Not once I asked myself these questions: Solo trip? Group trip with friends? Or solo in an organized group trip? I have an introverted personality. It takes me a long time until I feel comfortable being part of a new group of people. It takes a while until I can express myself in such environments and groups with people I don’t know. But even so, I experienced them all, and the truth is there are benefits for each one.
Here are the most important benefits you have if you choose to travel in a guided group:
In the pandemic context, adventure travel in small groups can be a way to enjoy nature and relax while maintaining social distance, and stay healthy. It is a shared responsibility: it is our duty as tourists to apply all the necessary precautions. Of course, it also lies in the responsibility of the service providers to use disinfection substances and materials when necessary.
Moreover, adventure travel implies higher risks than everyday tourism. I wouldn’t be so comfortable taking those risks without a trained guide or instructor next to me. Why? Because I am not a trained athlete, I don’t have this knowledge, and I like trying all these activities in a safe way. 🙂 Of course, bad things can happen even with trained people next to you. Even so, chances are lower, and the consequences are less dramatic for you.
2. You won’t have to worry about planning the itinerary or doing much research.
I found this to be a great advantage. Having a guide with you, especially when you are into adventure travel and want to learn new sports, or to go in remote locations for trekking, climbing, is priceless. They will have a planned itinerary for you, and probably they will know exceptionally well the areas, being there several times, even preparing the trail if it is necessary for certain activities. All you have to do is to enjoy the ride and the views.
3. You will find out more information about the area.
Tour guides are literally like walking encyclopedias regarding their areas of interest. Of course, that depends from person to person, but in most of the cases, they will know and offer you a lot of exciting facts about the destination that otherwise, you wouldn’t have the chance to discover. Even when you enjoy researching a particular area, a city, or a Natural Park, a local guide will provide you with more detailed info (cultural, geographic, historical, or related to a specific sport).
A guided tour will offer you years of exploring and presenting that particular destination. It is why I mostly appreciate local guides when visiting a destination.
If traveling solo in a group of strangers may cause you anxiety, you can take it slowly, at first take one or two friends with you. In this way, it can be easier for you to adapt. Or you can challenge yourself and go all by yourself. I found this experience to be very empowering.
The quality of the trip is directly related to the quality of the people around you (guides, travelers, service providers). It is also associated with your capability to face unexpected, unknown situations. From my own experience, I can say that I found people I had things in common with and stayed friends afterward.
When going on guided tours, usually transportation is included. It takes off a lot of stress and research needed to find the best routes, to search for public transportation, compare costs, or to rent a car and drive it. (when traveling abroad)
Apart from that, if you are traveling to a foreign country and you don’t know the local language, having a local guide with you will make things much more comfortable and easy. Not only will they know the local language, but also the culture and will recommend you the best places to wander around.
Have you tried adventurous guided tours so far? How was your experience?