Top Tips for the Perfect Cycle Tour

Posted on July 13, 2016

Cycling holidays and tours are a fantastic way to really explore everything a destination has to offer, from tiny quaint back streets to stunning mountain views. Whether you’re looking for a new challenge, to indulge your cycling passion, or simply a change from a regular beach holiday, we’ve got tips to ensure you have the perfect cycling trip.

Mountain biking - woman on bike, Dolomites, Italy

Independent or Tour Operator

It’s completely up to you – many people find a scheduled tour with other riders much more fun and relaxing than trying to plan a route themselves, whereas others prefer to get going on solo adventures. If this is your first tour it might be worth booking with an operator to get the experience, then you can book future solo trips. There are a whole wealth of tours available all over the world, so do some research and find the best one to suit your passions and budget.



The fitness level required for your trip will totally depend on the terrain you plan to ride on and the distance you want to travel each day. To avoid any mishaps (and dreaded saddle sores), make sure you prepare for your trip by practicing, for example riding to work is great preparation for a city tour, whereas mountain biking at weekends will be better for on and off road adventure preparations.



If you have a bike that you’re comfortable with, that you service regularly and that is in good condition, it will probably be better to take it with you as opposed to hiring one when you arrive. However, you can always enquire with the tour company to see if you can rent equipment locally or from them – just make sure they’re of a good standard, otherwise your whole trip could be over before you even get started. If you do take your own bike, make sure you tell the airline ahead of time, so you know whether you have to pay a flat fee, or if it’s included in your baggage allowance.

Whether you take your own bike or rent one, it’s always a good idea to do some quick research on bike repairs, it shouldn’t take long but will save time on your trip should something happen.  The basics to read up on include changing tubes, repairing punctures, replacing chains and adjusting brakes.

Remember that a helmet is an investment, especially when cycling abroad, so make sure you get a good one! Choose shoes and clothes depending on the weather and terrain in your chosen destination,  but make sure you get base layers, gloves, lycra shorts (to wear under your baggy shorts) and good quality shoes.



Most standard travel insurance policies will cover ‘cycling’, however, activities such as off-road cycling or cycling at altitude may require additional cover, so check the T&Cs carefully. Another thing to consider is that a standard policy won’t usually cover your bike, cycle accessories, or repatriation of your bike, so it’s always worth investigating specialist bike specific travel insurance policies. Visit Holidaysafe’s cycling travel insurance page for more information.


Top 10 Cycling Destinations to Consider

  • New Zealand
  • USA
  • Wales
  • Morocco
  • Croatia
  • Scotland
  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • France (the Loire Valley)
  • France (Provence)

Guide to packing Sports Equipment

Posted on March 18, 2016

Every year thousands of people get on airplanes and head off on sporting or activity holidays abroad. Most sports equipment is not allowed to be carried as hand luggage on an aircraft, so must be checked in as luggage. To make sure your equipment arrives safely and unscathed during the flight, here are our top tips for packing and travelling with sporting equipment;

• When booking your flights check the airline’s policy on transporting sports equipment or oversized baggage. The airline could have very specific rules about the size of baggage allowed on the flight, plus rules about how the equipment must be packed, for example some airlines expect you to remove your bicycle peddles and deflate the tyres before packing. Be aware that you will probably have to pay an extra charge.

• The best way to protect your equipment is to buy a specialist bag, it may cost a little extra but these carriers have been specifically designed to house and protect vulnerable equipment. Never try to transport equipment such as skis outside of a bag, as it is dangerous for baggage handlers, other baggage and your gear.

• Next, place the equipment in the specialist bag, if there is extra room add rolled up items of clothing or towels around, this will add further padding to the bag and should give the gear extra support during transit. Just remember to put any toiletries, shoes or anything hard in another bag, to prevent damage.

• Always padlock all of your bags and include two luggage labels, one on the outside and one on the inside of your bag (in case the outer label falls off). This should ensure that your luggage arrives safely at your destination.

• Finally, always remember to invest in travel insurance before you depart for your trip. You could spend hours meticulously packing your gear only to find that it has been lost or damaged when you arrive. Quality travel insurance should cover lost, delayed or damaged equipment as standard.

Sports Travel Insurance

Posted on

Typically, there are two types of sporting holidays;

1. You have booked your holiday specifically to partake in your chosen sport, for example playing golf or scuba diving the entire time.

2. You have booked a holiday and may partake in an activity once or twice during the trip, for example swimming, paragliding or banana boating.

Whichever holiday you are planning, it is absolutely vital that you invest in quality travel insurance before you depart.


Here are our top tips for buying affordable and quality Sports Travel Insurance;

• Does the policy actually cover you to participate in your chosen sport?

• Are there any limits to how many days you can spend participating? For example some ski policies limit you to a maximum of 17 days skiing during your trip.

• Does the policy cover your/hired sports equipment, if it gets lost, delayed, damaged or stolen?

• Make sure the insurance will cover you for the entire duration of your trip.

• Make sure you choose the correct cover for the country you are visiting. For example, many companies ask you to choose from Europe, World Wide Excluding and World Wide Including, make sure you pick the correct option. Ask the company if you are unsure.

• Does the policy actually meet your needs? Check the levels of cover offered carefully to avoid being left out of pocket.

When you buy any travel insurance policy you should check that;

• Make sure you have declared any pre-existing medical conditions, and make sure your policy covers them. If you have not declared your conditions you will not be covered for any subsequent bills.

• The cancellation cover is enough to cover the pre-paid costs of your trip.

• The insurance includes at least two million pounds of emergency medical cover and repatriation (£5 million if travelling worldwide). This may seem extreme but medical treatment abroad can become extremely expensive.

• The policy covers the costs of emergency items of clothing if your bags are lost by the airline.

• The policy covers your baggage and personal possessions if they become lost, damaged or stolen.

• Once you have purchased your policy, you will usually be given 14 days to read it through and check that it covers your particular needs.

• Most importantly, ALWAYS read the small print.

Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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