China tours for seniors does not mean coaches crammed full of people who are herded from one tourist destination to the next.
On the contrary, as a growing cohort of sophisticated travelers globally, you’re more likely to discover China tours for seniors – or tours to any destination really – as one joined by savvy explorers. A far cry from the budget backpacker traveling on a shoestring, seniors on tour are prepared to invest in an experience, while still expecting value for money. Above all, they seek a genuine experience of the country they’re visiting – but they want to do it with ease.
Having helped thousands of seniors discover the real China, we compiled our list of top things you should know if you’re searching for China tours for seniors.
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#1 Get the right help organizing your China tour
China is a different kind of travel destination.
Getting around can be a challenge, even for experienced travelers. That’s why we recommend not trying to organize everything yourself!
If you’re someone who likes the certainty of knowing where you’re going when traveling in new countries, it’s wise to get help planning and organizing your tour. With insider knowledge to ‘how things work’, this can make all the difference to whether you enjoy your China tour or not.
Finessing every detail and ensuring you tick all your wishlist boxes is a worthwhile investment. Why? Because for most people, traveling to China is a once off experience. Leaving your tour to chance can result in disappointment and make you feel things weren’t quite what you expected.
If you’re organizing a China tour for seniors, regardless of whether it’s a private tour for a couple or a group tour for twelve lifetime friends, be sure to seek out the right guidance and support. Traveling with the peace of mind that every detail has been taken care of will make for a more relaxed and enjoyable time on tour.
#2 Access the best in planes, trains and automobiles
As China has developed domestically, in country travel options have expanded. New trains, planes and roads have been accompanied by grand new train stations, airports and highways. While this makes getting around easy, logistics can prove a challenge if you’re not familiar with the territory.
As a function of the sheer number of people, most airports in China are incredibly busy, as are the expansive new train stations found along China’s growing high speed train network. If you think you might feel nervous navigating your check in and arrivals, you’re not alone. Even the locals can feel overwhelmed.
The good news is that travel in China can be a breeze. Simply make sure your tour has the option of assisted check in and greeting on arrival. Helping to smooth out the process at these key points of your China tour will save you time, money, and angst.
#3 Travel with a local guide
With many seniors having traveled widely, they’re often curious to learn everything they can about a destination. Hello, local guide!
With deep knowledge of the modern and ancient history of their city, together with an enthusiasm for the best local eats and shopping, travel with a local guide will make a China tour for seniors something special. In fact, check just about any tour review and the feedback nearly always refers to the guide.
What you really want to know when you book your tour is:
Does your guide speak English?
Will your guide meet you on arrival?
Will they help with check in and check out?
Will your guide help you board your train and plane?
Will your local guide help you spy the fake from the authentic local pottery piece you just have to buy?
Will they take you to their favourite local restaurant for the ultimate traditional local dish?
Will you have 24/7 access to your guide?
Will your guide greet you with a smile?
Individually, these might seem like small things, but together they all add up when you’re traveling through China.
#4 Sleep in comfort at centrally located hotels
After a day on your feet exploring the sights, there’s nothing better than a comfortable night’s sleep in a clean, quality hotel. Yes, you could rough it if you really want to, but why would you when there are ample alternatives.
Accommodating the travelers who appreciate being cared for while on their China tour, four and five star international brand hotel chains have you covered. With many centrally located and meeting accessibility requirements, these hotels can make a China tour for seniors more enjoyable and relaxing. Instead of feeling like a hotel, you’ll feel like you’re comfortably taken care of while you’re away from home.
When booking your China tour for seniors, ask about the hotels on offer and whether they are located in close proximity to sights to avoid spending unnecessary hours traveling between locations. Check the hotel reviews too. Travelers opinions count and it’s good to know others have enjoyed positive experiences.
#5 Travel at sensible times
Have you ever noticed tours often schedule travel times between destinations at the most inconvenient times?
Pre-dawn departures backed up by late night arrivals can leave you feeling tired and jaded when you should be enjoying every minute of the day. The last thing you want is to feel you’re being hustled into a sheep pen by your tour guide.
If you’re planning a China tour for seniors, look for one with a sensible itinerary you can live with. For example, while afternoon flights might come at a slightly higher cost, there are benefits. It means traveling at a more relaxed pace, fully enjoying the day, and creating travel memories you hold onto instead of ones you’d rather forget.
In the same vein, consider whether you want choices when it comes to meals. With food being one of the great joys of travel, think about whether you really want to be shepherded into an all-you-can-eat lunch or dinner designed for tourists. This is a feature of many tours but this approach deprives you of choices and opportunities. China’s cuisine is diverse and part of your travel adventure should include the chance to experience the best food on offer. Whether you’re after the most delicious dumplings, finest Peking duck, or sizzling Szechuan hotpot, check in with your tour company about how you can experience China’s best food.
#6 Look for accessibility features
The Chinese hold their elders in high regard, so it’s no surprise that as their awareness of the needs of Western travelers grows, so too has investment in accessibility features in high traffic locations.
If your mobility isn’t what it once was, no need to be concerned while touring in China. You will find dedicated accessibility restrooms, access ramps, and assisted boarding and disembarking from planes, trains, and vehicles. And if you feel the heat or cold, air-conditioning can be adjusted in vehicles and hotel rooms for a more comfortable experience.
When booking your tour, check in with your travel consultant about the provisions made for people who need accessibility assistance. Be specific and clear about what you need so you’re not left stranded or missing out on sights while on tour.
#7 Make sure you can get help on tour
Anyone who’s ever traveled will know there’s always the potential for things to go awry. While this mig