During my second trip to South Korea, I booked a tour with Apple Holiday from KL. Granted, Apple Holiday isnt exactly one of the cheapest tour operators.
The company charged me additional premium for extending the validity of my MAS ticket.
Because I was travelling solo that time, I had to pay additional premium also for single supplement, meaning more for having a single room to myself.
Anyways, after visiting South Korea in winter, I have to say that isnt exactly the best time to visit... I suffered a fever halfway through my Apple tour, and similarly half way during my New Zealand Contiki tour in South Island.
Remember to dress snugly and warm in winter, and anywhere which has a sudden drop in temperature.
Autumn, Summer or Spring is always better. Unless it was your first, and you were hankering to see the skis and snow capped mountains.
I also paid for an additional ticket direct to Gwangju from Jeju-Do with Korean Air near to the close of my Apple Tour as I couldnt be bothered to return to Seoul before catching a ride again in that direction. Yeah, I was there to visit Matt Park.
I would say, it is probably easier even for Asians to grab a tour than to self backpack in Asian countries due to the language barriers. Somehow backpacking through English speaking countries is a lot easier. *sweat*
What about Europe? It is hard to say at this point.
If you are a solo traveller, and are afraid to travel alone, one of the options would be to book a tour with a local operator, but buy a separate one way ticket back if you intend to extend your stay.
The flight that come with the tour operators are normally cheaper due to their short validities, and will have to go to burn anyways.
Travelling the first few days with a tour operator will help the solo traveller familiarise with local customs if only for a few days before they feel brave enough to make it out on their own.
I settled for that option for New Zealand when I first travelled there and booked a short tour to South Island with Contiki. After which, I booked a hop on hop off tour with Kiwi Experience, a much cheaper option than Contiki.
If you are a travelling as a group with a few members, it is normally possible to request for group discounts depending on the numbers in the group.
Looking for likeminded travellers isnt an easy task, as most may have found out.
Finding someone that enjoys travelling just as much, and is able to commit to it as well as share the responsibilities or reseaching and planning, and of making it come to pass is almost like finding a needle in a haystack.