Planning a trip can be fun, but it can also be stressful. There’s a lot to consider – what to see, how much to spend, and the amount of time to stay in one place. So do you choose to do a guided tour and have a fairly relaxed trip knowing that everything has been pre-arranged, or do you elect to plan your own travel – which can be cheaper but take more time to arrange?
Guided tours certainly have their place in the world of backpacking – if you’re short on time, guided tours mean that you can cram in plenty of adventure and culture in just a few days. Tours are also a great way to meet other solo backpackers and to spend your time with.
Independent travel on the other hand can be significantly cheaper, so if you have plenty of time but not much money this might be the better choice for you. Most long-term backpackers are advocates of independent travel but it’s important to note that many backpacker veterans actually started their trips with guided tours, to develop a good foundation to the world of backpacking.