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Solo Travel vs. Family/Friend Group Travel

When you travel alone, you can make friends easily!
One of the big debates in travel is whether to go it alone or to head out with friends, family or like minded people. The answer – like every answer is completely subjective – in other words…it depends.

Today, I’m going to take a look at two specific areas. First of all- traveling alone and second traveling with others. I’m not going to include things like traveling on package or group tours with people that you don’t know, because, frankly, I have no experience with that. While I’ve been on some group tours, I’ve never booked a travel package that included strangers who were along for every step of the way. This is a very popular way to travel for many people – including seniors, club members, and finally – Hawaiians visiting Las Vegas! Oddly, if you go to visit Las Vegas and go to the California Hotel, you will find huge groups of Hawaiian people who gather in the islands, board planes, fly to Vegas, take a bus to the casino, and then gamble for a few days before reversing the process and heading back to Hawaii where they go their separate ways. As I said, I’ve never traveled this way (except perhaps for professional conferences) but it seems popular with those who do it.

As for me, I’ve traveled mostly by myself with the exception of when I’ve been in relationships – which I’ll talk about in a second. In fact, I prefer traveling by myself and even though I am now a family man, part of the marriage deal was that I would be able to take off from time to time and go vagabonding in whatever area I felt the most drawn to. In return for that, I agreed to bring my wife and baby along sometimes and to take care of them while I am away. It’s a fair deal that for us, works well. Part of that is that after I’ve been in one place for too long, I tend to become so grumpy that my wife is happy to see me go for a while.

Solo travel offers:
– Unlimited decision making power. You do what you want, when you want, with who you want. Every decision is yours to make.
– You don’t have to do things you aren’t interested in
– Solo travel is cheap – at least it can be if you do it my way – and that means that when you splurge on a fancy meal, expensive hotel, or awesome activity – you can make up for it by skimping somewhere else. Not to mention, in my case – my wife has a higher standard than I do so when we travel together it’s not uncommon for even my personal expenses to be four times those of when I travel alone. Add to that the cost of two more people and you can see why I am able to go much further and do much more when I am on my own
– When you travel alone, it is easy to meet people and make new friends. It’s hard to befriend a group and most people won’t even try.
– When you travel alone, you only have to be concerned with your own safety
– When you do something stupid and you are traveling alone, there is no one there to remind you of it later

group travel
You have to be a bit more careful when you travel with your wife...
However, even though I love solo travel – there is a downside.
– If you get sick, you are all alone
– When you don’t have a new friend, you don’t have a friend at all. Old friends and family are comfortable and a new friend can’t provide that.
– Nobody is watching your back
– Sharing travel moments is a wonderful thing, when you travel alone, you sometimes have no one to share a funny moment, a beautiful sunset, or something amazing with – that can be a bit of a downer
– In my case, traveling with my wife and our baby is wonderful because I don’t miss out on any moments with my daughter. Things like crawling for the first time, first words, first time tasting a strange food.

So, what’s the best way to travel? In a group or solo? Like I said above – it depends. Actually, the best answer might be BOTH!

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Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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