The Case for Small Group Travel
It’s totally understandable if you’re skeptical about group travel. You’re not alone. But small group adventures, not the kind of tours where 50 people pile onto a bus with each other for a week, can have big benefits and lasting impacts. Here’s why small group travel is worth considering…
1) All the Planning and Logistics Are Handled
Eliminating much of the research and planning that goes into any vacation is one of the biggest perks of small group travel. Somebody else has already figured out an itinerary that not only makes sense, but also showcases the best things to do or see in a particular destination. And in some cases, outfitters can help get through all the red tape of getting special permits or hard-to-snag reservations that an independent traveler might not be able to easily secure on their own.
2) Explore Less-Accessible Places
Sure, you can plan a national park trip or jet off to Europe to see popular sights on your own. However, going with an organized group can often offer behind-the-scenes access to popular attractions or take you away from the crowds all together too see a destination from a unique perspective. And when it comes to experiences that you might not have the right gear or expertise for, like a Grand Canyon rafting trip, then going with an outfitter gives you the opportunity to explore places you would otherwise never be able to see. In other cases, like hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a guided trek is the only option.
3 ) Lasting Friendships and Connections
Traveling with people you don’t know is full of unknowns and can be an uncomfortable prospect for some, even if you’re with friends or family. From the very beginning of a group trip, however, everyone shares at least one thing in common—a passion for experiencing the world. And, when you’re travelling together, working as a team and facing challenges together, eating together, laughing together, and experiencing the power of awe together, you can’t help but form a bond with each other. More than anything else, this is the reason so many people who’ve met while traveling in small groups stay in touch after their trip and often continue to travel together in the future. The people you meet and the connections you make on these trips, can last a lifetime.
4) More Really Can be Merrier
For some people, traveling with individuals who have similar interests is a major selling point. Solo travelers, and even couples, often appreciate having others to share meals, swap stories, or explore with. Small group travel can also be appealing for families who want to book a trip that might have other families, and potentially, other children for their kids to play and connect with. In these cases, “the more, the merrier,” is a big benefit versus a drawback.
5) Solitude Isn’t Impossible
Finally, just because you’re traveling with a group, doesn’t mean you have to stick together 24-7. On a well-planned trip, there will be plenty of downtime built in throughout the day and in the evenings. If you’re in need of some alone time, use moments like these to sneak away for a walk or hike, fish, do yoga, read, or write in a journal. After all, it’s your vacation.