Frequently Asked Questions - VBT Bicycling Vacations Skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions

VBT has all the answers to simplify your travel planning. With over 48 years of active travel expertise, we’ve gotten a lot of questions and want to make it easy for you to find the answers.

Guided Biking FAQ

Self-Guided Biking FAQ

Air Travel FAQ

Bicycles & Gear FAQ

General FAQ

Vacation Preparation

COVID-19 Policy FAQ

Guided Biking FAQ

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The major distinction is that our Air Package gives you the convenience of letting VBT make all of your travel arrangements. It includes our round trip international airfare for an unbeatable price, an extra night or two of hotel accommodations as listed, transfers on some tours and the option to add low-cost Pre- and Post-trip Extensions. Our Bike Vacation Only includes meals, accommodations and use of VBT bicycles. To review the benefits of our Air Package, Click Here.

Transportation is included when you take advantage of our Air Package program.

Some air options can be customized for an additional fee when purchasing the Air Package, but VBT is not able to customize our vacation packages.

Our VBT support van makes frequent sweeps of our biking routes to offer light refreshments, water bottle refills, and rides to those that would like them. Please Note: Some rides on bike paths may have limited access to van support. If a particular stretch of one of your daily rides will be made without support, your trip leaders will make you aware of this ahead of time and advise you of your options.

Your trip leaders will make any needed adjustments to your bike, to make sure you get the most comfortable fit for you. Since we will only have one bike for each rider at the starting location, it is very important to provide us with your current height (measured without shoes) when making your reservation. If you have questions or concerns about your bike fit, please contact our friendly Guest Services staff. Your comfort on the road is important to us!

Self-Guided Biking FAQ

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A Guided Biking tour includes two trip leaders—one that bikes with the group and one that supports the group in a van. Guided Biking tours give you the flexibility to ride in the van if you decide to only bike part of the route on any day, and give you the option to either follow the leader or bike on your own throughout the ride.

Self-Guided Biking tours do not include any trip leaders and do not have the option of a support van. You are responsible for navigating using the Ride with GPS app on your iPhone or Android smartphone, handling minor bike repairs, and completing the entire ride that is scheduled for the day.

Airport transportation is not included for our Self-Guided tours. Our tours are designed so the meeting points are easily accessible by public transportation.  Also, many of our guests like to arrive early or depart later than the start and end date of the tour, so guests are able to travel based on their own schedule.

With Self-Guided Air+, you may request to fly in up to three days before your tour begins or fly out up to three days after it ends for the same package price for your departure city. Requests for flying in and out of different cities, stopover connections, shortening the tour, or travel dates outside of three days on either end of the tour may require additional costs. We will quote you the additional cost for your request and you can review the flights and costs.

You will be able to call, text, or email your Local host to see if you can ride with the luggage transportation or if an additional vehicle can be arranged. You would be responsible for the cost of an additional transportation vehicle should you require it.

Yes, we strongly recommend bringing or borrowing an iPhone or Android smartphone, which is optimal for navigation, safety and emergencies.

If you plan to travel without a smartphone, we will provide paper route notes for navigation; however, for safety and emergencies, we highly recommend having another type of cell phone with you with an international phone plan, as you will have no other way to contact anyone for assistance during a ride should you require it.

You should feel confident navigating independently with your Ride with GPS app or with the paper route notes and any local maps provided. If you do get lost and cannot find your way back to the route, you can call your local host who will try to assist and offer suggestions to help get you back to the route. However, please note that your local host may not be available to pick you up.

You or someone in your party should be able to change your own tire with VBT’s supplied equipment. (See below for details about supplied equipment.)

You or someone in your party should be able to do very minor repairs such as putting your bike chain back on if it falls off and making slight adjustments to your brake pads. For other more serious repairs, your local host can advise on the closest bike shop, provide phone assistance, or come out to perform the repair.

We provide you with a trip kit that will include two tubes, tire levers, and a multitool.  You will be provided with a bike bag, a helmet and a rubber phone mount for your smart phone for navigation. You will also receive a water bottle on tour.

