The idea of traveling with a bike can be daunting for those seeking to jet off and discover foreign lands. There's a complex decision making tree to navigate before you land on the final decision of flying with your bike, shipping it or renting one at your destination.
Below are some of the considerations you should weigh up before making your decision.
Flying With Your Bike
There's nothing like riding a bike that you're familiar with, particularly in unknown territory. You'll also have your bike from the moment you arrive at your destination and can hit the road and explore straight away, which is a huge advantage.
But taking your bike on the airplane with you does have some drawbacks. Here are other things to consider:
- Cost: Airline fees vary dramatically from one airline to another from $50 to $200 per flight. This link is a useful as a starting point, but make sure you check with the airline small print too as baggage policies do change.
- Hassle: Packing up your bike can be an unwanted hassle (see part 2 coming soon on tips for packing a bike for transportation). You'll also have to reassemble your bike at the other end (this isn't actually as hard as many people imagine), which will require the tools to do so along with a decent hand pump to get enough air in your tires to get to the nearest bike shop.
- Travel to the Airport: You'll have to get a cab to the airport, and when you do make sure you tell them you have a large baggage item. Having a cab driver turn up, take one look at your luggage and drive away when you're already late for you flight is a bad way to start a vacation. There may be extra charges for large baggage items due to the need for a larger cab.