Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve been all around the world by myself, and when traveling, I’ve always noticed tour groups in great numbers. Usually, these tour groups consist of people in their retirement years.
According to AARP, most baby boomers (51%) expect to only travel domestically, but a significant portion is hoping to travel both domestically and internationally (43%).
Now if you’re like me, and you’re not 50 yet, traveling solo has always seemed more appealing because you can do what you want when you want to do it. It’s the exhilarating feeling of freedom that makes it so intoxicating to traveling solo.
However, as you get older, group travel might be the better way to go, especially if you plan to travel internationally. Below, I’m going to share with you why you should consider traveling in a group after 50.
1. Meet New People and Socialize
One of the best things about traveling in a group is the people that you meet. It allows you to interact and meet people you would have never had the chance to meet in the first place.
It makes it extra special if you find someone that is from your town or close by.
2. Group Discounts
One of the biggest advantages of traveling over a group when your 50 is the discount. Usually, if you book a tour or a cruise, you typically are charged per person or double-occupancy rate.
Unfortunately, what happens if you are traveling alone, you have to pay a little higher rate, which is called single-occupancy rates.
This is where some travel companies have separated themselves in the market and recognized the need to help solo travelers by offering them lower costs if they are traveling alone.
What they do in these cases is simply match you with another solo traveler, usually the same sex, and pair you together in one room.
This helps in terms of cost and essentially waves the single-supplement cost. There are several tour operators that cater to grouped singles.
You will get lower costs on hotels, airfare, and meal costs by booking with a group as well.
3. Safer Travel
Safety is the greatest concern on everyone’s mind when traveling abroad whether you are young or old. Every year the state department posts a list of travel advisories to help you stay safe as a traveler and make sure you know the risks before you go.
Traveling in a group will help in keeping you safe from criminal activity simply because you are in a group and less of a target.
When you are in a group walking around a foreign city, you are less likely to get robbed by pick-pocketers. You should always read up on safe travel tips before you travel anywhere, even with a group.
The bottom line is you’re always safer in a group than going solo.
4. Everything Is Pre-Planned for You
Do you dread having to get online and figure out where you want to go once you figured out what country you want to travel to? I know that I have in the past when traveling on my own.
That’s one of the biggest benefits of traveling with a group tour. Everything is planned for you!
Take for example getting to and from certain locations. One of the hardest things to understand is how transportation works in a foreign country. I always get a little nervous about this.
I remember when I was in Rome, I took a public transportation bus hoping to get into the main part of the city where I could start to see the sites like the Roman Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, etc.
Unfortunately, I never made it in those two days because I was too scared to go further on the bus route into the main parts of town because I wasn’t sure where the bus was going because I couldn’t read the signs!
I eventually made it a few days later once my tour group and guide showed up, but I wasn’t willing to take the risk and get lost in a huge city that I knew nothing about.
My point is that the guides know everything, and are usually local, so you don’t have to worry about making arrangements to get to and from special landmarks and historical sites that you want to see.
Your schedule will be already mapped out for you so that you won’t miss any of the good stuff. Your meals and entertainment will be scheduled as well as your free time. You can just sit back and relax and know that all of the details are taken care of.
5. Someone Shows You the Way
It can be very difficult to navigate an unfamiliar city by yourself. Try going to New York City by yourself, and you will see!
If that’s not bad enough, when you go overseas, you might not be able to speak the language or even read the signs. What do you do then?
This is where a great benefit of group travel comes in. Traveling in a group often means having a tour guide to lead the way so that you don’t miss anything.
They are wonderful at knowing the history of their own cultural artifacts and sites and are there to educate and offer knowledge of their country.
6. Health Concerns May Now Be A Greater Issue
When you are young, anywhere between 20-40 years of age, your health is more than likely on your side.
But as our bodies age, things can get a little more complicated, and you don’t want to get stuck overseas in a hospital when you are least expecting it.
If you do, however, get stuck in a hospital, I’m sure you were smart enough to get travel insurance.
There are always more serious diseases to be aware of when you travel, but this is why you must always get travel insurance just in case you end up in the hospital.
When you travel in a group, you have a tour guide that is usually local to the area, that can help you get the care that you need and help with any arrangements that you need.
7. Different Types of Groups to Share Your Interests With
We are all different people, and we all have different interests. Tour groups make it easy to find a package that suits your interests.
For example, there are tour groups that tailor to adventure travel, volunteer vacations, art & history groups, wildlife tours in Peru, and much more.
Take some time to book a tour that matches a particular interest you have instead of booking a general tour. I promise it will give you a whole new perspective.
For example, if you are a health connoisseur, you can try finding a group tour that focuses on healthy living. People having green preferences can opt for vegan trips. These days, the internet is flooded with some great vegan blogs that cover A to Z on such tours.
Also, this is a great way to meet new people as well because you know that everyone who is on these types of specialized tours with you is interested in the same thing you are.
As you get older, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Traveling in a group when you’re over 50 allows you peace of mind. Knowing that most everything is taken care of for you means you can relax. Feel safe knowing that all the heavy lifting is done for you.
Also, you are now in a like-minded group of people with similar interests as you have. Take advantage of that! Meet new friends from around the world. So, go out and enjoy life! You’ve earned it!
About the Author:
Jenny is a creative blog writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She is a currently contributing to top blogs including My Body Expert & Med-Dent Safety. You can follow Jenny on Twitter @JennyTravens.