Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice. (Adapted from a question in the Official TOEFL Guide).
The Sample Essay
These days tourism is bigger than ever, and everyone has their own favorite travel style. Personally, I think it is a really great idea to travel with a partner. I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.
First of all, going on a trip with a companion is more economical than vacationing alone. As a result of leisure travel becoming more and more popular, hotel operators have raised their prices to astronomical levels. Discounts for solo travelers are fairly uncommon nowadays, so sharing a room with a friend is an effective way to cut costs. Not only that, but people traveling in pairs have better access to package deals on tours, entrance fees and other activities. My own experience is compelling evidence of this. When my girlfriend and I traveled together through Peru last year, we were able to rent an entire hotel room for less than the cost of two separate beds in a shared dorm. Over the course of our month-long trip, we saved several hundred dollars in this way. Because we saved so much money, we were able to change our plans and extend our trip for almost an entire week. Had we not taken the trip together, we would not have been able to do that.
Moreover, it is much easier to talk to local people when traveling in a pair, and this makes a trip much more rewarding. While a lone stranger can be seen as intimidating, a traveling couple is often considered more approachable. For instance, when my girlfriend and I took the trip to South America that I mentioned above, we were often welcomed into people’s homes and businesses with open arms. The individuals who invited us often pointed out that they were willing to do so because we looked so happy, friendly and cheerful spending time together. In contrast, when I visited Bolivia by myself the previous year, I wanted to make the same kinds of connections, but it was almost impossible to achieve my goal. It is true that a solitary traveler may actually be quite kind and outgoing, this can be somewhat difficult to determine from a distance.
In conclusion, I definitely prefer to travel with a companion rather than alone. This is because there are significant financial benefits of doing so, and because traveling with a partner makes it easy to interact with strangers. (403 words)