(BPT) – Many people long to see another part of the world but are reluctant to travel on their own or take on the stress of planning a vacation. Researching destinations, transportation, accommodations and activities can be a lot of work. Expedia research has shown that leisure travelers visit an average of 38 websites to get information and compare prices before finalizing their plans. If this sounds especially daunting, you’re not alone!
We reached out to travel industry expert Jim Menge for his insights into overcoming the challenges of solo travel. Menge has visited more than 100 countries and firmly believes in the benefits of making lasting memories with the people you get to know on a trip. Menge is also the President of Rovia(TM), an industry-leading travel and lifestyle service provider headquartered in Plano, Texas. “Travel is the ultimate expression of freedom,” says Menge. “The freedom to leave home, to roam the earth, to see the world through the eyes of those you meet along the way and to share your world with them.”
To attain that freedom, Menge recommends joining a travel club that offers pre-planned group vacation packages. Group travel provides an opportunity to meet people who enjoy similar activities, and the curated offerings of a travel club relieve the stress of planning every aspect of a trip on your own. Not only do you have an easier way to book your next trip, you also get to create long-lasting memories with a new group of friends.
So, why don’t more people take advantage of group travel? Here are a few myths debunked:
Myth No. 1: I’ll be lonely. While a few in your group may already know each other, plenty of others will arrive solo, looking to meet new people. Unfamiliar settings have a way of bringing strangers together. In fact, a story in The Atlantic magazine revealed that people who share experiences are happier than those who experience things alone. Between sightseeing and sampling foreign delicacies, friendships flourish naturally between group members.
Myth No. 2: I’ll have to do everything en masse. While there’s typically an itinerary outlined for the entire group to follow, you’re free to explore with a smaller group or on your own. One of the best ways to form new friendships is to connect over shared interests. If you and a few others want to see the same play or museum exhibit, go together!
Myth No. 3: It’s too expensive. Traveling with a group can actually help you save money. As part of a group, you can share food and transportation, and purchase reduced admission to popular attractions and activities. According to timeshareadvocates.org, vacation clubs present a good option for group travel because they offer value-packed trips at discounted rates to their members. One example is DreamTrips, an award-winning travel and leisure club where members enjoy professionally curated travel opportunities and valuable deals at select restaurants, hotels, excursions and entertainment venues all over the world.
Still unsure? “It is an amazing privilege to be able to travel the world freely, to be able to see different countries and experience new cultures,” says Menge. “When we meet and speak to those around us, it will only serve to enhance our journey. Go ahead and talk to your fellow travelers … Talk to strangers. I promise it will make you feel more connected and more present while you travel.” What are you waiting for? Put yourself out there. Find the vacation club that best fits your lifestyle and book your next getaway today.