Solo travel is on the rise, especially among women. However, the desire to travel solo doesn’t necessarily mean going at it all alone. Small group travel tours are ways to connect with other travelers and cultures.
Small group travel tours also provide opportunities for individuals who want to travel but don’t have a friend or spouse or partner that has a desire to travel.
Here are 5 reasons to go on a small group travel tour of 15 people or less…
1. Go off the beaten path.
When you’re with a small group tour, there are more opportunities to go off the beaten path. For example, if you need ground transportation you can get by with a smaller vehicle. I’ve led several small group travel tours in Greece and there are villages we wouldn’t be able to experience in a bus. But taking a small van allows us to get around the narrow roads and park where buses can’t. There are also many restaurants in Greece that would not be able to accommodate a large tour group.
While I was in Lisbon, Portugal, I went on an Airbnb experience. There were only 7 of us and because of this, the tour guide could customize the experience. In fact, the weather changed which caused us to skip one location on the tour. The guide took us to another spot instead and we got to explore areas of a village that most tourists don’t. We were able to interact with shopkeepers and sampled local culinary delights. If we would have been with a large group, we would have disrupted the sleepy village. Going off the beaten path connects you with the place and culture you’re visiting in unexpected ways.
2. Connect with like-minded travelers.
People who participate in small group travel tours typically have similar interests. If you’re heading out on a sailing excursion, for example, it’s probably because you enjoy sailing, as do others on the boat. Small group travel tours provide a more intimate experience than large tours, which may not have a specific focus.
Traveling in a small group also allows for more one-on-one time with the guide. I found this particularly beneficial while on a small group travel tour in Vietnam. It was my first time in the country and I wanted to learn as much as I could in the short period of time I was there. I went on a guided Halong Bay tour with six other people. Our tour guide sat with us during our downtime, which gave us the added benefit of getting to know him and his culture on a deeper level. I find the same true when I’m leading small group travel tours. I get the bonus of listening to each person’s story and sharing my love for travel.
3. You get what you pay for.
The phrase, “you get what you pay for” holds true for small group travel tours. Small tours are likely going to cost more per person than going with a large group. But the experience, more often than not, will far outweigh the cost.
I recently experienced a large group travel tour in Jamaica. Due to the number of people in our group, each activity moved quite slow. The guides had a lot of people to navigate throughout the day and couldn’t attend to individual needs. We only spent 30 minutes, rather than the advertised 3 hours, at the most anticipated stop on the tour. It was disappointing. If I would have spent a little more money to go with a small group, I would have been at the stop almost all day.
4. Reduce the carbon footprint.
Protecting the environment is a vital concern of ours at Creative Travel Connections. The travel industry as a whole is constantly looking for innovative ways to reduce the carbon footprint. Small group travel tours can more easily be environmentally friendly. If you’re trekking through a national park, the fewer people and trash the better for the park. Or if you’re exploring Paris, a small group of people doesn’t need an air polluting bus for transportation.
5. Have less responsibility.
If you’re a solo traveler, you know that travel can be exhausting. You’re responsible for all of the planning, bookings, navigating, problem-solving, etc. Going on small group travel tours can alleviate those things and allow you to relax and soak up each minute of the trip. We would be happy to help you book one at your preferred destination.
I would enjoy hearing about any small group travel tours you’ve been on. Leave a comment below!
by Julie Slagter