As a reader of this blog, the benefits of travel will no doubt not be unknown to you, but the benefits of group trips may not be known to everyone. Why would you choose for a group trip?
Many people dare not take the step to book a group tour through a number of prejudices. What if the group is disappointing? Am I social enough to travel with a whole gang of ‘strangers’? And why don’t you just put your own journey together? In addition, the cliché about group travel is sometimes that you would walk after the tour guide like a herd of sheep and you have nothing left to determine. But as usually with clichés and prejudice, nothing could be further from the truth. The benefits of group trips are numerous.
If you leave on a group trip, one of the great advantages is that everything is arranged for you. All you have to do is pack your bags and leave. You don’t have to look up where you’re going to stay, where you can eat something, how you get to the starting point of a walk and you don’t have to read a map yourself. Don’t think of the tour guide as a ‘guide’ who runs for it and you have to follow everywhere. The supervisor makes all practical preparations, seeks out everything for you, knows which places you should or should not be in, dragging a first aid kit for you on walks… But the travel guide is also someone who is really part of the group, listens to what the group wants and can make adjustments if necessary.
The benefits of the group
At home you often go on with the same friends, family and colleagues. On a group trip you make contact with fellow travellers, with other lifestyles, different visions, other hobbies. You get to know people you might never have met in your daily life. I myself have already made a whole number of friends that I had never met without making the group trip. You can become good friends with the people you didn’t expect it from.
A group can also push your limits. In an organised trip there is a chance that there are sometimes activities that you would not book spontaneously yourself. Or that one mountain that seemed too high, you climb up anyway because you don’t want to give up. This way you push boundaries faster, also because you are drawn by the group atmosphere. No doubt the experience afterwards is much better than you thought in advance. And nothing is more fun than discussing this afterwards with the people you just experienced this adventure with.
Can a group be completely disappointing? I think that’s very unlikely. I myself have never experienced this in the 3 group trips I’ve done. Although there may be differences, you always have one thing common: the passion for travel. Also know that everyone who participates in a group trip is open to getting to know new people. So it’s very easy to make contacts with your fellow travelers. The more introverted people also bloom open after a while. Another advantage of a group you don’t know yet? No one has expectations or a certain image of you, which is often the case with the people you see at home a lot. So you can really be yourself because you don’t have to take into account ‘how people know you’.
Are there no disadvantages to a group trip? Yes there are. When I come home I always fall into a small ‘black hole’: missing the group atmosphere, living together, the beautiful destination and the shared adventures. But that can only be a sign that the trip was a great experience!
And some clichés may be true after all. As Chris McCandless said in “Into the wild” “Happiness is only real when shared”. Sharing experiences together creates a sense of togetherness. And that’s how you get a group of friends after each trip.
Are you a hiker yourself? Then this post about three nice hikes in the Ardennes might also interest you.