The Question

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 (from the Official TOEFL Guide).

 

Note

This is a sample TOEFL essay written by a native English speaker.  It follows our TOEFL Writing templates for independent essays.  If you find it helpful, please remember that we also have many more sample essays for you to work with.

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Sample Essay

                These days tourism is more popular than ever, and everyone has their own style of travel.  Some people like to take trips alone, while others like to travel with a companion.  Personally, I prefer to travel with a partner.  I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

               To begin with, traveling with a companion is more economical than vacationing alone.  As leisure travel has become more and more popular, hotel operators have started to charge increasingly high costs for accommodation.  Single occupancy rates are fairly uncommon nowadays, so sharing a room with a friend is good 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 demonstrates some of the financial benefits of vacationing with a friend.  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 both of us sleeping in a shared dorm.  Over the course of our one month trip, we saved several hundred dollars in this way.  As a result of saving so much money, we were able to change our plans and extend our trip for almost an entire week.  This example demonstrates some of the financial benefits of traveling with a companion.

               Moreover, it is much easier to talk to local people when traveling in a pair, and this makes any trip much more rewarding.  While a lone stranger can be seen as intimidating, a traveling couple is often considered more approachable.  For example, when my girlfriend and I took the aforementioned South American trip last year, 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. When I traveled by myself in Bolivia a year before I wanted to make similar connections, but I faced a lot of difficulty in doing so.  While a single 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 based on the financial benefits of doing so, and because traveling with a partner makes it easy to interact with local residents.