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Solo vs. group travel: Which one is right for you?


You're thinking about it. 
You hesitate. 
You weigh the pros and cons. 

But nothing you can, you just can't decide!

Two days earlier, your friends offered you a great girls vacation to go on a sunny getaway between travel buddies. 

Between your different frenetic daily lives, it's been a long time since you've had time to get together.

However,  you've always wanted to go on a trip on your own to give yourself a moment of peace and quiet... Because it's been said that you're never better served than by yourself. 

A solo vacation would therefore be the ideal opportunity to please you and only you. 

What a dilemma!... 

Especially because this is your only week of rest, and you will have to make a decision. 

I have good news for you: I'm here and I'm going to help you. 

We are going to discuss together the different stages of a trip in order to underline the advantages and disadvantages of going alone or with travel buddies... So we can elect the big winner of this duel!

I confess I am not totally subjective; I have a slight preference for one of the two forms of travel... 

I let you guess what my bias is through your reading.

Round 1: getting organized when you go on a solo trip VS with travel buddies

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Preparing for a trip... 

Choosing your destination, reading a few guides, planning your budget; these are all important steps in planning your time on the spot. 

I always thought that the organization is almost as exciting as the trip itself. 
We dream, we project ourselves on the spot and we already imagine the adventures that await us.

But when we organize a trip, there is also a whole logistics to be planned, especially when leaving with travel buddies.

  • The choice of the destination

Between travel buddies: It's a complicated first step when you travel with friends: between Kate who doesn't want to expose herself to the sun and Victoria who prefers mountain hiking...

You can say goodbye to your dream of going to Morocco and crossing the desert.

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Going solo: A trip is a unique moment in a life: it is the break you were waiting for, the moment out of time that will finally disconnect you from a frenetic daily life. 

We already make so many compromises in our daily life, why make them for our vacations? 

If you travel alone, the destination only depends on your dreams. 

So, when will you see Morocco?

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  • The (very sensitive) question of budget 

Between travel buddies: "Good accounts make good friends," right? 

It is however very complicated to agree on the budget. Everyone has their wallet; some prefer to use it to book a lot of different activities; others choose not to spend at all .

The trip is already taking a completely different turn from what you initially wanted: you had to choose a destination that could satisfy everyone; and now you won't be able to treat yourself during the travel so that everyone can take part in the same activities.

Besides, if you don't agree on what a "girls only" moment is, you might be quickly disappointed by the activites.

Going solo: Going alone means making sure you use your money the way you want to spend it - whether it's to break down or to save it. You don't feel obligated to do anything. 

Want to treat yourself to that great, overpriced restaurant? Or on the contrary, you just want to eat a sandwich so you don't blow your budget? 

It's up to you to decide.

  • The management of the program

Between travel buddies: Ding! ding! ding! 
Your phone keeps ringing under the tons of notifications it receives.

Indeed, everyone has their say, their suggestions, their desires. With "Personally, I'd like to do..." and "Oh no, I don't want to see that!", group conversations quickly become a headache, and you start dispersing.

As a result? 
Who is in charge of reserving bus seats, who checks the train schedule and who inquires about the different activities? 
That's probably you... 

I remember going to Milan with some travel buddies. Under the pretext that I am studying tourism management and that I have already lived in Italy the role of the organizer was (graciously) assigned to me; but between the disagreements, personal preferences and tastes of each one... 

The preparation was particularly tiring, while it was also supposed to be my vacation, my break. 

I was stressed, because I wanted everything to be perfect for everyone... as a result, it wasn't perfect for me at all. 

Going solo: ...No, your phone is definitely turned on. Then, if it doesn't make any noise, it's only because you are at ease to manage your travel program as you wish.

You can easily plan your road trip.

The winner of this round 1 is… THE SOLO TRAVEL!

Going with travel buddies has a lot of advantages, that's for sure - but traveling alone means having a quiet organization which also matches your own expectations. 

You will finally be able to go to Morocco! Spend within your budget! And, miraculously... Your phone didn't vibrate once while you daydream. 

Because yes, there are myths when you imagine yourself on a travel with buddies.

Round 2: and on the spot?

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At last, the long-awaited moment has arrived: you're going on vacation! 

It would be a shame if a dark shadow came to spoil this pleasure that you were so longing for. 

Let's take a closer look at what can happen on the spot, whether you travel with friends or alone.

  • Surprise!

Between travel buddies: How is it going, on the spot? Well that depends on your friends.

If you know them very well, you certainly won't have any unpleasant surprises.

On the other hand, going with travel buddies when you are not very close can sometimes create some unexpected events… You don't know everything about a person you only meet on a few rare occasions.

I went to Cassis (by the way, it's a great place to travel cheaply in France) with Stéphanie, a good friend I met regularly at college. 

I didn't know until then that she was hiding a terrible secret... Stéphanie snores like a tractor. 

And I can assure you that five nights, in the same bed, quickly become reeeaaally heavy.

Going solo:  A big, cozy bed for you... And no unpleasant surprises. 

How good it is to live with yourself.

  • Exploring your environment

Between travel buddies: An experience that can be very pleasant. We can share our impressions, our discoveries on the spot... 

Nevertheless, keep in mind that by dint of observing too much of what surrounds us, we forget to live it. 

