You don’t have to be a trip organiser or a travel enthusiast to answer this. I am not a blogger either to have done loads of research before writing this piece.
It’s fairly easy to answer. All it requires is 2 steps -
Plan a holiday for your parents. The buildup to the tour would make you learn the first lesson.
Wait till they come back. What your parents bring back in form of experiences, is going to be the real guide.
Or if you want to learn the easy way or have already turned mature and grey-haired, these tips should help. Read on -
1. Savings start from day 1
Benefits of group traveling are evident from the minute you start. The minute you make an inquiry on a travel portal for Group booking, you get inundated with calls and messages from agents and guides.
Cheaper deals on flights, extra cash-back on stays, discount on hotel packages, complimentary services, all these are available through the year, especially if it’s a bulk booking. So no need to hurry assuming the deal would expire in a day.
Elderly and senior citizens are entitled to added concessions too.
2. Traveling in group is more fun
Hoffman & Manning in their composition might have said, “takes two to tango’, but I believe it takes an entire troupe instead.
Traveling alone can be seriously boring. Group traveling is always fun and usually better enjoyed.
While a pair can enjoy over a pack of cards, another two can make it a contest by joining the table. Most of the tour operators make an effort to indulge travellers in these group activities, and it certainly adds on to the fun.
3. People and services on trip are generally nicer
From serving the welcome drink, ferrying laundry, assisting with morning newspaper, making room or helping with baggage for the afternoon safari, people at the hotel know how elderly need to be served. And it gets better when they have to plan it for an entire group. Like a hotel won’t add a dish to their buffet for an elderly couple, but they might add 2 or 3 for a group of seniors.
Seniors generally don’t disturb with repeated requests but they want everything to be in place.
This isn’t the trend at the hotel alone. Even when they are out for sightseeing, exploring the ropeway ride or lunching at a restaurant, people are courteous and gracious enough to serve. More so, if it’s a popular destination.
Genuine locals would never want they take unpleasant memories back. They understand it could be a hit to their business and tourism.
4. You get that much needed support
Holidaying in a group gives you the confidence and support to manage things and situations.
Being in 50s isn’t quite like 20s. The energy and stamina is not the same.
Moving in a group would ensure people around who can support and assist, as and when there’s an exigency.
5. Security gets an added layer
It’s common to lose sight of luggage or belongings at the station. Having companions would mean more eyeballs who can look after each others’ things.
6. Small things matter
Imagine yourself talking a scenic walk and the shoe comes off. Not saying that a crew member would offer his, but he can certainly help to arrange a pair. Isn’t it?
Or what if you are trying to connect back home and you are short of signals. Instead of waiting for the network to restore, you can simply borrow it from a friend.
7. Shooting photos is easier
Personally, I am not a big fan of taking too many photos on a trip. I rather believe in soaking up the experience.
But it makes sense to capture and bring back memories than can be cherished later.
These days, camera phones have made it easier to shoot and take pictures. While selfies can be taken easily, an elaborated pose with a backdrop needs help of others.
Taking photos in and of the group is certainly more entertaining. You also get to discover the creative side of photography, just in case, someone feels he is a master at the skill :)
8. You can taste Biryani too
Food and good food is generally what makes a trip memorable. Not only you want to taste local delicacies but develop new flavours too.
Traveling in a group gives you that option. You order a single dish for yourself or a portion that’s sufficient for you and you still have a chance to gorge at others bowl.
Trust me, this is out of personal experience. Every time we go out for a club meal, an old friend who is nearing 40, displays the best of his dog-hungry skills. He finishes early, picks up his fork and storms through everyone’s platter. It turns out to be an alacarte for us and a princely buffet for him.
In fact, it happens with all of us. We buy a cone of vanilla and then realise a butterscotch would have been more yummy!
9. You make friends for lifetime
Spending time together for a week does more than just knowing people. You get great friends, people who can be your companions for rest of your life.
Facebook and WhatsApp make sure you stay in touch. You start meeting and greeting for no reason. Planning for another trip gets easier too.
Experts say social interaction helps bringing down depression and anxiety by at least 6.5%. And we know stress is almost inevitable as we age.
End of the day, the decision to travel in a group is an individual choice.
If you are young and passionate, newlywed, or like to take a sabbatical, it makes sense to fly alone.
In all other cases, this blog of mine gives a good run for their money!