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).



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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 traveling alone.  As leisure travel has become more and more common, hotel operators have started to charge increasingly high costs for accommodation.  Single occupancy rates are fairly uncommon nowadays, so sharing a room with a companion is good way to cut accommodation costs in half.  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 going on a trip 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, in my experience 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 (particularly a mixed-gender 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 people who invited us often pointed out that they were willing to do so because we looked so happy, friendly and cheerful spending time together.  The welcome that we experienced as a pair was in stark contrast to my earlier experiences as a single travel, when it was much harder form connections with locals.  While a single traveler may be quite kind and cheerful, 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 people.