If you are planning your first-ever trip, and you have no one to go with then solo travel can seem very daunting.
All the normal worries will run through your head, will you make friends? What if everyone you meet is with a friend/partner? How will you deal with all the trials and tribulations of travelling on your own?
Don’t worry those are quite normal fears, I think even the most experienced travellers have experienced them when planning trips.
So the topic of today’s blog is G Adventures and solo travel – do the two go well together?
Let’s find out…
Solo Travel and G Adventures: A Match Made in Heaven?
If you are travelling for the first time, or a fairly inexperienced traveller, a group tour with a company like G Adventures is ideal for a solo traveller. It takes all the stress out of organizing accommodation and transport, and you will likely meet a number of other solo travellers and make some lifelong friends. I thoroughly recommend it.
Solo Travel: My Story
The first time I ever went travelling I must admit I cheated.
I was 30 and had never been outside of Europe before. I was at a point in my life where I knew if I didn’t do it now then I probably would never do it, and that I would most likely regret that.
I started looking into flights and tickets and group tours, but still something was holding me back.
The fear of travelling on my own.
Then purely by chance one of my closest friends Ben mentioned that he and his girlfriend (now wife), were quitting their jobs to go travelling.
I mentioned I wanted to go travelling too and suddenly I wasn’t on my own.
On 1 September 2009 Ben and Mary flew out to start their trip in the south of Thailand
On 15 September 2009 I flew to Bangkok where they met me at the airport, for what would be the start of almost two years of travelling for me.
That first-ever trip was without a doubt the best time of my life and I am forever grateful to Ben and Mary for making it so much easier.
Without them I don’t know if I would ever have had the guts to do it by myself.
We travelled around South-East Asia for a couple of months, then went our separate ways, before meeting up again in Australia a few months later to buy a car and drive around the Australian coast.
After our Australian odyssey, Ben and Mary went to Fiji and then flew to Vegas where they got married and then returned home.
As an aside they now run one of the most successful running YouTube channels in the world, This Messy Happy, and if you are into running it is definitely worth subscribing to.
Anyway, I digress.
After we went our separate ways in Australia, I flew to New Zealand where I was well and truly on my own for my first ever time on the trip.
I had a couple of days by myself in Auckland, and then I was booked to go on a Kiwi Experience tour of the country.
And this is where we go back to the introduction to this blog post.
I spent most of those two days worrying about what would happen if I didn’t like the people on my tour bus, or if they were already friends and I would be on my own, etc, etc.
I needn’t have worried, it might well have been the best part of the trip.
The best part of the best time of my life!
G Adventures and Solo Travel: Is It The Way To Go?
Booking on an organised tour is a fantastic way to overcome those nerves of travelling alone, and pretty much guarantee yourself a bunch of lifelong friends.
With G Adventures being one of the leading small group adventure travel companies in the industry, then if people are travelling solo, it will be one of the companies they look to book a trip with.
What I want to do is give a quick run down of why you should consider booking with G Adventures.
Although much of what I say will go for any similar travel company, so even if you don’t book with G Adventures I would urge you to go and book with someone else, rather than not doing anything!
- According to G Adventures, its ratio of solo travellers to paired-up friends and couples is roughly 40/60, so there will likely be at least a few people in the same boat as you when you are on the trip.
- Most of its tours have a 60/40 split of women to men, as I know (well I don’t know, but I can imagine) that being a solo female traveller brings more risks than being a single male traveller.
- They don’t charge a single supplement, instead they will pair you up with a same-sex roomie for the trip (if you want, it isn’t obligatory).
- Guided tours offer a best-of-both-worlds experience. You will be with people on the tour during the day, but you are usually left to your own devices in the evening.
- You can speak to G Adventures before any trip to get an idea of the demographics of anyone booked on it already. They obviously won’t be able to go into specific details, but they can give you a broad sense of ages and status of people travelling on it.
Solo travel it seems is becoming more and more popular, in 2014 G Adventures said that it had experienced a 134 per cent increase in solo travellers since 2008.
In general, an organised tour with someone like G Adventures is a great idea if:
- You want to meet people!
- You are a first-time traveller or looking to build your travelling confidence.
- You want as stress-free a trip as possible, accommodation and travel is sorted for you.
- You are thinking about travelling somewhere that might be logistically difficult to deal with.
Before we round off this piece, let’s quickly look at that last point.
Best Tours For Solo Travels
Some destinations will be more intimidating for any traveller, and usually that will be due to language differences or safety fears.
As an English speaker organising a trip around America/Canada or Australia/New Zealand, will be relatively straightforward.
Trying to travel independently around Africa, or Central Asia or Latin America might be more daunting.
Or trying to arrange a specialist trip like sailing around the Greek Islands, or hiking Mount Blanc or exploring the Galapagos Islands, is something that would be made much easier with a group tour.
Such trips with G Adventures could be:
- Nomadic Mongolia: A 14-day circular route starting and ending at Ulaanbaatar, exploring local villages and sleeping in ger tents.
- Dalmatian Coast and Montenegro Sailing: a 15-day trip from Split to Dubrovnik on board a 54 foot yacht, with numerous stop alongside the charming Dalmatian Coast.
- Mount Kilimanjaro Trek – Machame Route: An 8-day trip starting and ending at Moshi is one of a number of Mout Kilimanjaro trips offered by G Adventures.
- Central American Journey: Rainforests and Ruins: An epic 32-day trip through Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua taking in rainforests, indigenous villages and architectural ruins.
These kinds of trips would be much harder to arrange independently, and tour companies do all the leg work.
If you are new to travelling, they will make you feel safer, be less stressed and help you make friends.
It is a win-win situation.
Sometimes there is a tendency for experienced travellers to be a bit sniffy about organized tours and to consider them as not proper travelling.
I totally disagree with that.
For solo travelers, if you are lacking a bit of confidence, then group tours are absolutely fantastic.
You will meet loads of people, see some amazing places and not have any of the stress associated with trying to do it yourself.
G Adventures trips are ideal for solo travellers, as they will pair you up in accommodation with other single travellers and its trips are usually pretty good value.
If the only thing holding you back from travelling is the thought of doing it alone, book yourself on a tour, whether that be with G Adventures or any other travel company.
I promise you, you won’t regret it.