Solo travel can be a beautiful thing. You don’t have to consult anyone else on when to eat, what time to start the day, how much money to spend on lodging, or anything else for that matter. You can simply do whatever feels right for you.
But singles vacations have their downsides, too. It can be exhausting having to make all the decisions without anyone else to consult. It can feel empty not having anyone to share your adventurous experiences with. And you can only eat so many meals alone before loneliness inevitably creeps up on you.
1. You’ll meet new people.
If you’ve ever been on a group tour, you’re familiar with the way that people within the group often stick together. Couples and friends who join the tour as a unit often socialize among themselves, then slowly those groups start to overlap. But it takes time, and most people naturally gravitate towards the people they already know.
But people who travel solo really have no choice but to introduce themselves to the other people in their group. They’re also much less intimidating for other people to approach.
Solo travelers will tell you that traveling alone is the best way to meet people. Your fellow travelers will want to know your story. They might be impressed by the fact that you’re going it alone. And since it’s only you, they might feel more at ease in introducing themselves. This could be your opportunity to inspire others to travel solo like you do!
2. Group tours are more educational.
If you’re traveling as a single, you’re clearly independent, knowledgeable, and curious. You do your research and you visit the museums. But there is no substitute for seeing a place with a guide who really knows it well. Many group tours are led by experts and locals.
When solo travelers join a group tour, they’re able to learn from not only the expedition leaders and tour guides, but the people and places they introduce you to. Tours offer participants the opportunity to meet locals and explore places they might not otherwise discover.
You might take a guided walk around a local village on the banks of the Peruvian Amazon, or hear incredible stories of geothermal activity while snowshoeing in Iceland.
3. A group tour can help you travel more eco-consciously.
If we’re not careful, travel can be harmful to the environment. And while responsible travelers often take it upon themselves to minimize their carbon footprint and the potential environmental impact of travel, it can be more difficult to do so as a solo traveler who’s unfamiliar with the area.
Local leaders can introduce you to the small businesses where your money will stay in the place you’re visiting. The most eco-friendly ways to recycle, shop, eat, and find lodging are often mysterious in unfamiliar places. But on a group tour, you have an expert on hand to keep your adventures as eco-friendly as possible.
Doing things as a group also tends to leave a smaller carbon footprint, such as sharing a van transport instead of hailing a taxi for just yourself.
4. Group tours take your mind off of planning.
Picking all the activities, meals, and travel times for your trip can be exciting, but it can also be draining. When you join a group tour, someone else handles all the logistics for you. It’s your opportunity to sit back and go with the flow.
That doesn’t mean, however, that group tours are all scheduled to the second. It leaves enough time for spontaneous detours and unexpected changes in the daily plan. And since you’ll be guided by a local, these detours can often be the best part of the adventure!
5. You might meet someone new to travel with.
Even if you love traveling alone, group tours can introduce you to other solo travelers (or even groups taking singles vacations together) with whom you can travel after the tour.
Traveling with a fellow solo adventurer can provide the perfect combination of independence and companionship. Solo travelers understand each other’s needs for alone time and flexibility. They also understand that not every meal and activity must be enjoyed together.
Maybe you won’t meet the perfect travel companion, but that’s the beauty of group tours: They have a set start time and an end time. Even if you don’t make a new best friend, you can enjoy the people you’re with and switch gears at the conclusion of the trip.
6. It’s the perfect way to sample solo travel.
Maybe you’re not a seasoned solo traveler, but you’d like to give it a try. Joining a group on your own is the perfect situation for sampling the independence of going somewhere without a companion. Group tours offer built-in travel friends, along with the opportunity to feel more independent.
Solo travel can be a little overwhelming at times. But if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and go it alone, a group tour can give you the confidence and reassurance you need to venture away on your own more often.
7. You can still travel solo before or after the tour.
Don’t worry, joining group tours doesn’t tie you to the group forever! A group tour can be an inspiring, educational, and relaxing way to experience a destination with the company of other travelers and group leaders who offer expert insight on the destination.
But once the tour is over, you can return to your solo traveler ways, perhaps armed with an invigorated appreciation for the beauty of solitude.