organising and navigating your own travels – not to mention the flexibility to do exactly what you want, when you want.
Like many things in life, it’s about finding balance. Independent travel and group travel both have their benefits so why not do both? How we’ll be planning to travel moving forwards (and what we recommend too) is to mostly travel independently but cater blocks of around a week to group travel. The benefits of meeting new friends, minimizing planning stress, sharing experiences, having local guides, trying new things, and enjoying safety in numbers make group travel an appealing option and a welcome break from the pace of our travels.
Travel with us!
In 2024 we are planning to start organising group trips with a bunch of awesome people to travel somewhere in the world. Since we’re Travel Photographers, we’re also planning to run photo workshops or photo walks along the way too. If this sounds interesting to you please fill out this quick 2-minute survey and help us decide where we should go!