A new travel blogger who recently joined our community, Sujata Luchman writes about her reasons for choosing group travel.
Relatively new to the blogging scene, Sujata’s adding more countries and travel inspiration to her portfolio. Want to know more about her? Then head to her profile page, where you can find links to her website and social media links.
Those who know me well will know that I’m a huge fan of group travel. There have been times when I’ve wandered off on my own, for example, when I went to Lake Bled in Slovenia.
However, I admit that my preferred mode of travelling is with an organised group. In the past, I’ve travelled with companies like Contiki and Topdeck, which have all led to unforgettable travel experiences!
Some people may look down on group travel, and think that trips are overpriced, restricted and/or for the non-courageous. However, in my opinion, choosing to travel to a new destination, and with people you’ve never met before is actually a courageous thing to do!
Group travel – the reasons why I love it
Having a local tour guide
The knowledge and expertise of a local tour guide is priceless. I believe that a trip’s always more memorable when you learn about the stories and history behind the places you visit.
When you travel on your own, it’s so easy to drive past an interesting sight because you’re unaware it’s there, or its significance.
However, a local guide will be able to point out the main attractions and provide other useful information, such as the nearest ATM, pharmacy or good local restaurant.
Good value for money
Group tours are usually pre-arranged packages that include accommodation, transfers, local guides, meals and activities. The advantage is that you’ll benefit from buying in bulk. This means that the cost of everything included in your package is spread among the group. So actually, you’re getting more experience for your money.
In addition, paying in advance for your tour means that you can easily budget for the rest of the trip. All you’ll need to worry about after the initial payment is how to spend your money.
Having unique experiences
On group tours, you can also benefit from experiencing something you wouldn’t have done if you’d travelled on your own.
My most memorable experiences include: sleeping in the Puerto Maldonado amazon jungle in Peru and giving alms in Luang Prabang in Laos. I’ve also celebrated the Holi festival in India and spent New Year's Eve on a boat in Sydney harbour!
Being Stress-free and staying safe
Travelling in a group tour means you can relax, as most of your holiday planning’s already been pre-organised. If you have a stressful job and are travelling, the last thing you need is a stressful holiday.
You can also trust that your accommodation, transfers and activities will be good quality and safe. Tour companies are known to carry out thorough research to ensure the suitability of places and activities prior to arranging the trip.
In addition, group tours also help to ease the process of applying for visas in countries where you may experience difficulties with language barriers or foreign customs. The tour company helped to smooth out the visa process when travelling through Laos and Cambodia.
It meant we could spend more time enjoying our holiday and less time worrying about entry requirements!
Sharing the moment and new experiences
One of the greatest things about group travel is always having someone to share a first-time experience with.
Some of my favourite moments include: walking along the Great Wall of China and watching the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain ranges in Nepal. These moments wouldn’t have been the same without the company of my group travel buddies!
Making new friends — for life
For me, this is the number one reason for choosing to travel on a group tour. You get the opportunity to meet and travel with like-minded individuals, and also make new lifelong friends from everywhere!
The bond you develop by sharing experiences and making memories together will encourage you to continue your travels, and perhaps reunite with each other again on a different side of the world.