How to Go Solo on a Guided Group Tour
There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to travel. One of the biggest, besides choosing the destination and length of your trip, is whether to travel on a guided group tour or go solo. To be honest, I think most people like a little bit of both. As a veteran traveler, I think that an organized tour with lots of flexible free time is the perfect travel combination.
I like to be organized and know where I am going, where I am staying and, basically what I am seeing. These are some of the reasons why I enjoy traveling with a group tour - I don’t have to worry about how I am getting from point A to point B, I know where I am staying and for the most part when and where I am eating, and what I am seeing. On the other hand, I enjoy going solo while traveling with a group because that is the time when I am able to absorb the destination on my own and, at my own pace. There are lots of ways to enjoy solo travel on a group tour, so keep these tips in mind when setting off on your own.
Most group tour itineraries hit all the high spots that a destination has to offer. If you plan to strike out on your own do a little research to uncover a hidden gem, special museum, or shopping area that is not included on the group tour before you leave home. It is really easy to find your way using Google Maps, so before you set off be prepared with the address, phone number and opening and closing times of the sites on your mini bucket list. It is also handy to make sure you note the address of your hotel so you don’t get lost!
Sometimes it is good to get away from organized travel for a short time, after all, everyone has slightly different interests, and, some may not be yours! Time away from a group on your own gives you time to absorb the destination - and, best of all you don’t have to worry about someone interrupting your thoughts and experience.
Meeting the Locals
When you are traveling solo it is easier to start a conversation or ask for directions when traveling alone than with a group of people. Traveling solo is liberating because it allows you to meet people living in the destination. Conversations with local people gives solo travelers insights into the culture of a destination that eludes group travel.
With no one to tell you what to do or where to eat, striking out solo for lunch or dinner is an ideal way to experience the culture of a destination. Head to a busy City Market or research the best restaurants that serve local specialties and immerse yourself in the food and fun of it.
People are different and have different travel expectations. It all comes down to choosing what is right for you. Traveling solo in a group allows you the luxury of spending time the way you want to without the worry of logistics and, is the ideal way to experience a place, museum, meal and destination. When traveling solo, you are the boss!