Fun Fact: I rather not travel in a group.
Its easier for me to make all the decisions, and not have to confer with someone else about what they would like to do. There have been times where I’ll travel to a tropical destination and all I want to do is lounge on the beach reading a book. Yes, I will travel hours via air to just sit on a beach. If I was in a group I may not have the luxury of only doing what I want to do. Now, while I’m willing to be a team player and participate in touristy activities, its not my ideal vacation. Although traveling in a group is very avoidable, I have one rule that I live by to keep it stress-free if I must travel with others.
It is your money, so speak up. If you’d rather opt out of the tour bus, or a visit to the chocolate factory, make your voice known. Respectfully, of course. This is your trip too, so if there’s something you dont want to do, say something. If you want to explore solo, make that known too, preferably before the trip so your travel mates understand that you’re going to block some alone time. If you are picky about the type of hotel you’d like to stay in, or if you have a max price you aren’t willing to go above, let that be known too. Essentially, everyone in the group should have some sort of say in where you all will be staying. Unless ya’ll, as a group, have chosen someone who is known to get the best price or who is able to combine what everyone is looking for and find suitable options. Several options should be listed so it could be majority wins, listing one hotel, is unacceptable, folks would like to have choices.
I’m big on staying away from the tourist traps, dont get me wrong, I’ll visit the Empire State blgd’s of the World but I dont want that to be the only type of places on my agenda. If I can I want to submerge myself in the culture, and what better way than with food. As selective as I might be when it comes to food, I keep a wide open mind! Dont be afraid to break away from the group if you have to. Put your free time to good use! What’s been ‘planned’ may not be for you. I’m more of a go with the flow, get lost in where you are type of gal. I’m perfectly at home with walking around a particular area, if the vibes are good.
I just cant stress enough the importance of communicating with the folks you are traveling with! Learn from me, I went on a vacation to Europe, and it was one of the worst experiences I ever had. The city I visited was amazing but the company I was with, put a strain on my experience. So much so that I’ve declined every group trip I’ve been invited on. Some of that was because I didnt not speak up, I just went with whatever was happening and I’ll never do that again.