When is the best time to book a tour?
Generally, the sooner the better, especially with the Bike & Boat tours, and particularly when traveling with a group. Tours can fill up quickly, especially in Holland when the tulips are in bloom! We are finding that our tours are filling up earlier every year.
Explain the booking process.
Bike and boat tours or our hotel based tours
We invite you to phone, email, or chat your requests for availability. Many times we can place a cabin on hold for you or even request that a room or rooms in a hotel be set aside for a few days. Options are offered as a courtesy to you and you will not be under any obligation. However, as always, we do advise you do not make your air travel arrangements until you have officially reserved and been confirmed.
Hotel to hotel tours
We cannot place rooms on hold therefore we do not check availability. You are advised to submit a reservation for your preferred tour date and if possible, provide a second date as well. Once we receive, we will request that our partner begin the process of contacting each hotel, arranging luggage transfer, etc. If your requested date is not possible, you will not be under any obligation. However, and this is important if the date can be confirmed, it is an official booking subject to terms and conditions of such. Be sure that all of your questions are answered and you are ready to commit before submitting a reservation.
Why are most of your prices in Euros?
We buy the majority of our tours in Euros and it is simply cost-effective for you and for us to sell our tours in Euros as well. In this way, the price remains fixed. Only the exchange rate changes. We provide a calculator on the pricing page of each tour so that you can estimate your price in US and Canadian dollars. For tours operated by U.S. based companies, prices will be in Dollars. If the tour is offered in another currency, we suggest using an online currency converter to estimate your cost.
Tell me more about tour pricing.
All prices are per person based on double room occupancy. Single bookings will incur a supplement. Please inform yourself in regards to what is included and not included in your tour and indicate upon reserving if you are requesting options not included in tour price such as, but not limited to, transfers, electric bike, and bike protection.
What is the best way to pay?
We now accept payment in Euros, US dollars, and Canadian dollars. Our EU clients can pay directly to our European account in Euros without any wire fees. Those from Australia, New Zealand, and several other destinations can also pay in their own currency into our European account using a transfer service. If you prefer to use a credit card, do note that we can only charge in US dollars and a 4% surcharge will apply. Please read our Payment page for more complete details.
How do I prepare for a bike tour?
We strive to offer a variety of tours that will please all levels of cyclists but rating a tour for the difficulty is probably one of the hardest things we do. So many factors play into what one experiences on a bike tour. Cycling 10 miles in the rain with a headwind can turn an otherwise easy tour into one of those days you hope to forget. Be sure to look at the difficulty rating of the tour (s) that interest you. If you have any concerns, ask us! Many times we can provide more information in regards to elevation, etc. Another important thing regardless of difficulty rating is to get saddle ready! Nothing will dampen your enjoyment of cycling more than a sore bottom! You can be aerobically prepared but if you do not put in "saddle time" you will be sorry.
A good rule of thumb is the plus 10 x 2 rule.
- If the longest day on your tour is 25 km, then you should be able to ride 35 km. On self-guided tours, the unexpected can happen, you can get turned around, inadvertently adding kilometers, so be prepared for the unexpected.
- X 2 means that you are able to do this distance AT LEAST twice in one week. Most of our 8-day tours entail at least 5 days of riding. You will benefit even more if you add at least one ride of a shorter distance for a few weeks before your tour.
As the difficulty level increases, so should your pre-tour preparation and training. For those booking a difficult tour, the assumption is that you are a regular year-round cyclist who understands training techniques. Hills require hill work and long distances require longer times in the saddle.
What exchange rate do you use to prepare the final invoice?
For those paying in US dollars and Canadian dollars, the exchange rate will be the bank rate plus 1.5 cents. If more than 100 days* before travel, you can request that your invoice be prepared sooner if you see a favorable exchange. As always, an initial $300 (or equivalent) per person deposit is required upon confirmation. This will be credited to you as a partial payment for your tour. Full payment is due 90 days before travel. If you are booking a tour less than 90 days before travel, full payment will be required, once confirmed.
*For CHARTERS, payment will be due 150 days before travel.
What documents will I need to travel?
When will I receive my travel packet?
