Today, Alan and I leave for a small group luxury trip to China. Along the way, we’ll be checking four items off our boomer bucket list: flying on the Dreamliner, riding a high speed train in China, seeing pandas and cruising the Yangtze River.
Our journey begins in Los Angeles, where we’ll board a United Dreamliner flight for Shanghai. Following our own boomer travel advice, we found affordable business class air by flying to and from China on one-way tickets, which means we’ll be arriving via United and departing on JAL.
After a day to recover in Shanghai at The Peninsula, we join a Brown & Keene luxury China tour (23 people) for a 12-day tour of China designed by Ker & Downey. The trip includes two days in Hangzhou, lodging at the Hyatt Regency, a 4-day cruise on the Yangzi Explorer, 2 days in Chengdu (where we’ll see pandas) staying at the Shangri-La Hotel and 2 days at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lijiang. The trip ends with another night at the Peninsula in Shanghai and then it will be time to fly home.
Is your luxury travel agent the real thing? One way to tell is by the items included in your documents box. You should expect more than a fake leather folder with luggage tags.
When the document box came, Alan and I were reminded of just how thoroughly both Brown & Keene and Ker & Downey prepare us for a trip. Inside the box were hats, scarves, mini flash lights, sturdy luggage tags and a small brown canvas pouch that contained a spiral-bound book with every detail of our trip, including the personal international flight arrangements that we made ourselves. Another brochure contained personal travel tips from Ngaire Keene, who made two personal trips to the area to scope out the details before offering it to her clients. She also included photos of which plug adapters we would need in China. A third brochure from Ker & Downey was filled with a reading list, Chinese language phrases to learn and general travel tips including medical advice.
Packing light is crucial to this trip, especially due to the limited carryon weight allowed by domestic airlines in China. I’ve recently been appointed to the Eagle Creek Blogging Gear program. On this trip, I’ll be testing out an Eagle Creek 22″ rolling duffle bag and packing cubes and folders from their Pack-It System. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised but I’ll be writing a full report AFTER I’ve used the gear in China.
I’m not sure how our social media reporting will go during this trip since China blocks Facebook, twitter and gmail. Assistant editor, Nicole, will be helping us out. Look for the hashtag #LuxChina. Want to see where we’re going? Check out our Luxury China Trip Pinterest Board.
Have you traveled on a luxury China tour? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email. This will be the second trip designed by Ker & Downey that we’ve experienced (the first being a luxury safari in South Africa that Alan and I still talk about). And we book all of our cruises through Brown & Keene. China here we come!
Disclosure: Eagle Creek provided gear for our luxury China tour, but the opinions are my own.