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Make your Declaration of Independence with a self-guided bike tour

In honor of our many American clients celebrating the U.S.’s Independence Day this week, here are some thoughts on our popular self-guided bicycle tours, which some people refer to as “independent tours.”

While many travelers love the comparative freedom and independence offered by self-guided tours, we prefer not to call them “independent tours,” because that term indicates that you’re completely on your own — hauling your own luggage, developing your own route, booking your hotels, finding your own way out if stranded in an emergency, and so on. That’s not the case.

(This is in contrast to “guided bike tours” or “group tours,” where you ride in a group with a tour guide and have an accompanying support van.)

Clients choosing the self-guided tours on our site enjoy the independence of setting their own pace on daily rides and exploring sites and scenery themselves, but they’re far from self-contained. The price of the tour includes all those logistical arrangements that allow you the freedom to focus on exploring the destination. Below is a list of what’s typically arranged or included (or not) by the tour operator for a self-guided bike tour.

What’s included

  • Lodging
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Luggage transport from hotel to hotel
  • Tour description, travel material with route map
  • Detailed route planning
  • Emergency hotline

What’s not

  • Support van (You’re responsible for getting to your next hotel each day.)
  • Tour guide riding with you
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Immediate repair assistance (Be sure you can change a flat tire!)

Who it’s for

Self-guided bike tours are great for the more independent traveler who’s comfortable navigating a foreign culture and language. If you love locating the perfect restaurant and chatting with locals, this could be a great vacation option for you. Remember that a missed turn, a chance encounter, or a hilariously wrong cross-cultural communication are part of the adventure! Self-guided bike tours lend themselves those stories that are re-told year after year!

So declare your independence! Check out our 250+ self-guided bike tours!

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