Since 2010, we no longer print and mail a large brochure or mail final travel information. This saves us a considerable amount of time and money, both of which we need to better serve you and to keep our costs low. Three weeks before the start of your trip, we will email you all the travel documents and trip information you need. If you would like it emailed sooner, we will do our very best to comply but cannot guarantee this, especially during the peak travel season. For many of our trips, more detailed information (such as route descriptions, maps, and tourist information) will be provided as well upon arrival.
What about WiFi during my trip?
WiFi is everywhere today and many of the boats and hotels on our tours do provide this service. However, most likely, it will not be what you are accustomed to! Due to the steel construction of the ships and barges, signal strength and speed can be affected and many times hotels offer this service only in the lobbies and public areas. If you are expecting and requiring reliable, strong, and effective WiFi we recommend that you consider your own portable WiFi device which can be rented from numerous companies throughout Europe and the World. We have personally tried MyWebSpot in Europe and have been very impressed by their service. You can pick up their device in 1000s of locations throughout Europe or request to have it mailed directly to you before your trip. The pre-trip mailing can be to your home in the USA or Canada or some other location in Europe. After using the WiFi hotspot during your holiday you simply mail it back in a pre-paid envelope from anywhere in Europe. Click the image below to see packages and get a free quote.
Why can't I receive the maps and route instructions before I leave home?
We work with dedicated local partners who have designed the tours and spent hours mapping the courses and writing the route descriptions and as such, are protective of their material. As well, mailing road books would incur international shipping costs and would not be cost-effective.
Do we receive information about bike routes?
Yes, you will receive route descriptions for all self-guided tours and possibly the guided ones as well upon arrival at your first hotel or onboard your boat. Please look at the included and not included section of the tour of your choosing. All the routes have been thoroughly surveyed and outlined beforehand. They traverse as much as possible over good quality and lightly traveled roads, side streets or bike paths. In addition to the route descriptions, your travel package frequently includes information on the main attractions of the town or region you'll be exploring as well as local maps. Several of our tour routes can be lengthened or shortened according to personal preference. You will find more information about the routes on the tour page under "skill level."
What kind of clothing should I bring?
Comfortable cycling attire, especially cycling pants or shorts. You may also wish to bring along a padded/gel saddle cover or padded bicycle shorts for extra comfort. Please be reminded of the temperature differences when cycling through the mountains and valleys. Multiple layers of clothing tend to work best for all kinds of weather. We also recommend bringing a windbreaker and full rain gear and your own properly fitted helmet. It is a good idea to check the local weather conditions just prior to departure. To read more, please visit our Packing Tips page.
How do you determine my bike size?
When you are ready to submit a reservation you will be asked to provide your height so that our local outfitters can determine your correct size. If there is any additional information you feel will be helpful in determining the best fit, feel free to add that in the comment section of the reservation form.
We advise that when you are assigned your bike or when you pick up your bike (particularly for self-guided hotel to hotel tours) that you check it over thoroughly, take a test ride to ensure everything is working properly, that all included accessories are indeed accounted for, and everything is up to your standards before starting the tour.
Are helmets included with bike rentals?
We think the question here should be 'Should I wear my own well-fitted helmet?' The answer is yes. Your own helmet is best for many reasons. It fits (we hope). It is clean (you hope), and you are accustomed to it. If you find it overwhelming to pack, we suggest wearing it. Once you board, you can tuck it away in the overhead. We figure it out and you will too! That aside, many times you can borrow or rent a helmet. Look at what is included with your tour and at the pricing section under 'Options'. If available, please request at time of booking!
What is bike protection?
Bicycle protection covers the cost of the repair or replacement of bicycle parts in case of an accident. It also protects against theft of the bike while it was locked. The key to the integral bike lock will always have to be produced in order for bicycle protection to cover the loss. You can obtain bicycle protection through us at the time of booking.
Hybrid bike protection:
- 8 days or less: €10
- 9 to 12 days: €15
- 13 days or more: €20
Electric bike protection:
- 8 days or less: €20
- 9 to 12 days: €30
- 13 days and more: €40
Do you accommodate special diets?
No problem, just be sure to state your requirements at the time of booking. Generally, the more restrictive dietary requests will incur a supplement.
What if I want to spend an extra night?
Extra nights in certain cities or towns are usually possible, such as before or after a tour. We can assist you in the booking process or provide recommendations for you. If you are searching for a hotel, we typically recommend Booking.com