My recent Solo Traveller trip to Morocco was my first experience of group travel and I can’t lie, I was nervous.

The concept of group travel is such a wonderful thing, bringing like minded people together to enjoy a shared passion but what if it goes wrong? You’ve paid all this hard earned cash, it has to be right!

So I’ve given this a lot of thought and I’ve come to the conclusion that group travel can be broken down into three phases.

First is the ‘put a face to a name’ phase…

…when the initial meet at the airport happens and your first impressions are cast. My group and I had messaged briefly before but a short exchange of texts can’t possibly tell you anything about a person. This phase is important but the most superficial and one that I don’t pay too much attention to; airports can be stressful places and everyone else was probably just as nervous as me.

So on to the second phase.

This ‘getting to know each other’ phase kicks in sometime on the first day.

It’s the time when people are settling in to their surroundings and beginning to learn more about the other travellers. This is the fun part of the journey because you get to learn and find out the ins and outs of your companions.

What do they do for a living? What are their hobbies? Where do we all live? It turned out that a couple of ladies on our trip lived almost round the corner from each other… small world hey!

It’s like being back at the first day of school but on a smaller scale where people naturally gravitate to others based on shared interests. Our trip was a melting pot of nationalities, with travellers from all corners of the globe, so there was definitely plenty to chat about!

The third phase is the nicest, yet the saddest.

Sometime near the end of the trip the realisation that ‘real life’ is just round the corner and you and your new best pals won’t be with each other 24/7. How would we all cope?!

So although it is the saddest, I say it’s the nicest because you also realise how fab a time it’s been with these new found friends who were complete strangers until a week ago!

You exchange numbers and with a promise of catching up again sometime soon wave each other off at the airport. And hopefully en route home your memories of such a great holiday give food for thought for your next group holiday.

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