Changing My Perspective on Group Travel

I’ve traveled solo quite a bit and I’ve traveled with one to two other friends at a time, butGroup Hiking to a Volcano 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.

4 thoughts on “Changing My Perspective on Group Travel

    • I’m thinking of a trip to Croatia and/or Slovenia this year and may go with Intrepid again. I guess that will be a test of the theory. I agree with you, seemed like a bit of luck. But still much better than I expected.

  1. I can relate to this completely! I was not at al interested in a group trip until 5 years ago when my 50 something husband and I did a 3 week Intrepid tour in China (max size for the trip was 12 travellers, however ours was only 5 plus our leader). We decided to do a tour first then travel independently after we learned the ropes of China and picked up some useful vocabulary. We speak other languages a bit, but Mandarin and Cantonese are not amongst them. It was a good group and we had a similar age range. Sharing meals was probably the best part and we missed that when we went on our own for 3 weeks at the end. More recently we did a shorter Intrepid tour in Northern India to introduce us to that wonderful country and again spent the second half on our own. Fortunately there was good group interaction on the second tour too. In between we have done a road trip in the USA, ten weeks in Italy using public transport and visiting family and independent trips to Vietnam, some parts of South America and a bit of Vietnam plus Singapore. I think some destinations which are expensive to go to as an individual or couple, and some that seem just a little daunting are wise to do at least short tours of as an intro. Prior to China I would never have said that! But I still know I will never do a long tour in a 42+ seat coach! That much company would distract from having a ‘local’ experience I think. But however you travel has got to be more educational and interesting than not seeing a bit of this wonderful world! Cheers, MLT at Large…

    • So glad to hear you had a similar experience. I agree with you in regards to the large motor coaches. I really enjoyed Intrepid’s small group tours, but I think the motor coaches would not be my thing. The most important thing to note is that everyone is different and luckily there are so many different ways to travel.