Travel with a tour group or go it alone?
When I was a senior in high school, I had the chance to travel with my classmates to Europe for a 14-day tour. I grabbed the opportunity, scraped any money I could find and went off on a trip with 20 others, that ended up changing my life forever. I learned a lot that summer, as we bused our way across England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein
How did this trip change me? I’ll tell you.
I’ll share what my take away was from that trip and how it helped shape all my future trips.
#1 – Travel with a tour group or go it alone?
My high school trip was very much planned out with a detailed itinerary. We had an awesome and friendly tour guide. He guided us to not only well known touristy spots, but also to lesser-known places that were just as unique and photo-worthy. Professionally run tours can really help the novice traveler learn a great amount of information in a short period of time and that would be it.
Getting an overload of information in a short period of time. You won’t be able to linger and “hang out” to really soak in what you just learned. I didn’t realize this at the time, but hurried tour groups was not my favorite way to see and learn new things.
Often we are in such a hurry to see so much with so little time and we never stop to ask why? I am not talking about the questions you ask the tour guide as you enjoy the sites. I am referring to the lingering questions you’ll never get to ask or learn to answer on your own by just staying in one place long enough. I can’t tell you how many times I have visited places on my own and have lingered for hours for no reason at all. Sometimes fate brings us to a place with no planning and helps us in learning to ask questions we never knew we had.
It could also be that you won’t have any questions and may just want to enjoy the scenery for just a little longer. Just because. These are the moments that I am talking about. The moments that truly make up the true value of your trips. These moments stay with you forever.
So the next trip you plan, make an effort to balance the trip agenda to also include time away from tour groups, especially for the sites you have at the top of your list. Because the places that you will truly enjoy alone or with a partner as you linger will really be the places that you’ll find most memorable. I promise you. Give it a try on your next trip and make it a truly enjoyable trip without the hustle and bustle of a tour group and see all the things you have been missing all along.
Continue on to my next post “Should you travel alone or with friends?” where I go more in-depth about the joy of traveling alone and why some people fear traveling lone at all.