My pick of the best group tour companies for solo travellers! From Intrepid and Trek America, to Busabout, Contiki, MedSailors and Travel Talk Tours – who offers the best experience for solo travellers? It’s time to compare the top group tour companies.
Travelling solo can be daunting at the best of times, even more so when you set off on an adventure to a country where you don’t speak the language or know how to get around. When you travel as part of a group, the stresses are taken away, leaving more time to truly enjoy yourself! Not to mention, you’ll have a great bunch of new friends by the end.
Having booked group tours with most of the top companies specialising in solo travel and singles holidays, I figured I’d reveal what I really thought. The added bonus – I have dedicated blogs and videos for them too, so you can delve deep into what the experience is really like!
Best tour companies for solo travellers
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First up, the company that kicked off my wanderlust! Years before I started blogging, or discovered my love of travel, I spent two weeks travelling around Mexico with Trek America. It was an AWESOME experience. Trek offer tours across North, South and Central America, so there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy.
I remember being SO anxious before I left London. I’d never been on a plane on my own, let alone long haul, and I’d be arriving in a country that would feel totally foreign to me. I spoke no Spanish and didn’t know who I’d be spending the next few weeks with. It was incredibly daunting.
Over two weeks we travelled around in a mini-bus, visited Chichen Itza, dived into cenotes, explored the magical lagoon of seven colours in Bacalar and partied ‘til dawn in Playa Del Carmen. Mexican tour guide Juan was young, fun and full of enthusiasm. He took us to loads of his favourite secret spots and removed all stresses from the trip. I left with a bunch of new friends, memories and a longing to jet off again! You can imagine just how excited I was when I was invited to join their annual #iTrekHere tour in California last year?!
Group tours available: in North America, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America
Next up, was my adventure in South America with Contiki. Over the course of 10 days I visited vibrant Buenos Aires, the incredible Iguazu falls, chilled out on the beach in Buzios in Brazil and then finished up in Rio de Janeiro. We covered a lot of ground in a short time, and again, the hassle of transport and day tours was taken out of our hands.
Our guide Christian (from Chile) was a lot of fun and really looked after us. Contikis are a little more full on than the other tours I’ve done, sheerly because you’ll be travelling with a coach load of people rather than a small group. I made a few really great friends on this trip, one of whom I’ve caught up with in New York and London!
Group tours available: pretty much everywhere! Contiki offers 300+ trips across 6 continents!
Intrepid’s tours had been recommended to me several times before, and it turns out they’re awesome. When I travelled through Central America a couple of years ago (you know – when I started this blog malarkey) I booked the majority of the trip through Intrepid. I was worried about border crossings, particularly in Honduras and Belize where I’d heard a few horror stories. I also wasn’t sure my Spanish would be good enough to negotiate or figure out routes along the way.
Looking back, I know I could have done the trip solo, but actually I’m REALLY glad I went as part of a tour. The main reason was because of the friendships that were formed. There were so many people I clicked with, and a real mix at that (from 20 to 70 year olds!)
Our guides were amazing – Vinnie from Guatemala and Randy from Costa Rica. I was so sad to say goodbye to both of them. We had an easy trip, mainly travelling by private mini-bus and the odd chicken bus thrown in for good measure. We stayed with local families in Guatemala, climbed the ancient Mayan ruins in Tikal and even got caught in a crazy storm in the middle of the ocean in Belize. Needless to say, a serious bout of the post-holiday blues followed, but that only happens when the experience really means something to you.
Group tours available: across the world, from Asia and Australia to Europe, Africa and America!
Busabout specialises in Europe, although they’ve launched in Asia now too. Along with awesome group tours to European festivals including La Tomatina and Oktoberfest, they offer a hop-on hop-off bus service around Europe. It’s really handy for people who want to have a bit of a group dynamic, but also enjoy a flexible itinerary.
Last year I went on a group tour around Scandinavia and The Baltics. Other than Sweden (where I’ve been several times), the tour covered all sorts of places I’d never thought of visiting. With around 36 hours in each, we visited Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Finland and Estonia… fitting in trips to local landmarks, city tours and plenty more. Our guide Pasqual was SO much fun – full of enthusiasm and so experienced, she knew Busabout’s tours inside-out. It was a fun trip and a great way to cram a lot into one week.
Group tours available: in Europe, Asia and North Africa plus plenty of festivals too.