Are you considering backpacking Europe solo, with friend, or with a Tour Group? Each of those options will provide you with a completely different European experience. Before making your decision, there are some important things to consider. Hopefully, you’ll then be able to decide which is right for you.
Traveling with a Tour Group
Traveling with a tour group, like Contiki or GAdventures, is by far the easiest option. Your itinerary is already planned, so you’ll save countless hours researching and planning. Making friends is basically guaranteed since you’ll be traveling 24/7 with the same people for days or weeks. A group tour is like a pretty package all wrapped up with a bow. It’s a stress free trip. You just sit back, relax and enjoy.
Traveling with tour groups is always more expensive than if you were to travel on your own or with friends. The fact is that the tour company has to make money off of you to stay in business. That’s not a bad thing, since it’s a great service they provide. Just know you’re paying for it.
Traveling with a group tour also means you are confined to the trip’s itinerary. You will have some free time to go off and do your own thing. However, catching a train to a different city (that you’d really like to visit) is pretty much out of the question. You might be surprised by how easy it would be to do just that once you’re over there.
- Younger travelers right out of high school
- Those who wouldn’t even consider traveling abroad alone
- Those who don’t want to worry about all the researching and planning
- Those who don’t want any stress and just want to have a fun time
You will always have someone familiar with you, which will make you feel so much more comfortable navigating a foreign country. If you’re traveling with a friend(s), you have the wonderful option of staying in AirBnbs, or getting a private room, which is a nice change from the 20 bed dorms! One of the best parts about traveling with friends is that you will always have someone who went through the same experiences as you did. You’ll be able to laugh and reminisce about your time in Europe long after your trip.
- Even though you’re traveling with a friend, it doesn’t mean you both can’t go off and do your own thing every now and then. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING with that person. The sooner you realize that, the better experience you’ll have.
- Try to be open to the solo travelers you meet and invite them along on whatever you’re doing. They’ll greatly appreciate it!
- Those who want to travel cheaply and have friends to travel with
- Those who know for sure their friends would be good travel companions
- Those who don’t mind compromising a LOT and going with the flow
- Those who think they would have trouble figuring things out all on their own
- Those who need the comfort of familiar people around them in a foreign environment
- Those looking for a fun experience to share with their best friends
Traveling solo is by far the most challenging way to travel, but also the most rewarding.
- Those who want to travel cheaply, but have no one else to travel with
- Those who can stay calm and collected in trying situations
- Those looking to make friends with foreigners and get more of an insight into European lives
- Those looking for self-growth and reflection on their life thus far
Which is right for you?
That will depend on where you are at this point in your life. Are you looking for something stress free and fun, an amazing experience to share with your best friends, or are you looking for a challenging and self-growing experience? You’ll have to decide for yourself which is best for you.
I highly recommend mixing it up and experiencing all three! Go solo. Meet up with your friends in Europe later. Take a one week group sailing trip in Croatia. Get the best of it all. You’ll have the time of your life.