In Navigating China with a Group, Part 1, I discussed how WildChina effectively leads groups of travelers through China. What are best practices for travelers in these groups? Here are pointers from WildChina’s Sherry Dou, Director of Group Journeys, on how to be a great group traveler in China:
1. Be on time: This may seem like obvious advice, but especially in a country where timing can be a bit chaotic, being on time for group activities in China is truly important. If the group is ready to go when it needs to be, timing changes are easier to overcome.
2. Listen closely to guide briefings: Some of your guides‘ information will be exciting details on your next destination; some will be less-than-thrilling logistical nitty gritty. Regardless, be a savvy and safe traveler: your best service to yourself on a group trip will be heeding your guide’s advice.
3. Make your dietary restrictions and allergies known: China has a wide variety of delicious cuisines. Depending on where your group travels, you may have more limited access to the foods you usually eat, and local communities may not be familiar with allergies and dietary restrictions common in your home country. Make these clear to your guide early on, so that separate preparations can be made for you at group meals.
4. If you’re lost, stay put: Did you veer off from your fellow travelers in Yubeng Village on WildChina’s Heart of Shangri-La journey? Stay where you are. Your guides know the areas to which you travel inside and out, whereas you’ve just arrived. Your guide can retrace your steps and reconnect you to the group.