Solo Travel vs Group Travel – which is right for you?

by | Sep 7, 2020

Solo Travel vs Group Travel

It’s time to start planning your next awesome adventure.

But, for whatever reason, your usual travel buddy can’t make it (yep – we know the feeling).

You’re therefore facing the prospect of travelling alone.

There are several options available to you but two of the most common are solo travel vs group travel (it’s an often fiercely debated topic in online forums).

Both are great options – it’s all about finding which is right for you.

So here’s our take to help you decide.

solo traveller on a group tour

First Up – Definitions!

There’s an ever-expanding list of variants and slants on both “solo travel” and “group travel” so for the purpose of this post we’ll define what we mean.  

Solo Travel – likely planning and booking the individual components of the trip by yourself (the flights, hotels, experiences etc…) and on the whole travelling alone (while possibly meeting other travellers along the way).

Group Travel – likely still travelling “solo” but joining up with a tour group to share the trip with other travellers. The tour company will typically take care of planning and logistics and there will be an organised itinerary.

group of solo travellers on a group tour

Advantages of Solo Travel

  • You can completely customise the itinerary to fit your specific interests
  • You can choose which people you let into your circle
  • There’s more scope for spontaneity (it’s easy to change plans at the drop of a hat)
  • There’s more alone time
  • Trip planning may be your “thing”
  • It’s likely cheaper
solo travel tour group

Advantages of Group Travel

  • You save on the endless hours of researching and trip planning (flights, hotels, activities, guides etc…)
  • It takes away all logistical hassle on the ground. Just turn up and enjoy your trip
  • Local knowledge and access to people, places and experiences not always in guidebooks
  • You have a ready-made set of travel buddies
  • You’re accompanied by local guides with deep insight into the places you travel
  • Safety and security should anything go wrong
group of solo female travellers

How to Decide?

There is no right or wrong answer, it simply comes down to which is better for you.

(and that may depend on where you are at this particular time in your life).

Here are some good questions to ask yourself:-

  • Do you enjoy the trip planning process? And do you have the time for it?
  • Does the thought of a set itinerary make you feel like you’re not on holiday? Or do you like the idea of some structure?
  • Are you comfortable doing activities and eating in restaurants alone? Or would you rather be with other people?
  • Do you like being around others most of the day or are you looking for some solitude? 
  • Are you comfortable approaching other travellers in a hostel or a bar?
  • Would you rather relax while on holiday and not have to deal with logistics? Or do you see that as part of the adventure?

  • What’s your budget? Do you value paying for the service of a tour company or would you rather save that cash for something else?
group tour of solo travellers

A Personal Perspective

I’m Steve, the founder of Group Travel company Other Way Round.

What’s my take on solo travel vs group travel?

I think you may be able to guess :-)

But actually, the truth is that for me the answer is “it depends”.

It depends on the person.

It depends on the length of trip.

It depends on what you’re looking for out of it.

If I had the opportunity to travel for 3, 6, or 12 months (like I did in my 20s), then I’d likely travel solo. It’s cheaper, there’s more flexibility, and there’s a lot of room for personal growth.

But if it’s going on a 1 or 2 week holiday, then I prefer to go with a tour group.

I like to just rock up, meet a bunch of fun people, not be hassled with logistics, and trust the locals to take me to the best places.

But that’s just me!

(and as they say, “one person’s heaven is another person’s hell”)

The important thing to know is that –

If you want to travel solo, you can definitely do it. For sure it can seem intimidating, but there are so many helpful resources out there and you’ll meet lots of like-minded solo travellers along the way (Solo Traveller World and Nomadic Matt are two of my favourite resources).

And if you prefer group travel, go for it. There are some excellent tour companies and you’ll definitely find something to fit (just don’t get sucked into the common myths about tour groups).

I hope this helps you in your decision.

What’s your take on solo travel vs group travel? Leave a comment below