Preparing for a cycling holiday can often feel like navigating through a maze, especially if you need a handy packing list. Let’s face it, most of us have been there – procrastinating until the eleventh hour, then frantically gathering gear, often missing out on crucial items in the hustle. That’s why we’ve crafted this indispensable cycling holiday checklist to simplify your packing process. It’s a curated compilation honed from our adventures.
It focuses on essentials for the self-reliant road cyclist planning daily excursions over a week, with proximity to a bike shop for convenience.
This guide is designed to be adaptable – because no two rides or riders are the same. It’s essential to customise it based on the weather you anticipate (don’t forget to check the forecast!) and your specific needs.
We’ve intentionally avoided an exhaustive list that could transform you into a roving bike repair unit. While it’s great to be prepared for every scenario, experience teaches us that when it comes to cycling mishaps, for anything beyond a basic fix, you’re likely going to seek out the nearest bike shop for assistance.
So, gear up and get ready to roll! Our checklist ensures you pack smart, not heavy, covering all the essentials without weighing you down. Happy cycling!
So your bike is already packed up in the cycling box ready to fly out of the country but what other essentials do you need to take. Of course there are a lot of depends here, what time of the year are you going, and exactly where are you going. We have written a guide on flying with your bike.
Essentials To Pack For Cycling Holiday
- Padded leggings, If you are spending more time in the saddle and consistently you need to protect that backside as much as possible. We recommend that you take at least two pairs, ideal if the weather is warm enough and you can then wash a pair each day.
- Bike shoes, pounding out the miles in proper bike shoes helps you cover the distance more efficiently. If you are hiring a bike and not taking you own then do bring your pedals as well.
- Bike helmet, ideally take your own because it is worn in and fits you perfectly.
- Cycling gloves, You don’t want sweaty callus hands by the end of the cycling holiday. Ideally take 2 pairs of cycling gloves.
- Cycle pump, Just go with the manual method if you have to pump up your tyres, its not with the hassle of trying to fly with CO2.
- Puncture repair kit, it only usually happens when you don’t have one, so make sure you do have a puncture repair kit.
- Basic first aid kit, just in case if you need to patch up some scrapes cycling accidents. Also painkillers, disinfectant, insect repellent, plasters/band aids, antihistamine cream.
- Travel adapter plug, because most things nowadays need charging
- Mobile battery charger, if you are using your phone for the sat nav and also taking pictures it will soon drain your battery. Charge your phone on the go with a High amp portable charger.
- Passport, dependant on the country you may also need a travel visa. Make sure you have researched exactly what you need for where you are going.
- Travel insurance documents, a must in case of any incidents, always have the documents with you.
- travel documents, your flight tickets, any prepaid destination receipts.
- Bike lock, it depends on your travel arrangements but best to have one of your own.
- Water bottle, always important to keep hydrated when exercising, if you are visiting a warm climate it may be worth packing more than 1.
- cycling glasses, 🤓 it is never nice being hit in the eye by a stray insect. Make them sunglasses if you’re headed into the sun.
- Tool kit, another item that you probably hardly use but when you haven’t got one thats when disaster strikes. If you are traveling in a group you can dived the tools needed between you. That is of course if you trust the other members of the group.
- Bin bags, you can always use bin bags as emergency waterproofing. It can also be used to keep a set of clothing dry if the weather changes.
- Ordnance survey Map, Yes we know about the phone but just in case the battery dies its always good to have paper maps of where you are cycling.
- Chamois cream, something for saddle comfort
- Food/energy, you will need plenty of snacks for the long days of cycling. Do your research can you buy it where you are going to? If not then fill that suitcase with your favourite energy snack.
- Recovery powder, if you want to repair, rehydrate and recharge your body take some recovery powder to speed up the process.
- Handlebar mount, for your phone or GPS tracking device.