You should contact the local emergency number that is provided in your Road Book. After contacting emergency services at your destination, please contact our 24-hour service for any assistance you may need, or to advise if you will continue the tour. We also recommend traveling with a first aid kit for minor injuries.

Make sure your bike and biking gear are always secured with the provided lock. Always use the secure designated bike storage location when you arrive at your hotel. If your bike is stolen, contact your local host immediately for assistance with next steps (filing a police report, getting to your next destination, etc.).

Yes, we do! Please contact your Tour Consultant to request an E-bike, subject to availability.

Yes, instructions for charging your E-bike will be provided in your materials.

It is not possible to swap bikes on tour. Please make sure to review your bike selection prior to departing for your tour so that the correct bike can be sized and ready for your arrival.

We do not guarantee luggage porterage to your hotel rooms, so you must be able to carry your bags. When you leave a hotel, there will be a designated luggage drop-off area and instructions noted in your materials.

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While we can make a reservation without an up to date passport, VBT strongly recommends having a current passport when reserving a vacation to avoid any fees that will incur if you need to make changes more than two weeks after reserving. Make sure that your passport is valid until six months after the end of your trip.

Please be advised: Due to new U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandates, customers making a reservation are required to provide their Secure Flight passenger information exactly as it appears on the government-issued identification card they plan to use when traveling.

Passengers MUST have their information EXACTLY as it appears on their Passport. NO NICKNAMES. Please note that your middle name will not appear on your flight itinerary.

For example:

Your FULL NAME exactly as it appears on your passport.
If your middle name is spelled out on your passport, it needs to be the same when you make a reservation:
e.g. Martin James Cruz

If your middle name is abbreviated on your passport, it needs to be the same when you make a reservation:
e.g. Martin J. Cruz

See above.

 

 

 

We work with most major carriers worldwide to get you the best flights at the best value. Flights will be selected with a focus on getting you the best routing available!

Your flight itinerary will be emailed to you soon (usually within two weeks) after you reserve your trip, but you are still free to request changes until 95 days prior to departure. If any changes are made to the flights, either at your request or by the airlines, we will email an updated itinerary to you, showing the current flight plan. If you reserve more than 10 months prior to departure, you will receive your itinerary around 10 months prior to departure when flights become available to book.

Wherever possible, we will request the best seats available for you when we reserve the flights (usually a few days after your VBT reservation is made). By default, we look for what most of our guests want:

  • For a solo traveler, we look for an aisle seat.
  • For two people traveling together, we look for an aisle seat and the adjacent seat.
  • For all travelers, we look for seats in the side rows, not the middle.
  • For all travelers we look for seats as far forward in the plane as possible.
  • If these are not your preferences, please tell your Tour Consultant when reserving! We want to know how to make your trip smooth and comfortable!

You may see your current seat requests online any time at CheckMyTrip.com.

Please note:
Airlines do not allow pre-selection of seats on all flights. All seat requests are honored at the discretion of the airlines, and are subject to change by the airlines at any time. If VBT is not able to select a seat when reserving the flight, you can contact the airline directly, once the tickets have been issued, to see if seats can be requested. VBT does not charge a fee for seat selection, but some airlines do, so if you request seats from the airline directly, there may be a fee. The average seat selection fee is $35 per flight segment. Air France, KLM, Austrian Air, Iberia, and South African Airways are some of the carriers that routinely charge a fee for seat selection. Some flights are designated as “AIRPORT CHECK IN ONLY” this means that no passengers are allowed to select seats until the check in period, which is generally 24 hours before the flight. VBT and our guests are subject to this restriction.

Our prices include all airline surcharges and government taxes and fees. There may be additional costs for departing from a different airport or customizing your package.

Please click here for more detailed information regarding your airline baggage information and fees.

 

Your comfort is our top priority! When selecting your flights, we will look for the fewest connections available. While some flights will require multiple stops, we do everything we can to minimize the stress of traveling by choosing the most direct flights our partners offer, and wherever possible, avoiding long layovers. Some destinations may require more flight connections than others. Please contact a Tour Consultant if you have itinerary questions about a specific destination.

