If you’re anything like me (above photo, furthest left), you are constantly trying to convince others to travel with you. During the holidays, conversations typically go like this:
Family member: "What do you want for Christmas this year?" Me: "Let's skip presents and plan a trip together!" Family member: "Again!?"
My husband likes to tell me that I’m like a flea, attaching myself to anything or anyone who is up for a trip anywhere in the world. He sometimes tries to reign in my lofty travel desires, reminding me of retirement savings goals (me: “What if we die, like tomorrow, and we didn’t get to take that bike trip in Croatia?!?”) or the fact that our very young children are indeed very young and can sometimes be more work than vacation on any given vacation (me: “But the experiences they are having are so worthwhile!!”).
This means there’s a fair amount of convincing that needs to be done to make sure everyone is game for another excursion. And if you’re anything like me, you have to work all angles to get the whole family on board for next year’s adventure. This is a skill I’ve honed over the years, and would even consider myself an expert in this arena.
For example, last year, I talked my entire extended family into a road trip across every national park in Northern California (12 people, 1 van, and we avoided each other for months afterward…but the memories!!!). Or the adventure I’m currently working on for a multi-generational bike tour in an exotic location, which will involve a set of grandparents, one parent, and three children all under 9 (you’ll only need a few vaccinations!).
Luckily for you, my experience in familial travel coercion can help you convince your loved ones to join you on your next big trip, too! And as someone who loves a little soft adventure travel, I’m telling you a family-friendly bicycle trip is simply the best.
Adventure, a planned itinerary, a unique way to see a new place, and an activity that will bring everyone closer together. Bike tours are THE BEST. And you’ll find that it’s really not that hard of a sell.
Here are some tips on how to get your family to sign on this holiday season:
Tip No. 1: Consider your
An important consideration when planning a family bicycle tour is varying degrees of travel and cycling experience.
It’s a good idea to start with a trip proven to be a success for families, such as this family tour along the Danube River, which has shorter daily distances and kid-friendly accommodations along the way.
See more family-friendly bike tour suggestions.
Tip No. 2: Pitch it during the holiday season
You’re sitting around the table with your family talking about great memories. Now is the time!
“I’ve got a great idea,” is usually my starting catchphrase (husband rolls his eyes and takes a deep breath).
When your mother/father/son/daughter/etc. tells you they wish you lived closer so you could do things together more often, talk to them about the idea. “Let’s take a trip together!”
Tip No. 3: Keep it budget-friendly
When you’re planning a trip for your whole family, budget is a critical factor. Some people can afford the works, and some people are trying to save for their retirement (the husband is eyeing me again).
One point I like to make in the sales pitch to my family is that bike tours in Europe can be, amazingly, very budget-friendly. Just remember, the price includes accommodations for a week.
It also includes other great perks like a planned itinerary (no in-fighting on what to do on a given day!), luggage transfers so you can keep it simple while you’re cycling, and maps and information on what to see along the way.
Get the fam to agree on a price limit, and begin your tour search.
Tip No. 4: Provide some color
It’s hard to imagine a family-friendly bicycle tour if you’ve never been on a bicycle tour before. So provide your family with some colorful context.
If you know where you want to go, cook a dish from your preferred destination and slip it into the meal! Or suggest watching a movie that uses the destination as a backdrop.
If all else fails, show them my cheesy family bicycle touring video, below. Look how fun it is! I’ve also written a blog on how to go on a bike trip with young ones.
Tip No. 5: Follow-up with all the details
Once you return home from the holidays, send a follow-up e-mail to everyone in your family or group. Give them all the details – the trip name(s), the price, the possible dates, and start a group discussion.
I always create a Facebook group page and invite everyone there to share ideas, GIFs, and important information.
Not only will you be planning the family trip of your dreams, you’ll also be in contact on a more regular basis. Just what your mother/father/daughter/son/etc. wanted in the first place!
“I think I am more excited about the journey than the destination,” my husband wrote on our recent Facebook family travel group page. (I knew he would thank me later.)
Get some family-friendly bicycle tour ideas
Pass the #travelsauce
We at BikeTours.com are members of the Family Travel Association, which is working to remind us all that the holidays and family get-togethers are the PERFECT time to start planning your next family adventure.
When you’re all together, bellies full, spirits high, and goodwill in abundance, it’s time to sit with kin and plan next year’s perfect family vacation.
So set aside some time the next time you are with your family to talk about dream destinations, trips, and attractions to see as a group!
And then tell us what you decided.
Be sure to use #TravelSauce so we can find it. Learn more.
This article was written by former BikeTours.com staff member Lindsay Nash.