The difference between a cheap and budget cycling holiday
I think that before I continue typing, it is worth noting that our self-guided cycling holidays cannot be described as ‘cheap cycling holidays,’ and even calling them ‘budget cycling holidays’ isn’t accurate either. We aren’t thrifty with our hotel choices, and we do not use campsites.
We don’t encourage people to bring their bikes or complete a cycle tour on a shoestring budget. We suggest doing the opposite! However, keep reading!
You might be wondering why we are writing a post like this, but you’ll soon realize that going on a cycling holiday using our method is more cost-effective, more enjoyable, and possibly, more importantly, less time-consuming, which has a value that you cannot easily define.
Cycling holiday planning can be a cost in itself
One of the most time-consuming elements of cycle touring is planning. You can spend hours trawling through maps, online cycling planners, or reading through guidebooks, only to be left with a choice of a left or right turn in a remote part of rural Italy!
The good thing about all our cycling holidays is that everything is pre-planned in advance.
All the route notes are provided, the day-by-day itinerary is preset, and there are digital files to download before arrival.
You’ll also receive comprehensive Bikeline cycling maps and navigational stickers to guide you along the way, appearing at key junctions and turning points.
Time is a valuable commodity, and getting lost can be a stressful experience!
Affordable cycling holiday destinations and locations
We offer over 80 cycle tours throughout Europe to choose from, with destinations ranging from Switzerland – known for being one of Europe’s more expensive locations – to Portugal, one of the more budget-friendly options.
Even better is choosing a cross-border cycling holiday, allowing you to experience a more expensive location one day and then a cheaper one the next day. Lake Constance, bordering Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, is a great example of this!
You have the option to go on a 5-star cycling holiday with included gourmet meals in converted French chateaux, or you can carry your belongings in a pannier at the other end of the scale.
However, we prefer to promote affordable cycling holidays that do not cost thousands of pounds per person.
Budget cycling holidays aren't the cheapest option
Choosing the right accommodation is a crucial consideration for a cycling holiday. Opting for budget and cheap locations independently might lead to staying in a crowded, peak-season campsite with limited tent-pitching space, often at a cost comparable to a budget hotel.
On the other hand, a budget hotel may lack dedicated bike storage and a convenient location, resulting in potential disagreements with hotel staff about bringing your bike into the room.
Fortunately, there is a better alternative. All the hotels selected for our cycle tours are carefully chosen by our wider team to ensure they meet the expectations of leisure cyclists.
This includes proximity to the cycling routes and is conveniently located not far from the city centre for post-ride drinks and food.
Rest assured, there will always be a designated space to park your bike! And yes, breakfast is included in every holiday.
We provide most of the equipment for your cycle tour
The most crucial piece of equipment on a cycling holiday is the bike. It serves as your companion and mode of transport, and you'll likely develop a strong attachment to your hired bike over the week. While it may be tempting to bring your bike on a cycling holiday, it is not a cost-effective decision.
Bringing your bike entails additional expenses, such as shipping fees for a heavy hybrid via plane or the cost of taking your car on a ferry. Moreover, your road bike may not be suitable for leisure cycling routes due to varying terrains.
In the event of a mechanical issue, fixing problems on the road can be both costly and challenging. Even a simple problem like a puncture could potentially take hours to address, depending on the type of bike.
For a more cost-effective and convenient option, consider hiring a bike from us for approximately £99. We provide good quality and robust hybrid bikes, with options for electric bikes and sportier hybrids available on most tours.
In case of any issues, a quick call to the local support line ensures that the necessary repairs or assistance will be promptly arranged. This way, you can focus on enjoying your cycling holiday without the added stress of bike logistics.
Food costs and eating out and about whilst on tour
One of the most crucial aspects of a cycling holiday is food. While you'll spend a significant amount of time on the bike, there's also a fair share of time dedicated to eating and drinking. It's important to note that cycling holidays are not a race, and there's no need to rush to the next hotel as quickly as possible.
We encourage cyclists to take the time to stop at nice restaurants in the evening or local cafes for ice creams and snacks. However, eating out every day can add up in terms of costs. Keep in mind that you are on holiday, but there are some tips and tricks to keep your dining expenses in check.
One recommendation is to stop by local supermarkets. Here, you can easily assemble a cycling picnic with cheese, ham, and fresh bread, which can be enjoyed in a picturesque spot at a fraction of the cost of a cafe.
By embracing this approach, you not only save money but also have the opportunity to savour the local flavours in a relaxed and scenic setting. Exploring local supermarkets adds an element of cultural immersion, allowing you to experience the daily life of the region you are cycling through.
So, take a leisurely approach to your meals, relish the local cuisine, and make the most of your cycling holiday by combining the joy of riding with the pleasures of affordable and delightful dining experiences.