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4 Things You Should Know About Travelling With Your Bike

5 Essential items

By Katy Mairs

Bicycles are a one-way ticket to adventure, and travelling with one allows us to explore unfamiliar surroundings, venture off the beaten path, meet new people and make new friends. Thankfully, travelling with your bike in tow isn’t actually as complicated as you might think, even long-haul. In fact, there are plenty of options to help you get your bike from point A to point B. Here are some useful things to consider next time you jet off with your bicycle.

1. How do I pack my bike for travel?

No matter how you choose to transport your bike, you will likely be required to pack it in some kind of case so that it is secure for transit. The last thing you want is to get your destination, only to find that your bike hasn’t arrived in one piece. You’ll want to do everything to avoid that situation. Typically, the two options are either packing it into a bike bag or into a bike box. Which one you choose will depend on a number of different things.

Packing your bicycle into a bag is, arguably, much more convenient as it takes much less time to actually pack. Bike bags also tend to be well protected, so you’ll have that peace of mind whilst travelling. However, the downside is that they can be heavy, and you’ll need to buy one. On the other hand, whilst travelling with a bike box can be challenging due to the time it takes to dismantle and pack properly, it is considerably cheaper to get your hands on one (most bike shops give them away for free) and they save a lot of weight. So, if you’re on a strict budget and an even stricter weight allowance, a bike box could be your saving grace.

Don’t forget, even if you’re not an expert when it comes to dismantling and packing bicycles, for a small fee your local bike shop should be more than happy to lend you their assistance.

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2. How do I take my bike on a flight?

If you want to save yourself from a world of stress at the check-in desk, it’s always a good idea to book your bicycle onto your flight online beforehand. Doing so can also help you to save your pennies, as many airlines will offer a cheaper rate for booking your additional item online. As well, be sure to choose your airline wisely, as each and every one will have different policies when it comes to booking a bicycle onto your air travel. There will be different weight allowances and fees to consider, so be sure to take the time to do your research. Check the weight allowance, and then double-check it again - knowing your allowance before packing will help you to decide whether to pack your bike in a bag or box.

Don’t forget, if you’re carrying your bicycle with you on your flight, you may have to check it in at a different desk, perhaps one that is specifically for oversized luggage. Keep this in mind for when you get to your destination, too, as it may arrive at a different luggage point.

How do I take my bike on a flight

3. How do I take my bike on a train?

Taking your bicycle with you on a train journey is considerably easier than on a flight. You won’t have to worry about weight allowance, though do keep in mind that some train companies charge extra for bike bags. If you’re in doubt, don’t hesitate to check online or call the company directly to ascertain exactly what you should do when carrying your bike with you. As well, most trains have dedicated areas or compartments specially designed for oversized luggage and bicycles, though be very careful not to block any emergency exits.

4. Shipping your bike ahead.

If travelling with your bicycle in tow sounds like nothing but a nightmare waiting to happen, you could always alleviate the stress by shipping your bike ahead to your destination, meaning you can travel completely luggage-free. Though you will still be required to dismantle your bicycle and pack it up so that it’s secure for transit, luggage shipping companies can offer a welcomed, affordable alternative for your bike transportation.

In many instances, you will pay a set price depending on the size and weight of your specific bike, helping you to avoid those pesky excess baggage fees at the airport. As well, you won’t have to worry about waiting in line at the check-in desk, nor will you have to worry about waiting around for the appearance of your bike at the luggage carousels. You can spend less time worrying and stressing, and more time enjoying your travel experience as a whole.

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Date Last Modified: 18/07/18