We’re happy to take requests for departure cities that aren’t on our list. When making your reservation, ask your Tour Consultant about flying from your home city. Typically, we will be able to provide routing and pricing details for your confirmation within just a few days!

If you want to arrive early, return late, travel to additional locations, or customize your travel plans in any other way, ask your Tour Consultant! We are able to accommodate most requests and are happy to work with you to make your trip perfect for you!

Please note: There is a fee associated with this Custom Air option, and additional charges besides the standard fee may apply.

In order to offer the value that we are proud to provide, we work within very strict guidelines dictated by our airline partners. Unfortunately, that means that most itineraries cannot be supplemented with air miles. If you are a Frequent Flyer member of an airline, you can submit your boarding passes, as proof of flight, directly to the airline to try to secure some credit. All decisions about air miles are made by the airlines.

In order to offer the value that VBT is proud to provide, we work within very strict guidelines dictated by our airline partners. Unfortunately, that means that most itineraries cannot be supplemented with air miles. When tickets have been issued, you may be able use miles to upgrade directly with the airlines*.

*If your membership rules require the tickets to be issued in a certain booking class for upgrade, please tell your Tour Consultant. We will be happy to let you know whether we can issue the tickets in that booking class, and if so, whether there will be a difference in cost.

If you are a Frequent Flyer member of an airline, you may be able to get credit for some or all of the miles by applying directly to the airline. Please save your boarding passes, as you may be required to submit them as proof of flight. All decisions about air miles are made by the airlines and cannot be influenced by VBT.

VBT gets some great deals on cabin upgrades, and we’ll be happy to check for availability on your flights. Just ask your Tour Consultant! If cabin upgrades are available, we’ll let you know what extra cost would be involved. If the price is right for you, we’ll make the upgrade for you!

Upgraded economy seats may be available for an extra charge once your tickets have been issued, either directly through the airline or with the help of our friendly Customer Service team. Please contact us for further details!

Your final trip documents will include the phone number and email address of our 24/7 emergency assistance line. All airlines are responsible for rebooking travelers on the next available flight. The assistance team can help advise you on how best work with the airlines to arrive at your destination as well as guide you on your next steps for additional scenarios.

If you’re traveling with a companion on a separate reservation and you would like to fly together from/to the same city on the same dates, just let us know and we’ll make every effort to book you matching routes.

Change requests are best received by VBT prior to 95 days before your departure and may incur additional fees. Change requests received within 95 days of departure frequently come with higher fees from the airline.

All commercial flights are subject to change at any time by the airline, including those flights we schedule on your behalf. While flight schedule changes can mean big changes, VBT will be handling most of the work, so big changes don’t mean big headaches! If anything changes, we will notify you and send you an updated itinerary, so you can travel with confidence!

If you prefer a special airline meal (vegetarian, salt-free, low-calorie, kosher, etc.), please call the airline directly to reconfirm your requests after you receive your final itinerary email with your e-ticket number.

Absolutely! Your flight itinerary will be emailed to you soon (usually within two weeks) after you reserve your trip, and it will contain a booking reference number. You can then go to CheckMyTrip.com and register. If you reserve more than 10 months prior to departure, you will receive your itinerary around 10 months prior to departure when flights become available to book.

Tickets are usually issued about one month before the departure date, but issue dates can vary. We’ll be happy to issue your tickets early upon request. Once tickets are issued, we can no longer make any changes, and the tickets will be nonrefundable, so you’ll want to be quite sure all your arrangements are final before requesting that we issue the tickets early. Your flights will still be subject to change by the airlines at all times. When tickets are issued, we will send you an updated flight itinerary that includes your e-ticket numbers. The check-in agent at the airport will use these numbers to print boarding passes.

Any U.S. citizen traveling by air within the continental U.S. is required to carry either a valid passport or a REAL ID in order to comply with the REAL ID Act. Most REAL IDs have a star on the top right corner of its state-issued driver’s license or identification card signifying compliance, however, a few states (Hawaii, Tennessee, Ohio, and Utah) have issued compliant REAL IDs without a star. You can learn more about the REAL ID here.

