Every individual, at some point of time, is faced with the dilemma of whether to travel alone, with one’s spouse, family or group. There are pros and cons for each type of travel, and in the end, it comes down to your preferences and priorities. What do I choose? You’ll find out by the end of this article.
Here, are a few points to mull over while making your own choice:
Obviously, the more people there are, the more there are to share travel expenses with. Now, if you are going it alone, you are going to have to pay for taxis, for single rooms, for food and for all kinds of entrance fees. On the other hand, if you are travelling with your spouse, you can avail couple discounts for accommodation, train tickets and entrance fees. You can even share your food (if you’re so inclined).
If you are travelling in larger groups, the benefits are even greater. For instance, last December, I was in Kashmir with my husband and four of our other friends. While in Gulmarg, we took the cable car to go up the mountains, but while coming down we wanted to take a ride on the sleighs. The rates quoted by the locals, obviously, were on the higher side. So at one point we decided to cancel that plan and take the gondola, safely and inexpensively. Our guide, however, suggested that we should bargain because we had numbers on our side and voila! The larger group size indeed worked to our advantage. We got to ride the sleighs and saved almost Rs. 600 per person.
Yes, in today’s internet savvy world where Instagram and Facebook reign supreme, uploading the best photographs with the least turn-around time has become imperative.
I am personally a very shy person. I would never ask some stranger to take a photo of me as I would definitely be uncomfortable and my poses would be automatically awkward. But with my husband around, I am very natural and myself. I think I get my best pictures when he takes them (while he’s making me blush).
If you don’t have a husband, then the members of your group make for a good fallback option. And what’s more, now you’ll have someone to pose with. After all, would you rather have selfies of yourself standing alone in front of famous sights or pictures of you having adventures with your buddies? I, for one, most definitely choose the latter.
3. Packing for travel
I like to travel light no matter where I go. I personally think that lighter and fewer bags make the journey less frustrating. At the same time, I am also very finicky and particular about the things I carry. For example, I carry my own toiletries as well as phone chargers, cameras, power banks, laptops, first aid, flashlights and converters. One can only imagine how much heavier my bags would get with all that stuffed in. Thus, on our journeys, my husband and I split these essentials. We take just one set of each item and divide them in our bags. Sharing is caring, they say.
4. Making new friends
This is a tricky one. When you’re travelling with a spouse, yes, there are fewer chances that you will make local friends. However, that is not necessarily always the case. When my husband and I traveled to Kabini, India, we made friends with our bartender. He was a young, inquisitive chap and wanted to know everything about Maharashtra and Pune. Sometimes, he would even forget to serve other guests while he was busy. I just hope his job was still intact after we’d left.
Group travel, on the other hand, will save you from having to make awkward conversation with strangers. You can forget about being all poised and sophisticated because you can actually be your mad self around your people. You can enjoy meeting and mingling with locals together, which is a far better option than the idea of you sitting alone at a bar.
5. Mood Swings, Health and Habits
It’s inevitable, during your holiday, to occasionally feel lazy or unmotivated and it’s also very possible that you may fall sick. These are the times when you really need someone by your side to give you that required boost. I am not a morning person at all – I’m just too lazy to get out of my bed and face the world. Luckily, my husband is just the opposite. His biological clock switches him on early, every morning, and there was this one time that it completely made my day. We were at one of the beaches in Konkan for the weekend. He woke me up at 6:00 AM sharp to watch the sunrise (obviously, only because I’d asked him to). When we reached the beach, the view was so breath-taking that I immediately kissed him, thanking him. Had I been alone, I would have missed it for sure.
How many times has a spouse led to cancelled plans? Whether it’s because your spouse doesn’t want to visit a certain location or before your journey because they’re unable to get a day off from work, compromising on travel plans can be frustrating.
When travelling with a group, the journey is more of a sure thing because even if a few members drop out, it’s rare that everyone will.
When travelling alone, you may or may not meet and mingle with other groups of people. In case you do, then there is a high chance that they would be of different demographics having different interests. If by luck you find a kindred soul then it would be the icing on the cake. But what if you don’t? You would be like Alice, wanting to go through the door to Wonderland, but unable to find the magic potion that would let her through.
It’s better to be with someone who will be that potion for you – whether that’s a family member or a new friend you’ve met in your group. After all, a getaway is not simply about a place; it’s also about sharing weird and wonderful experiences with someone by your side, laughing and having fun, encouraging the other to do something crazy, and making unforgettable memories everywhere you go.
I’m sure that it’s clear by now that I prefer travelling with my husband or a group than by myself. With them, I have shared in adventures and escapades that blossom into memories and relationships that can be experienced and shared over and over again with old and new friends.
Join our mixed group as we travel to Croatia this October, and discover the charms of exploring this country in the company of people who, just like you, enjoy adventures and cultural highlights, great food and meeting new people. Together, you’ll walk over lakes at Plitvice Lakes National Park and visit straight-out-of-a-fairytale towns, eat the tastiest oysters in the world and feel like a celebrity in Hvar, and so much more!
Pooja Ghelani is a traveller and blogger, who enjoys sharing her photos, adventures and memories from the road with her readers. Her goal is to travel every continent, every country and every ocean and she strives to live by her favorite quote, having a passport full of stamps rather than a bank account full of money. Follow her adventures here: https://lifebeyond9to5blog.wordpress.com/.