This video pretty much sums it up. I thought it was funny but also very true. I could not explain it any better. Sometimes a little help actually helps us have a better experience.
I would be the first to raise my hand. Been there and done that.
I confess I have been the person who can do everything on her own regarding travel. However, I have to admit that my first trip out of the country was to Canada. My first job was in banking. I worked with International Letters of Credit, so I knew where all the banks were in the world. This job actually taught me a lot about international destinations.
Here I am in Toronto, Canada. Wow!
This is my first trip out of the States. I head straight to Yonge street, which has all the banks I have worked with in the Letter of the Credit department. I am in awe. What a clean beautiful city!
Having lived in N.Y.C. most of my life, this was a big contrast. I see names of all the big banks I have seen on paper come to life. There are great shops and restaurants. It is the heart of the city. This is absolutely thrilling to me.
I spent so much time on Yonge street that the group leader was about to send out a missing person bulletin and my friends were worried.
Yep, I said group leader.
While I took off on my own, the thing I realized, is that you don’t always get to see the main features of a country when you do that.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that independent travel is great if you have the time. Otherwise, it could end up being that you saw a rock, but the rock could have history behind it and you would never know it was so much more than just a rock. I actually had a client tell me that he thought independent was the way to go until he had this very revelation.
After all, who wants to traipse around with 50 other people? Actually, you don’t have to. There actually are many ways to travel.
1. Independent travel
This could be just you and your family or you by yourself. It could also be with a private driver the entire trip. Some people do not like to travel with groups but still, want to learn and be immersed in the destination.
Chauffeur-driven trips are a great way to see a destination. You will pay a hefty price but it really boils down to what is important to you. You can be taken to places that the driver knows intimately.
You could also choose to do the entire trip on your own with a car rental or via public transportation like a train, or a plane. Going totally alone can be great since there’s no need for negotiating with other members of a group. Locals or other tourists may also be more apt to speak to you.
There can be drawbacks. It may take you longer to figure out how to get from point A to B. You could waste a lot of time as in the video. This is so true… I have experienced the wait in lines. There may be some really hot spot you wanted to get into, but because you did not know to plan in advance, you are out of luck. Safety is a big reason. There is no one watching your back. Yet, for some people, this is the way to go.
2. Semi-independent travel
This is really what the video above is focused on. This type of travel suits people who like doing things on their own, but who know they can go to someone who knows the area, can get reservations at hard-to-access restaurants, suggest activities or whom they can call if they need help. Often enough, these locals will suggest things that are off the beaten path where locals go and they can help you have a stress-free vacation. This is a great way to travel if you want a little assistance along the way.
3. Escorted travel
This is the ”I-don’t-want-to-have-to-think-about-what-to-do-this-trip.”
Surprisingly, this type of travel gets the bad rap that it is for old people and it is a total myth.
The largest group of travelers falls into this category and they are not old – 45+ is the age group. Why? There are many reason people are attracted to this type of travel:
• It creates a sense of community.
• You get to know your travel companions.
• You can make new friends from around the world.
• Safety and Convenience.
• And more.
How nice would it be to get up and not have to worry about where you are going for the day? How many of us have traveled with others and no one can decide what they want to do? How great would it be to have someone pick up your bags from your room? How great would it be to not have to worry about your safety because you are a group?
Escorted group travel is so different today. Tour operators have figured it out and it is becoming so popular: smaller group size.
These are groups of 12- 26 people. These are upscale experiences to exotic destinations complete with knowledgeable guides who can inform and excite.
Maybe you have a relative celebrating a monumental birthday that the entire family wants to acknowledge. Or maybe it is a family reunion, a golf trip, a girls’ getaway, wine tasting or a fundraiser for your favorite charity. There are so many ways to build a stronger community through travel.
You don’t have to be the “I-can-do-everything-on-my-own-traveler.”
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