Bicycles & Gear FAQ

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E-bikes are a popular selection, and most of our guests have really loved them! You will still need your basic biking skills, like mounting and dismounting, pedaling and shifting, but an E-bike will greatly reduce the muscle power needed to climb hills and keep up with the avid bikers in your group. On flat stretches and wherever you want to cycle unassisted, you can turn the assistance off, and the E-bike works like any other bike. If you are unsure whether an E-bike is a good idea for you, we recommend visiting a local bike shop that offers E-bike rentals or demos. If you decide against using the E-bike, we can switch you to a conventional bike up to 30 days before your trip begins. Note: the E-bike step-through frame is not as low as our regular hybrid step-through models and the rider may need to swing their leg over the bike.

We take care of all the logistics of handling your bike between rides, so you won’t need to do any overhead or heavy lifting on your tour. During your rides, you may need to walk your bike a short distance in some places, and making sharp turns from a complete stop may require you to lift your bike a few millimeters off the path or road.

Absolutely! Assistance will be provided to install your pedals and saddle on your bike when you get to your destination. If you bring your own saddle, you don’t need to bring the seat post along. If you bring your own pedals and have clip-in shoes that are not comfortable for walking, don’t forget to bring a pair of sandals or loafers to slip on when we take a break to explore on foot! Note: saddles with carbon fiber rails do not work with our seat-post clamps.

Our bikes are designed for comfort! We modify our hybrids before they go on tour, to make them extra comfortable, and to allow the most comfortable sitting posture while riding. The handlebars are elevated, slanted, and swept back to eliminate the need to lean forward beyond your comfort zone. On most tours, we also offer road bikes with dropped handlebars, for those who prefer a more aerodynamic posture.

Our hybrids and e-bikes come equipped with a comfort saddle, which is a little on the wide side, and has plenty of padding. Our road bikes feature a narrower, low-friction seat preferred by many frequent cyclists. If you have a favorite saddle at home, please feel free to bring it on tour with you!

On most of our tours, we ride mostly paved or packed gravel roads and paths, so road bikes are a safe choice if you are accustomed to riding a road bike at home. On a few tours, the terrain or the environment is best suited for a hybrid, and road bikes are not offered. We strongly recommend choosing a road bike for your tour only if you are an experienced road bike rider and are comfortable riding a road bike on various terrain.

We will make any necessary adjustments to your bike to get just the right fit, but due to safety concerns, we are not able to add, modify or swap equipment out such as stem extenders, cranks, shifters, or handlebar extenders to your bike.

VBT does not recommend bringing your bicycle on your trip. Our trip leaders are unfamiliar with your bike and are only able to provide basic support. You are responsible for assembly, disassembly, maintenance, and un-packing/packing of your own bicycle. In addition, VBT cannot assist in making arrangements to transport your bicycle to and from the tour. You will be responsible for any additional expenses to transport your bike.

General FAQ

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You can find travel alerts, changes to policies and more by visiting our Travel Alert Page.

Yes. In fact, we strongly recommend purchasing our convenient travel protection package to protect your vacation investment. Find out more here.

You can reserve any of our VBT vacations by calling us at 1-800-245-3868. Please have your passport handy if you’re interested in taking advantage of our Air Package program. You can also book a trip online, through the tour page you are interested in. A deposit is required at the time of booking.

VBT recommends booking as far in advance as possible to guarantee your preferred tour, date, bike preference, and to take advantage of our Good Buy Discount. Booking inside of 90 days prior to departure will limit availability and additional costs may apply.

Yes! We can place you on a waitlist for the date and tour you want in the event that someone else on the tour cancels their reservation. We require a $350 per person deposit to be placed on the waitlist ($500 per person for barge and sailing tours). The deposit will be fully refunded if we cannot confirm you on the tour or if you wish to be removed from the waitlist. If we are able to confirm you on tour, we’ll contact you and hold the space for 72 hours, during which time you will need to let us know if you want to confirm the tour. If we do not hear from you within 72 hours we will contact the next guest on the waitlist or open the tour for reservations again. Once confirmed on the tour, our normal cancellation policy would apply. If at any point you would like to move your deposit to an available tour or date, just let us know!

