Travel With A Tour Group Or On Your Own?

When asked, “What would you like to do when you retire?” a surprising number of people answer simply, ” Travel.”

When retirement finally arrives and people give themselves permission to see the world, are they more likely to travel alone or in a group? Which is better?

Some people absolutely love traveling in a group. Even when they go on a cruise, where everything is already pretty much laid out for you–some people prefer to go cruisin’ with a group of friends and acquaintances.

Many people like the tour group approach to travel because of its “worry free” features. Tour group travel includes experts who know what they are doing. These experts make all the necessary arrangements. They…

  • Buy tickets
  • Create an itinerary of notable sightseeing places of interest
  • Make reservations for overnight accommodations
  • Offer suitable suggested places to eat
  • Handle emergencies during the tour

Also, traveling with a group provides the feeling of safety in numbers, as one travels to unfamiliar places.

Despite the advantages of traveling with a group, many people enjoy traveling on their own. Some begin their travels with a group and then discover that they would prefer making their own decisions regarding their travel itinerary and arrangements.

Rick Steves is a tour guide who encourages all kinds of travel, but with a passion for those who want to experience the local flavor of one’s travel destinations.

In his newsletter, Travel News, Rick Steves reflects: “What distinguishes great travels from typical trips? It’s those places and opportunities when travelers can reach beyond their comfort barriers (self- or industry-imposed) and actually connect with the people and cultures they’ve traveled so far to experience.”

For the independent traveler who wants to slow down and “actually connect with the people and cultures they’ve traveled so far to experience,” the home exchange provides a perfect solution. During a home exchange, two households swap homes. The home exchange provides the traveler a residence in someone else’s community, a truly unique opportunity for connecting with the local people and culture.

Numerous online home exchange companies have emerged during the past 10 years to help travelers create a home exchange.

The home exchange movement began during the 1950s among European teachers who went in search of an affordable holiday. Now, hundreds of thousands of travelers are embracing the home exchange as they plan their vacations.

As the world gets smaller and smaller, due to modern technology, the urge to travel seems to be getting stronger and stronger. Increasingly, people wonder, “Why wait until retirement to start traveling?” It’s a point worth considering. Just remember, the trip of a thousand miles always begins with the first step. Once you have resolved to take that trip, consider your options: do you want to travel with a group or on your own. Either option is a great way to travel. The important thing is to act on your resolve–take that first step.

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