Traveling alone? Nobody is available to travel with you and you are not ready yet to get on the road by yourself? Consider the organized small group tours, it is a great solution but choose the right one for you! Here is some advice:
SOLO TRAVEL - You do not have to!
Todays there are a huge collection of articles telling you that you should travel solo, take on the road alone with only your backpack. They want to make you think that if you don't do that you are not a really traveller and you will no grow. They have this tendency of wanting to make you feel shame for not wanting to travel alone.
I have traveled solo only in one country so far and it was great. I will do it again. But I also love the organized small group tours I select to discover many countries. I have nobody to travel to as my friends and family all have children or are not willing to travel. So I had to find a solution and they have a lot of benefits. Let me show you why and give you some advice to select you tour.
What is a small group tour?
In my eyes a small group tour is an organized travel where a guide takes a group of people who did not know each other before on a pre-defined itinerary through a country or a region. All accommodations and most meals are included in the package.
A group tour is considered small under 16 persons, and I think best at 10 to 12 people. So no big busses!
Traveling alone: the pros of the small group tour
Let me know share with you the pros of joining a small group tours versus traveling alone completely.
- You have people to talk to and share the beauty of the things you are seeing with. There is nothing more frustrating to saying WOW to no-one.
- You have time to really meet people and forge new friendships. I met one of my best friends on a tour in Morocco
- You don't have to worry about driving or finding directions. You just seat and admire the changing landscpaes
- You save time as you don't have to search for entrance, or ticket paiements
- Most things are included in the package so it is easier to respect the budget
- You feel safe always having people around
- And one that I really love: any question that goes through your mind you can ask the guide anytime and often get an answer.
- It will save you the time of planning for the trip as everything is organized (although personally I looooove planning my trips
- With a small group (compared to big busses) there is more flexibility. You can explain to the guide what you are interested in and he can add some small detours or point out things that fits. For example in Kyrgyzstan, one of my fellow traveller loved abandoned buildings and we stopped quite a few times to have a look at some. While I loves photographing incredible landscapes and our guide always make sure we stopped by the road for me to take pictures.
Keep in mind the following cons of traveling with a group
- Even though they are flexible, the itinerary is still defined and you can't always stop to see all the things you want to see
- You are not choosing the people you are traveling with and some people can get on your nerves (this is why I never choose tours longer than 2 weeks)
- You don't know how the guide will be. Have a look at my best and worst of tour guides article.
But I think the pros outweigh the cons and that this is a great solution when traveling solo.
Traveling alone: Choosing the right tour
However to get some of the best tours consider the following:
- No more than 16 people
- No more than 2 weeks
- Tours including some camping nights or adventure activities will attract younger people
- Try to find local companies by searching for "country small group tour"
Have a review of some of the tours I joined:
Would that be your solution to start traveling alone?