I’ve traveled solo quite a bit and I’ve traveled with one to two other friends at a time, but until my trip with Intrepid Travel in Galapagos I had never traveled with a group of strangers. I thought I wouldn’t like traveling for an extended period with a group of strangers.
There were sixteen of us plus our guide (we also had a boat captain and deck hand when traveling by boat). The sixteen travelers were from the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. And the group was even more diverse if you consider it consisted of 20, 30, 40, and 50 year olds.
My first thought was…I hope we can all get along well enough to have a peaceful trip. I thought it would be impossible to keep everyone happy with a group this varied. I also expected the larger group to breakdown into smaller clicks.
The night before flying from Quito to the Galapagos, there was an informational meeting. I was glad to meet everyone before we were thrown on a plane together. After the meeting, we went on a walking tour and then ate dinner together. The group got along great, but I still wondered how the next nine days would play out.
The 20 “somethings” spent several nights drinking up a storm and a couple of them paid for it the following days, especially when a rough boat ride was on the agenda. Those of us a bit older, usually kept it much quieter. And even so, the group still got along great.
In fact, at each meal everyone sat next to someone different. The couples even split up sometimes in order to chat with everyone. The group never broke down into smaller clicks.
I suspect we were lucky to some degree. I bet there are plenty of group travel horror stories out there. I’m just glad that was not the case with our group. This trip changed my perspective on group travel. I really thought I wouldn’t like it, but it turns out that once I moved on to Peru by myself I kind of missed everyone.
I’m already considering group travel in the future. I hope I’m always as lucky as I was in the Galapagos.
Everyone has different opinions on travel, but if you are considering group travel I’d recommend you give it a try. Like me…you might have a change of heart.
I’d love to hear other perspectives or thoughts on group travel. Have you had great experiences? Horror stories? Let me know.