Nervous about group travel? Here’s why it works for introverts

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If you’re one of those people who craves moments of alone time, the idea of group travel may seem… well, like a bit of a sweet nightmare. What if you’re surrounded by diehard party folk – the kind who pound tequilas one moment and twerk on tables the next? What if you’re perceived as a poor team player if you don’t join in every. single. activity. with a requisite spirit of jollity? What if your fellow group members think you’re weird for reading a book instead of group chat, or skipping dinner one night? 

The angst, my friends, is real. But the good news is, the reality is not. Flash Pack trips are about as far as you could hope to get from an episode of Below Deck. Instead, they’re specially designed to welcome all personality types – extroverts, introverts and anyone in-between. Our groups stay small, meaning you’re never overwhelmed by a crowd. We think carefully about the dynamic, so no one person dominates. We schedule in both bonding experiences and downtime, leaving breathing space for those who need it.

And – the biggie – everyone who joins our trips is a solo traveller aged in their 30s and 40s. This common theme allows our community to be on a similar wavelength. We skip the booze-on-the-beach crew and go straight to those who value meaningful, local adventure with a side serving of fun. Here’s more on why introverts feel at home with Flash Pack: 

You’re accepted as you are

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You don’t have to be a certain way when you rock up on a Flash Pack adventure. There’s no pressure to be super-sociable or “on top form”. People join us from all walks of life, and with many different experiences in their back pocket – from divorce to career breaks, burnout and beyond. But typically, groups are united by a spirit of open-minded acceptance. Wherever you’ve come from and whatever your story, you’ll be welcomed into the fold. 

From the outset, our group felt like a safe environment to share in

“I think there’s something about the type of friendships you make when you travel that is particularly unique,” says speech therapist Jennifer Abramson, who travelled with Flash Pack to Morocco. “Maybe it’s about meeting people who have a similar zest for life, in a location that is new and exciting. I found myself trying things I’d never do back home, like going topless in an all-female hammam or learning to surf for the first time – with everyone cheering me on.” 

“One of the things I found refreshing about my Bali group is that lots of other people were at a transition point, too,” adds former tech expert, Olga Petrova. “Like me, they were in the process of planning significant changes in their lives for a range of reasons. Hearing everyone’s stories was a reminder that many of us don’t have everything perfectly settled in our lives […] everyone is going through something.”

People will respect your space and privacy

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Your average Flash Pack trip delivers a whole bunch of thrills, so many people – not just introverts – relish some down time between all the action. If you want to skip a few group meals in favour of an early night, or a stroll around town alone, we guarantee you won’t raise a single eyebrow. 

Beyond headline activities, the group is there as a support format, as and when you want it. But that doesn’t mean you’re glued to your fellow Flashpackers for the duration of your trip. Most people who join our trips are already used to solo travel, so they tend to dip in and out during free time (and our itineraries are designed to support that vibe). In addition, some of our trips are especially designed to unfurl at a more relaxed pace, with greater time to unwind in-between experiences.

The Pack Leader is there to support you

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If you ever don’t fancy doing a group activity for whatever reason, speak to your Pack Leader. They’re there to make your adventure a fun, inclusive and comfortable experience. So, if you suddenly feel drained – and crave some space and alone time – they can help. It may be that you choose to skip something on the itinerary for a lie-in and time by the pool. Not everyone will be able or willing to do everything, and that’s OK. 

You’re matched with a roommate 

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Many people opt for Flash Pack because we cater to a particular age group and type of solo traveller. The 30s- and 40-somethings who join our trips are interested in getting under the skin of a particular culture or place. They’re open and curious; drawn by local flavours and immersive experiences. They might like a sunset cocktail or three, but they’re not about all-day boozing. 

We schedule in downtime, leaving space for those who need it

This means you’re more likely to find people who share your values and outlook on life. You’ll already have things in common (a bond that explains why 80% of Flashpackers stay in touch after their trips have ended). But then we go one step further by meticulously matching you with a roommate, too. You don’t have to share a room on a Flash Pack trip; but doing so allows you to stay in some really beautiful hotels while dodging the single supplement. And, more importantly, it’s yet another opportunity to connect with travellers in your group. 

One of the metrics we use to match roomies is whereabouts you fall on the introvert-extrovert scale (as well as sleeping habits, whether you’re an early bird riser and so on). This means you’ll share with someone who is roughly on the same page as you, in terms of appetite for socialising vs recharging. 

We’re less about banter and more about meaning

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Introverts tend to value deeper one-to-one chats over small talk – a preference that chimes neatly with Flash Pack’s adventure formula. A great group dynamic is central to everything we do – meaning even before you arrive on a trip, the stage for connection is set. You’ll meet people of a similar age and life stage, with a shared appreciation for local, experiential travel. 

On top of that, the immersive nature of our adventures mean people tend to form deep friendships in a very short amount of time. Away from the distractions of daily life, you’re all together in the moment – snorkelling with octopi in the kelp forest of South Africa, hiking the desert in Jordan or hopping between vineyards in Mendoza, the Argentine wine capital. 

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This all-consuming element means our travellers don’t generally chit-chat about jobs or world events. Instead, they’re focused on both their immediate setting and getting to know one another on a more profound level – using the big-picture backdrop of travel to talk about hopes, dreams, challenges and more. And, of course, there are a lot of laughs, silliness and customised 90s soundtracks in the mix, too. 

“From the outset, our Sri Lankan group also felt like a very safe, calm environment to share in. I decided to be really honest with everyone about why I was there, and I think people appreciated that,” says freelance consultant John Jones, who joined one of our trips following a breakup. “As we became more comfortable with one another, everyone started to follow suit in opening up. It meant our conversations became deeper and more human. We talked about life and relationships and books; rather than the standard small talk of what you do for a living.”

Got a story or adventure that could inspire a solo traveller like you? Tag @flashpack on social or email [email protected] to be featured.

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