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Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Travel for your package tour in China

Updated on December 6, 2013


China is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination. When it first re-opened to ordinary foreigners in the early 1980s it really was a place for the adventurous at heart. Nowadays it is much easier to get to and there are many more choices for travelling around. This hub looks at the pros and cons of travel within the framework of an organised tour or package with a small group of like-minded travellers.

Small Group Travel

Guided excursions should add to your experience
Guided excursions should add to your experience

What are the advantages of booking with a small-group travel organiser


A travel package includes transport and accommodation and, often, much more besides. All of these arrangements are handled behid the scenes saving you from the chores - research, selection, queueing, etc - so that you spend more time seeing and doing the things that you want.


By joining in a group you (and perhaps your friend/partner) will get to meet other like-minded travellers. Just by having chosen the same trip you have something in common.


Organised tours usually include local guides at sites so that you get a good briefing on the site and all that is relevant. This is particularly important in China where some sites still do not have much in the way of an explanation in English.


In a group you will have various levels of support. Your tour guide and group will be on hand to help with day-to-day issues and there should be some form of organization behind the scenes to deal with major issues. You should be provided with a number to call in emergencies, a luxury that independent travellers may only dream of.

Follow The Flag

The flag identifies your tour leader. Some travellers also feel this marks them out as a tourist
The flag identifies your tour leader. Some travellers also feel this marks them out as a tourist

... and the Disadvantages

Restricted Freedom

Tour packages have a set itinerary and by following this your own freedom is restricted to some extent. You may feel that there is not enough time at some sites and that you really are not interested in others.

This issue can be mitigated when the tour package includes an element of free time.


Since travel companies aim to make a profit then you can be sure that the prices they charge are higher than if you make the arrangements yourself. The question is, are you willing to pay that for the convenience?

It All Depends Upon You

Tour packages suit many people but not all. Only you know how much you value the respective factors.

Typically, visitors to China find themselves more willing to join a tour because the language and particularly the script, make it more difficult to travel independently than elsewhere. For some, that is eaxctly the sort of challenge that will make their travels special.


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    • Dubaibudget Tours profile image

      Rebecca 19 months ago from Dubai

      I heard about small group china. really i am also a big fan of you! I want to visit china with your service. Thank you for your kind of information.

      Nice hub!

    • fordie profile image

      fordie 5 years ago from China


      Tours get a bad press, particularly in travel forums where it seems necessary for commenters to display their total independence. They forget that people are different and some have other factors to take into consideration or have other preferences.

      Glad you liked China enough to return. There's certainly plenty here to keep children entertained. My two are itching to travel more and, yes, Chengdu and pandas are at the top of the list.

    • travelschooling profile image

      travelschooling 5 years ago from Australia

      I'm a big fan of small group travel, I've taken quite a few ( met my husband on one) and think they are a brilliant option for single travellers or those on a tight schedule, you can pack so much more into your week or two weeks if you don't have to organise everything yourself.

      We have visited China before, solo, but are considering a small group travel option for our next visit, with our children. Nice hub!

    • fordie profile image

      fordie 5 years ago from China

      Derdriu, I am an independednt traveller. What surprised me was that I enjoyed the challenge of leading groups. My commercial interests may now mean that I am biased but I do feel able to see both sides and can accept that group travel is not right for everyone. Better those who won't enjoy a group trip know in advance and find something that suits them - otherwise the risk is that their displeasure will affect the group as a whole.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      Fordie, What a clear, compact, persuasive summary of small-group travel in China! You do a particularly great job of identifying the pros and cons of opting for the tour-group approach to getting to know another country's culture and geography. Additionally, I like the way you respect different intents and interests in your conclusion: precisely what persuades others to choose the security of the costlier group option compels others to select independent travel.

      Generally, if I don't know the language, then I prefer security over imagination. Otherwise, it depends upon the country's size and my travel dates. What about you?

      Thank you for sharing, voted up + all.

      Respectfully, Derdriu