Sir Richard Burton once said: “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.”
I. How to decide what is for you
1, What is solo travel?
Solo travel is to embark on a trip by yourself. The most important part is your choice to continue solo for the whole duration of the journey.
Some people misunderstand solo travel as a trip with no companionship or someone to pass the hour with. In the contrast, ironically enough, it is the best ways to approach a big group of backpackers heading about everywhere or meets people on the road.
2, What is group travel?
– There two types of group travel:
+ The first type: Organized trip by an organization/ a company. When over 500-1,000 of employees of an organization traveling together followed by a booked tour to different parts of the world.
+ The second type: A small group travel. When you go on a trip, holiday or a vacation with 10 or more, you have the same reservations for similar vacationing purposes.
– Independence: If you are someone values privacy, you should choose travel alone.
+ You become the boss: To a solo traveler, how the trip happens is totally up to that person. You follow your own plan and can freely change it every time to adapt to the situation without causing inconvenience for any one else. There won’t be anything preventing you from enjoying every thing.
+ In a group travel, there could be very little chance to have any time to yourself. When you’re sharing a hotel room or staying in a hostel with your group, you have to consider other people timetable too. Everything must be suitable for everyone in the group and things have to follow the plan. Or else, the trip will be a mess because many people have too many different ideas.
– Saving money: Both solo travel and group travel have ways to save money in its own ways. However, group travel is generally much cheaper.
+ You have to pay all on your own: Traveling alone, you can cut down the food and drink and transportation expenses to save money. You don’t need to follow a plan so you can choose to walk too slowly enjoy the journey too. However, you have to pay all cost on your own.
+ The money is divided on each one. More discount for a group tour is offered. You can get companion rates for certain modes of transportation such as bus and train. There are group rates for attractions such as amusement parks, museums… Ones can get help from others if they lack money too.
– Companions: It is always group travel, which can give you companions.
+ Loneliness: If you are not the type of being accustomed to being on their own, it is quite difficult for you to go on a trip alone many times. Your first time maybe the experience, but next time you will get lonely pretty quickly. Try imagining your situation of spending all day alone, then going back to an empty hotel and spending the night alone. Some people become lonely very quickly and need the companionship of others.
+ Someone to share with. For many people, this is the best part of traveling. In your good times, you have some one else to share the feeling with them, enjoy the moment with them. There is always someone to do things with, laugh with, share stories with, and make memories with. Your whole trip can have lovely pictures of you, of your relationships. Your friends are good at languages and you don’t have to worry anymore. In case you got lost or in an emergency, your friends are there to help you.
– Safety: It’s especially true when traveling, particularly in unknown places, anything bad could happen. Things can happen in groups, too, but solo travelers are more vulnerable.
+ When traveling alone, without someone looking out for you, you have higher risks of muggings, pickpockets, and attacks. In case you got injuries, got lost, got sick, there would hardly be any one there to take care of you. Do understand your ability to manage everything above on your own before deciding to travel alone.
+ Safety in numbers. Every town or city in every country has its problems, even if they’re small. Criminals seem to be more likely to attack a person on his/her own rather than a group of people. You have someone to watch your back. People who travel together are definitely close, and in an emergency, they can take care of each other.
4, Which one is right for you?
– “Prefer solitude and your own company? Solo travel might be right for you.”
– If you are the type of simple logistics and love to working on your bucket list, just decide to go on a solo trip. It’s a trip you make on your own that can empower yourself after a long stressful and tired living in this complicated social. You need a long quiet time to think about yourself, your life, and your future. No need to act happily or do things not to be yourself to keep the relationships, to make life more breathable. It is the time to enjoy new things deep down in your soul to refresh your life. Or you want to challenge yourself for new things, you want to see how you will manage to unexpected things. General speaking, a solo travel is what makes a brand new life to you and gives you motivation.
– “Group travel is a lot of fun. There’s always someone around to do things with and share your experiences with.”
If you want there is always someone to explore with you, go on a trip with your loved ones is the most pleasant thing ever. Memories of planning the trip day together, eating together, visiting places together, watching sunrise/ sunset on a hill together… are what you can never forget. You have someone to listen to your stories at night. The time of sharing people’s stories are touching, you will understand them even better. Or to make the trip more interesting, the trip of which each person brings a different perspective, it may be the best or the worst experience at the same time. People in life all have happy and sad moments; a group travel is what makes perfect your life.
