Surviving your first European bike tour

Whether you’re looking for an active vacation or just want to try something different, a European bicycle tour is a great way to experience another country up close, meet new people, and immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll also get plenty of exercise, so you can indulge in the country’s cuisine without worrying too much about your waistline.

What type of tour is right for you?

There are several different options, including commercial group bicycle tours, commercial self-guided tours, and self-organized tours. If you’re a first-timer with only a week or ten days to spare, a commercial bike tour with a reliable organization may be your best choice. Most tour companies supply bikes, plan the itinerary, and arrange hotels, restaurants, and stops along the way. Better yet, they’ll repair your bike if it breaks down—and they won't make you ride in the rain.

Safe cycling is smart cycling

Follow these tips for a safer bicycle tour:

  1. Wear a helmet. Not only will it help protect your head and brain, it’s a great way to express your personal style.
  2. Steer clear of parked cars. Car doors flinging open, and cars suddenly pulling out, are among the greatest dangers bikers face.
  3. Keep your eyes on the road. Enjoy the views, but if you want to do some actual sightseeing, stop and get off your bike.
  4. Exercise caution. If the surface of the road or bicycle path looks rough, walk your bike.
  5. Take breaks. If you become exhausted, eat a high-energy snack. And stay hydrated, especially if you’re biking in hot weather.
  6. Get travel medical insurance. Along with accident and sickness medical expense coverage, a SafeTrip Travel Protection from UnitedHealthcare Global offers 24/7 connection to an Emergency Response Center that can help you in more than 100 languages.

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