So after spending 49 days travelling with young people, mainly Aussies on a bus around Europe what do I think about group travel? Honestly… I absolutely loved it. Don’t get me wrong there are downsides but they are easily outweighed.
Why I loved group travel
Intense friendship– the equivalent amount of time you spend with these people is months/years in the real world. The result is you can develop these lifelong friendships in a short amount of time.
Sit back and enjoy– solo/ partnership travel can be great but its a lot of planning- where do you say, what to do etc. Group travel takes that stress away and you can just enjoy your time emerging yourself in the culture of a place.
History and depth– of course you can do tours in each new place, but group travel has these organised or there completed by a tour leader. The result is you can really get to grips with a places history to help understand its current culture.
Not sure about group travel? Then please feel free to ask me any questions.
I remember when I was deciding whether I should book a group travel adventure who would I meet, would I like them or would they drive me crazy!
I travelled with 48 other people from a range of backgrounds, although mostly Aussies…maybe I’m not sane. I found about 3/4’s were woman who explained they preferred the safety of group travel. The people ranged from party animals, to culture/history buffs, to would be photographers and to foodies.
Three examples of travellers
Ms T– A quiet introvert by nature who had recently graduated and treated herself to this trip. She didn’t drink and often liked to explore places on her own. However she would involved herself in group dinners and activities.
Mr A– A partier by nature and the oldest in the group. He worked as a consultant so had flexibility with work. He wanted to hit the clubs each night but would always be up ready to explore the amazing sights.
Ms H– A super classy lady who joined midway through. She was looking for an adventure away from her previous life. She went out on occasion but her passion was food and architecture. Interestingly her experience helped her realised how much she loved her Ex and wanted to build a life with them…I may have wanted to vomit.
If you have any specific questions on group travel please write through.
I should start this article with the caveat that I am enjoying group travel. So why this article you ask? Just as I recognise solotravel is not for everyone, the same is very true for group travel.
The darkside of group travel
- Drinking culture: get a bunch of young people together and inevitably drinking happens. In large groups this experience is intensified, creating an expectation you should get drunk most days.
- School drama: you will be spending every moment with these people, as a result clicks get formed, grudges happen, relationships start and fail etc. The resultant effect is it can feel like being back at high school.
- Privacy: I have a natural inclination to introvertion as a result my energy comes from within. What this means in practice for me and many alike is alone time can be essential for a much needed recharge. Due to the itinerary of the trip finding alone time is very difficult and you really need to actively carve out the time.
Is group travel for you?
In my opinion if you answer NO to any of these statements consider all your options, or start with a taster group travel adventure first.
I can share small living space with strangers? I don’t always need a good night sleep? I like being in groups as opposed to my own company? I am happy to be led? I like to drink or don’t feel peer pressured to drink? I able to ignore/like drama so it doesn’t effect me? I am happy to spend long periods of time travelling?
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, group travel has been an unexpected intense experience. I am working on a follow up article- the cons of group travel.
In the meantime for you travellers or would be travellers this was a very read-enjoy.
So after travelling on my own for the first 5 months and change I wanted to shake it up, so decided on a group tour.
What is a group tour? In essence a group of strangers with the help of a guide travel around a given location, simples.
In my case 49 days around Europe with 40ish young people full of hormones, what’s the worse that could happen….
7 days in…This trip is so different from travelling on my own:
- Everything is so heightened with a constant electricity in the air.
- Relationships/clicks gets formed so quickly and the small talk dissipates replaced by the same contentment you get with a long time friend.
- Every location we visit has a sense of urgency, with the need to use every second to absorb what the new place has to offer.
- The travelling on our coach which was hash on the first day has become our constant for much needed naps, snacking and games.
I will keep you posted on the next 42 days….