Europe has some of the best cycling routes on earth but travelling with your bike on the quest for that perfect road, though certainly appealing, could leave you out of pocket.
Cycling enthusiasts are never too far from their bikes at any one time and for many, only cycling in the UK is too restrictive. Whether you’re planning on tackling the Alpine mountains, the sandy tracks of southern Portugal, or following the meandering Danube, you can be sure that Europe’s cycling routes will stagger and astound even the most seasoned cyclist.
As with all holidays, determining the most cost efficient means of travelling is a time consuming and frustrating task – especially when information is thin on the ground! Sometimes it helps to have a little advice.
Thoroughly Compare the Prices
Anyone who has flown abroad will be aware that different airlines charge different amounts regardless of whether you’re taking a bike aboard or not. Often it can be difficult to compare airline prices all in one place but, according to this graphic by Yellow Jersey, you can save up to £160, so it pays to thoroughly research!
Generally speaking, the prices between airlines differ depending on the quality of service they provide, and the space and weight restrictions on-board. The latter varies hugely with some carriers letting you travel with a 30-liter backpack with no extra cost, while others will charge you for anything heavier than a toothbrush (so to speak!). For the most part, airlines will provide you with a baseline cost that covers you for one large bag. However, some airlines – such as British Airways, Swiss Air, and Tap – will actually include the cost of travelling with a bicycle in the luggage allowance.
It’s certainly important to have an idea of the flight costs before you travel, but it’s also important to bear in mind that often the best value flight might not be the most cost efficient for your trip overall.
Know What You’re Taking
Another important thing to consider is the amount of gear you’ll be taking. You might require a large and expensive vehicle to transfer you to your hotel. If you are planning on taking a long trip with heavy gear, it’s worth considering whether the airline cost of extra weight is going to tip you over budget. Similarly, the cheapest airline might not take you to the airport that is closest to your final destination.
Though these things may seem somewhat obvious, sometimes it’s easy to get preoccupied with airline costs when planning your trip. Resources detailing what to pack to ensure you’re travelling with the bare essentials will avoid you being stung for a £30 fine at the airport. Also, packing light means less to carry on the road!
It’s important to remember that, although the overheads are bound to add up, that taking time to find the most cost effective means of travelling will pay off when you are taking your bike to Europe.