In Singapore, travelling is not only reserved for fit singletons with few responsibilities on their back. Despite having young children or retiree parents, the sandwiched generation aspires to travel at least once yearly.
When it comes to travelling with different generations, travel agencies can help to organise fuss-free tours where there’s no need to choose where to go and what to eat at every juncture. While younger folks might find this torture in itself, for families, it means fewer decisions to agonise over and quarrel about. Plus, you get to meet other families and your retiree parents can also meet fellow senior citizens.
Looking at the prices that we’ve found below, tour agencies don’t always cost more than going free and easy too. Which tour agency should you go to if you’re looking for a fuss-free family holiday?
Best tour agencies for senior citizens 2022
|Tour agent/organiser||Specialty||Price range|
|Community Centres CC/ Resident Corners RC||Short trips to neighbouring countries||$|
|CTC Travel||Tours in unique parts of China||$$|
|SA Travel||Lots of European tours to choose from||$$|
|WTS Travel||Destinations to Southeast Asian countries||$$|
|ASA Holidays||Adventurous destinations like Siberia and Iran||$$|
|Dynasty Travel||Ease of booking on their website and mobile app||$$$|
|Chan Brothers||Tour groups hosted by celebrities, DIY Holiday Farm||$$$|
Of course, do keep in mind that package prices are not all there is to your holiday expenditure. You have to take into account entrance fees to optional attractions and shopping budgets.
Community Centre/ Residents’ Corner Organised Tour Packages
The nearest CC and RC used to be a good place to start if one was looking for cheap and easy trips to neighbouring countries or nearby islands. Since the target audience were mainly senior citizens to begin with, it will be a good chance for people of that age group to mingle and make friends.
Furthermore, the prices were very affordable. A 2D1N Malacca or Batam guided trip was less than $200 per person pre Covid-19, inclusive of return transport and 4-star accommodation. Singaporean citizens and PRs also enjoyed subsidised rates. These trips aren’t available currently, but you can watch out for upcoming trips at the onePA events site.
CTC Travel used to be best known for their trips in Asia, particularly unique tours to China destinations like Huangshan and Jiuzhaigou.
That said, there are trips venturing to Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam or Cambodia too. The prices are reasonable if you’re happy to do without the fancy hotels although you usually can opt to top-up and upgrade to 5-star hotels.
CTC Travel allows you to customise your own trips if being herded into buses on a tight time frame is not your travel style. The more adventurous can get to explore more authentic accommodation options such as homestays, farm stays, camper vans etc.
If lazing around and gorging on good food is one’s idea of a perfect holiday, there are also cruises to choose from too.
CTC Travel also used to offer unique tours that are hosted by celebrities and radio DJs. It’s really cheesy, but if you or your retired parents had a favourite celebrity, it used to be quite an experience to have him/her as their tour guide.
Having read through the reviews on their Facebook page, it seems their tour leaders are dependable and knowledgeable. They go beyond their job scope to help out in the little things like carrying bags for the elderly, providing medication when someone is unwell and helping to serve meals so that everyone can get their food quickly. Based on that, it seems like young children and senior citizens will be well taken care of.
For families travelling with senior citizens who love the scenery and history of Europe, SA Tours offers a myriad of choices at very reasonable prices.
A 10-day Switzerland tour to 5 scenic destinations costs $4,589 while an 12-day Europe tour to 6 cities costs $3,689, while a 12-day trip to Switzerland, France, and Germany costs $4,189.
Past reviews (from pre-Covid times) revealed that their tour guides offer great insights. SA Tours books their customers to Europe on Emirates flights and accommodation ranges from 4 to 5-star hotels depending on destination.
On top of the very reasonable prices, SA Tours often have promotions too.
WTS Travel currently offers destinations to Holland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, which sets them apart from the other agencies so far. Other destinations are quite usual including Batam, Bintan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.
With WTS Travel, one can choose between the basic free and easy tours or upgrade themselves to guided tours. Take Melbourne, for example, you sign on to a basic free and easy tour package, and get to top up for scenic road and beach tours, winery tours, or wildlife sanctuary tours.
If you’re too lazy to figure out a Royal Caribbean booking by yourself, you can also sign up for a Royal Caribbean cruise with WTS Travel.
Current destinations offered by ASA Travel include Seoul, Busan, Santorini, Holland, Istanbul, Turkey, and France. These are pretty adventurous places for young couples and single travellers.
Prices are quite competitive at $3,368 for Spain and Portugal, $3,968 for Spain, $3,648 for Holland, $4,218 for Italy, Switzerland, and France, and more. They offer quality airlines and accommodation types so families can travel in comfort.
ASA Travel used to also offer exclusive cruise tours like 16, 18 or 22-day Alaska cruise + Canadian Rockies pre Covid-19. These were pretty pricey at $4,588 to $7,488 but… these were super atas dream retirement holidays.
Dynasty Travel has been around for over 40 years and is well recognised as an award-winning agency. Their tour prices are on the high side, but you can go on your trip with a peace of mind knowing everything will be well taken care of.
It’s great for families who need that added assurance by a company with good track record to ensure their comfort and enjoyment.
Their website used to be one of the best, allowing you to compare prices based on different departure dates. You could even select your preferred airlines and make payment online. However, the Dynasty Travel website seems like it’s taken too long a hiatus over Covid-19 and currently doesn’t show you any available tours or prices. To give an idea of how much it used to cost, an 11D8N Italy tour in 2019 pre-Covid was priced around $4,500 and an 11D9N New Zealand tour with farm stay was approximately $5,288 before taxes.
Although most of us now prefer to book travel tours online, you might have to go old school once again and call up or visit one of the Dynasty Travel stores to pick up their tour group brochures.
Chan Brothers is another trusted name in Singapore like Dynasty Travel, having won several awards in the past. In terms of comfort level, Chan Brothers probably offers one of the best. The agency typically flies their customers on Singapore Airlines, as long as the destination allows, and they arrange quality five-star hotels as accommodation.
They also offer the largest number of tours. Some exotic ones are like Israel, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Georgia, Armenia and Uzbekistan. Chan Brothers, similar to CTC Travel, used to have tours hosted by celebrities and radio DJs.
They used to offer a selection of celebrity tours so if you couldn’t find your favourite DJ on CTC, you could have found him/her on Chan Brothers instead. Another tour that was great for senior citizens was the D.I.Y Holiday farm tour which was customisable and you could determine the travel type (very luxury, luxury, normal or budget) and the location.
If you haven’t decided on your family tour location, we suggest something like “a city with mountains”. It sounds like it could be a great multi-generational holiday.
Got senior citizen discount?
At the time of writing, there weren’t any specific senior citizen promotional tours going on at the agencies. However, given that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming up soon, you might want to ask in store for special promotions to treat your parents on a holiday.
However, senior citizens can flash their identity card or passport to get a discount off entrance fees and local modes of transportation that are not included in the travel package.
Don’t forget to choose the right travel insurance
It’s important to be well insured for travels, especially for senior citizens who tend to have more vulnerable health conditions. Senior citizens falling ill right before the trip and not being able to get a refund or a postponement of trip is not uncommon. Worse, falling ill during the trip incurs high emergency medical costs.
Travel insurance (make sure it comes with Covid-19 coverage) has always been an optional add-on item when booking tours with the agencies. Although they have tie-ups with insurance agencies and offer a more seamless experience of booking everything all at the same place, do some comparison research on MoneySmart to look for the best Covid-19 coverage and cost.
Note that buying travel insurance for senior citizens can be a tricky affair as many insurers reduce their coverage for travellers above 70 years old.
Any tips to share when planning a family holiday? Share with us below!