Pros and Cons Of Traveling With A Group
Once you’ve chosen your travel destination, you’ll need to decide whether you want to explore independently or with a tour group. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether a tour group is for you.
Tour Group Pros
When you take a tour, someone else handles all the details. You choose a pre-set itinerary, pay the tour group operator and sit back while the pros deal with bus drivers, local guides, airplanes and hotel managers. All you need to do is turn up, suitcase in hand.
Access to unusual or overcrowded destinations
Popular sights can be so crowded during peak months that many would-be visitors are turned away after spending hours in line. Tour groups have their own access times and may even enter through a different door. Bonus.
Some travellers like the challenge of solving problems themselves. Language barriers and transit strikes, to them, are part of the experience. If you’d rather worry about what to wear to dinner than where to eat, a group tour can provide a stress-free travel experience.
If you’re visiting a place for the first time, you’ll especially enjoy taking a group tour with a knowledgeable guide. You’ll always know where you’re going, and you won’t have to worry about outdated maps and broken ticket machines.
Tour Group Cons
One person’s pleasure is another’s pain. Some travellers prefer to see things at their own pace and like the flexibility independent travel provides. Spontaneous sightseeing is not part of a tour group’s program. If you have your heart set on spending all day doing your own thing, skip the tour group and go it alone.
Lack of free time
Many tour itineraries include free time for shopping or relaxing, but you’re often limited to a few hours here and there. If you value time and flexibility, this might not be your best choice.
Accommodations and dining options
You don’t control hotel and restaurant choices when you travel with a tour group. Although tour operators do their best to find quality lodgings and accommodate dietary preferences, you won’t be able to change your hotel if it doesn’t live up to your expectations.
Tour groups don’t blend in. It’s easy to spot the guide and the tourists. If that “touristy feeling” will ruin your trip, avoid large tour groups. You might be able to find a tour operator that specialises in small group tours, but, in some cases, you’ll probably feel most comfortable traveling independently.
If you’re part of a tour group, you’ll probably have to sit next to the guy who snores or the lady who has taken a dislike to Italy at least once during your trip. If diplomacy isn’t your strong suit, a tour group might not be your best option.
Make your choice
Grab a sheet of paper and write down your personal list of tour group pros and cons. You’ll probably discover that you strongly prefer either the tour group or independent travel. If your list is evenly balanced, consider taking a weekend group tour – a “test drive,” so to speak – to find out if you like the experience. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss the pros and cons in further detail.