Spring Break, if you Want to Bike

Vacations are expensive, any Duke student still looking for a place to go for spring break knows that. Lots of costs have to factored in, and usually, transportation is a major factor. But now let’s say that you’re a regular biker, and often tell your friends, “$300 parking permit? I’ll pass, my bike doesn’t owe me a penny!!” Why should you suddenly have to pay out of pocket for vacation travel, when you’re so used to your low-cost bike?

Depending on where you are going and how you are getting there, you can still count biking as a dependable form of transportation.

If you’re thinking about flying, here is a good list of how much it could cost to ship your bike with you. As you can imagine, the prices range from cheap ($50, not too shabby!) to pretty out of control ($175… wait, really?) So if you’re going somewhere far, far away, and want your bike with you, it would be smart to buy tickets with the airline that will charge you the least for bringing your bike.

That said, for shorter range trips, Amtrak is also a good bet, with charges between $5 and $10 to stow your bike on board.

With both of these options, there are certain stipulations on how your bike is packaged. Some prefer you to remove the parts of the bike that stick out laterally (ie pedals and handles) and package the whole thing in a bike box (which you could get at a local bike store, usually free). Some airplane passengers will swear that leaving the whole bike in just an oversize, clear plastic bag will do the trick, since baggage handlers might then be more delicate. Here is a good site on how to package your bike, along with some information on shipping it separate from your own travels; FedEx and UPS have good deals on large packages.

You could also leave your bike at home! Locations that have a large pull for either cyclists or tourists in general will probably have bike stores with rental policies, nothing a quick google search can’t fix. And if you’re going to a less-well known location, don’t be afraid to contact a local information center or check the transportation section of the government website.

Finally, why not have a biking vacation? Now, the bike will be provided for you! For an all-inclusive price, of course :)

Happy biking!

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