Travelling With Strangers on a Group Tour? Here’s 13 Massive Upsides
The Benefits of Travelling With Strangers
Travel is more than checking items off a bucket list.
We’re pulled like magnets to terrain we’ve never seen hoping to come away with an altered perspective on the world.
It allows us to meet new people, experience foreign cultures, and gain a bit of respite from the mundane routine of home.
And while more and more people are opting to navigate the world alone, we here at Other Way Round Travel are big believers in the power of shared experiences.
After all, as wilderness explorer Christopher McCandless philosophized “Happiness is only real when shared”.
But what if your particular group of friends doesn’t share your passion for travel? Or it just isn’t a priority in their life right now.
Friends get married, get saddled with huge mortgages, and consumed with their careers. You have a busy enough schedule without trying to work around theirs.
Fortunately, you’re not out of options yet. You can always take the leap and travel with strangers.
Why You Should Consider Travelling With Strangers
You’re never too old for new friends, after all.
If you know where you want to go and what kind of trip you’re looking to take, you should seriously consider joining a group tour. Because if you wait around for someone to travel with, you might never make it on the plane.
But do you really want to share your trip with a random group of strangers?
And here’s why.
13 Benefits of Travelling With Strangers
Here are 13 benefits of opting for a tour group and travelling with strangers over going solo or even travelling with a group of friends.
1. ADVANTAGES OF SOLO TRAVEL WITH EASE OF ALL-INCLUSIVE
It’s the best of both travel worlds.
Scouring the internet for off-the-beaten-path destinations and determining which activities are authentic rather than tragically touristy takes time. Time that many busy adults don’t have.
But similarly, booking a relaxing all-inclusive resort on a beach maybe isn’t what you’re looking for?
You want adventure, culture, and exploration.
When joining a group tour everything is arranged for you. All those pesky little details no traveler likes to coordinate. It’s the easiest immersive travel available.
2. HAND SELECT THE PERFECT ITINERARY FOR YOU
Traveling with a group of friends (or even just a single companion) has its hurdles.
Everyone has different interests and has idealised an itinerary, which may or may not be reconcilable with your own. Odds are, someone is going to have to make sacrifices and your fancy-free trip of a lifetime now comes with compromises.
Joining a group tour gives you the power to tailor the itinerary to your desires because the plans are set in stone ahead of time. Only sign up for the tour that most appeals to your personal vision of the trip.
Looking for an adventurous escape into the mountains of Peru? Join a trekking tour. More interested in the traditions and cultures of indigenous peoples? There’s a tour for that. Want a well-rounded look led by a local, savouring authentic Peruvian food, Amazonian exploration, and sunrise hiking in the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu? These days, there’s a tour to suit every need.
(Read Also: 26 Best Places to Visit in South America)
3. NO MORE WAITING AROUND
Every year we are loaded down with more responsibilities. More reasons not to travel.
Our friends get married, have kids, and focus on their careers. You have milestones of your own and a complicated schedule to work around. Waiting for a significant other or friend’s schedule to miraculously mirror yours could take a lifetime.
If travel is a priority for you, it’s time to take matters into your own hands.
Traveling with strangers ensures you have someone to share your trip with but you can leave according to your schedule.
4. THEY MAY START AS STRANGERS, BUT WILL BECOME FRIENDS
Friends you can travel with next time. Who value travel and make it a priority in their life. Companions who have similar interests as you.
Travel accelerates relationships. You’ll feel as though you’ve known them forever after just a few weeks and countless shared experiences. Your bond is formed over moments that your friends back home will never get to experience and will struggle to comprehend.
And when you meet up again in some far corner of the world or shoot them an email on a busy workday, you’ll start stories with “remember that time in Colombia when we did…”.
(Read Also: Group Travel in Your 30s & 40s)
5. MEET PEOPLE YOU WOULDN’T NORMALLY ENCOUNTER
As we get older we gravitate to the same social settings.
We visit the same bars, gym, and coffee shops. Our social circle is well-established and it’s harder to branch out and meet new people.
And although you’ll likely have a lot in common (since you selected the same tour), you’ll probably be from all different walks of life.
This is a chance to become more open-minded and see the world from a different perspective than your own. To connect with someone so far outside your world back home you’re practically on different planets.
6. MEET MORE PEOPLE !
Not only will you make friends with the strangers in your group, but you’ll be more open to meeting other people on the road as well.
