Think about it: every year, millions of people fly alone across oceans or up mountains just so they can enjoy themselves without other people influencing their experience. They don’t need someone else telling them how much fun they should have, who knows better than them how amazing their vacation will be.
So why wouldn’t YOU do the same? This kind of independence allows us all to truly appreciate your travels. 90% of the time, we plan our own itinerary and avoid group tours.
Here are 5 reasons why crafting your own itinerary might be the best decision ever.
Reasons Why Self-Planned Trips Are Better Than Group Tours
Guided tours often come with so many rules that sometimes you have to miss some things that interest you because of the time limitation and other reasons.
While having your own itinerary, you won’t be forced into group activities or schedules that don’t match up with what you want to do. And if you’re traveling with family or friends, it’s likely that they’ll have similar interests and preferences as yours, which will make the planning process easier!
You get to decide where to go and what to see, while fellow travelers are forced to follow an itinerary set by the tour operator – which means you’ll be more likely to enjoy and have the luxury to choose and make decisions based on your level of comfort. You might decide to stay in a nicer hotel with more amenities, take a slightly longer route so you can see some local sights, or eat at more local restaurants than group tours allow.
You have the privilege to change plans according to your interests and the weather, all while enjoying “ME” time.
3. Exploring Deeper
It helps you to skip the “Tourist traps” and go deeper into remote villages when you are traveling. You’ll get to experience more of the local culture, which will make you feel more engaged with the country and its people than you would on a group tour.
While exploring, you can add more places to visit nearby whereas group tours often limit your ability to explore independently or do things by yourself.
We have to admit that you’ll get better seats during transit. With a group tour, you might end up in the same reserved seat every day, which could be uncomfortable or even boring. If you’re traveling alone, you can choose the seats that work best for you and avoid those that aren’t as comfortable.
You get to choose the best time for you. If you want to take advantage of the best weather or want to avoid crowds, you have all the time when you plan your own itinerary. Things like traffic jams or delays don’t matter nearly as much.
It is difficult to keep track of everyone’s schedule and make sure they have enough time at each location—and even if they are able to coordinate their schedules together, there’s always going to be someone who gets delayed! Groups tend to be less focused on what they’re seeing and more focused on getting from place to place and meeting up with other people. This can lead to an experience that feels rushed or disconnected from what you really want out of it.
Also, even if you have more time and like very much that you might want to stay longer, there are no extended stays when opting for a group tour.
Over time, we understood that “time is money”. Although travel agencies offer good value packages to group tours by making the transactions on a large scale, you can save huge bucks on big adventures like going backpacking through Europe or hiking Machu Picchu.
5. Finding Like-Minded People
You can definitely see the world, minus the crowds when you travel alone. In fact, you get to meet people easier when you are alone. It opens you up to so many more possibilities: it allows you to meet new people, experience new things, and learn new skills. We’ve met some of the most incredible people along the way whom we know will always be friends for life.
You just need to be friendly and welcoming to people and ask how they got there or if it is their first time. Here are different tips on how to find friends during your travels, even if you are traveling solo.
When Do We Opt For Group Tours?
Group tours are great, don’t get us wrong. They can be a lot of fun and give travelers a chance to meet other people from around the world. Group members usually share the same interests, which makes the trip even more enjoyable.
If we are already stressed out and kinda want someone else to do all the planning for us, then group tours are our best bet. We just look for a tour, relax, and enjoy the trip. Hotels, transportation, and tour guides are also taken care of and are a part of the deal. Our only task is to pick the right organization or company.
To be put simply, group tours are like eating in a restaurant, everything is prepared by someone else and served on a plate for you. Whereas, planning your itinerary is making your own dish from start to finish and serving them yourselves, according to your own taste.
There will always be pros and cons if you choose to do things on your own or take organized tours. The choice is yours.
So there you have it, the benefits and downsides both. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. Personally, we are of the opinion that a well-planned itinerary is always better than following the herd on a group tour. What do you prefer? Tell us in the comments below.