A Guide To Picking The Best Travel Method For You

There are so many different ways to travel today! From mission trips to academic trips, study abroad, tours, and backpacking; each manner of traveling best serves different aspects of travel and different travelers.

Amanda Rodrigues travel guide

Here is a comprehensive guide to picking the best travel method for your needs.

Mission Trips


  • Mission trips serve a purpose and try to solve a problem. They make you feel that you are contributing to the community in a real and tangible way.
  • Speaking of community, you will get a much better feel for the community when you are directly immersed in it. Mission trips and service trips are usually carried out on a low budget so chances are, you will be staying within the community you are serving – which allows you to know the people better.


  • Because service trips usually fulfill one purpose there is less freedom and sightseeing. The group bonds are excellent but alone time is limited.
unexpected.org Mission Trips
Photo from unexpected.org

Study Abroad


  • Study abroad semester and summer programs are a great way for new travelers to start branching out. The programs are run by experienced professionals so they will show you the tourist attractions, immerse you in the community enough that you get a true experience (especially if you’re in a homestay), and allow you the alone time to explore on your own.
  • They will take care of visas for you!


  • Study abroad programs are so formulated that they are mastered down to a science.   Because of this, there are less unique experiences between study abroad groups. Also, the culture shock when you return home is a very real problem.

Solo Travel


  • The unique experiences are endless. The friendships made are strong because you are forced to rely on the generosity of others. Solo travel makes you learn about yourself in a way that is both terrifying and exciting.


  • Relying on yourself can get exhausting so make sure to plan solo travel in a way that is conducive to your travel needs. How long are you comfortable being away from home? Which places can you safely visit? Etc.
amanda solo travel

Academic Trips


  • Unique academic experiences and guides (like an archaeological tour of Greece) allow the traveler a different perspective on commonly visited locales. There’s a different learning experience and knowledge base when the professors who are taking you on the trip have spent their lives studying the culture or place.


  • Similar to mission trips, you will spend most of the time with the groups and have significantly less time for alone travel. Often, you will have to sacrifice typical tourist sites that you may have wanted to see for lesser-known sites with more historical importance or academic relevance.

Tour Groups


  • Similar to study abroad trips, tours are down to a science. The schedule is planned, the restaurants are the same – tours are great for very organized travelers who like to know exactly where they are going and when.


  • There is almost zero spontaneity in a tour. You know what you are getting and when. There is limited time to reflect but you will get a much more comprehensive view of the sites by people who spend all day, every day learning the nooks and crannies of the places you’re visiting.

No matter which way of travel you’re best suited for, each of these brings out incredible opportunities in new locales. You know what the say, the best education is travel! And each of these methods are just different ways of learning.


Amanda Rodrigues


When Amanda is not traveling the world, she is developing her writing skills and working on manuscripts. Her favorite cities are Barcelona, Venice and home!

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