That is your basic essentials for your cycling holiday, some people like to cycle light and enjoy the ride. Others travel from destination to destination and for that you are going to need more storage space unless you have a support vehicle. Where are you going for your cycling holiday? Is it cycling in the Balkans or the cycling destinations of Europe.
Additional Cycle Storage For Cycling Holidays
- Backpack, with a good backpack you can take many extra items. Of course the milage you cover per day will be reduced so take this into account when planning your daily rides.
- Pannier, if you need to carry more kit with you like, camping equipment then you are going to need a good set of pannier’s. Maybe front and rear.
If you need to store more than what is a above then I think you need to rethink your holiday, what is the best way to get your cycle abroad.
What To Pack On Sunny Cycling Destinations
If you are planning on cycling in hotter climates then there are other essentials that you need to take with you.
- Suntan cream, always be careful even if the sun isn’t shining bright. The ultra violet rays penetrate the clouds and could still leave you feeling sure. Do take a chance get that sunscreen on.
- After sun cream, rather than be sore from sunburn take some relief cream
- Insect repellent, nothing worse than being bit so give yourself a good spray.
- Liquid refreshment, dependant on the heat, intensity and distance of your cycling you may want to consider a hydration pack rather than just water bottles.
- Padded shorts, of course you want to be as comfortable as possible. Dependant on how long or what time you cycle the temperature can drop quite significantly when the sun start to drop. It may be worth considering 3/4 padded pants.
- Breathable tops, ideally a sensible number so you can change on a regular basis for the duration of the tour.
- Waterproof jacket, you never know when the heavens ar going to open up so its advisable that you pack a lightweight foldable waterproof jacket.
Items To Pack for Cycling in A Cooler Climate
Some destinations it is advisable not to go at the peak holiday times because it just gets to warm. So we advise that you go at the beginning or the end of a season. This of course brings up variations in the weather and temperature, thus the variations of clothing.
- 3/4 or full padded leggings, early starts before the sun has fully risen can be surprisingly cool when whizzing down a mountain. You can always change later in the day as it warms up.
- Riding gloves, you may need a full pair of gloves rather than fingerless gloves to keep warm. You can always carry the fingerless gloves in a small backpack.
- Neck buff, a great way to keep your neck, ears and face a little warmer. Keeping off the cool breeze is half the battle to stay warm once riding.
- Waterproof bags, Something to keep a spare set of dry clothes in. Worse case scenario you will always have a fresh set of dry clothes.
- Microfibre towel, great for wiping the rain off the bike and yourself. They can absorb 5x plus more water than a normal towel.
- Base layers, leg and body wicking base layers as they do an amazing job of keeping the heat in.
- Cycling gilet, keeps your centre warm while still giving freedom to the arms. You can get bright colours rather than wearing a safety vest.
What To Pack if Your Cycling in The Mountains
Usually the higher you go, the colder it gets and the weather a little more unpredictable. Also is you are mountain biking of the usually Beaton path this brings other hazards into play.
- Larger first aid kit, mountain biking brings greater rewards from the views it brings but there is always a greater risk of injury.
- Inner tubes, On the mountains there is always a greater risk of punctures and if its to bad that the repair kit can not patch it up then you will need a spare inner tube or 2.
- Wind and rainproof jacket, nobody likes cycling in the cold.
- Leg warmers,
- Warm mid layers,
- Beanie or hat, if it gets too cold then you will need more than your cycling helmet to keep you warm.
- Pocket hand warmers, hopefully you will not need them but once your hands drop in temperature you need to get them warm as soon as possible.
The Ultimate Cycling Packing Travel List
You will of course need to take all your regular clothes on your cycling holiday unless you’re planing to eat out in cycling gear! There is also the little extras that you should consider taking with you. Things that could happen in extreme cases, it may never happen but if it does your bike will become unridable.
- Tyre levers,
- Chain lube,
- Chain splitter,
- Chain power link,
- Spare mech hanger,
- Cable ties,
- Brake pads (especially if you have disc brakes)
- Small rear and front lights,