If you love traveling solo, you’re bound to find pushy tour salesmen and guides annoying. While guided or organized tours do have their cons, they can be great too! Choosing between the two modes of travel can be confusing, and if you’ve been meaning to travel for quite some time now, you’d certainly want to make the right choice and make this the best trip you’ve had so far.
Don’t start fretting over choosing either mode just yet; you can always go on a solo trip and take a guided tour of just one or two historical sites or cultural experiences. But before you begin planning your trip, here are some factors to consider and help you decide between a solo trip and a guided tour!
Unless you’re going for free tours, guided tours can require you to cough up some dough. That’s because you’re not paying for just the guide, but trip organizers and other expenses too.
As such, a guided tour can prove to be costly for budget travelers looking for ways to cut costs on tickets and food. Traveling solo and curbing expenses by using coupons and freebies can be a better choice!
While traveling on your own isn’t dangerous, it is imperative for solo travelers to be more aware of their surroundings and wary of strangers. Thinking about your safety at all times will not only keep you out of trouble, but will also make your trip more pleasant, irrespective of where you’re going.
As a solo woman traveler, being alert won’t be enough; you’ll have to avoid activities that could potentially put you in danger- for example, visiting deserted places or going out late at night. On the other hand, when you’re traveling in a group, you can do a lot more without constantly worrying about your safety.
Solo travels and organized tours, both offer different experiences. For starters, as a solo traveler, you are sure to attract attention of the locals wherever you go, no matter how hard you try to blend in. Being gawked at can put you on your guard and make it difficult to interact with the locals.
Locals do stare at those traveling in groups too, but if you take a guided tour, you’ll invite less attention to yourself and will be able to mingle freely with locals and other travelers. This way, you’ll learn more about the place you’re visiting, as well as about fellow travelers and their countries.
Most importantly, language can be a barrier if you’re visiting a foreign country. Since tour guides are locals and generally speak English, you won’t have to face any problem communicating with locals.
Another point to note is that certain destinations and travel experiences – like night time safaris – require you to travel in a group or hire a guide.
When traveling solo, you can wake up whenever you want to and take in the sights at your own pace. You also get to decide what places you want to see in detail or spend more time at.
On a guided tour, you’ll have to follow a strict itinerary and you might not be able to see or do everything that you want to. However, you might get to see plenty of places that you didn’t know about!
If you have a limited amount of time to see a particular place, it’ll be wise to take a guided tour. That’s because tour operators have everything planned in advance and they’re used to organizing trips. By traveling in a group with a tour guide, you also stand the chance to get discounts or special entry to places like museums and art galleries!
Additionally, guides know their way around which means you’ll get from one point to another quickly. That being said, taking a solo trip after researching all about the place you’re headed to is sure to help you navigate well.
Do keep in mind that using public transportation to get around can be time consuming. So if you’re going on a budget solo trip, make sure you consider travel times while planning your journey.
There are several types of guided tours that cater to various interests and people belonging to different age groups. Whether you take a one-day walking or running tour of a city, go for a food tasting tour, or opt for a weeklong guided adventure tour, just make sure that the tour you select allows you to see and do things you are interested in.
Using the information provided here and taking your budget into account, you’re sure to choose the right way to travel or find a healthy mix between the two modes!
Author bio: Nancy Kerley is a travel blogger who loves to explore new places and narrate the unheard stories of popular destinations.