Yes! This is a great way to see the world! We are happy to get you a quote for an air package that includes two or more VBT tours, or a tour from our sister brand, Country Walkers.

If you don’t know where to start, feel free to call and speak with our Tour Consultants—they can help you match up the dates for two tours and check availability. If you have an idea of which tours and dates you would like to take, simply call one of our Tour Consultants at 1-800-245-3868 ext.1. They will take your deposit for both tours in order to hold the space on the tours and then we will work with our air department to get you a quote on the airfare.

In order to accommodate for the additional nights that are included in the Air Package and the ability to add on Pre- and Post-trip Extensions, we will typically book you on two Air Packages to start with. Once we work on the air itinerary, accounting for flights in between the two tours, we will get back to you with a final price quote. It could be an air credit for our typical economy tickets or it could be an additional cost if we are quoting business class or premium economy or are adding in multiple flights between the two tours. If you do not accept the quote, you will be able to get a full refund. Our cancellation policy will be applicable once you accept the itinerary and price quote.

VBT’s vacation packages do include fuel surcharges, government taxes, and fees. Please be aware, some airlines (such as Lufthansa, Austrian Airways, Swiss, Air France, and KLM) may have an extra charge for checked luggage and pre-assigned seats which are up to $35 per segment. (A segment is defined as one take off and one landing.) Fuel surcharges can increase and could be added to the cost of your vacation if you do not participate in our Good Buy Discount. If a destination requires a visa, you will be responsible for the cost and for obtaining the visa.

United States and Canadian citizens should obtain a visa for Vietnam and Vietnam trip extensions and New Zealand trips. While most international governments do not require visas for US citizens, VBT recommends verifying government requirements. Citizens of any country should check with their national consulate for compliance policies.

US Residents: Please note that a valid passport with at least 6 months validity is required for international travel. In addition to a passport, many countries require a visa for entry. To obtain the most current entry requirements for your upcoming trip, residents of the United States should contact our partner, CIBTvisas online at www.cibtvisas.com/vbt or by calling 800-577-2428. For reduced CIBT service fees, please reference VBT account code 100624.

Canada Residents: Please note that a valid passport with at least 6 months validity is required for international travel. In addition to a passport, many countries require a visa for entry. To obtain the most current entry requirements for your upcoming trip, residents of Canada should contact CIBTvisas online at www.cibtvisas.com/vbt or by calling 888-665-9956. For reduced CIBT service fees, please reference VBT account code 11583.

VBT requires that travelers be at least 13 years of age to participate in our United States vacations and we require travelers to be at least 16 years old for our international vacations.

Each tour page has a section dedicated to traveler reviews of that particular tour. Additionally, our Facebook page and our blog are great resources for information, photos, and other VBT traveler experiences. A VBT tour consultant can also provide guest references for our vacations.

VBT is happy to accommodate single travelers. We’ll do everything possible to make arrangements easy on you and your wallet. There is a single supplement fee for solo travelers.

If you reserve more than 91 days prior to departure and request to share a room with another single traveler, we’ll do our best to match you with a same-sex roommate. For all tours excluding Waterways tours, you will be charged 50% of the published single-room supplement prior to your departure for Land and Air Packages. For trip extensions, you will be charged the full published single-room supplement.  For Waterways tours, you will be charged the full published single-room supplement for Land Packages, Air Packages, and trip extensions. If we find you a roommate, the single supplement for the portion of the trip you are shared on will be refunded to you.

Please note that it is not possible to request a roommate on Self-Guided Biking tours.

All gratuities are built into the included features of your vacation with the exception of those for your Trip Leaders and drivers. Tipping for your Trip Leaders and drivers is optional and not included in the price of your vacation. Tipping guidelines are included in your VBT Welcome Handbook.

While traveling, VBT travelers can expect to stay at agriturismos, châteaux and three-, four-,  and five-star hotels.

