Planning A Road Cycling Vacation: A Beginner’s Guide

Plan the ultimate road cycling vacation and explore the world from your saddle! Discover the best countries, essential gear, and itinerary tips for an unforgettable cycling adventure.

Taking a vacation has changed significantly over recent years, particularly as social media makes us yearn for trips where we see the world and revert to a simpler time. 

Influencers and the increased need to get away from stressful jobs and relax have led to a range of new holiday options, including glamping, caravanning, hostelling, and more. 

A more specific option that some avid cyclists will enjoy is a road cycling holiday. If you’ve never traveled with your bike and taken the time to explore the world by road, now could be your perfect chance. 

What Is A Road Cycling Vacation?

Like a road trip, a road cycling trip allows you to see more of the world, but this time from the saddle of your bike rather than the driver’s seat of a vehicle. 

Road cycling vacations come in all shapes and sizes, and you can customize your itinerary and plan to fit your expectations and biking abilities. 

So, if you wanted to, you could consider planning a holiday that involves cycling around different regions and then staying locally in hostels with your bike. Or, if you want more freedom and independence, you could use a van to transport you and your bicycle to the destinations you love.

With so many options to choose from, taking a road cycling vacation could be an ideal option for many fans of biking and traveling.  

What Are The Best Countries To Consider? 

When you’re planning a road cycling holiday, the first consideration has to be where you’re going to go- that’s the most exciting part, after all! Whether you want sun, sea, sand, and cycling or are looking for a more urban break, there are plenty of places in the world to think about.

The main consideration most road cyclists will take into account when choosing a location for their vacation is how accommodating the country is for cyclists. Some countries have dedicated cycle lanes and strict laws to ensure the safety of cyclists on the roads, while others are less vigilant.  

Additionally, you need to consider budget, distance, and accessibility. While some countries have lots of beautiful scenery, they can also have poor-quality roads that aren’t well maintained and, therefore, hazardous for cyclists. Also, if the most popular tourist areas are only accessible via water or sandy beaches, then these won’t work well for cyclists. 

Some countries that are great options for bike vacations thanks to their good infrastructure and beautiful scenery include:

  • The Netherlands
  • Denmark 
  • Portugal
  • Italy
  • China
  • South Africa
  • Canada 
  • Australia
  • France
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand

What Will You Need? 

Every traveller is different, and the items you need will depend on the itinerary you plan and where you’re going. Still, some of the essentials everyone should consider include:

A Bike

It sounds obvious, but you need to think about the bike you’ll be bringing. You could take your own bike on the trip, in which case you need to make sure you have a protective cover and that the bike is strong enough to withstand the journey and the rides, it’ll have to take when it gets there. If you don’t want to risk damaging your own precious bike, consider renting one when you arrive. Some regions offer bike rentals that you can book in advance to avoid disappointment, although you will have to put up with whatever make and model they offer, rather than being able to ride your own favorite bike. 

Bike Travel Insurance

As well as personal travel insurance to keep you safe in case of an accident, you also need to think about insuring your bike during your trip. If you’re taking your own bike, then you need to make sure it’s protected in case it gets damaged in transit or due to an incident while you’re abroad. Velosurance offers comprehensive bicycle travel insurance to keep your precious metal steed safe and give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip. You can customize your cover to suit your needs and ensure that your bike is safe wherever you are. 

Cycling Safety Equipment

Safe cycling is important everywhere, but it’s particularly crucial when you’re away from your home in a foreign country. An accident could not only hurt you and damage your bike but also leave you with a hefty bill and be a disconcerting experience, especially if you don’t speak the national language. So, you need to make sure that you have all the cycling safety gear you need. Most countries have laws stating that you need to wear a helmet, but you also need to take high-vis gear, bike lights, and a robust lock to keep you and your bike safe on your trip. 


Black mountain bike parked beside concrete wall displaying a map
Black mountain bike parked beside concrete wall displaying a map

GPS systems and smartphone apps can run out of battery or struggle to get data in rural locations, so it’s worth investing in some physical maps just in case. Make sure you pick up the most recent edition of any map and that it covers the areas you want to visit. 

What Should Your Road Cycling Vacation Itinerary Include?

Planning a rough itinerary for your cycling vacation means that you can feel confident knowing where you’re going and what you’re up to. It also allows you to fit in everything you want to do during your trip. 

Some of the factors to consider when putting together your cycling vacation schedule include:

  • Travel Time
    Make sure you factor in how long it will take to travel to and from your home to your initial and final destinations. Have all your paperwork ready so that you’re not delayed as you enter a new country. You also need to allow for travel time between different routes and attractions, as this can eat into the time you get to spend having fun on your trip. 
  • Budget
    The cost of your cycling vacation will depend on how many attractions you want to visit and how far you want to travel by car or public transport. It is possible to plan a cycling vacation on a budget, but if you want guided tours or exceptional experiences, you’ll have to pay a premium. Work out how much you’re willing to spend on your trip before you to ensure you don’t face any unexpected shocks when you get back. 
  • Your Cycling Ability
    Your endurance and how far you can cycle will determine the routes you’re able to take and the guided tours you can go on. If you can’t cycle for long distances without a break, and the roads are long, straight and unsafe to stop on, then you might want to consider a different option. Choose your route based on the idea that you can complete it and enjoy it safely, so you can have fun and push yourself at a reasonable level. 
  • Unexpected Changes
    Even the best-laid plans can go wrong, and unexpected delays or changes can mean that you can’t do everything you want to. Make sure that if you are delayed, you have contact details for upcoming accommodation and service providers, so you can let them know. You should also work out rough contingency plans just in case things go wrong, so you can still get the most out of your trip. 

Our Final Thoughts On Planning Your Dream Road Cycling Vacation

Ultimately, every vacation is unique, and planning will only get you so far. The thrill is enjoying an unforgettable experience that isn’t scheduled to within an inch of its life. 

Still, it does pay to be prepared, especially if you want to cram in loads of great bike rides and stay safe when cycling abroad. 

Holiday planning takes time and forethought, but all that preparation is worth it when you get to enjoy your dream vacation! If you love cycling, then these tips should help you to plan a holiday with your bike that you’ll never forget.