We require $500 per couple to secure a spot on a tour. We then require 50% six months prior and the remainder three months prior to the tour date. We will send invoices when payments are due.
You have a few options:
- Bring along a travel tandem. This is your best option. A good S&S coupled tandem or a Bike Friday is always the best way to travel with your bike. If you don’t already own one and don’t want to buy one new, you might consider buying a used one on eBay or one of the tandem classified sites. Coupled tandems retain their value very well, so even if you don’t want to keep the bike, you can probably get all or most of your money back if you resell it.
- Pack and bring along your regular tandem. A lot of airlines have maximum sizes for luggage and a tandem will normally exceed this, so be careful if you want to do this. Shipping may be a better option if you want to go this route.
- Rent – We really do not recommend renting a tandem from any local bike shops, unless you can really verify the quality of what you are getting. We have had some bad experiences with rentals that sounded great, but really weren’t when you get a hold of them. Tandems|East will rent you a coupled bike with cases. Should you wish to pursue this, please contact them directly for more details.
Shipping your bike vs bringing it along with you on your flight:
- There are various ways you can ship your bike. You can use a specialty company like Bike Flights or use any of the standard shipping companies. You will need to figure out a place to ship it to. Either the first hotel or a bike shop will usually work out. If you want to pay them, you can even have the shop put it together for you. Make sure you work out a return plan as that can sometimes be more challenging them shipping your bike to the remote location.
- A lot has been written about bring your bike with you as luggage on the plane and some Google searches will turn up all kinds of information and stories. When you are purchasing your airline tickets, you should understand your luggage situation (bag quantity, oversize and/or overweight issues) and research the airline’s policies before buying a ticket. What you think may be the cheapest fare may not be when you factor in the cost of bringing your bike. When looking at the luggage policies, be aware that a lot of airlines have special prices for bicycles or sporting equipment.
We understand that sometimes life gets in the way of your trip. If you find someone to take your place on the tour, then there is no charge. If you cancel without transferring your spot to someone else, then our refund policy follows this table:
- Six months before the trip: We will refund the full payment less $500
- Three to six months before the trip: We will refund the full payment less $1000
- One to three months before the trip: 50% of the trip cost
- Less than one month pre-trip: No refunds
We recommend purchasing trip insurance. Here is a link to a policy that covers you for your travel for a year.
We expect that you will ride on the days when we are changing hotels. Our SAG vehicle will be used to move luggage. In a pinch, we will do our best to assist you in repairing your bike or if that is not possible, rescue you and your bike. It is not appropriate — or even possible — to use SAG to help you if you just don’t want to ride a given day.
We generally do not have a minimum number of teams to run a tour. However, if we only have one or two teams sign up, it might not be the kind of trip that you are looking for. So, if we don’t have much interest in a tour, we do reserve the right to cancel. If we cancel, we will refund your deposit and give you an additional $250 credit towards another of our tours. We will also let you know well in advance of the trip.
As more people are discovering us, it seems like us not filling up a tour is becoming an unnecessary worry.
When buying airfares, here are a few tips that we have found.
- Don’t book your flights too early. FareComparison.com advises that the optimal time to book a flight is six weeks prior to your trip for domestic travel and two to three months for international travel. Be sure to have booked your tickets at least two weeks prior to a trip, since prices go up for those last minute business travelers. Also, if you are traveling using airline points, you should monitor when the airline issues the frequent flyer travel. If you are traveling during a holiday period, you may need to book earlier.
- Be flexible with your dates and, if you are in a metropolitan area, your airport. Midweek travel tends to be less expensive, and some airports have lower fares than others. For example, our airport, Newark Liberty, just seems to be more expensive than Laguardia or JFK. Of course you will need to balance that with higher parking or cab fees to get to the other airports, and with additional travel time if that airport is significantly farther away. Also be careful to make sure that if you drive to the airport, you are flying from and returning to the same airport.
- Buy your tickets on a Monday or Tuesday. According to LifeHacker.com, airlines offer sales on Sunday night to Monday night. These fares are grabbed up early in the week.
- Sign up for fare alerts. We really like Google Flights. There is a graph that you can see the expected prices for a flight. Another great tool is a phone app called Hopper. Based on historical data, it recommends whether you should buy your ticket now or wait. Both Google and Hopper can be configured to notify you when the airfares are lowered.
- Understand the airline’s policy regarding baggage – especially for tandem bikes. If you have a coupled bike that fits into two standard sized suitcases, then you should research how many bags the airlines lets you check and what they charge for additional luggage. You may need to check more than just the bike and how much the airline charges could make a difference in what airfare is really the cheapest. If you are like us, and have an oversized and greater than 50 pound loaded bike bag, then you need to research how an airline charges for a tandem bicycle. Sometimes traveling Premium Economy may be worthwhile since luggage limits are higher. Last year when we flew Virgin Australia to and from Sydney, they did not charge us anything for our tandem! Some airlines charge a lower fee for sporting equipment like a tandem, while others will assess overweight and oversized luggage charges. In addition, some airlines require you to pre-clear your bike with them before the flight. It is important to know the rules regarding your flight.
Sure! We understand that sometimes it may make sense to purchase your trip using a credit card. See our Newsletter on the topic. If you do want to purchase your trip using a credit card, just send us an email. We will invoice you using Paypal and you will have the opportunity to pay with any credit card even if you don’t have a Paypal account. Note that we will charge a 1% additional fee to offset the PayPal fees which are 3%.
If you are looking into trip insurance, we have a couple of newsletters that provide a lot of information on the subject:
- Part I – You may already have insurance and not even know it
- Part II – Insurance Products and things to look for
The short answer is that if you go on a lot of trips, we recommend investing in a policy that covers all of your trips in a given year, such as this one. If you only want to insure that one, really big trip, one of our readers has recommended Travel Guard policies. The policy was “extremely comprehensive, had no exclusions for things we cared about, and was shockingly inexpensive. I highly recommend it if your clients are interested.”
This is a cycling trip, so you won’t need to bring anything fancy! We find that it is best to travel light with cycling trips. It makes repacking to change hotels easier. Don’t worry about your fellow travelers seeing you in the same stuff during the trip. They (and we at Adventures in Tandem) will be doing the same thing! You will be amazed at how freeing it is not to have to spend a long time agonizing over what to wear! We give a prize to the team with the least amount of combined luggage. (No worries, we will make sure that the prize is something that can fit in your luggage!)
We permit one suitcase – up to 40 pounds – and one personal item such as a small backpack or pocketbook per person. On days that we change hotels, we will pick up your bags around 9am and have them at the hotel by mid to late afternoon. We will do our best not to damage any luggage; however, it is possible for there to be scratches or other minor damage. Adventures in Tandem LLC is not responsible for any luggage damage.
We believe that cyclists are happiest if they can ride at their own pace. So on our tours we do not ride together as a group. You may find that you have a similar riding style as another couple and are free to ride together, but we do not make that a requirement. Our primary thought is that you enjoy the ride and stop when you want to.