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Our Four Wheels and Your Two Wheels 

How a Family Campervan holiday with your bicycles works. 

As a family, we have pretty much tried to cram every activity into a Campervan when it comes to holiday time! Including our bicycles.

We have done skiing, watersports, walking and festivals. But one of the easiest types of holiday we regularly do with the kids, is with our bikes. 

One of the main reasons it is easy is there is nothing simpler than getting on the saddle and heading off for the day. No skis to carry, no paddleboards to inflate, just – get on and ride! 

Going on a family cycling holiday can be a fantastic way to bond, stay active, and explore new places together. 

We don’t always plan a route beforehand. However, if your campsite is close to a main road, and your little ones are not that confident on roads, it may be worthwhile doing a bit of research before you head off. Sometimes, we have a destination or activity in mind, like an attraction we wanted to visit, a nice pub for lunch or a lake we want to paddle in. And sometimes we just follow our nose and see where we end up! 

The campsite staff are always a mine of information and have probably been asked a million times about bicycles routes from their site, so definitely tap them for tips.

The bike rack that we use is a Thule x4 rack, which fits on the towbar of the Campervan. One of the absolute best things about this model is that it tips down to the ground, with all the cycles on it, so you can still get into the boot of the van. Genius! The bikes are all locked to the rack, and each other, with just one key which makes everything so simple. 

Top tip…The rack and bikes can also be secured to a sturdy tree on the campsite (with your bike chain/lock), which then frees up your van for day trips and keeps the cycles really secure until you come back. 

Talking of top tips, here are a few of mine, for going cycling with the children….

  • Select appropriate routes: Opt for cycling routes that are manageable for everyone in the family. 
  • Pack essential gear: Make sure each family member has a well-maintained bike, don’t forget to bring helmets, repair kits, water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, first aid supplies (this could also be a bag of Haribo for distraction purposes!), and comfortable clothing for cycling. 
  • Plan for breaks and sightseeing: This should be fun, not the Tour De France.
  • Pace yourself! Be mindful of the pace and endurance levels of the youngest or least experienced family members. 
  • Involve the children: Engage your children in the planning process. Let them help choose destinations, routes, or activities along the way. This will increase their excitement and investment in the trip.
  • Go with the flow: Honestly, not all cycle days out will be perfect, there will be tumbles, wrong turns and tantrums. If it’s not working, turn round and try again another day. Always end up with a celebratory ice cream, at least you tried! 

Our Tour de (a little bit of) France

One of the best family cycling trips we did recently was in France. We cycled a lot around Brittany, and then did part of the Velo Route in the Loire, on a Chateaux hunt!

This was not without incident, we had a bad case of being on the wrong side of the Loire and doing some serious off-road cycling. (There is a huge back story to this, which I will save for another time, but we were inspired to continue along the wrong side by the most inexperienced cyclist in our family, little 6 year old Jack. He just got on with it, didn’t moan, and was an absolute trooper). Mr VanGlorious got a flat tyre and had a big tumble involving an emergency visit to a bar for ice, plasters and a big pint of local Biere. 

However, all said and done, there is nothing like cycling along a river, a baguette sticking out of your rucksack, and pulling up alongside a magnificent Chateau for a well-earned picnic at lunchtime. Bliss. 

Check out this article for more ideas of European trips you can take with your family and your bicycles. I really fancy the Portuguese tour!

Theparentingdaily – best family cycling holidays

I love taking our bikes when we go away in the Campervan. It always means we have something to do! The kids loving exploring the campsite on their bicycles too, and they always end up with a bunch of new friends by the end of the day.  

The Thule bike rack is one of our available add-ons when you hire a VanGlorious Campervan. Take a different style of holiday this year, and show your kids some little adventures every day. 

Don’t forget your helmets…!


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