Many of you have expressed a certain degree of trepidation about travelling with a small group. Sometimes it is the cost- sometimes it is the fact that you are not sure if you will get along with everyone…..always it is the uncertainty. In one of my posts I talked about excuses people give for not travelling……
First of all the cost…..and this is one that is incredibly subjective- and a matter of priorities. If you make just above minimum wage, it is going to be pretty hard to put money towards a trip unless you save long and hard…..not impossible, just difficult. Some people manage to do it by keeping their eye on the prize, so to speak- that is they specifically look at a trip, then set up a weekly contribution to their trip account. Trips offered by companies for those with low budgets and the 18-35 crowd meet this criteria…..G Adventures and Intrepid both have inexpensive trips.
Of course- keeping your eye on the prize applies no matter your budget. Perhaps upgrading to a $1000 TV can be put off a year…..or buying a new car. Eating out a few times a week every week means you won’t be eating in another country for a few weeks……again- a matter of priorities. Does stuff matter- or does experience matter to you? Only you can answer that question!
Now what about small groups in general?
If you travel on your own, you certainly don’t have to worry about getting along with others on your trip, as you can always up and leave…..on the other hand, you don’t have anyone to share the view of the sunset over the Taj Mahal, or the chance to go on a winery tour in Italy, or ride through Burgundy country in France. You can do it on your own, but with whom else can you compare notes- raving about the blue sky and the white buildings of the Greek Islands….I can go on and on about this aspect.
As well, travelling in a large group may mean heading to places that can only handle large groups. No heading to a small village and touring homes, playing cricket or soccer with the locals….or any of those experiences that give you a chance to interact with the local people. You will normally have to use chain hotels (usually Western based as opposed to locally owned) with the majority of their profits heading into the corporation coffers- not back into the community. Travelling with large groups means travelling on a local bus or train is out of the question…..and so you miss out of more experiences- and after all, isn’t that why you travel!?
The final question- what if I don’t get along with anyone?
And I only want to travel with people my age…..then this is not for you. You should be a person that travels with an “adventurous spirit”. Embracing new experiences means embracing variety and all that goes with it. That means uncertainty, and stepping outside your comfort zone. On the other hand, you cannot beat the feeling of accomplishment that comes from experiencing something that is so beneficial and restorative in every sense of the word- it does give you perspective on your life.
One other perspective to consider- look at the pace of the trip. If you are a person that finds it difficult to get moving in the morning, consider that some mornings this will not make you a popular person….. If you don’t want to visit a different place every few days (or even every day), consider some tours that may simply explore an area. Many of these are by foot or bicycle however, so consider what kind of shape you are in physically. And moreover, when considering the pace, remember that small group tours may do more walking to which you may not be accustomed.
Finally, I have had clients use trips as a springboard to getting into better shape! One just needs to be realistic, and consider all of the options available. One trip may suit you better than others. And that brings me to my final point- if you don’t see a trip that suits you, send me some specifics, and let me see what I can offer.