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Jun 24 2013

Organised Trips in Independent Travel…Really?

Organised trips, independent travel, jungle, laos, ziplining

As you will be well aware now, this blog is about independent travel but what do I mean by that?  By independent travel I don’t necessarily mean travelling solo, which is often what it gets confused with, I mean travel that isn’t organised by an external company but something you organise yourself.  I tend to do both: travel independently and solo.  I love independent travel because of the freedom and flexibility as well as the challenges it brings whether I do it alone or with other independent travellers.  I have learned and continue to learn so much about myself and others when I travel in that way.

Having said that, the important thing for me is to travel and in a way that is right for me and that is what I encourage everyone to do.  This site might be about independent travel but if I banged on about how you must travel independently the whole time and never consider an organised trip (because I would never do such a thing) I risk alienating and demotivating people, which isn’t my aim.  Yes, I love independent travel but the most important thing for me is travelling.  So, if going on an organised trip or tour is the right thing for you to do as part or all of your trip because it gets you out there travelling and experiencing new things, people and cultures, then that’s great.

I’m not a ‘purist’ anyway so I sometimes intersperse independent travel with organised trips and there is nothing wrong with doing so.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to travel as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t do that very often and can’t go on an organised trip for long because I like to travel in my own way and at my own speed but it is good in the following instances:

  • If I don’t have much time

  • If a place is difficult to get to

  • If I’m not sure about going it alone

  • It can be a great way to get an overview of an area so I know where I want to return to

  • I often learn a lot more about the place because of the information I receive from the guide/tour leader

  • It gives me a welcome break from planning and thinking about where to go next, when, how etc. because, however much I love independent travel, it takes a lot of time and energy thinking and planning my next move and sometimes it’s good to do something different because, as they say, ‘A change is as good as a rest’.

  • It reminds me of how much and why I love to travel independently.

  • I get to spend time with great people and do some amazing things that I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do, like ziplining into a tree house and then spending the night there.

Have your say

How do you feel about mixing independent travel with organised trips?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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