While VBT does not organize specific themed tours, we are happy to book a group tour for you and your travel companions. Please contact our Group Tour Manager, John Zelig at 1-800-245-3868 x 3307 or click here for more details.

VBT can only guarantee accommodation of a vegetarian option. We will work with our partners to accommodate dietary restrictions; however we may be unable to meet needs beyond a vegetarian diet. Please be prepared to supplement our included meals if needed. You must advise VBT of any specific requests at time of booking. Not all meals are included; guests will have to manage their diet for non-included meals.

After reserving a VBT vacation you can expect to receive documents according to the following schedule:

Welcome packet and handbook – received 3-5 days after booking

Preliminary air itinerary – received 100 days prior to date of departure
Final documents and e-ticket  itinerary – received 21 days prior to date of departure

Yes! You can pay your balance within My Account. Click here to login to My Account.

To make your payment via check, credit card or electronic bill payment, please call us, Monday through Friday, at 1-800-245-3868 between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm ET.

Packing recommendations vary depending on the type of vacation you are taking. Please see our sample packing lists for detailed information.

Many countries have outlets that supply different electric currents than what we have in the U.S. Your VBT Traveler’s Handbook, which is sent to you 3-5 days after booking, will have country-specific information on electric currents and information on adapters.

VBT strongly recommends that all guests travel with a cell phone and arrange for an international calling plan with their cell service provider to enhance safety (and enjoyment) during travel.

Ride with GPS is a bike route mapping tool for cyclists. Please visit our Ride with GPS FAQ page for more information.

We bike on mostly paved roads, but you might encounter occasional gravel or cobblestone terrain. Please see your VBT Welcome Handbook for more information.

Our biking options depend on the difficulty level of the tour. For tours rated Easy, travelers can expect to bike between 15-35 miles. For Easy/Moderate vacations, expect to bike 20-40 miles daily. And for Moderate rated tours, expect to spend 25-60 miles on your bike. Most days will include a number of mileage options, and our support van is always available.

Vacation Preparation

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On each day, you’ll have a choice of various routes and distances. This is your vacation; we urge you to ride at your own pace, stop when you want—in short, relax and enjoy yourself!

On our guided tours, unless otherwise announced by your leaders, breakfast is usually served every morning around 8:00 a.m. Please come to breakfast dressed and ready for cycling. Your leaders will then review the day’s riding options so that you can plan your day accordingly.

During the day, you will have the opportunity to stop and visit local points of interest. One leader will be cycling with the group and one driving the support vehicle. They are ready to handle anything, from bicycle repairs, first aid, and snacks to riding tips and information about the region. Most guests arrive back at the hotel between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., depending on the route selected and individual pacing. This allows time to relax, enjoy the property, or take a stroll before dinner. You will find your luggage in your room each afternoon when changing hotels.

Conversations with local people can be a highly rewarding part of traveling. People are often intrigued by our groups, and are happy to chat with respectful visitors. Your trip leader can help you get the ball rolling.

Your attire is a key part of your non-verbal presentation. Your clothing should show a respect for local tradition. Dress modestly if you want to connect with older and more traditional people, especially in smaller villages.

The etiquette of photographing people is about the same as it is on the streets of your own town. You need permission to take a close-up (you can always ask your trip leader to help facilitate this), but not for a crowd scene.

On our guided tours, the VBT support vehicle that accompanies your tour is a complimentary service and is fully equipped to handle most bicycle repairs as well as transport luggage, picnic supplies, and guests. In addition, the vehicle sweeps the routes to check on bikers, replenish water bottles and snacks, or offer a head start or shortcut to the destination.   Self-guided adventures do not have a support vehicle.

We have adopted a no-smoking policy in the support vehicle and at meals.  We also reserve only non-smoking rooms for our guests at all of our hotels.

We cannot control smoking policies in public places, such as restaurants, but we ask that VBT group members wait until after meals to smoke.

