What do I take on a cycling holiday?

Like any holiday, if you leave your packing until the last minute, it can be a hellish nightmare to get it all together in a fraction of a second and not forget anything. So here is a cycling holiday checklist that might help you on your way. 

Taking a bike or hiring? That is the BIG question

But before we even get to packing the suitcase, there are a few more things to consider like are you taking a bike or hiring one? If you are taking your own bike, you will need to get it serviced. Should you be hiring a bike, then book well in advance.

Free Man and Woman Riding Bicycle Stock Photo

Going abroad means getting in touch with your airline, and pre-booking a space on your flight, and if you have a transfer, make sure you have a bike box.

Travel Insurance a must item

And most importantly, don’t forget to get yourself travel insurance. You might have an accident, your flight might be delayed, so cover yourself.

There are weather apps around so make sure you take the right gear with you.

If you are taking your bike, here is some of the gear you might wish to consider:

  1. Bike
  2. Bike box or bag
  3. Helmet
  4. Saddle bag
  5. Chamois cream
  6. Water bottles
  7. Puncture repair kit
  8. Hand-pump
  9. Spare inner tubes x2
  10. Pedals
  11. Cycling shoes
  12. Pump (compressed gas canisters are likely to be confiscated if you’re flying)

Bike Accessories

  • Mirror (for handlebar or helmet)
  • Pedal spanner/allen key for pedal
  • Chain lube
  • Replacement chain
  • Front and rear light plus fresh batteries
  • Water bottles with cages
  • Headlight
  • Duct tape for repairs
  • Tail light (with blinking option)
  • Straps/bungee cords
  • Cycling computer/GPS/cell-phone with bike app

Proper clothing for cycling

Depending on weather you should know what to wear. This should include: A jersey top, cap, padded shorts or tights, cycling socks, gloves, and shoes suited to your pedals. For bad weather add these items: Visibility vest, windbreaker, full-fingered gloves, leg and arm warmers and insulation layers for cool air.

Personal essentials

  • First aid box
  • Sunglasses
  • Cash/credit cards
  • Meals and snacks
  • Meds and emergency contact card
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Tissue/toilet paper
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellent
  • Maps and guide books
  • Mobile phone
  • Camera

If you are cycling abroad, airlines count bikes as one item of your standard checked baggage allowance. The bike must be registered at least 24 hours before the flight. If boarding a 737; the max length is 39 in/100 cm. Bikes are treated as checked baggage and also command a fee of around $100 per item. Always good to check as prices may vary among airlines.  

Ryan Air Baggage and Bicycle Policies (subject to change)

General Baggage Fees

1st Checked Bag

€25/£25 (online) €40/£40 (at counter)

2nd Checked Bag



Included for Priority Boarding €6/£6* at booking

Bicycle Baggage Fee

€60/£60 (online) €75/£75 (at counter

Many airlines, but not all, stipulate that tyres and shocks should be deflated or part-deflated for carriage. Aircraft cabin and hold pressures are lower than that at sea level, around that experienced at 2,500m (8,000ft). This might not cause your tyres to explode.

To take a cycle on Easy Jet it will cost you another £45 each way if you book online. The total then would be £375 for the bike, hand luggage and checked in luggage. There are options to reduce this price because they charge extra for hand luggage.

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So now that you are ready to go, here’s a few best places to go

  • Morzine, French Alps
  • Pyrenees, France (and Spain)
  • Dolomites, Italy
  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Cape Town, South Africa
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