26 February, 2015

Group travel vs travelling solo. The age-old question.

Let’s be quite clear…

Solo travel is a wondrous thing. It challenges you in a way you would have never imagined and us lot over here at Flash Pack HQ have experienced this awesome buzz first hand. We are certainly not knocking it and would always encourage y’all to get out there and see that big bad world – whatever your style.

However, just like a really bad hangover, there are plenty of peaks and troughs to travelling solo. Sure, same thing goes for group travel – but we reckon we are the only company addressing all the poo-pooing that gets thrown around about the latter (that’s a weird visual!)

Here’s a round-up of why we are so nutty about group adventures and why you should go mad for them too…

(p.s. toilet humour will be kept to a minimum.)

1. Ready-made drinking buddies

The L world – and no I’m not suggesting that getting your buzz on with a group adventure is going to end up with you falling in ‘Love’ with a fellow traveller (although there was that one time in New Zealand…) The L word I’m talking about is far more scary – ‘Loneliness’. Every solo traveller fears it and dreads that first moment when they walk into a bar flying solo. Go on group tours however and you can live it up with a group of like-minded travellers, whilst sinking some Sake with the locals (or in this case, beers!) Let the good times roll on my friends.

Read more: Being single makes you a brilliant traveller

2. Share the memories

Picture this…

YOU after a group tour: “Ooh do you remember that time when the group bumped into that festival in Burma and the locals were lobbing fire crackers everywhere and you were trying to dodge the bangers? You looked like a Morris dancer on speed!”

FRIEND from group tour: “Oh yeh that was craaaazy! So random that we came across that! Ahh, we had some good times.”

Love to indulge in enjoyable recollections of shared memories? Love a group tour. Simples.

Read more: Myanmar group tour for solo travellers in their 30s & 40s

3. Dip your toes in!

Flash Pack group holidays for solo travellers in their 30’s & 40’s flashpack.com

Forget feeling lost or unsure of yourself as a first-time solo traveller. Jumping on group tours is a great way to get under the skin of your desired destination. For the nervous solo traveller, group tours are a great way to dip your toes into an uncharted territory before heading out on your own. Make sure you go with a company that uses local guides so you get the most out of local knowledge. It’s simply a great way to build up your…

4. Confidence!

You’re gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle” -David Nicholls, One Day.

In a nutshell, it’s all about the confidence and group travel will undoubtedly give you some of the good stuff. *Disclaimer* I’m not suggesting for one minute that this lovely lady is in any way, shape or form a hag.

 5. See you later single supplement

Ahh the gorgeous Abittare Hotel in Cusco (Peru). Take me into your crisp white sheets and never let me go! For those of us that have put the prospect of communal showers and hostel bed bugs well and truly behind us, as a solo-traveller get ready to shell out some serious bucks for that single supplement. With a group tour there is of course the option to pay for a single supplement – but why be a party pooper when you could share with another fun-loving, like-minded traveller? Chat about the day, help make decisions on what to wear for tomorrow’s bicycle tour – gotta avoid any chaffing people! A top tip: make sure you go with a group travel company that caters specifically to your age group. You never know, you might just meet your future maid-of-honour!

Read more: What the hell is a single supplement?

6. No worries mate

Worried about logistics of travelling solo? Perhaps the intensity of that souk you’ve been wanting to visit for the last few years seems a bit daunting, or conversely you’re simply just sick and tired of smiling and politely declining through gritted teeth the offers to trade you off for 5 camels (am I really only worth 5 camels!)? Wherever your head is at, group tours will help you chillax as all the details are taken care of. Hassle free, a local guide and no stressed-out last minute travel decisions… sounds pretty good to me!

7. No more romantic tables for one

Vietnam food tour

That awkward moment when you sit down at a table and you have two couples either side of you. Not cool. Even in a stunning location where you probably wouldn’t utter a word anyway – lest you ruin the moment – it’s hard to keep the I-wish-I-had-someone-to-share-this-with thoughts at bay. If you consider yourself a social bunny or a good-time Sally, you will definitely want a couple of people to bounce off of, especially when 5pm rolls around cos then… it’s beer time! As long as you stick to the smaller group tours in the market then you will be able to easily slip into a local eatery without sticking out as the tourist pack. Happy Days.

Read more: Better off alone: how being single can enrich your life

8. No more squeezing into a toilet cubicle with your rucksack – hurrah!

Last but not least, it’s always nice to know you can rely on a buddy in your group to look after your bag whilst you take on the logistical nightmare of the dreaded squat-toilet. (I know I know, toilet humour… but I couldn’t help myself!) Lucky for us group tour fans, we can lavishly linger in bathrooms to our heart’s content.

You clearly know – oh so smart reader of Flash Pack’s blog – where to find a decent group tour company. For all you newbie readers, here is a couple of reasons why you should book with Flash Pack:

  • Experts in small group travel & tailor-made itineraries
  • Intentionally small groups (max. 14) so as to fit into local life with ease
  • Single-handedly breaking the group tour stereotype: no generic & molly-coddling group tours here
  • Sophisticated backpacking: travel off-the-beaten track and away from the tourist trail
  • Not an 18 year old or pensioner in sight: travel in style with people your own age
  • Ideal solution for time-poor working professionals wanting their travels within the constraints of annual leave
  • Roughing it in luxury: no hostels, only beautiful local boutique hotels
  • Responsible tourism: always championing local businesses and local guides
  • Not a corporate affair: smaller company allows innovation, flexibility and outstanding service to be at the forefront of our business culture
  • Perfect for the nervous, the daring or the alternative solo traveller wanting to travel with a group

Ready to take the plunge?! Check out our Flash Pack group adventures!

Read more


10 excellent reasons to visit Croatia’s beautiful coast

Read more

Could you be the next barefoot bookseller on a private island retreat?

Read more

5 sloppy work habits that actually mean you're a genius

Read more