Your documents will be sent according to the schedule below. Please make sure your email is up to date on your reservation.  We will be sending all documents to you via email.  Once we’ve emailed documents to you, you’ll be able to view them in your MyAccount whenever you’d like.  Depending on the details you provided when you making your reservation, we will email you to ask for missing information, like passport details or bike information.  Please keep an eye out for these emails and update your information right away.

Within the first two weeks of reserving your tour:

  • Welcome and invoice
  • Information on how to log in to your My Account
  • Travel Protection information
  • Packing List/Vacation Preparation Handbook
  • City information for arrival/departure cities and Pre- and Post-Trip Extensions
  • Participation Agreement
    • Please note every guest must sign this document.

45 Days after you reserve:

  • Trip Reservation Evaluation Survey*

*Please take a few minutes and respond to our questions about the quality of your reservation booking experience so that we can continuously provide excellent service.

75 DAYS Prior to your departure:

  • Packing List/Vacation Preparation Handbook

55 DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE:

  • Bike Model and Guest Height Confirmation

40 DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE:

  • Order your complimentary gift from VBT

30 DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE:

  • Final air itinerary with e-ticket number

28 Days Prior to your departure:   

  • Final day-to-day itinerary

14 days prior to your departure:

  • Ride with GPS voice navigation download and use instructions
    • In addition, printed route notes will be handed out on tour.

5 Days after you return home:        

  • Please rate and complete an online review of your VBT vacation
    • Your review may be featured on the VBT website.


15 Days after you return home:

  • Post-Vacation Guest Evaluation Survey*

*Please take a few minutes and respond to our questions about the quality of your experience. We monitor our guests’ opinions after every trip, and often have an opportunity to make immediate changes if they are pointed out to us.

 

RESIDENTS OF THE USA & CANADA:

For international travel, the State Department recommends passports be valid for at least six months beyond your return date. In addition to a passport, many countries require a visa for entry. To obtain the most current entry requirements for your upcoming trip, we recommend you consult travel.state.gov. Residents of Canada should consult travel.gc.ca/.

NOTE: You must have a blank page in your passport booklet for each country you will visit.

To renew your passport by mail or to obtain extra pages, you may request a form at your local post office. We recommend that you renew or obtain a new passport as soon as possible as wait times are very long (currently 10-13 weeks).

If you are applying for your first passport, check the U.S. Government ‘Blue Pages’ listings in your phone book for the closest U.S. Passport Office, or apply online at the U.S. Department of State website, travel.state.gov. Residents of Canada should consult travel.gc.ca/.

Travelers who prefer having this process managed for them can contact Pinnacle Travel Document Systems online at PinnacleTDS.com or [email protected]. They will professionally manage your passport and travel visa requirements. The cost for assistance is generally between $200 -$400 per traveler. Assistance fees are non-refundable so be sure to clearly review the quote you receive from Pinnacle. We encourage guests to exercise extreme caution about passport-service companies found through an online search. Many are scams.

If your passport is not valid for at least six months following your scheduled return, you may be refused admittance to a country and, consequently, required by that country’s government to return to your country immediately.

Please keep in mind that the spelling of your first and last names on your VBT trip invoice must be the same as it is on your passport. We use this spelling for your air ticket.

If you are travelling with a non-USA passport, please make sure to check entry and exit requirements for your destination.

Emergency Photocopies

The smartest and easiest security precaution you can take is to carry photocopies of the personal information pages of your passport, your air ticket, and your credit cards. Add the phone numbers for reporting lost credit cards and for your travel protection company and medical emergency network. Store the copies in your bag, separate from the originals. Additionally, take pictures of all documents and store them on your phone while you are traveling. This can save you immeasurable time, money, and bother if your documents are lost or stolen during your trip.

Please check with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding recommended vaccinations and other health advice for traveling in the region. You can obtain information in a number of ways:

BY PHONE
You can call the CDC’s International Traveler’s Hotline toll-free at 877.FYI.TRIP
(877.394.8747)
24 hours a day. Please note that automated information is arranged typically by disease, rather than by country or region.

ONLINE
Visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/travel, where you will find comprehensive information about preventing illness while traveling.

