Pic by Suzanne Plumette
Pic by Suzanne Plumette

Group guided holidays vs solo travel

By IOL Supplied Time of article published Mar 23, 2018

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When it comes to group guided holidays, your thoughts may still turn to bus-loads of tourists summarily snapping photos with their selfie sticks, then rushing off to the next attraction. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth, however.

“From sailing Croatia and cruising down the Amazon to hiking Machu Picchu and trekking to the misty sanctuary of gorillas, group guided holidays offer meaningful experiences for travellers who want to embark on an effortless, value-for-money holiday," says Divan Viljoen, Flight Centre Travel Group Youth & Adventure Marketing Campaign Manager.

Guided group holidays have become a platform for like-minded solo travel souls from all over the world to share their experiences. First-timers can also dip their toes into solo travel without needing to worry about getting lost or lonely.

Guided holidays are great if you want convenience and value for money:

Form a squad:

For those contemplating their first holiday as a solo traveller, a guided group holiday is the perfect way to jump right in. You’ll have the assistance of an experienced tour leader to help and guide you every step of the way, as well as the company of other travellers if you are worried about getting lonely.

The dynamics of groups on these holidays always serve up a mixed bag of interesting people from different countries who you can not only learn from, but become lifelong friends with too.

Save time

Travellers these days are incredibly independent, they can book entire trips on their own, from accommodation to attraction tickets, transfers and flights online.

Guided holiday packages not only work out cheaper, especially with overland expeditions and cruises, but it’s all arranged for you with no nasty surprises or fear of missing out because you didn’t discover the best place to eat tapas in Madrid. Why go in circles planning everything on your own if you don’t like the admin or wasting time on holiday rectifying a booking mistake?  

Get on those travel deals

If you’re looking to snap up a deal on your next holiday, and can be flexible with your dates, guided holidays during the low, or shoulder season are the way to go. Not only will you beat the crowds, but many companies offer annual discounts and flash sales during these times of the year.

Ask your travel expert for the latest deals— just because you don’t see it online doesn’t mean it’s not there. 

“We” time vs “me” time

If you want to chill out on the deck of your cruise and read a book, or zone out with your headphones in as you venture through the mesmerising landscape of Swiss Alps, there is nothing stopping you on a guided holiday.

Expect plenty of group activities balanced with plenty of time to yourself too. You’ll discover days in your itinerary where you are encouraged to go out on your own to explore or relax. 

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