Solo Travel vs Group Travel – The Pros and Cons You Need to Know
Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone? Sometimes it makes no difference, right? In either case, travel is a soul-healing experience! However, today at London Backpackers, our budget hostels in London, we’d like to shed some light on these two options to assist you in planning your next trip.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of travelling alone to new places? And what about in a group?
Let’s Start With A Definition
When discussing solo travel in tourism, we can also refer to them as Fully Independent Travellers, also known as FITs. They’re the adventurers who leave their homes alone, even if they later join a group of strangers. They’re in charge of organising their trip, making decisions, and creating an itinerary.
Do you prefer to travel alone or in a group?
So, group travel is that option in which you travel with several people on a pre-arranged tour. In this case, you don’t make any decisions, and you don’t have to plan anything. On the contrary, you pay a tour guide to plan the itinerary. While this option is very comfortable, it tends to limit the traveller’s freedom.
Which One Is The Best Fit For You?
While each trip is different, there’re several factors to consider when determining which option is best for you. All trips have the following six key elements in common:
Going abroad alone is always less expensive than travelling in a group, even if you must pay the single supplement. When you join an organised group tour, you must bear the cost of having someone plan your trip for you. That convenience comes at a cost.
Travelling alone gives you more freedom and flexibility because you aren’t bound by schedules. In travel groups, however, you’re dependent on what is planned and must adapt to it.
Ability to Meet People
Travelling in a group, on the other hand, allows you to always be in the company of other people, even allowing you to make new friends. When travelling alone, your chances of meeting new people are limited… although there’s always the option of joining a group of travellers or other solo travellers during the trip.
A guide will always be a source of support when travelling in a group. It’s an excellent way to deal with difficulties such as orienting yourself in a new location, dealing with a different language, and planning your trip as efficiently as possible. These difficulties are magnified when travelling alone.
When travelling alone, you’re solely responsible for your own safety (health, scams, accidents, and so on), and travel insurance is almost always recommended. Instead, on a group trip, the group organisers are in charge of mitigating all of these risks. The guide will ensure that the entire journey is completed safely.
This is perhaps the most subjective factor of all. How do you assess the quality of a trip? Travelling alone can be more self-satisfying, whereas travelling in a group can be more enriching due to the guide’s knowledge. It’s up to you to decide how you will measure the quality of a trip.
THE PROS AND CONS
Directly from our central hostel in London, we’ll use the magnifying glass now to see what the benefits and drawbacks of travelling alone versus in a group are.
Pros of Solo Traveller/Tours
• You make the decisions
When travelling alone, you have more power. You get to choose how, when, and where you want to do things.
• You boost your self-esteem
Travelling alone boosts one’s self-esteem. Getting out of your comfort zone on your own is a challenge that will force you to mature as a person.
• You get to know the local culture better
According to solo travellers, the immersion capacity is greater when travelling alone. You can pay more attention to your surroundings if there’re no distractions.
• You make new friends
When you travel alone, you have more opportunities to meet new people. You’ll be able to connect with locals more easily, as well as other solo travellers who are willing to share a day trip with you.
Read the list of essential tips for solo backpackers created by our backpackers hostel in London to help you when travelling alone.
Cons of Solo Traveller/Tours
• Address safety risks
When you travel alone, your safety is entirely dependent on you. It’s strongly advised to purchase travel insurance (in case of accidents, illness, etc.).
• Spend money on a single supplement
Most companies require you to pay a single supplement. When you book a room, for example, you may be charged the full price for two people and won’t be able to split the bill with anyone.
Note: Some businesses have adjusted their prices to accommodate solo travellers.
• You have no one to share your experiences with
You won’t have anyone to share your trip’s experiences with. However, if you’re a solo traveller, remember that you aren’t alone: you’ll be your best travel companion.
• You must handle all the planning yourself
It’s up to you to plan your own vacation. You’ll be responsible for all aspects of the itinerary, including reservations and anything else that may be required.
Pros of Group Traveller/Tours
When travelling with someone else, you can split the cost of room and board. You can even participate in activities where minimum numbers are required for tours to run.
• Organisers oversee everything
Sit back and relax. Organisers will be in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly. Besides, you’ll always have the guide available to help you with whatever you need.
• You can go to risky destinations
When visiting places like North Korea, Egypt, or Sudan, the company of local tour guides will make you feel safer, and in many cases it’s even mandatory. This type of trip is easier to organise in a group setting, whereas solo travellers face more challenges.
• You’ll be more secure
You’ll feel more at ease and calm knowing that both the guide and the organisers are concerned about your safety and avoiding potentially hazardous situations.
Are you planning a trip to the capital? Take a look at our guide on things to do in London as a group, designed by our youth hostel in London.
Cons of Group Traveller/Tours
• On a tight schedule
The organisation will set the schedule for the trip, and you must adhere to it.
• Bound to others
If you want to spend an extra day in a certain city of the trip, it won’t be possible. You’ll have to work around the itinerary.
• Everything is already organised
Some travellers are frustrated because they’re unable to organise anything within the group trip. Everything will be determined by the tour organisers’ plans.
• Depending on the atmosphere of the group
It’s critical that harmony and good vibes reign within the group of travellers, or the experience will be marred by unpleasant moments.
Do you need some inspiration? We share with you what to do in London as a group from our UK hostels.
Have you decided how you’ll travel the next time?
Hostels in London are a popular choice for anyone travelling alone or in a group. You can enjoy all the amenities you’ll need on your trip for a lower price, including free Wi-Fi, cleaning and even games and a TV room to relax in.
Contact us to learn more about how London backpacking can be the answer for your next trip!