We offer a six-week bike training plan, created by certified athletic trainers, to help you prepare for your biking trip. Our easy-to-follow exercise plan incorporates biking, cross training, stretching, and yoga, and will help you get the most out of your exercise routine, whether you’re a novice cyclist, a veteran, or anywhere in between. For a copy of your Road to 50K Biking Plan please visit images.vbt.com/VBT-Training-Plan.pdf.

Bicycle touring has inherent risks. It is a sport whose safety is dependent upon the judgment and alertness of the cyclists. As a cyclist, you are responsible for the way you ride and the condition of your bicycle.

bike condition
VBT technicians check and tune our provided bicycles before each tour. However, you are responsible for alerting your Leaders in case any conditions develop while riding.

For Safety on the Road:

  • Follow all traffic regulations as if driving a car.
  • Use hand signals for turning, slowing down or stopping.
  • Yield right of way to pedestrians.
  • Ride in the same direction as motorized traffic.
  • Ride a straight course near the side of the road, but not too close, so as to avoid going off the pavement.
  • Ride single-file and keep several bicycle lengths between yourself and the cyclist in front of you. Allow even more room when going downhill.
  • Use both brakes at the same time, gently; never stab at them. Going down hills, pump both your brakes. Do not apply them continuously, as this can cause them to overheat and stop working.
  • Dry your brakes by using them after riding through water or on a wet road.
  • Never go faster than you can handle.
  • Never ride on a sidewalk.
  • Consistently check your mirror, listen for motor vehicles coming from behind, and be prepared to be passed by them.
  • Do not look behind you while riding a bicycle.
  • Do not make a left-hand turn while bicycling. Dismount, look for traffic and walk across.
  • Never bicycle over railroad tracks. Dismount and walk across.
  • Be careful of parked motor vehicles pulling out into your path or car doors opening in front of you. Watch for exhaust fumes and look for a person sitting in the vehicle. Attempt to establish eye contact.
  • Stay at least five bicycle lengths behind moving motor vehicles. They can stop and turn more quickly than you on your bicycle.
  • Ride with caution over wet or sandy roads. They may be slippery and cause a fall.
  • Avoid potholes, metal grates and other slippery objects.

    For Safe Bicycling:

We strongly encourage all cyclists to wear ANSI or SNELL approved helmets. One will be provided whether you use a VBT bicycle or bring your own.

  • Wear bright clothing to make yourself visible to motorists.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing that can get caught in a bicycle chain or wheel.
  • We recommend using protective eyewear. If you wear corrective lenses for driving, wear them for bicycling. Make sure they fit securely.

Write A Review

We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a review about your experience on the VBT website. You will receive an email five days after you return from your trip with a link to the review page. Or simply go to vbt.com to find the tour you would like to review and click the “Write a Review” link near the tour name at the top of the page. Please note these online reviews do not replace the Post-Trip Guest Evaluation we also send you when you return from your VBT vacation, as those are only used internally. Thank you for your feedback!

Share Your Photos

Explore photos taken by VBT guests at photos.vbt.com/browse. Create your own photo gallery by emailing [email protected] and we’ll send you an upload link with simple instructions regarding how to add your gallery to the collection.

CONNECT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Join the VBT community and share your travel experiences on Facebook and Instagram.

COVID-19 Policy FAQs

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VBT no longer has any COVID requirements to join our tours. This policy could change at any time.

Review our Travel Requirements page or search your destination country here to find country-specific travel requirements.

To keep our guests and communities safe and healthy, it’s important for all VBT guests to follow the local health and safety requirements for their travel destination. While traveling with us, it’s important for guests to actively monitor their own well-being—and we encourage everyone to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and/or wearing a face mask, as it aligns with individual guest preference.  Any guest who begins to feel unwell while traveling with us will be encouraged to self-isolate and/or wear a mask to protect their fellow travelers. As always, by traveling with VBT, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being—and to respect the health and safety of their fellow travelers and the VBT staff.

VBT highly recommends that guests purchase travel protection for potential coverage in these types of situations.

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