Low Impact Holidays
Green Travel: cycle touring keeps your carbon footprint low on holiday (Photo: MuntyPix on flickr)
In planning your vacation, consider traveling by bike or a combination of bike and rail instead of driving by car, going by plane, renting a car at your destination, etc. Incorporating cycling into your holiday will not only let you be active while relaxing it will save you money.
For hikers and mountain climbers, there is now a folding bike that you folds into a rucksack carried when hiking up the hill or mountain that unfolds for mountain biking down.
Are you interested to explore out the sights and sounds of your city or one you're visiting? Avoid a polluting sightseeing bus and explore the city by bike! You can take your own bike or rent one from a community bike program such as the many bike-sharing services becoming available in cities around the world and then plan your own route.
Keep it Beautiful: bicycles are the green alternative to a tour bus for sightseeing
Alternatively, you can look for and take one of the guided group bicycle tours that are available in most cities. There are an increasing number of tour companies that provide city- or cruiser bicycles to groups of up to about thirty people who ride with tour guide, usually on segrated cycle paths and low-traffic roads.
Tour operators can make use of flatbed cycle trailers to transport rental bikes to and from customer locations for repairs.
Self-Sufficiency: cycle touring is a more intimate, meaningful travel experience (Photo: pellaea on flickr)
Long distance cycle touring, known as randoneering from the French word for 'long journey', who popularized this non-competitive sport in early part of the 20th century. Staying in your home country is good for the domestic economy and you can get to know the nearby destinations and lesser-known or explored regions better on a touring bike.
A bicycle trailer for touring can supplement any front- and rear rack panniers on unsupported long distance cycle tours.
Bike and Rail
First Class Travel: European intercity trains provide a separate bicycle carriage (Photo: envirofuel.wordpress.com)
Compared to traveling by car or plane, the train remains the most environmentally-friendly method of travel. Refer to the Bike and Rail section to learn how to best combine cycling and rail travel.
Several former regional rail lines have been turned into scenic linear parks with extensive bicycle trails ready to be explored.
Bed and Bike
The hotel and accomodation industry is increasingly providing certification for tourist accomodation that the place of stay meets the specified criteria for being bike-friendly. This includes facilities to clean the bike, conduct basic repairs and securely lock it overnight.
Such programs are now being rolled out by tourist and hotel industry associations worldwide. Look for such a program in the country you travel in or your travel agent for it whereever you plan to stay overnight.
Bike and Sail
Bikes are also practical to have aboard watercraft including motorboats, sailboats and yachts for use at ports of call or land excursions.
Ship Leave: a Bernds bicycle on deck provides for better mobility back on land (Photo: the manufacturer)
Bikes on Flights
If you choose to fly to your holiday destination, consider using a carbon offset program to lessen the overal environmental impact and take your bike with you so you don't have to rent a car at your destination.
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