Face it. If traveling broadens the mind then see the bigger picture: traveling is a group activity. At some point during a trip, you will be part of a group or another: passenger of a particular flight, patron at a venue, or just part of a touring group. Here are 10 reasons to embrace group travel and start planning collective.
Photo credit: Steve Correy via Flickr CC
1. Share awesome moments
The more the merrier. Group travel means continuous party to enjoy. People with same interests can do things together while others do other activities, leaving nobody out of the fun. When I visited Chicago with my scholarship fellows, we had 5 days of endless fun, and the crazy selfies to prove it if need be.
2. Take the stress out of planning
Have others take care of the details. My buddy Emile, who I had not seen in 15 years, is a well-versed linguist and globetrotter. For our reunion in Mexico, I let him map the itinerary, handle the lodging, and plan the excursions. All I did was to lay back and enjoy the journey from D.F. down to Puerto Escondido and back. It was le-gen-da-ry!
3. Span networks across time and boundaries
Group travel creates and reinforces bonds. While out of your comfort zone, the people you share great experiences with are likely to become friends. I mean real ones and not just faceless names in your Facebook friend list. Keep touch and remember they are like-minded people you would love traveling with some other times.
4. Learn from others
A computer science major, a marketer, and an engineer enter a bar. What sounds like the beginning of a bad joke is the summary of my great time in Washington. Different backgrounds coming together offer extra insights and perspectives to your trip. Others will shed new lights on things you see. Networking and relationship building pays off both with personal and professional lives. The friends I made in D.C. are today among my dearest. Thanks to it, I have pending invitations to some of the most exotic places in the world.
5. Enjoy group discounts
Group travel saves money. If traveling on long distances, the airfare might end up being more expensive than the vacation itself. How? Ask for group discounts and accommodations at hotels, restaurants, and city attractions. It is an economy of scale opportunity local businesses seek and encourage.
6. Lower risks
For safety and convenience sake, group travel is great. There is strength in groups. When exploring foreign lands or heading back to the hotel after a wild night, you appreciate knowing that someone has your back.
7. Share expenses
The best part of group travel is to lower costs. The trick is to track all the charges you take on, in the name of the group and make sure you retrieve every penny your companions owe you. It could be an awkward thing. Many people uncomfortable asking for reimbursement. If done wrong, it jeopardizes friendships and takes the fun out of group travel.
Photo credit: Thomson Safari Tanzania via Flickr CC
Reaching consensus on organization decision is why people are afraid of group travel. It worsens when it comes to tracking and recovering expenses. But, with the right mindset, good people, and the right trip planning tools, group travel is the best if not the only way to travel.