Seasoned travelers know there are major perks to traveling in a pack. But for less-experienced travelers who are still defining their personal travel style, the terms “group travel” and “escorted tours” don’t typically inspire the sense of adventure and intrigue that many young travelers crave.
That’s why major tour companies are flipping the script for 2023 and beyond, offering expanded options that cater to a new generation of group travelers. We sat down with AAA Operations Manager Kate Rokosz and AAA Travel Product Manager Dianne Vavala to learn how these efforts are ticking a lot of bucket-list boxes for a growing segment of younger travelers.
GROUP TRAVEL PERK #1: MORE CHANCES TO SOCIALIZE
Meeting people and expanding your cultural view is important at any age, but perhaps especially so for younger and solo travelers. Group travel offers the chance to deepen old friendships and forge new ones with like-minded travelers in a way other travel can’t.
“Traveling solo or with only one companion can be wonderful at times,” says Rokosz. “But it can also feel lonely, boring, or even frustrating when unexpected circumstances arise.
For Social Butterflies
Trafalgar Tours offer the perfect chance to meet, mingle, and form lifelong friendships with a diverse range of travelers and travel professionals. Trafalgar's featured offerings include women-only tours, solo and small-group adventures, and opportunities to meet and travel with other families.
GROUP TRAVEL PERK #2: COST SHARING PUTS AMAZING WITHIN REACH
In theory, the world is free for everyone to explore and enjoy. But in reality, hotels, transportation, and restaurants—especially good ones—cost money. For young travelers with limited resources, cost sharing can mean the difference between a so-so vacation and an unforgettable one.
“Affordability is a top concern for our younger clients, so we want to give them the best possible experience without breaking the bank,” Vavala says. “We love hearing when they’re able to spring for that rare bottle of wine, sunset catamaran ride, or other luxury they wouldn’t have chosen if they were shouldering it alone.”
For Affordable Luxury Seekers
The experienced Travel Advisors at AAA can customize small-group experiences to fit any budget, whether travelers are venturing to incredible places like Iceland, seeking some serious pampering, or catching up with their best pals from high school.
GROUP TRAVEL PERK #3: THERE’S STRENGTH (AND SAFETY) IN NUMBERS
Younger travelers often have the energy and curiosity to explore a new place with total abandon. But when it comes to tackling common and not-so-common travel challenges, it’s best to have support from an experienced team on your side.
“Guided tour support applies to navigating everything from a flight delay to an ambitious mountainside excursion,” says Rokosz. “When tricky situations arise, guides and escorts are experts at acting quickly to find a solution. It’s really the best of both worlds for less-experienced travelers—complete freedom, but with a reliable safety net.”
For Adventure Enthusiasts
The Certified Adventure Travel Specialists at Club Adventures hail from hundreds of destination cities around the world. Equipped with all the local knowledge you need, they’ll help you plan an escapade that's distinctly "you" from start to finish.
GROUP TRAVEL PERK #4: GROUP TOUR OPTIONS ARE PRACTICALLY ENDLESS
Some younger people have unlimited free time for travel, while others must balance their wanderlust between work, family, and other obligations. Fortunately, group tour companies offer a wide range of options to match travelers’ interests as well as their timing considerations.
“Whether you’re planning an extended tour of Europe or a shorter getaway that’s close to home, you’re going to experience the very best of that destination,” says Vavala. “We’re aggressively adding new routes and packages, and we stay on top of closures and other information that could disrupt even the tightest itinerary.”
For Busy Jet-setters
AAA Member Choice Vacations are completely customizable for travelers looking to maximize limited free time. Explore unique lodging options that include igloos and tree houses, and sprinkle in sightseeing by boat, train, or jeep as your busy schedule allows.