Unless you work from home and rarely get out of the house, chances are good you are surrounded by people most of the time. From your kids and spouse to your boss, coworkers, friends and family, much of your day is spent talking to, working with and hanging out with others. So when vacation time rolls around, it might be tempting to get away on your own.
Then again, going on a trip with others is nice, too. You may want to have someone to experience a new culture with, to help you navigate or simply to take your picture. And it’s always nice to share the cost of traveling.
To decide what’s best for you and your next vacation, consider the pros and cons of each:
One of the best reasons to travel alone is that it gives you the chance to get to know yourself. Going on a solo vacation enables you to discover yourself, learn what you are capable of and understand what challenges you. It also forces you to get out of your comfort zone and meet new friends along the way. Instead of talking with your travel companions, you can strike up a conversation with the locals. Going on a trip by yourself also provides you with an inherent freedom that group vacations do not — as the sole adventurer you get to choose where to go, what and when to eat and what sights to see.
However, traveling alone does have some important disadvantages. For instance, you are responsible for the entire cost of the trip — no splitting the cost of the hotel room, rental car or pricey bottle of wine at dinner. Also, you don’t have the chance to share your adventures with your spouse, kids or bestie. Although you can text updates to everyone along the way, it’s not the same as experiencing these wonderful events with a favorite person by your side. Finally, when you travel solo, you have to rely on your own wits and navigation skills to get from point A to point B — if you are tired or get sick during your trip, it can be nice to have your travel companion take the wheel for awhile.
Traveling With Others
Hitting the open road with a close friend can be an amazing experience. Vacationing with a BFF is a great way for you to deepen your relationship and learn more about each other. For example, you probably had no idea that your friend snores or is extremely reluctant to ask for directions. Another bonus to traveling with others is that you will have plenty of stories and inside jokes that you can share for years. Going on a group vacation also allows all of you to pool your various strengths and talents; for example, you can rely on your husband for his Spanish-speaking skills and your daughter for taking amazing photos.
As for the cons of group travel, it can be challenging to get everyone to agree on what to see and do. This can make you feel like you have little control over your itinerary. It also can be difficult to wait for slow pokes to get ready in the morning, and there may be differences in opinion on how your travel budget should be spent.