II, Preparation for a travel
1, What to bring along
– Remember to arrange the items at the top of the priority list comfortably and conveniently. Make sure you’re choosing things efficiently which help it become ultra-light, rolling the hard carry-on suitcase. A backpack with the suitcase is recommended.
– Here are particular you should not forget:
- Things to secure your properties: backpack with padded straps, plastic bags, money belt, foldable reusable bag,
- Personal info/ contact information things: You should not forget the emergency contact info card and extra passport photos. In case your technologies thing lost, you should have envelopes.
- About clothes or keeping warm things: zip pocket jacket and foldable down jacket to keep you warm in winter and make it more comfortable on hot days. Don’t forget to bring a scarf in case the weather is rainy or get cold. An emergency blanket is for the emergency on specific trips revolving climbing mountains, camping.
- About shoes: you should at least have a pair of multi-purpose shoes, as we don’t know how the weather may turn to be. A pair of flip-flops is possible for quick moving.
- On trips revolving a lot in walking, running or biking, you should have specific things, which can help you on the way. Here we have articles talking about gifts for runners and bikers. Things in the list are what necessary for your trip and you can have ones on your own.
- And the most important thing: customized first-aid kit. Even from the slightest flu, cold or injuries during the journey, it will ruin your mood about everything. The kit is what helps you when everything can happen.
- A headlamp for reading books, sudden work from the office or writing letters.
2, How to find travel companions
Ernest Hemingway had one famous quote about traveling with friends: “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
– First, travel with someone you really get on well with. It will be the best memories ever in your life too with your loved ones as you understand each other more thanks to the trip and share many beautiful moments together.
– Second, prevent clashing personalities. You will never turn into best friends with someone you don’t get along with beforehand just because you travel together. The situation can even end up being awkward for everyone involved. Be careful that the relationship can be put strained, as you’re not used to spending a long time with them.
– Last but not least: Always prepare for different perspectives. It is so normal to have different interests, therefore, not everyone is interested in the same thing. Just don’t go along with a group that what they’re doing makes you feel bored.
– “Many a mickle makes a muckle” For example, your friends want to nature things such as the mountains, the beach but you’d rather learn new things such as going to the museum? Imagine you want to save money by walking but your friends feel lazy and go on a bus tour. These little things can make the whole vacation become frustrating, as you have to stand to make the group happy.
3, Gifts for your loved ones at home or who want to travel: book/yoga/pet lovers’ gifts
- Your loved ones at home expect gifts from your trip return. If you don’t have any ideas, check out our previous articles. Here we understand your loved ones can be books, yoga lovers.
- For a friend who loves travel, you may give them a book so that they can read it in their trip.
- If you want to exercise a little to recharge for your trip, you will find the suggestions in yoga gifts helps you.
Freely choose what you think is the most suitable:
III, Tips to take care of yourself
1, Common tips for both
– Try to learn a little language of the place you plan to go. Besides, you can make new friends more easily, in case you have troubles or got lost, you can ask for help from the locals. Not all people can speak foreign languages, and in an emergency, knowing some specific words can save your life.
– Find more about the nonverbal language in that area. There is a lot of nonverbal action, which has a different meaning in every region. At least “no, thank you” in the local language, as well as “absolutely not” should be learned.
– Ask for your neighbor’s help about your home, this gives you an automatic connection with residents, they will protect your house.
– One of the first things you should do when having just arrived is to have local help numbers, such as the tourist police, programmed in your phone. You may think you’ll reach for them, but there are always unexpected situations. In addition, this gives you the confidence to deal with awkward situations.
2, Should we go on a package tour?
– If you go on a trip on your own, you should not.
- Travel alone means enjoying everything on your own, but a package tour destroys that. You have to follow the tour timetable, you have to go to where they suggest. In brief, you totally lost freedom. All you want from a solo travel, a package tour prevents you from that. You don’t get to do what you want to do, and more terrible, you won’t meet any locals.
- So do consider when you think about a package tour if you want to travel alone.
– If you go on a group travel, a package tour makes it easier. You don’t have to plan carefully before the trip. A group of people has different perspectives and the package tour solves that.
-Tips: However, in general, you shouldn’t go on a package tour at all. It will cost your more. And all the benefits solo travel or group travel give, you will have no if you go on a package tour.