Wondering the benefits of group travel vs. going solo? Becca of Half Half Travel dishes on why she chose to travel with Remote Year over other options to see the world.
Becca of @halfhalftravel is currently traveling with her boyfriend Dan (the other half of @halfhalftravel) on Remote Year Kahlo, a 4-month program that travels through Peru, Colombia and Mexico. You can follow their story on Instagram and www.halfhalftravel.com.
Friends have asked me if Remote Year is ‘worth it.’ They ask me if I think I could spend less per month and be doing the same thing. What I say is no, I definitely wouldn’t have the same experience for the money if I had chosen to travel on my own instead of with a group. I think the best part of a group travel the Remote Year experience is that your monthly fee buys you convenience, safety and comfort while on the road.
The truth is, you can travel on your own on a shoestring budget, but when you travel alone, there are quite a few things that you could be missing.
In every city, we live in Western-style comfortable apartments that are equipped with bed sheets, towels and kitchen equipment when we arrive. If we find that something crucial is missing, we let the City Team or our Program Leader know, and they help us out by working with the local landlord. Many apartments have cool city views, outdoor spaces like balconies (depending on the city) and, in Latin America, our buildings have always had 24-hour desk staff or doormen. All Remote Year apartments are in the safest parts of the cities to ensure comfort. As a bonus, in Colombia, we’ve had mid-month cleaning services, at no extra charge to us and our roommates!
If you’ve ever worked remotely while traveling, you probably know that having a workspace makes the remote work experience rather seamless. We’ve had fast Wi-Fi with Remote Year private networks in our coworking spaces, and a month-long membership from the day we land to the day we leave, 24/7 access in case we need to take late-night calls or come in for a sunrise photo shoot (I’ve seen it done) and helpful staff who have assisted us in organizing events in these coworking spaces. I didn’t know what to expect out of the coworking experience, and Remote Year has introduced me to feeling at home in these places of work.
Your community is an integral part of the group travel experience. By becoming a Remote Year participant, you are purchasing an experience, and the people and community that come with that experience are the most memorable parts of all. The community is a group of friends, travelers and professionals, and everyone in each group learns from each other in so many different ways, whether by working together during Tracks™ or by offering professional skillshares in our workspaces around the world. Community is also available virtually to all Remotes viaSlack, a communication platform by which we receive announcements, opportunities, events for learning and growth or networking among those who have similar interests.
If you’re me, you might spend tons of time researching flights, debating your decisions, re-thinking your plans and then re-doing them. Remote Year eliminates that back and forth by booking your travel days for you. Your between-destination flights are included in your monthly fee, and the Travel Team can also help you book side trips and deviations at an extra cost. On travel days, we transition to new cities. Travel transitions include pickup at your door in a private van (it takes you and your roommates to the airport), your flight and private van transport right to your new apartment in your new home city for the month. Want to take a nap on the way to the airport? You can do that, and still get there in one piece! I think the pre-planned travel logistics were one of the best surprises for me.
I keep mentioning my surprise at all of the things my Remote Year program included, and it’s because it’s all true. I hadn’t been fully aware that each Remote Year month would include a weekend excursion each month where we get to pick between two choices. With Remote Year Tracks™, I’ve sand-boarded in Huacachina, Peru, went rappelling in a waterfall outside Medellin, Colombia, attended a Colombian coffee tasting at a roasting plant and took a bicycle tour of Lima. I really like Tracks™ because they get me out of the workspace and into an environment where I’m trying something new or challenging myself along with other members of my Remote Year group.
Through a group travel experience, you get access to many different types of staff who ensure that your experience is seamless, informative and beneficial. You start hearing from Remote Year staff during your onboarding process. The Onboarding Team helps you prepare for your journey by giving you advice and direction on what to bring, how to arrive in your first city and more. Your Program Leader is your main point of contact for all things related to your Remote Year group during the length of your program. The Program Leader arranges group travel days, accomodation, communication with the City Teams and other things behind the scenes. The City Team is made up of local experts who help you experience your new city to its fullest. This team will help if anything needs improvement in your accommodation; for example, if a light bulb is out, the City Team will contact your landlord or building in the local language and arrange for a fix.
Remote Year makes safety a priority, and this is why in each city, the Remote Year group accommodations are in the safest neighborhoods. Upon beginning your month in each city, your city orientation will include a run-down of safe areas, and some places to avoid. You can always ask the City Team if you have questions and want to explore. In addition, Remote Year provides you with a membership to International SOS, one of the leading medical and travel assistance companies worldwide. ISOS has an app that you are encouraged to download on your phone in case of emergency, and the group code is required in order to access all the services of emergency services, doctors and more.
The Remote Year Marketplace is a cool feature of Remote Year that shows you your choices for Tracks™, and the opportunity to purchase admission to additional “Plus Events” that are add-ons for your experience. These come at an additional fee, and usually are for smaller groups of people. Plus Events may take place on a weeknight, or they may be longer weekend excursions with a small group. When you take a look at the Marketplace at the start of each month, you can plan out your immersive experiences.
Remote Year Citizenship is one of the most underrated benefits of choosing a group travel experience over solo travel. The “Remote Year Nation” is the term given to all Remotes, past and present, who form a global community both in person and virtually. Completing any Remote Year program makes you a Remote Year Citizen, which gives you permanent access to Slack and admission to Citizen-only events (in person and virtually).
Becca of @halfhalftravel is currently traveling with her boyfriend Dan (the other half of @halfhalftravel) on Remote Year Kahlo, a 4-month program that travels through Peru, Colombia and Mexico. You can follow their story on Instagram and https://www.halfhalftravel.com/road-to-remote/.