Big vs Small – Group Travel: Which is Right for You? 

Traveling can lead to so many great experiences, new discoveries, and definitely new friends! But it’s no secret that choosing how, where, when and with whom you travel can be a tad overwhelming sometimes, especially with so many choices just a click away.

You can travel solo or as a couple, however joining a guided tour group is likely to make all of your travel decisions a whole lot easier. After all, you will be travelling with experts in their field, people who have travelled and experienced world destinations first hand, people who know what you want to see plus a few extra sights and cultural experiences that you didn’t even imagine you would be a part of. And then all those mundane things like where to stay, in what location, how to get there, what to eat, what type of accommodation is available, where the locals hang etc etc

So really, the only choice you need make when travelling, once you have decided on your destination, dates and budget, is whether you want to join a small or a large group.

Most will immediately say that a smaller group is better, however there are pros and cons for both – let’s explore group travel, and find the fit that’s right for you.

Small Group Travel Benefits

  1. Flexibility

If you want to travel off the beaten path, then we recommend going with a small group. It’s easier to convince a smaller group to change an afternoon activity, take advantage of an event currently happening, or simply experience something new. Is there a football game from your favorite team happening in the nearby stadium? Or perhaps a Facebook-post worthy destination just near your location? You can definitely convince your tour guide to visit these!

  1. Easier Logistics

With a smaller group, you can also cover a lot more ground, as you can get out of the hotel or cruise ship faster to meet your itinerary schedule. You’ll also spend lesser times in restaurants, move around the destination, and maybe even have more time afterwards for a drink at the bar or go shopping.

  1. A More Cohesive Group

You’ll tend to be more social with a smaller group and form a closer bond with like-minded individuals with a group with fewer individuals. Apart from spending a lot of time together, travel really keeps people together in a fun and unique environment. There’s something about traveling to a new destination that helps you connect with others.

  1. Smaller Tourist Footprint

If you’re concerned about the environment, then you’ll be relieved to know that small group travel has a minimal travel impact. Other tour groups even practice carbon neutrality, offsetting the carbon footprint emitted during trips by investing in renewable energy projects around the world. If you’re conscious about this, you can always check with your tour operator.

Intrepid, Insight Vacations, Trafalgar, and AATKings, among others, are popular tour operators in Australia who specialize in small group travel, bringing you closer to your destinations.

Big Group Travel Benefits

  1. Just Set and Forget

Large group travel affords you the luxury of not having to think about anything and simply enjoying yourself. Everything is laid out for you in a neat, organised itinerary. You’ll get to see all the highlights of your destination and none of the lowlights – which is always a plus for travelers who just want a slice of the travel life.

  1. Tried and Tested

When travelling in a larger group, travel specialists and suppliers are able to negotiate better prices for great hotels, simply because they book regularly. The accommodation has been tried and tested on thousands (if not more) people before you so you know it is of a standard and location that you would book yourself. It also means that you could benefit from any discounts and actually stay in a great hotel for less, receive better airfares or even exclusive upgrades – sometimes it pays to be in a larger group – SCORE!

  1. Group-Only Exclusive Events

Bigger groups often are able to book “group only” adventures and events. Your tour operator could already have reserved a whole restaurant for dinner; select group sightseeing – fast track into the Vatican or Hermitage Museums, wildlife or white-water adventures, an early morning tour through the Cambodian temples of Angkor Wat; exclusive concerts such as musicals, theatre, ballet, museum events… the possibility for exclusivity is literally endless!

  1. The More Friends, the Better!

While this goes down to personal preference, more people joining the group means more chances to find individuals with your same discriminating tastes and wacky sense of humour. You quickly work out who you’d want to spend time with making new friends from around the world! Plus, BONUS! you have someone take photos of you (as long as you take photos of them, too!).

On a serious side note, we think that there is also the old adage of “safety in numbers”!

  1. Book as One Big Group to Save More!

Those who are in the know, know that travelling as one big group is much more cost effective – especially if your travel specialist gives you a special group rate discount, maybe a few little bonus inclusions as well!! You could be looking at a better airline, upgraded accommodation, cocktail parties and more depending on the size of your group! So, grab the family and all of your friends and let’s go on holiday!


Group size is an important thing to consider when you are ready to explore the world. While large group sizes a have their own benefits, it’s just as much fun to travel solo, honeymooning together just the two of you on a cruise, or take the whole family on a resort staycation!

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