You’re far more likely to socialise with locals and other travellers when you’re travelling with strangers (or solo) than you would if you were traveling with your tight-knit group of friends from back home.
That kind of group dynamic is rarely conducive to including outsiders.
7. BE WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE
Much like solo-travel, you’re not constrained by the ‘self’ you’ve carefully crafted back home. The ‘you’ that you’re friends and family know.
Surrounded by strangers you can become whoever you want to be and explore different aspects of your personality.
Maybe you’re typically more shy or introverted – this could be the time to test out the bolder and more vivacious you?
(Read Also: Group Travel for Introverts)
8. PUSH BEYOND YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Planning an independent trip as an inexperienced traveller makes it more likely that you’ll simply scrape the surface of a destination.
You’ll hit the main tourist attractions and follow the well-trodden path.
But joining a group led by locals who know the country intimately allows you to see more. You’ll hit the most authentic restaurants and hidden-gems without having to hassle with the research and logistics yourself.
This means you’ll be trying new things daily and immersing in the culture. Allowing someone else to take the wheel ensures you’ll have to step outside the realm of what you consider comfortable.
Isn’t that what travel is all about?
9. YOU’LL SURPRISE YOURSELF
Travelling with strangers makes you bold.
You’ll feel freer to do things you wouldn’t dare at home. Travelling with strangers encourages you to push yourself even further outside your comfort zone
For example, if you’re terrified of heights your friends back home might know better than to encourage you to leap from the upper deck of the boat into the dark water below. But since these “strangers” know nothing about your history, you may find yourself casting aside your fears (and incidentally having a great time in the process).
10. IT’S SAFER THAN SOLO TRAVEL
If you’re anxious about solo travel or you’re not experienced in travelling alone, travelling with strangers can be a much safer option. Not only will you be aided by the guidance of a group leader but you’ll also have the sound judgment of your fellow travellers to fall back on.
Note: If you’re looking for tips on how to navigate solo travel safely as a female be sure to check out this post.
11. YOU’LL STILL HAVE ALONE TIME (IF YOU WANT IT)
The biggest concern many travellers have when booking a group tour is that they won’t get enough time to themselves.
But just because you’re travelling with strangers doesn’t mean you’ll have to forgo all alone time.
Most, if not all, tours have free time allotted and it’s up to you whether you want to spend it reflecting alone or socialising with your fellow travellers.
(Read Also: Swapping Solo Travel for a Group Tour)
12. SAVE MONEY
Accommodation, activities and transportation quickly add up when you’re travelling on your own.
Unless you’re a budget traveler looking to forgo all levels of comfort for a cheap price-tag, group travel can be a great way to go as many of the overall costs get split between the group and can take advantage of buying in bulk.
Plus, the total cost of the trip is normally clear upfront so no surprise expenses once you’ve already hit the road.
13. NO MORE HASSLE WITH TRANSPORTATION
Every traveler’s least favourite chore.
Getting from point A to point B in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language can be a nightmare. Factor in constantly changing time-tables, delays, and the risk of accidentally booking a seat on a careening death trap rather than through a reputable company.
Skip the hassle and let a tour company handle this all for you. They’ll be able to ensure you get to jam-pack your itinerary with activities and not waste time in bus or train depots.
So, did we manage to convince you? Travelling with strangers can no doubt seem daunting at first but in our experience the people you meet during a group tour are often the very highlight of the trip. There are so many different options out there that you’ll definitely find “your people” somewhere. We say, go on, give it a go!
(Read Also: Solo Travel vs Group Travel)
Group Tours for Solo Travellers Aged 25-45 !
We’re Other Way Round Travel and we bring together groups of solo travellers aged 25-45 for immersive & authentic trips to the most exotic places in the world. Here’s some of our popular trips.
11 Days in Mexico. Breathe in the pulsating Mexico city, roam the charming streets of traditional Oaxaca, and hit the beach in sun-drenched Tulum. See Itinerary
12 Days in Brazil. Admire street art in São Paulo, trek rainforests in colonial Paraty and marvel at the madness of Rio de Janeiro. See Itinerary
12 Days in Peru. Cook ceviche in Lima, sail the Amazon, hike to Machu Picchu and become awestruck by the Sacred Valley. See Itinerary
15 Days in Colombia. Dance salsa. Meet coffee farmers. Sail tropical islands. Hike lush jungles. Taste the finest Caribbean rum. See Itinerary