• Shawna Mitchell

Group trips vs. Solo trips

Welcome back! In this blog, I will be covering the topic of solo trips vs group trips.

Personally, I have been on 11 trips and out of that number three have been group trips.

If you google, "What is a group trip?" Google will define it as "when 10 or more people are all travelling together".


My definition of a group trip is 3+ people. Remember: "Two is company, three is a crowd"


So, let me recap the group trips that I have been on:

Dominican Republic with my sisters, I have three sisters so that made 4 of us on this trip

Vegas for a friend's birthday - there were 7 of us in total

Florida was a family trip for my niece's birthday - there was 6 of us on this trip.

Thailand was a serious group trip, there were 19 of us in one super large villa


Now, let's recap the countries I've explored while traveling solo:

Iceland

Indonesia

Taiwan

Nigeria

Paris

Singapore

I am a solo trip enthusiast but I will attempt to make this blog as bias-free as possible.


What I will go over in this blog are:

1) Why a person may want to join a group trip vs. a solo trip (vice-versa)

2) What can a person expect when travelling solo vs. in a group

3) Pros and cons of both travelling in groups vs. alone

4) Can travelling in groups really save you money? Is travelling solo expensive?

5) I will end this blog off with some advice for you to take home :)

Why a person may want to travel in a GROUP vs. a solo trip.

Group trips are good for many reasons. One of the best reasons being that the person travelling either 1) does not want to travel alone - maybe their friends are unreliable (we'll talk about this topic in another blog) or 2) they want to meet new people and possibly network (group trips are amazing for this).


Other reasons are:

3) The traveler won't have to worry about building an itinerary which is good for those people who are not the besttt at planning ahead.

4) Although, some group trips tend to be expensive there are still other trips that may actually SAVE you money. With options such as bed-sharing, you have the ability to split travel costs if you're open to the idea of having a roommate.


Now, if you have no trouble creating an itinerary, travelling alone, making new friends or don't care to save money with bed-sharing options thennn maybe group travel is not for you.


This leads me to my second topic:

Why a person may want to travel SOLO vs. in a group.

The biggest difference between the two travel options are the amount of "me-time" you will have. A solo trip will consist of at least 95% of "me-time" because you will be exploring the country and doing all activities by yourself (unless you have guided group-tours booked, which is also a nice added touch).


In a group trip, you will be with the group you traveled with for majority of your trip, from the day you land until the day of your departure. For some, this may be a bit too much - you may want to explore on your own without anyone complaining.


The pros while traveling solo include:

1) You can create your own individualized itinerary which will allow you to do activities throughout the day at your own speed and within your own budget.

2) You will avoid hearing the complaints of others, such as "the food here isn't good", "why is it so expensive here?" "I don't want to do that excursion, can we do _____ instead?"and the famous line "I may not be able to come on the trip, something came up last minute".

3) You will learn a lot about yourself while traveling solo - you may even surprise yourself. Personally, as an introvert I never thought I would be able to set up a tripod and take pictures in front of random people lol but now after doing it a couple times - I don't even think twice.

4) You will be forced to get out of your comfort zone. You will learn to be more extroverted and involved as you meet other travelers abroad especially while dining alone lol.


What people think traveling solo will be like:

What traveling solo is really like:

Can travelling in a group really save you money? Is traveling solo expensive?


The easy answer is YES travelling in a group can save you money and I will explain to you how and then afterwards I will explain how travelling solo can increase your spending which is why budgeting is important.


The best way to explain this is by giving you a scenario - a very detailed scenario so you don't get bored because calculations will be involved at the end lol.


So, we have a group of 4 travelers who are going to Mexico for 5 nights/6 days because its Summer and they don't want to be stuck in Toronto the whole time.

They find an apartment (4 bedrooms, 2 baths) on AirBnB which includes a private pool and round trip airport transportation that costs $500.00 CAD a night.

They're flying with WestJet and each purchased a ticket from Toronto to Cancun for $425.00 CAD. Now, let's do the calculations:

$500.00 x 5 nights = 2500.00 CAD

$2500.00 / 4 travelers = 625.00 CAD

$625.00 (5 nights/6 days) + $425.00 (flight) = 1050.00 CAD


Each traveler will need to have $1050.00 for the trip plus whatever additional spending money they want to bring along.


Now, we have a solo traveler: She wants to go to Mexico for 5 nights / 6 days.

However, because she is travelling solo she has no one to split any of the costs with.

So, she finds a villa on AirBnB for $175.00 CAD/night it comes with a shared pool and round trip airport transportation.

She also purchased a ticket with WestJet for $425.00 CAD from Toronto to Cancun.

Let's Calculate to get a better idea of how this will add up:


$175.00 x 5 nights = 875.00 CAD

$875.00 (5 nights/6 days) + $425.00 (flight) = 1300.00 CAD


This traveler would have to pay $1300.00 which is $275.00 more than the group trip that we previously spoke about.

And this people is how solo trips can cost you more money than group trips unless you're on a minimalist budget.

Here is some advice for you (free of charge)

After reading this blog, I hope you have a better idea about whether you see yourself booking a solo trip or a group trip the next time you decide to travel.


When traveling solo it is important to do your research prior to booking your ticket and ask yourself some questions while doing so. Here are 3 out of 100 questions I asked myself prior to booking my first solo trip:


1) Is this country safe for solo travelers and does it match my level of experience? especially if you're a woman traveling solo for the first time. This is most important for international trips. Countries like Iceland, New Zealand and Canada have been deemed the safest countries to travel to but if these countries are not on your bucket list then other safe countries should be researched.

2) Am I prepared? It's important to note that while abroad anything can happen and while traveling solo, you won't have that extra body to fall back on just in case - You have to learn to be self-reliant. Now, if you're an individual who NEEDS to have someone around then maybe a solo trip is not the best idea for you.

3) How can I get nice pictures? Well, there are actually two options you can choose from such as purchasing a tripod with a bluetooth clicker or simply asking a stranger to take your picture for you (usually, I see other travelers taking pictures and if you ask them to take yours, they may ask you to take their picture as well - easy trade).

I personally love traveling solo but I understand that solo travel is not for everyone. If you decide that a group trip would work best for you then it is important to be open to meeting new people (because you won't really have a choice) and just enjoy yourself! There isn't too much to worry about as you will have a group of people in the same boat with you - so if you have any questions or concerns while abroad, someone will be there to answer them for you.


For my travel information, follow me on instagram at @SMtravels_ / @Shaaw.na

Until next time! Stay safe and don't stop traveling!