The Ultimate Group Travel Guide for Solo Adventurers

Joining a tour group doesn't mean sacrificing your independence. In fact, it can enhance your solo travel experience in many ways.

The Ultimate Group Travel Guide for Solo Adventurers
Photo by Kelsey Knight / Unsplash

Solo traveling doesn’t always have to mean you are on your own. When visiting a National Park, or a local attraction, you could sign up to be part of a group tour! Groups could be as small as a few people, or as many as 20-30 people. One of the biggest advantages of joining a group tour as a solo traveler is that all the logistics and planning are taken care of. You don't have to worry about arranging accommodations, transportation, or figuring out the best places to visit. The tour operator handles all these details so you can focus on enjoying your journey. Sometimes, it’s the only feasible way to truly explore your destination, but it can enhance your experience. Here’s some examples you can try while solo traveling:

  1. Mansion Tours:
white and brown 4-storey house in front of tree
Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

This is a great group tour experience as you are often provided with a guide who is extremely knowledgeable about the mansion and the history of the mansion. Some of the best mansion tours I have ever experienced included the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee, the Breakers in Newport RI and the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. Many of these tours consist of both small and large groups and generally include attendees from all over the world. The best guides I have ever worked with are incredibly knowledgeable and pleasant, and you come away learning something every time. You can often book these directly with the venue, and often times same day with no reservation required.

  1. City “Hop on/Hop off” Tours:
red and white tram on road during daytime
Photo by Frontiersman on Unsplash

This is definitely the “touristy” thing to do, but when you enter a city for the first time, or want to explore a city like a local, there’s truly nothing better than starting your trip with a sightseeing tour with a local guide, especially one who stops at various destinations around the city. For a small fee, you book the tour in advance or same day, and you can simply “hop on” and “hop off” as several buses or cars are running at once. A great example of the “hop on/hop off” is Trolley Tours. They work in several cities, including but not limited to: Boston and Nashville, but also smaller cities like St Augustine and Savannah, GA. Another great company that does “hop on/hop off” is Big Bus Tours, mostly focusing on large cities all around the world. Some tours are more expansive than others, and some are more expensive than others, but you will want to search and look for “hop on/hop off” tours when you research online. Also, pay attention to reviews! Some tours are also tied in with a “city pass” that is available in large cities, and that’s also a great way of getting around and a great value. For solo travelers, these are great to explore the city for the first time, or learn about a city you might already know, as the guides live in or near the city. These can also act as good connecting stops for the train lines, as well!

  1. Sightseeing Tours:
a group of people walking down a walkway next to palm trees
Photo by Norbert Braun on Unsplash

For solo travelers looking to explore popular attractions like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, or National Parks, there are tours available that cater to your needs. Viator is a great resource to start your search and even book your tour. If you're staying at a local hotel, check out the brochures for more information on sightseeing tours. These tours usually pick up passengers at designated hotel sites and transportation is provided via coach bus. Depending on the tour, snacks or meals may be included and there's usually a bathroom on board. However, I recommend using the facilities at the site or hotel beforehand. Tours can range from half-day to full-day experiences, and while longer tours may require some consideration due to accommodation expenses, they can offer a more immersive experience. Keep in mind that these tours generally have an itinerary, and that certain destinations only allow exploration through group tours for safety reasons.

  1. Sports and Concert Tours:
stage light front of audience
Photo by Yvette de Wit on Unsplash

Looking for a cost-effective and convenient way to attend concerts, sporting events, or special events while traveling solo? These group tours might just be the answer you've been searching for. Whether you're a die-hard fan of college or NFL teams, or if you're interested in attending a thrilling NASCAR event, these tours take away all the headaches of planning and attending such events. Companies like Sports Traveler and On Location Exp specialize in sports events but also offer large-scale concerts. They even provide hotel pickups, and some packages even include hotel nights. Alternatively, you can opt for companies that offer transportation and event tickets without hotel accommodations. I've personally experienced group tours to NFL games that included event tickets, transportation, and a fun tailgate cookout, all for a single fee. The only downside is that you'll have a set schedule and itinerary, but the upside is the camaraderie you'll share with fellow fans, which can be an absolute blast, especially if your team wins! Have you ever wanted to attend a concert but struggled to find friends to go with? Solo traveling opens up the opportunity to see your favorite artists and bands live while connecting with like-minded fans. These experiences create a sense of community, and you might even make lifelong friends along the way.

  1. Group Vacations:
people sitting on grass field during daytime
Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

For solo travelers who want to test the waters of independent travel while leaving the planning to someone else, this is an excellent choice. These tours typically focus on a specific region and span over 7-10 days, providing transportation, accommodation, meals, and sightseeing. However, you'll have a fixed schedule to follow. If you're comfortable with that and eager to explore new destinations alongside fellow solo travelers, this option is perfect for you. It's also a great way to embark on your first adventure across different continents. Keep in mind that these tours can be a bit pricey and may or may not include all expenses. I highly recommend Go Ahead Tours for an authentic and unparalleled experience designed specifically for solo travelers seeking hassle-free planning.