I went to Italy with my friends, and while I was amazed by the beauty of its monuments and the flavor of its food, I never understood Italy as much as I did when I entered it alone. A bit like Amélie during her unlikely girls trip to Bulgaria.

That's where I really learned about this country, about its culture, its values…

Travelling alone: When you travel alone, you have time to immerse yourself fully in the destination: like in a nice hot bath.

And what better way to do this than to choose a couchsurfing platform that suits what you're looking for?

Homesharing is an excellent way to discover the daily life of a local inhabitant.

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  • Making beautiful encounters

Between travel buddies: ... It doesn't happen often. 

In fact, when I travel with friends, I tend to take advantage of their presence to exchange and discuss with them. Our bonds are generally reinforced. 

But meeting other people is much more difficult, because I stay within my close circle without opening myself to the others.

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Going solo: When I go alone, I have time to take an interest in others, in those I don't know (yet). 

I was going to tell you an anecdote about Italy again, but I think you're tired of hearing me ramble, so let's go to Germany instead. 

I had the opportunity to travel with friends in Berlin. It was a great trip, but it's true that we stayed between ourselves. A year later, I went alone to Munich, and I met a young Finnish girl there. I became friends with her very quickly: she has been one of my best friends for two years now.

Since then, I've been wondering how many wonderful people I've passed by without knowing it.

So why not welcoming a female solo travellers ? This way you can also meet inspiring people while staying home.

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  • Time management with others

Between travel buddies: Your best friend has decided to invite a mate to join you. 
As we all know: the more, the merrier... 

But this friend who joined you doesn't get along with you, and vice versa. 
It's normal: you can't be friends with everyone. 

On the other hand, you're going to share the same roads, the same visits and the same accommodations for such a long time. 

So you find yourself stuck with someone you don't like.

The good news is that the time will seem long and the vacations won't go by too quickly.

Traveling solo: You manage your time as you wish: if you meet someone you like, you are free to spend time with them; if, on the other hand, you prefer to stay quiet, it is very easy to slip away... And enjoy the rest of the way in total freedom.

The winner of this round 2 is... TRAVELING SOLO!

If you are looking for authenticity, I can only advise you to go alone... There is no fear to have: travelling alone as a woman is way easier than we think.

Round 3: coming home

One thing is sure: whether you traveled with your friends or alone, you will return home with your head full of memories. 

The most wonderful thing about traveling is what you retain once you return to your everyday life.

  • What travel brings us

Between travel buddies: I'm sure you'll have lots of funny anecdotes about what happened to you and your friends during your hike trip in Sicily. 

Going with travel buddies will bring you lots of nice and funny memories. 

You'll be laughing a lot when you get back!

Going solo: Family dinner: "How was the solo trip?"

... A succession of intense emotions that you have experienced during your wandering in the souk of Marrakech. 

Indeed, a solo trip will teach you a lot about yourself, about your potential, about what you are capable of: an inspiration that often leaves others amazed at the strength you will have gained. 

In fact, I would tend to say that a trip with friends will entertain you, while a solo trip will make you grow.

  • What you will have learned on the spot

Between travel buddies: When you return from a trip with friends, your memories will be much lighter - what you will tell will be a reflection of your vacation with friends, of what you did among yourselves to have fun on the spot... 

Without having discovered your destination, which is more like a tourist vacation.

Solo trip: Traveling alone will bring you authentic, strong memories, which you will share with your family and friends to depict the reality that you met on the spot, as a real traveler. 

  • The power of memories

Between travel buddies: It's quite simple. Your memories are accessible to your friends, who share this common memory. 

Who has never remembered anecdotes with a nostalgic smile while sharing a good meal years later? 

There's no doubt about it: when we go away with friends, the memories we share unite us.

Alone: I don't know about you, but I've always considered my memories as a space apart in my little secret garden. 
Like a plot of land dedicated to all the beautiful things that happened to me, that I cultivate with a dreamy smile that warms me in difficult times.

Well, I can assure you that the memories that I plant there alone are even more flourishing, because they belong only to myself and I am the only one who can grasp their magnitude. 

The others cannot understand what I have experienced: and my memory germinates under this exclusivity. 

We always share everything with others via social media. What belongs only to us now has a particularly precious flavor. 

The winner of round 3 is, once again, TRAVEL ALONE!

Verdict of this match: it seems that the traveling with buddies is knocked out by traveling solo...

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Let's meet again for our next fight: hotel VS homesharing!

I think you will have understood it: I have a slight preference for solo trips (Oh well? who would have thought!). 

However, I don't neglect the pleasure of traveling with friends: I went on vacation with friends several times and I have great memories of it, in spite of the galleys.... 

Like the time when, sleeping in a boat to cross the Mediterranean, a Polish truck driver was snoring so loudly in our common room that my friend threatened to call the police (seems like Stéphanie chased me all the way to Greece!). 

Maybe I will tell you this story in a future article.

But it's true that going alone has that little something extra which can turn your solo trip into a unique and enriching experience. 

I can only recommend you to go alone, especially if you haven't had the opportunity yet. 

So, after all these anecdotes, what will you finally tell your travel buddies? 


The editorial team:

Whether you are an avid traveller or a first-time adventurer, all NomadSister editors are passionate about travel. They share their advice and experiences with the desire to give you wings!

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