Are vacations better solo or with a group?
- According to research from the Journal of Happiness Studies, the ideal vacation lasts eight days.
- The Framingham Heart Study revealed that men who didn't take vacations for several years were at a 30% higher risk of having a heart attack.
- A Klook's Solo Travel study polled 21,000 people from 16 different countries and found that '79-80% of travelers under 40 said they had already traveled alone or would be interested in traveling alone.'
- One type of group travel is an 'escorted tour,' which is 'conducted by a Tour Director…[who] is responsible for leading a group on a travel experience over several days with the same guests. They take care of everything, from your transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from your hotel daily, as well as your daily activities.'
Vacations are better with a group because they are safer, can be less expensive, and often provide enhanced experiences. There is safety in numbers, especially when traveling to an unfamiliar or foreign destination where one could easily become lost or find it challenging to communicate in another language.
Aside from safety gains, there can also be a significant cost reduction when traveling with a group, either by sharing expenses or enjoying discounted group rates. And these reduced expenses can enable one to upgrade to an affordable vacation that also has more luxury and amenities.
Without benefitting from the shared experiences that only group vacationing can bring, traveling alone can become very lonely and isolating. Whether traveling with friends or taking advantage of the opportunity to make new friends by joining a tour or other travel group, interacting and sharing ideas can strengthen friendships and create deeper memories that are intertwined together.
Another added benefit of vacationing with a group is that one can hire local tour guides to provide access to locals and to areas that would have never been discovered or appreciated by going solo. As one avid traveler remarked in a travel blog, '...experienced group leaders have evolved tourism from 'ticking off' sightseeing boxes to a more interactive cultural experience.'
Although there are pros and cons to both traveling solo and with a group, there is less risk, less cost, and more of an opportunity to have dynamic experiences when vacationing with others.
Solo travel has become a trend: a 2018 report on holiday habits showed that the number of people traveling solo has tripled since 2011. One of the reasons for this is quite simply that it’s cheaper. A traveler will end up spending much less money with fewer hotel rooms and fewer mouths to feed. Plus, a solo traveler can splurge on more luxurious meals, sightseeing, and entertainment on their trip with that extra money saved.
Traveling solo also has the benefit of feeling less “touristy.” A lone traveler sticks out far less among the locals than a larger group of people does. This gives you the ability to blend in and experience the culture in a way that you wouldn’t when traveling with others. Without your usual family or friends, you are more likely to reach out and make connections with others.
You can also fit more activities into your trip since attractions can much more easily accommodate one person than a group. Additionally, with no compromises, a person traveling solo can see the sights that interest them the most without having to go to any they find boring for the sake of others. In this way, you can be yourself on vacation and not make any sacrifices. And in the process, you can learn more about yourself than when you are with others.
Overall, with increased flexibility, less spending, and all the activities you enjoy most, it is evident why so many people are embracing solo travel.