You may be waiting for retirement to take the trip you’ve always want to take. Or, you may travel often. In any case, there are choices to be made when you plan a vacation to another continent. Will you sign up with a tour, travel with friends, or go on your own?
I’ve done all of the above and have some insights. If you are going to a country where you don’t know the language and will need to go to some areas which are difficult to access, I suggest a tour. The guides will be able to get you into places you wouldn’t know about on your own, sometimes individual homes. The tour has access to good prices and local tour guides who can give you background and information. Tours are set up to see and do a lot in an efficient manner with everything prearranged.
On the other hand, if you like going and seeing the world at your own pace, you can find everything the tour guides tell you and more in guidebooks available at the bookstore or online. Planning your own trip gives you the thrill of anticipation and information to prepare you for all you’ll see and do. But it also provides flexibility. You can look at tours online and decide to go to some of the places the tours go but add others or spend more or less time in some of the places. You can decide how to travel–by rail, by auto, by bus, by bicycle, on foot, or a combination. You can rent a condo and take day trips or move every day. It’s all up to you.
Traveling with other people can be fun. Conversation, companionship, people to go with you to different venues. The men can go off to one thing while the gals do something else. But traveling with your spouse or friend or by yourself can be fun, too. You are open to meeting people along the way. People are more likely to start a conversation with you when you are on your own than they are when they have to engage with a group of people. Also, people on their own don’t have to compromise about where to go, what to do, when to leave, etc. My husband and I have enjoyed traveling both ways.