One Day Tours – Tips & Traps
One-day tours attract visitors by virtue of their low price, flexibility, and the possibility of learning a fair amount about city or place in a single day. An itinerary of this kind usually lasts 8 or 9 hours should include the main attractions in a city or nearby cities. However, provision for accommodation is seldom included for visitors who have come some distance to join such a tour. By booking a one-day trip through an agency, you are saved from the complicated matters of transportation, tickets, time, dining, and routes. All you need to do is to show up at an agreed assembly point on time and follow your guide and driver to have an enjoyable day. However, not all tours go well and there can be traps for the unwary. Thus, TCG provides some practical tips for you to avoid any disappointment during your visit.
Do not believe in the “warm-hearted” guides or drivers.
At railway stations and bus stops, there are “kind” persons who offer to show you the way to the attractions you have come to see, but most of them are neither qualified guides nor recognized tourist bus drivers. They attract visitors with low price and in the main provide a poor service or may even cheat their unwary clients.
Counter-measures: Please ignore these “good deeds” and book your day visit from a legal travel agency. Ask to see their tour guide licenses or ID cards and take a photo or record of the numbers if necessary. See How to Identify a Real Leading China Tour Operator.
Avoid the attraction of low price.
Many unqualified travel agencies attract visitors with low prices, and are unable to assure the quality of their services. Visitors will find they are charged extra money for self-service attractions which should have been included in the price when booking a tour. Some visitors have been known to have been abandoned in the middle of nowhere as they refused to pay additional charges.
Counter-measures: The prices of one-day tours offered by legal agencies are not dissimilar from each other, so you should be skeptical about cut price cheap services. The flyers you are handed by touts on the street are usually unreliable. Check with two or more agencies and compare not only the prices but also what they provide by way of sights and services.
Refuse to sign an unclear or illegal contract.
A valid and legal tourism contract should include all the details of the tour. However, some unqualified agencies deceive visitors with a vague contract. Without clear contract terms, they can change itineraries without notifying visitors. For example, Michael planned to visit the Badaling Great Wall in Beijing and booked a one-day trip. However, his guide took him to the Water Pass where the entrance fee is only half of that for Badaling. He did not get back the amount he was overcharged as the contract said he booked a one-day tour to the Great Wall and did not specify the Badaling Great Wall.
Counter-measures: It is necessary to sign a contract with your travel agency. Remember to include everything into the contract, and refuse to make any verbal agreement. Check that the terms of the contract are clearly stated: itineraries (names and numbers of attractions, and visiting time at each sites), pick-up and drop-off time and location, number of visitors, transportation, dining, optional attractions at your own expense, other services, liability for breach of contract, and telephone numbers in the case of complaint. Pay only after you have signed the contract, and ask for a receipt.
The shopping traps
A one-day tour organized by travel agencies usually includes at least one shopping stop, but shopping is not compulsory. However, some agencies squeeze visiting time and stop at two or more shops; they even endeavor to force visitors to shop. What’s worse, many tourist shops sell fake goods, especially those who offer large discounts.
Counter-measures: Be a rational consumer. Do not be attracted merely by a low price or discount, and buy only those things you really need. You should be skeptical about what the “experts” recommend. We also suggest that you do not buy expensive things if you are not familiar with them and are able to assess their quality and value. Remember to ask for receipt when you pay.
See more information on Avoiding China Travel Traps
As a leading China tour operator, TravelChinaGuide (TCG) provides one-day tours to the hottest destinations in China, including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Li River, and the cities of Guilin, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. We also offer tailor-made one-day tours that are arranged to meet our clients’ specific requirements. We promise that our one-day tours:
1. Have professional and helpful tour guides and drivers regardless of the size of your group;
2. Pick you up and drop you off at agreed time and place;
3. Provide clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned cars according to the size of your group;
4. Though our fixed itineraries do not include meals as most food outlets in the immediate vicinity of attractions are of low quality, our guides are always ready to provide useful information about good restaurants;
5. No forced shopping and no Chinese medicine shop.
TCG Selected One-day Tours:
Beijing One-day Packages, One Day to Terracotta Warriors,
One-day Itineraries to Shanghai, Day Trip to Guilin,
Li River Hiking Adventure