Hiring a bike is always an option when going abroad, but hire costs can be expensive and if you are like me your faithful bike is set up how you like it and no ‘hire’ bike can quite compare. Fortunately, there are many ways to take your bike abroad – here are just a few options to consider.
This post comes on a day when I have spent, the best part of the day packing up my bike ready to fly to Romania for the Carpathian Stage Race. I am flying with my bike and borrowed a bike bag of a friend. It’s a Evoc bag with wheels making life easier to wheel it about. There are other ways to travel abroad with your bike so below is some information on what else you could do:
Travelling by car
If you’re travelling abroad by car, you could consider getting a bicycle rack fitted. A bicycle rack can be fitted on the roof or on the boot of your car. Both types of rack have their advantages and disadvantages – roof racks allow easy access to the boot but will add height to your vehicle, whilst boot racks won’t affect the height of your vehicle but will limit access to the boot. Consider which one is more practical for you.
If you like to go on family bike trips abroad, you could even consider investing a caravan or a motor home that will allow to carry multiple bicycles. Caravans could allow accommodation on the move as well, saving you money on hotels. You can look into local caravan storage if you don’t have space outside your home to park your caravan and you can even rent out your caravan when not using it to make some extra money. Pickup trucks and vans are other good options for carrying multiple bike racks.
Travelling by Eurostar
An alternative option could be to take the Eurostar to Europe. By booking ahead, you can reserve a space for your bike on the same train as you – not booking ahead could mean waiting for your bike for several hours on the other end whilst an available space is found. There’s a fee of £30 for taking you bike on the Eurostar. If you’ll willing to bag or box up you bike, it will count as oversized luggage and only cost you £25 – however this can entail dismantling your bike.
Travelling by air
It’s also possible to fly with a bike, which could be useful if you’ve got plans for a cycle trip further afield. Different airlines charge different rates for taking a bike – in some cases it’s free, whilst the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet charge £15. Most airlines require you to bag or box up your bike. Bagging it up in a see-through bike bag Box My Wheels are also a great option, where you hire a bike box for your trip.
Plan ahead when getting to an airport – if you’re taking the train to an airport and need to go via the London Underground, you may find that some lines don’t permit you to bring a bike.
Travelling by ferry
Taking a ferry is one of the more convenient methods of travelling abroad by bike. Most ferry operators charge only £5 and it’s a simple case of rolling it on and locking it up. If you’re taking a foot passenger ferry, be wary that your bike could be stored on the outside of the boat exposed to the elements, so make sure it’s well locked and consider taking off any luggage you may have with you.