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What To Pack For a Cycling Holiday

Posted 28 Mar 2020

Whether it's your first cycling tour, or you’re a seasoned Softie, packing the essentials can make a huge difference to how much you get out of your trip. Here are are our top tips on what to pack for a cycling holiday.

Food and water

If you're booked onto one of our Provence cycling holidays, it may be tempting to think you can rely on rosé wine and fluffy croissants for sustenance as you cruise through lavender fields towards the Luberon. However, you don't want to run out of steam en route. Cycling can take up a lot of energy – even steady, casual riding can burn up to 500 calories per hour. It's always a good idea to carry some high-energy snacks to keep you going between café and restaurant stops.

Water is a must too. It's important to stay hydrated, especially in hotter climates like France and Italy. Be sure to carry a bottle, and always refill it during stops.

What to pack

Sun protection

It's all too easy to forget about the power of the sun when your skin is being cooled by that lovely soft breeze that glides past while you're cycling. The sun is much stronger in France, Italy and Spain than in the UK – especially in the summer – so make sure you have full sunscreen, and plenty of it. Ideally, you should apply this to exposed areas of skin 30 minutes before you go out, then again just before you leave.

You may consider investing in some special cycling clothing with a rated sun protection factor (SPF) – especially for children, whose skin is much more susceptible to sun damage. Don't forget a good pair of sunglasses too.

What to pack


While it's unlikely you'll be tearing through tricky mountain bike trails, there are standard cycling safety practices that should still be observed. These apply even if you're rolling through the peaceful serenity of the Apennine foothills on our Treasures of Tuscany and Umbria tour. Firstly, make sure you've got a high-visibility jacket. Even on bright days, motorists may not see you as you pass through shadier parts of the countryside. If you're cycling mainly during the day, which you will be on our trips, then fluorescent colours make you stand out the most.

A helmet is another essential bit of safety gear. It may feel tempting not to wear one while you're riding slowly along a quiet road, but the protection value helmets offer are undisputed – some sources say they can reduce the chances of a serious head injury by up to 85%.

What to pack


You'll be in the saddle for long periods of time, and feeling comfortable can make or break your trip. You don't want to miss the sweeping coastal views as you wind along the coastal paths of the Costa Brava because you're overheating under your favourite long-sleeved top. As well as packing cool, breathable T-shirts, consider kitting yourself out with some bib shorts – these are perhaps the most important item in your cycling wardrobe. It's worth spending some time before your holiday to purchase some that fit you well.

To find out more about what to pack for a cycling holiday call our cycle experts today.

View all our cycling holidays

What to pack

Travel Essentials

The first thing to consider is to keep your passport in a safe place and make sure it’s up to date. Appropriate luggage is also essential, a flexible bag that can be put into a van, hotel or boat on our tours is ideal. Compact storage so you can take all you need in an easy to travel bag. Travel insurance is key too, many companies offer different deals and services to cover you whilst you’re away. Lastly, a plug adapter and an extension can be useful to charge your phone, cameras or any electrical devices you’re bringing. 

Travel Essentials to pack for a cycling holiday

Other posts you may like:

Cycling Emilia Romagna
Best European cycling holidays
Tuscany cycle routes

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