Travelling is always a fun proposition if done well. A bit of planning and research goes a long way in making it a memorable one. However, there is also one aspect we overlook while preparing for a vacation: the company that we would travel with. Having a company enhances the travel experience, and there will be a lot of pictures and moments to cherish afterward. But it also needs to be kept in mind the kind of company you might be traveling with. If it`s family, then you might not have much choice. However, if you are traveling with friends, then the roles and responsibilities can be shared accordingly. The idea is to have fun and make the rip an ever cherishing one.
If you are a solo traveler and prefer solitude whilst in transit, then the extra company may become a hindrance. You may even hate the idea of traveling in a group, which may hurt your style of traveling. This has been an age-old dilemma for avid travelers.
In this article we will try to find out should you travel alone or with friends?
Travelling alone as well as in groups, has its own set of pros and cons.
Let us take the scenario where you would be travelling solo:
Nothing beats that. The freedom to decide one’s itinerary and to make last-minute changes at one’s own will is not just exciting but liberating too. You wouldn’t have to depend on the whims and fancies of the group and can decide on the go. Travelling alone is also a great way to develop a sense of independence.
Travelling alone improves your communication skills. Since you are the master of your schedule, you will have to talk to the locals and find out the best routes and plans. This not improves your communication skills but also helps you in developing a better idea of the place. A famous travel adage is that when you are travelling alone, you are never alone. You carry the place with you.
Travelling alone is an education in itself. It does not just help you discover yourself as a person but also provides you with several skills development initiatives. You begin to communicate freely with strangers, the comfort zone is suddenly broken and newer boundaries created, and at the end of the trip, you are wiser and more experienced. One should, at least for once, attempt to travel alone. The lessons learnt will be invaluable and will last a lifetime.
For checking out the full list of the benefits solo travelling suggests, you can read this blog: Advantages of Solo Travelling
What may look as freedom will ultimately feel like loneliness. There is always, as a human, the craving to share. You would want to share the setting sun, lying on a beach, with your family, friends or the special one. The sand may be soft, but being alone in a foreign land may make you feel the same as hard soil. Travelling in a group would suddenly make things livelier.
All the advantages do have their disadvantages too. Too much communication can often lead to burnout. You might have to end up answering the same questions, over and over again. The usual, “Where are you from?”, “How many years have you been in the country?”, “What do you do?” may sound to be endearing at first, but when asked repeatedly, becomes jarring and irritable. It is at this point you would want someone to handle all unnecessary chit chat and jabbering.
Education is fun if done together. A forlorn tryst with learning becomes a burden and the essence of information gained becomes just another bit of statistics. Also, there might be times when you would need help, and having a group of people who are close to you, helps. Certain trips may also not be safe to be a solo traveler, and in such cases, it is best that you travel with friends or family.
Now that we have seen both sides of the coin about traveling solo let us have a look at how traveling with friends measures up.
Traveling with friends does have a degree of freedom. You do not have to remember all the things necessary. The itinerary can be shared amongst the group, and each individual is tasked to fulfill one part of the responsibility. This lightens the burden, and the trip becomes a sherd experience. Such excursions are some of the most memorable ones.
This is of prime concern. There is always strength in numbers. Traveling solo may not provide you with the requisite back up during times of emergency. This is one of the most important features of traveling in a group. There are umpteen emergencies that may arise with absolute no forewarning. While traveling alone, you might not have the answer to many of them. In a group, the shared intellect to face the situation becomes a great asset.
You will be building memories together. And that by itself is such a brilliant proposition. Moreover, you would not have to rely on strangers to click your pictures. You have your entourage to do that for you. Navigating through a strange and beautiful land, the group also can get lost. The fun fact is that you will get lost together. At the end of the day, that matters.
That is immensely lost, and the trip always becomes based on dependencies. So if you wish to travel East today, but the majority wants West, then democracy wins. These are challenges that can be sorted at the planning stage itself though.
Whims and fancies
This is an extended version of the earlier point of elated to freedom. There have been occasions when travel partners have turned out to be nightmares. Not only have the travel been ruined but eventually the relationship suffered too. Not everyone is a good traveler, and it does bring out the worst in them. Differences will arise, and if not properly handled, they tend to snowball into something serious. So a clear channel of communication needs to be established at all times.
Now this works both ways. A great group of friends can help in managing funds well, or you just end up blowing way more than you can afford. This is dependent on the kind of individuals you will be traveling with. It may not just be friends but family too, so there is no discrimination here. One of the most important aspects of a successful travel plan is budgeting, and this needs to be planned to the last decimal point before you embark on the trip.
Travelling is an essential exercise for inquisitive humans. The more one travels, the more one cherishes their existence. World travelers are not just knowledgeable individuals but confident about themselves too. They have been through different circumstances and have ended up wise and greater insight.
However, the company you keep matters a lot. So if you happen to be a solo traveler and would want to experience group travel, start with a smaller ensemble. If you think it`s worth, then move to a larger number.