Senior Travel to China, an Update

Oct 14th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Well I am getting read to celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary… but it’s a little early as we have another three years to go.  China right now is really looking good for the anniversary trip. Other sites include Israel, a cruise on the Mediterranean, Egypt, northern Spain, Lake Country in England, Scandinavia, New Zealand and about a dozen others. Any suggestions?

China’s diversity in landscape, culture and history is amazing so choosing China’s Best is a difficult task. Choosing which tour company is even more difficult. I am a little spoiled having been a tour group leader for the Smithsonian, Scandinavian Seminars and Elderhostel (formerly called Exploritas and now Road Scholar). Affordable Tours are all labeled “First Class” and the prices

look good. I admit that I am a little spoiled as I want a classy/luxury hotel each night, all meals included, a super guide, good connections via bus, train and plane and more. Well, just maybe you can help me make the best choice as I will give you/us several possibilities.

Travel China Guide looks okay. They include the Badaling Great Wall, Peking Duck Dinner, Pandas in Beijing Zoo, Terracotta Soldiers and Horses Museum, Xian City Wall, Yangtze River cruise and a Huangpu River tour. I found that Best Travel Season to for travel to China is from April to October. Let’s keep that in mind. I want the whole shooting match, the works, the no-problems, classy tour. Best Tour China claims that they can do that. I was sure impressed with the website. As a webmaster myself, I found this to be pretty cool. If we are to go to China, why not include Tibet in that tour? Let’s toss in Hong Kong as well.

China Odyssey Tours offers you top 10 China tour packages. You may enjoy the historic and cultural splendor at Beijing and Xian; appreciate the unsurpassed beauty of Guilin; go into the mysterious fairyland Tibet; feel the exotic atmosphere at Shanghai and Hong Kong; get in touch with cute giant pandas in Chengdu; and enjoy the amazing minority culture in Yunnan, etc. All the China tours are private tour, designed exclusively for you. You may also design it by yourself, and we will do it! Still with me?

Ritz Tours claims the “best quality tours at the most affordable prices.” I am attracted already by their “all-inclusive” affordable China travel ad. They have been around for a while and that’s important; here’s how they describe their services:

“In 2010 we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary as the leader in premium escorted vacations to China and Asia. With a mission of uncompromised quality and value, each of our hand-crafted, air-inclusive itineraries incorporates superior luxury accommodations, exceptional tour leaders, sumptuous cuisine and amazing sights and scenery. As we expand into Europe and beyond, we look forward to helping you create an unforgettable vacation of a lifetime.”

This one looks attractive: MAJESTIC CHINA PANORAMA 14 DAYS 12 NIGHTS(2010)[RPH] Tour Code: RPH Visiting: Beijing(3 nts), Xian(2 nts), Guilin(2 nts), Shanghai(3 nts), Hong Kong (2 nts). Price from: 3884.00 + tax(International air and fuel surcharge included). I wonder what the “price from” means here, don’t you?

I was curious about the world’s major tour operators so I asked. Here is what I found. Pacific Delight Tours advertise that they are the “Premier Tour Operator to China and Asia.” This website has eight different tours. Their 18 Day Grand China & Yangtze River Gold Experience (their top tour) runs right at $4,800 based on double occupancy.

Gate1 Travel offers a 17 Day China with 4 Day Yangtze River Cruise from$1899 Land Only / from $2459* Air & Land. I would definitely want the air included. Seventeen days. That’s a long time and would give us lots of see and do. Here is the “kicker” however: 30 meals: 15 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 6 dinners. I am back to zero on this one as I want ALL meals included. If you do not, go for it.

Another Gate1 offer is Grandeur of China & Tibet 12 days from $3,499, 12 day small group escorted tour with no more than 16 guests features carefully selected 5-star hotels, 21 meals, in-depth small group sightseeing, luggage handling, all on-tour transportation and 4 internal flights.

I will undoubtedly check in with my local travel agent who knows a lot more than I and more than I can find out on the Internet. I wrote earlier that I completed a travel agent course, passed the national exam and learned tons. Kinda like when I took an auto mechanics course at our local community college. I learned one thing: “Let someone who knows more that you do to do the repairs.” Besides they have the computer loaded with information that can give you the specifics that you want.

Now check out my Best Chinese Websites page to learn some language and much more.

Good searching.     jeb

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