Traveling Internationally With a Bicycle

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Global | 1 comment

How do you feel about packing? Does it overwhelm you to think about how you are going to fit your entire life into a suitcase? Or do you like the planning, prepping and organization? How about packing a bicycle?

A week ago, I arrived in Paris with my entire life packed into one giant suitcase. Besides planning what I was going to pack, I also had to think about taking my bicycle with me. I have been an avid biker since living in Medellin, Colombia and decided that when I moved to France, I wanted to bring my bike with me, too. While there are plenty of bike shops in Paris, used bikes vary in quality and cost. Since I already had a perfectly good bike, I decided I would just travel with it as a checked bag.

Packing Your Bicycle

Biking in Paris by Erin Colton
Biking in Paris by Erin Colton

If you are traveling with your bike, you will need to first pack it up in order for it to fit into a box. There are various options for traveling cases; hard and soft shell bike boxes, or a standard cardboard box from a local bike shop. I called the local bike shops in my hometown and for $80 USD they broke down and packaged my bike within three days. I checked with my airline for the weight and size restrictions and for the extra bag fee of $100, I could check it as a second bag.





Hard Case Versus Soft Case

Traveling with a bike by Erin Colton
Traveling with a bike by Erin Colton

The decision to opt for a bike bag or a bike box depends on the amount of traveling you do. Since I don’t travel often with my bike, I went for a cardboard box. They are lightweight, which reduces weight costs when checking them. While hard bike cases offer the best protection, they start from $300. Which option is right for you? It depends on how much protection you need and how often you plan on traveling!

Bicycle Transport Insurance

Because airlines rarely cover costs of damage to bikes, I recommend buying insurance to avoid any problems if there is damage to the bike while in transit. I bought a policy through AAA that covered the value of the bike and my belongings that I was taking with me. Check your bike when you arrive to make sure that all the parts are there and there has been no damage made to the bicycle.

Arriving and Reassembling Your Bike

Arriving in Paris by Erin Colton
Arriving in Paris by Erin Colton

Now that you have made it to your destination with your bike in tow, you are probably wondering how to put it back together? I recommend connecting with local bike shops if you need support! Fortunately for me, my partner is a bike guru and was able to reassemble it for me in a matter of minutes. It is wonderful to explore Paris by bicycle! I also use it to commute to classes every day, which saves me money for public transport, not to mention, it’s excellent exercise!

Are you thinking of traveling with a bike? Share your tips with us in the comments!

by: Erin Colton