Have you given up on trying to
What if I told you that you could have guaranteed friends as soon as you get there… Be safely accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide from the area… And be able to sit back, relax and know everything is planned for you?!
When I started planning my backpacking trip, I knew that I was slightly nervous about travelling solo. I had never been the most outgoing or confident person and preferred one-to-one friendships than being in a large group of people.
Not only this, I had only ever travelled to destinations in Europe and the USA and didn’t know what to expect when immersing myself in South-East Asian countries and cultures. How did ‘backpacking’ even work, anyway?!
I decided that, before going it alone and throwing myself into the deep-end, I would ease myself into the experience by booking a place in a tour group for the first 30 days of my adventure.
By doing this, I knew that I was going to start the experience the right way:
- In a highly-organized and safe environment.
- With plenty of time to adjust to the culture shock of a completely different part of the world and living style.
- With confidence knowing that I didn’t have to initially worry about accommodation and travel itineraries.
- With incredible ‘insider’ knowledge from a local tour guide who could enrich each destination and teach us things that we could never have known by ourselves.
- And (most importantly to me) with peace of mind that I would instantly be joining a group of like-minded travellers my age and not be left alone crying on the streets of Bangkok!
I chose G-Adventures’ 30 day ‘Indochina Discovery’ tour:
And I have absolutely no regrets.
The benefits of my decision started VERY quickly… After arriving at London Heathrow airport on the day of my departure, nerves mercilessly kicking away at my stomach, I straight away spotted a girl around my age waiting at the same departure gate.
Well, this is as good a time as any to start talking to strangers!
After plucking up the courage to introduce myself, we discovered that we were both heading to Bangkok to join the exact same tour group – I had been a nervous ‘solo’ traveller for a record 20 minutes.
We arrived in Bangkok, got picked up by the bus arranged by the tour company, checked into our hotel and spent the day together wandering around Bangkok adjusting to the heat, smells and sights. It was all so easy, we got on really well and I was instantly SO grateful for booking the tour!
We met with the tour guide, Kit, and the other 16 group members that evening and I felt an intense buzz in the air as we all introduced ourselves and shared our excitement of what was to come over our first Thai dinner. I felt safe my first night in the hotel with my Norwegian roommate, confident in the plan given to us for when to wake up and what bus to get on in the morning and excited to learn everything first-hand from the guide.
I never once felt isolated or self-conscious throughout the entire 30-day trip. Every single person in the group was friendly, energetic and care-free: Traits that I soon came to realize are shared by every person who decides to throw in the towel and go explore the world!
My initial worries were a waste of time. Less than 24 hours after meeting with my tour group, we felt as though we had known each other for years. The experiences we shared together at unforgettable destinations over the subsequent 30 days cemented our friendships indefinitely.
The tour group package made it possible for me to adjust to backpacking life with absolutely no stress. I started my journey with the support that I needed so that I could successfully go on to backpack alone for the next 4 months.
I cannot recommend tour group experiences like the ones offered by G-Adventures enough for those nervous about travelling alone. I would do it again in the heartbeat.
Check out my full G-Adventures tour by clicking on the countries below:
What are your experiences with tour group packages?
Would you recommend them to other solo travellers?