As an independent traveller, it can be easy to want to ‘go it alone’ when you’re on the road. Taking care of all your own travel arrangements, getting yourself from point A to point B, and skipping the tours in favour of exploring solo.
We at The Sustainable Traveller are not your typical travel company and are mindful of creating positive impacts for humanity and the planet. We are about the immersive experiences that offer an authentic, local experience in a small group that even the most independent solo traveller can enjoy!
We know independent travellers love their freedom. And pride themselves on their ability to navigate around new countries on their own, make all their own travel bookings and guide themselves around local sites. But there are a whole host of benefits to jumping on board an organised travel experience.
Meeting other travellers is one such benefit. It can be hard when travelling solo to connect with other travellers and participating in an organised tour gives you that opportunity. You get to meet other like-minded people, who may end up becoming the best part of your trip!
Having a local perspective is another reason to participate in an organised travel experience. Travelling independently gives you opportunities to observe and be a part of local life and culture that may otherwise be missed. Local guides provide an immersive experience, sharing insights about the destination from those who know it best.
Affordability is another benefit of Jumping onboard an organised tour or experience. Many activities have a set fee (e.g. a cost for the whole boat, or a private guide) which can be costly for a solo independent traveller. Sharing the cost across a small group makes these experiences accessible and affordable to independent travellers.
And finally, it’s important to acknowledge that some of the best travel experiences are only available via an organised tour! Reaching remote reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, hiking to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, and visiting traditional tribes in the Amazon are just some examples of life-changing travel experiences that can easily be done with an organised travel experience!
We've picked five of our best travel experiences we know will add value to your next trip away. Where you will get all the benefits mentioned above, without any of the flag-waving and megaphone shouting.
Cycling can be an incredible way to experience a new destination, and immerse yourself in the local culture and community. Plus, it’s our preferred eco-friendly mode of transport and be catered for all cycling and skill levels! You will still feel like an active participant in your travels on a cycling trip (you have to pedal, after all!). But the hassle of figuring out the route, cycling trails, accommodation stops, quality bike rentals and moving luggage around is taken care of by an experienced operator who has all the right connections to get it done efficiently and smoothly!
Some of our favourite cycling tour operators are DuVine and Intrepid Travel. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely cycle along the California coast, a journey through South Australia’s wine regions or European adventure through quaint French villages, there is a cycle tour for you! Get in touch with us to find out more about our range of cycling tours.
Italy cycle tour with DuVine (image via DuVine)
Taking part in an organised travel experience doesn’t necessarily mean a group tour. It’s possible to organise a private guide for a small portion of your trip. Maybe to explore a new city, visit a historic site or go hiking. Seeking out a private local guide for a day or two as part of a broader trip can give you a whole different perspective on the destination you are visiting. Local guides of course have rich knowledge of the place they call home and can provide valuable insights about history, cuisine, culture, nature and daily life.
Urban Adventures offers a range of private day tours around the world, usually focusing on lesser-known parts of a city or interesting cultural topics. From cooking classes in Marrakech to after-dark tours of Hong Kong or a New Orleans cocktail trail you can experience cities around the world in a different way, with a local guiding you. Browse the range of Urban Adventures private tours on our website here.
Tajine cookery class in Marrakech with Urban Adventures (image via Urban Adventures)
There are countless beautiful walking trails all over the world. Participating in a multi-day walking tour can be a great way to experience some of the world’s most pristine landscapes, whether they be coastal, rainforest, rolling hills or desert. But planning an extended walk through undeveloped natural areas can be challenging and complicated! How will you get your luggage to each stop? Do you want to carry food and cooking equipment? Where will you stay?
This is where an organised tour comes in. Those tricky logistics are taken care of by operators who are familiar with the area and terrain and experienced in organising multi-day tours. One of our favourite walking trails here in Australia is the Spicer’s Scenic Rim Trail in Queensland. Journey through ancient Gondwana rainforests, and spend your nights in luxurious eco-camps. Choose your desired tour length from 2, 3, 5 or 7 days. Get in touch with us to find out more.
Spicers Scenic Rim Trail accommodation (image via Spicers Retreats)
Sailing can be a method of transport, as well as an activity in its own right! Spending a few nights on board a boat is an interesting addition to any trip. It is possible in many destinations around the world to ‘bareboat’ where you rent a boat and skipper yourself, usually around calm and sheltered areas. However, the cost for this can be prohibitively high if you are a solo traveller with no one to split with. Jumping onboard a sailing tour is the best way to have a multi-day experience out on the water as a solo traveller.
Our partners Intrepid Travel and G Adventures offer a wide range of sailing trips. From the Greek islands to the Caribbean or the Andaman Coast in Thailand, there is a sailing tour for all tastes. Browse our range of sailing tours on the website here.
Sailing around islands in Thailand with G Adventures (image via G Adventures)
In these pandemic times, physical travel isn’t possible for everyone. But the travel industry is an innovative and creative one, and many operators are converting some of their most popular travel experiences to online ones. Think of a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, a Moroccan tea ceremony, or an Indian yoga class.
These unique cultural experiences that can be done from the comfort of your home are likely to attract even the most independent of travellers, who are missing travel! Check out the range of virtual travel experiences available here.
Online Vietnamese cooking class with Urban Adventures (image via Urban Adventures)
If you would like a little help organising your next trip, The Sustainable Traveller can provide advice, recommendations and assistance booking your travel plans. We understand independent travellers want to remain just that - independent. You will still be in charge of your travel plans, and remain self-guided and flexible! Get in touch with us today to start working with your own sustainable journey advisor.