Heading off on a cycling holiday can be an expensive business. Having worked hard to save up enough money to ride your bike on new and exciting roads and trails around the world, many of us fall into the trap of wasting our hard-earned cash by not shopping around for a better deal.
At SCICON, we want to inspire you to travel and explore the world by bike as much as possible, so we put together these handy tips to help you get the most for your money on your next cycling holiday.
Now is probably a good time to highlight how airline bike bag fees, additional charges and policies can vary significantly. Before you book, check out our articles on how airline fees stack up when travelling in Europe, North America or Australasia, comparing how bike-friendly each airline is as this can save you a lot of hassle and money from the outset.
Avoid the crowds
Many travellers book their holidays around the working week, meaning they set off one weekend and return the following… or the one after. Whilst this may keep your boss happy, it does mean you’re flying during a more expensive period. If you are able to travel mid-week or, ideally at a time inconvenient for most other holiday makers e.g. late at night or early in the morning, you’re likely to find the cost of flights is significantly lower.
Similarly, if you’re open to travelling to and from ‘out of town airports’ instead of more popular ones, you often save more money than the cost of additional onward travel to your destination, albeit with a slightly increased overall journey time.
It’s no secret that the cost of travel and accommodation will ramp up the closer to the date of travel you book. However, equally important is having the option to book accommodation which doesn’t require additional travel costs to and from the nearest source of food, nightlife or perhaps most importantly, good riding regions! The earlier you book, the greater choice you’ll have so you will be able to choose a place to stay which suits both your needs and your budget.
If you have the flexibility to book your trip last minute, there are great deals to be had but you also run the risk of not finding something suitable or within your price range so we’d always recommend booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.
Price comparison sites
Trawling through a long list of airlines and accommodations is not only mind numbing but also ineffective. Various price comparison sites can quickly pull together a list of available flights and places to stay, showing the best prices available for every conceivable option, date range and destination. You can often piece together a great deal not usually offered by any individual airline which involves travelling out with one operator and back with another. You may also find that flying out from one airport and returning to another works out cheaper.
There are a few cycling holiday aggregators out there which will piece a holiday together for you for a fee. This can be offset through lower rates they negotiate with preferred hotels, airlines etc. meaning you can end up with a relatively good deal. These often come with the added benefit of guidance on the best regions and routes to explore, arranged transfers for you and your bike or even a guide at the other end to offer local knowledge on the best flowing trails or traffic-free roads.
Take a look at our Travel Partners here.
Labour intensive it may be, but piecing every part of your holiday together can be the best way to build an amazing holiday without blowing through your budget too quickly. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with independent accommodation and local travel providers as you stand to really bag yourself a good deal if visiting outside peak holiday season.
Off the beaten track
Cycling hotspots such as Mallorca and the Alps cater well for cyclists of all disciplines. The huge amount of riders they see visit every year means that you’re never far from a welcoming shop, cafe or tour guide looking to meet the demand. However, whilst heading to a region less frequented by other riders might mean you find yourself on your own in terms of bike repairs, if you’re confident you know how to maintain your ride and are looking for a real adventure, this could prove to be a great option if you’re on a budget. Check out our post on XPDTN3 exploring Oman here for some inspiration to head off the beaten track.
Wherever you travel to, be sure to let us know all about it using #SeeTheWorld