by Nikki McKee
In Part 1, I wrote how I was a former independent traveller who was now a convert to travelling in group tours. I’ve since discovered another level of this sort of travel – Private Tours!
Recently Nicola and I took a trip to China – we had a blast, loved the people and the country and can’t wait to share our photos and video with you over the coming months.
Nicola and Kurt in Tiananmen Square, Beijing
One of the things we loved most was that we were on a Private Tour. We had our own personal guide and driver throughout the tour and they went out of their way to make sure we were cared for. In a practical sense, aside from being treated like royalty, we were collected from our hotel, taken to where we wanted to go and to what had been planned for the day and when we were done, we were done. We didn’t have to wait for a bus load of other people to take toilet stops and we could ask as many or as few questions as we wanted. Everything was tailored to our needs.
Nikki with out driver and private car in Beijing
Arriving in a foreign country late and with no luggage it was a God send to have our guide waiting for us at 2am to take us to our hotel. We didn’t just get dropped at the door and waved goodbye, he checked us in and made sure we were sorted before his night ended. Each day we came down to the lobby to find our guide waiting for us, the driver at the door with and air-conditioned car (it was summer) and bottles of water for us.
We’d discuss our route and plans for the day as well as get to know a little about the guides, their families, their history and their way of life. It was like chatting with a new friend who then showed us their city.
Nikki with Xing Ding at the City Wall in Xian
Nicola with Xiao (Michael) in Shanghai
Some places in China are very busy with a lot of people. When we were done visiting and sightseeing our guide would simply make a call to the driver and then we’d be picked up and off we went. No navigating the masses and no waiting around.
Nikki and Xing Ding at the Terracotta Warriors in Xian
All of this meant that our time in China was relaxing and fun. We never felt rushed or overwhelmed nor too tired from the day’s activities. We could rest when we wanted and take things at our own pace.
We planned things before we went and had an itinerary, then once we arrived in China, all we had to do was show up! We were taken care of from start to finish and every step in between. A truly beautiful way to travel.
And here is a short video that gives you a snippet of what a Private Tour versus a Group Tour looks like in China.