Travelling with a group has its advantages and some of these advantages could well change your future travel habits.
Let me save you time from reading this article if you are a) a person who doesn’t like to spend time with other people while on vacation, b) someone who enjoys personally planning and booking their entire trip or c) doesn’t like a set itinerary and would prefer to “free-wheel” as it were. I fully appreciate this approach and I know many people like this who have wonderful vacations. BUT AGAIN YOU MAY WANT TO READ ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF GROUP TRAVEL.
I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to travelling with a group. I have been a group leader and I have been a member of a group. So, from my experiences, here are my thoughts on why group travel could well suit and/or benefit you.
Reasons why Group Travel is a good idea
Probably the most common reason (but certainly not the only important one) for travelling with a group is it is cost-effective. You should be saving money as airlines, hotels, sightseeing companies, museums, art galleries etc. all offer reduced prices for a group. Have you ever returned from a self planned trip and added up exactly how much it really cost you? I have and I am always surprised thinking it would be less than it actually turned out to be. “Nuff said”.
If you enjoy people, group travel provides companionship as well as the opportunity to meet like-minded travellers with whom to share the experience. You can meet new people who may even become your friends later on. I have both shared a dinner table with a group and exchanged stories and laughs and I have eaten alone in a foreign restaurant with just my thoughts for company.
You do not have to worry if all the arrangements are in order. It’s not your problem as everything has been planned for you. There have been times in my individual travels where something turned up unexpectedly which has caused me to be, at the least, inconvenienced. Travelling with a group you will have a leader in charge who does all the fretting and worrying for you. All you have to do is enjoy your trip.
See and do things that are normally not available
Groups have influence, believe me. I remember the time I was in Florence as part of a group. We visited the Uffizi Gallery and were told that as we were a group, we would be allowed to see paintings that were not available for regular viewing. To my amazement, we were taken through a small door and found ourselves walking along a passageway which went directly above the Ponte Vecchio, the bridge over the river where you can purchase items of gold, silver, jewellery etc. As we walked through the passageway, we were given access to a large number of priceless old masters, mainly portraits.
There have been occasions when I have met important people and personalities not because of myself but because of the group I was with. This has included meeting Wayne Gretzky at a reception and getting his autograph. I have attended cocktail parties at more than one Canadian Embassy overseas and “hob-knobbed” with the Ambassador and other dignitaries.
With a group, you can travel within your comfort-zone.
I remember being in China and arriving at the local train station with a group I was leading. My Chinese counterparts simply provided us with our train tickets and reservations and showed us the correct train carriage to enter. I noticed a number of obviously foreign tourists endeavouring to purchase tickets at the ticket counter and having enormous problems both with the language and with the system of purchasing tickets.
Have you ever been at an airport and experienced a long line of travellers ahead of you trying to check-in and moving very slowly. Have you ever noticed the other check-in desks? Not the one for the “elite” passengers but the one for group check-ins.
A small but significant advantage to being part of a group is that there is safety in numbers. Of course, I am not suggesting that it is dangerous everywhere but there have been destinations where I have been a little apprehensive on my own.
Lastly, I have, as a group leader, seen how members of groups have made friends, exchanged contacts in order to keep in touch, shared photographs and even planned to travel together again sometime in the future.
So there you have it. I will go into detail in another article on the various different types of groups you can join as well as tell you how you can form your own group and travel free.
For information on organizing or joining a group, you can visit https://www.goway.com/groups/groupsonly-by-goway/our-groups-division/ or call one of our group travel planners today and get your group started!