Are you a solo traveler or group explorer? Do you enjoy the independence and freedom of touring without a schedule, free of other people slowing you down? Or do you thrive in a group, where everything is organized for you? As I discovered on my latest Road Scholar adventure, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds.
For over 40 years, I was a dedicated independent solo traveler. I loved travelling alone and I never found it daunting or frightening to explore new places by myself. My solo journeys were challenging, fun and always led to personal growth.
For me, solo travel was always about finding myself – not finding new friends. Now that I am a little older, things are changing.
Before I continue, I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with solo travel. In fact, as I write this, I am planning a one-month, solo trip by train, around Europe.
However, recently, I was introduced to Road Scholar – and my experience with them changed the way that I look at group travel forever. After attending a Road Scholar educational program in Prague, I feel that this type of travel offers the best of both worlds. You can read about my first adventure with Road Scholar here.
If, like me, you love solo travel, but, you also want to have a bit more social engagement, safety and fun on the road, here are a few reasons to consider group travel:
Discover Your Passions and Explore Your Interests
For most of our lives, our travel plans revolve around family and work. Disneyland and conferences are our final destinations. Now, in your 60s or better, it’s time to discover what YOU really love to do. So, select a themed group program and enjoy exploring your interests with like-minded people.
Let Someone Else Do the Planning
Group programs, like those organized by Road Scholar, are meticulously planned. This allows you to relax and focus on meeting new people and experiencing new places.
Take a Few (Controlled) Risks
It’s surprising how many more adventures you tend to have in a group. There is something about a group dynamic that encourages you to take more risks and try new things for the first time.
Meet New People
When you participate in group travel, you have a built-in community to engage with. Of course, there will be people you do not click with. That’s ok. There will also be people who share your interests and make you smile.
Enjoy More Free Time and Less Stress
At Road Scholar, for example, the local experts know all the secrets. This includes train times, where to catch buses, which local restaurants offer vegetarian meals, where the nearest ATMs are and much more! This saves time and reduces stress. On my trip to Prague, I couldn’t find a question that our local leader couldn’t answer.
Get Priority Access
Group leaders are well connected. They know their neighborhood and local language. They know exactly who the experts are and how to get things done. Whether you are looking for secret gardens or cheap train tickets, you want a local expert on your team.
Find Safely in Numbers
Most groups bond quickly. This allows you to get out into the city with the protection of your new friends. For example, you can explore places at night that you might be nervous to visit as a solo traveler.
If, like me, you love solo traveling, it’s important to pick a group program that gives you a measure of independence. My advice is to pick a group tour that matches your personality and lifestyle. I had a great time on my Road Scholar journey and I encourage you to give them a try. No matter which company you go with, make sure that you look into their reputation and local expertise. There are a few bad apples out there, so, it pays to travel with someone you can trust.
Having avoided group travel until I turned 60, I now look forward to participating in my next group program. I see group travel as a wonderful opportunity to make new friends.
As a member of our Sixty and Me community, you can enter to get $500 off of a Road Scholar travel adventure. Click here for more details.
Do you group travel? Or, do you prefer to travel solo? Why? What other senior travel tips do you have for the women in our community? Please join the conversation and “like” and share this article to keep the discussion going.
Road Scholar is a sponsor of Sixty and Me. Having tried their services first hand, I feel more than comfortable recommending them. They are a wonderful organization. – Margaret Manning