74. Is traveling in a group led by a tour guide the best way to travel?
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The best way to travel is in a group led by a tour guide. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
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Those lucky enough to travel, particularly those fortunate enough to visit foreign countries, face the decision of traveling in a group with an experienced tour guide or traveling by themselves. The choice is a difficult one as both ways of travel have advantages. Personally, I believe that, although traveling in a group with a tour guide is obviously convenient, the benefits are often not significant enough and in many ways traveling in this kind of way can limit one's travel experience.
The conveniences of group travel with a tour guide include the fact that one easily meets other people and thus has a more enjoyable and comfortable travel experience. This is particularly important when traveling in a foreign country where a language barrier prevents interaction with the locals and isolation can become a problem. The tour guide is often experienced in generating a jovial atmosphere within the group, and his/her knowledge of the foreign culture and places of interest provide travelers with a greater appreciation of their trip. Also, and maybe most importantly, when traveling with a guide the individual traveler normally does not have to worry about hotel reservations and transportation. Those aspects are taken care of.
On the other hand, convenience might not be important to a traveler, and traveling alone allows far more personal freedoms. For example, one can easily make changes to the travel itinerary. The traveler can choose to stay in certain places or move on more quickly than otherwise possible, because he does not follow a set schedule. Learning about culture and places of interest is also easy as that information is readily available in books. Furthermore, travelers tend to congregate, and it is very easy to meet fellow vacationers who might have insightful tips as far as where to go and what to do. Generally, basic command of the English language suffices to have such informative exchanges with other travelers and locals, who are often eager to share their customs and culture.
Therefore, traveling outside a large tour group can result in a richer and more genuine experience, and I believe this experience to be more exciting to me.