Out and about – cycling holidays with kids
Get on and go!
There is hardly more freedom, flexibility and proximity to nature than on a cycling holiday. But: Is this also possible with children? And how old does the offspring have to be? What should you take into account?
We will address all of these questions in this article.
Small spoiler: an active holiday on two wheels is even possible with the very little ones. As long as you're willing to make a few compromises.
It's all a question of planning
A cycling holiday together can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience for the whole family that everyone involved will enjoy. The most important thing here is to adapt the planning to the needs of the kids and, if necessary, to be able to react flexibly to “I don’t feel like it anymore” moments.
But what does it look like, the optimal Tour de Kid?
The first priority is planning the route. This should be designed to be as “child-friendly” as possible to suit the age and condition of the offspring. Routes through the flatlands without major inclines that are planned with sufficient breaks and smaller events tend to be suitable.
A chocolate ice cream in the café, a swim stop at the lake, a round of animal watching at a farm. Children need variety and a goal.
The spice lies in the brevity: the length of the daily stages
Sure – driving hundreds of kilometers a day is probably not possible. But a daily commute of thirty to fifty kilometers is definitely a realistic goal. Here it is important to reduce your personal ambition and adapt the length to the endurance and motivation of the young people.
Overnight stays? Child-friendly please!
Is the tour even planned with overnight stays? Then you should definitely pay attention to accommodation options that are suitable for families when choosing accommodation. Many youth hostels have expanded their offerings to include their very young guests and offer a variety of games, changing tables and children's chairs, play rooms or evening barbecuing around the campfire.
The question of transport
In addition to the route, it is also important to clarify how you get from A to B with your children. Are you already able to drive yourself? And if so, how saddle-firm are they and how good is their condition?
For very small children up to around three years of age, a bicycle trailer is certainly the best option. Depending on the model and version, up to two children can fit comfortably in there, including provisions, toys and luggage. In contrast to a bicycle seat, it is relatively comfortable to sit in and many kids can sleep well in it. In addition, they are well protected from wind and weather.
Since a child transporter does not have its own brakes, its own brakes should be in good condition so that it can always come to a safe stop, even in the event of emergency braking and on wet surfaces.
Important: The permissible total weight must not be exceeded.
Pro tip: If the travel times are adjusted to the children's bedtimes, you can easily cover kilometers while the little ones sleep peacefully.
Planning becomes more challenging for older children from four to primary school age. Longer journeys in a trailer are often too boring and are not possible on your own bike due to your fitness level. Here you should tend to pay attention to shorter stages. But a light bike can also increase the radius because it makes handling easier for children.
A tow rope or tandem clutch may also be useful. These tools are very useful and can be used when motivation or fitness decreases.
Think about provisions and entertainment
The route is planned, the wheels are ready and the children are happy. In addition to drinks and delicious bread, small stops with ice cream or fries can provide motivation. Or you can simply prepare small containers of your favorite snacks if there is no café on the way. You can also consider whether a few books make sense for the trailer and whether your favorite cuddly toy belongs on the luggage rack. Every child “ticks” differently.
A cycling holiday with the little ones is definitely possible and can be a wonderful - and above all relaxing - experience for the whole family. Provided you adapt the planning of your route and travel itinerary to the needs of your children and have enough flexibility to be able to react to minor incidents. Less ambition, more imagination is the motto.