IPT team member Rachel, used to be an independent and avid traveller. She has now however, begun to contemplate the concept of travelling with others, and did some recent research.
"For many years, I travelled solo. Backpacking independently, and taking regular trips alone. Yes, I met people along the way, however the experiences were not shared ones. I look back now and recall times where I stood on top of a mountain and thought WOW!, but had no one to share that amazing feeling with, or to look back and talk about it in years to come. I did not crave a partner, but more a friend or acquaintance.
I would definitely now consider Group Travel as an experiential holiday. There will of course be different personalities within that group, and the fact is, you already have one thing in common – a love of travel and a desire to visit that particular place.
Researching the concept of why people prefer to travel in groups, I have discovered there many more beneficial reasons to take that group tour:
1. You can relax and leave it to the experts
Planning a big trip can be stressful - trying to work out where to go, how to get there, what to see and where to eat. Travel Agencies specialising in groups do all this hard work for you, and have to knowledge and creativity to plan a trip that you may never have thought of yourself. Good tour itineraries are planned in great detail, which is essential when your valued holiday time is tight, and you want to make the most of it. Once you have arrived at your destination, having a Tour Leader will keep things running smoothly. With the assistance of your Tour Leader, your group can get to skip queues, perhaps help with the local language, and solve any problems that may occur. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your trip.
2. You can still have free time
Travelling with a group allows you to participate in scheduled adventures on your itinerary. However a good tour should also give you space - plenty of free time to explore on your own or to simply put your feet up in your hotel room. This gives you the flexibility to spend as much or as little time with your group as you choose.
3. You will gain local knowledge & see things you might not get to on your own
Travelling in a group can give you the chance to explore a place with a tour leader who knows the area, which means that you will gain insider knowledge plus learn more about the local geography and culture. You might also visit places or try things that are popular among the locals but aren’t as well-known to tourists. The knowledge of a good local guide adds so much more to your experience.
4. You can make new friends, expand your social circle and gain new insights
Group travel will give you the chance to meet people and the possibility of making new friends. You’ll meet individuals who are also passionate about travel and may have many things in common with you. Keeping in touch on your return home can give you friends to visit in other places. You can connect with people of different backgrounds who offer new insights that differ from your own – a great way to learn and expand your global knowledge.
5. You are not tied to just one person
Travelling with only one person – a partner or friend, can often lead to complacency, getting on each other’s nerves, and even arguments. Who wants to spend their precious holiday time feeling uncomfortable or miserable, and what worse way than to enjoy an amazing once-in-a-lifetime view than when you’re feeling upset? By being with a group you can share yourself with a variety of people, even if your partner or friend is on the same trip.
6. Safety in numbers
Travelling in a group means there’s less chance of you getting lost, getting ripped off, and less likely than being pick-pocketed in a city! When you’re in a group, everyone looks out for one another.
7. You might find love
You never know! In a group of like-minded people who have a shared love of travel, stranger things have happened! Obviously don’t simply book a group tour for this reason alone – there are easier and cheaper ways of dating!"