Group Travel vs. DIY Travel: Which Option is Best?

When you’re thinking of getting away from your home country for a while and seeing a little bit more of the world you’ve heard so much about, it can be overwhelming to decide where, what and how to do it all. There are a couple of ways to explore the opportunities the world has to offer. This can either be through planning your itinerary all yourself or instead, or paying for a group tour that will fit in everything you need to see. There’s no right or wrong answer as to which option you should choose, as different people have different needs, but here is some advice if you are unsure whether to go it alone, or go for a group travel experience.

Map, laptop and camera set-up for travel planning

Photo by Raw Pixel on Unsplash

Do it Yourself (DIY)

Planning your travels all by yourself (or, if you don’t want to go alone, with a friend, partner, sibling, etc.) can take a long time as you work out the logistics of getting from A to B to C and then, somehow, all the way to Z!

Pros:

  • You can control where you go, how long you stay for, and what you do
  • If you don’t enjoy visiting a particular place, you can leave. Similarly, if you find somewhere you really love, you can stay longer.
  • If you’re sticking to your own schedule, you won’t feel guilty if you want to miss any of the activities due to tiredness or illness, for example.

Cons:

  • You need to rely on getting your own transportation, which in some countries can be confusing.
  • You might miss out on activities and locations that may fly under your radar if you don’t have a guide who can fill you in all the best-kept local secrets.

Group Travel

Group tours are ideal for those who want to see the big sights in a quick time frame. Paying upfront for these tours eliminates lot of the stress of scrimping and saving money during your travels, allowing you to relax and unwind in your chosen destination.

Pros:

  • You don’t have to worry about organising anything by yourself.
  • Hotels included in group packages will typically be of a higher standard than slumming it from hostel to hostel. This was definitely the case when I went to India in 2016 – I booked a private tour package and ended up staying in five-star hotels for a fraction of what they would normally cost.
  • Group tours can allow you to meet a host of interesting people who might just become friends for life, and future travel buddies.
  • If you don’t have the time to explore for months on end, a quick month-long excursion is perfect.

Cons:

  • You may feel restricted by the activities you’re doing and might even feel trapped in certain locations, should you not enjoy the place.
  • As with any group activity, there’s always the possibility that you mightn’t be 100% keen on who you are traveling with, and traveling with obnoxious revelers can quickly ruin your experience.

Which is best for you – DIY or group travel?

What it all comes down to, is what kind of travel experience you feel will suit you the most. It’s not up to anyone else to tell you how you should and shouldn’t travel. People are unique, and we all enjoy different things. That said, as long as you do your best to make the most of it, you’ll have experiences that will last a lifetim – and isn’t that what travel is all about?

Do you prefer to travel alone, or with a group tour? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

'DIY vs. Group Travel' and a girl sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking a beach

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2 Comments

  1. January 16, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    I’m a total DIY-er. I think I would find group travel to restricting for how I like to explore. I like to get my feet on the ground and live like a local, chatting to the people who live there and getting to know it that way, as if I lived there. I can definitely see advantages for groups for some people, but certainly not for me.

    • January 16, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      I usually go for the DIY option, but at times I have found it beneficial to pre-book a group tour, like when I was in India for example – I felt safer going with a pre-booked group tour option as I was travelling alone.

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