In recent years, bicycle travel, or cyclotourism, has become increasingly popular. Indeed, thanks to its many benefits, everyone could be tempted.
Cycle tourism has been around almost since the arrival of the bicycle, but it has become very popular in recent years, particularly in 2020, driven by the desire for nature, the fight against global warming, the rise of the electric bicycle, and the travel restrictions linked to the health crisis. Cycle tourism therefore invites a different approach to travel, as does home exchange, a welcome wind of change!Discover HomeExchange
Reconciling travel and cycling has many benefits
Apart from the cost of the bike and its maintenance, cycle tourism is free! Combining it with a home exchange is a very economical trip because expenses are limited. You don't need a big budget to have fun and go on holiday!
Meeting new people
When faced with travellers on bikes, locals are often sympathetic, curious and supportive, so they come easily to chat. Cycle tourism is therefore an ideal way to meet people. Connecting with local communities makes for a richer trip and unexpected experiences.
Limiting your environmental impact
According to a study published in the science journal “Nature Climate Change” (1), tourism is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Before the health crisis, it was predicted to grow significantly by 2050, which would have resulted in a large increase in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Transport has the largest share of tourism's carbon footprint: in 2018 more than half of the 1.4 billion international tourists travelled by plane (2). Cycle tourism presents itself as a clean alternative, i.e. its use does not lead to the emission of greenhouse gases, the increase in which is responsible for global warming.
Travelling on two wheels gives us the opportunity to travel freely. We are free to stop whenever we want. If we pass a beautiful place, a place that inspires us, a breathtaking panorama, with a bike we can stay and contemplate it for as long as we want. This way we can fully enjoy these moments, and have time to immortalise them if we wish. Let's observe nature and landscapes at our own pace!
Getting off the beaten track
Cycling allows you to get off the main roads, to get off the beaten track, and to go to places that are inaccessible by other means of transport. This is a great opportunity because you can have the privilege of discovering hidden places and be alone in this experience!
Studies show that people who travel by bike spend more on average than people who travel by car. Cycle tourists will not hesitate to stop for an ice cream or to discover farm products on their route. Local actors have understood this, with more and more adapted shops along the cycle routes.
Being close to nature
Travelling by bike is travelling close to nature because it is an open mode of transport. Listening to nature is possible, smelling the smells, touching what you like. Of course there are sometimes small inconveniences like rain, which are part of the journey, but as the saying goes: there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. And let's remember that it's usually the hardest moments that we remember and laugh about the most!
A cycling trip can also be a real sporting challenge, which pushes you to surpass yourself every day. At the end of the day or the trip, a feeling of satisfaction fills us, and pushes us to continue. The moments of the trip are all the more appreciated and savoured because we feel that we have earned them. A cycling trip can therefore lead to psychological well-being. It is also good for physical health because of the benefits of cycling on the human body. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, strengthens the immune system and allows for a better quality of sleep. It will give us more energy and tone.
There are many ways to travel by bike, some will travel back to their point of departure, others will only use the bike for part of the journey. The duration can also differ, a bike trip can be done over 2 days or 2 months, you choose your rhythm and the time of the trip. Alone or with family, the experiences can be enriching, and sharing these moments with loved ones can create strong bonds and good memories. Whether you choose an electric bike or a standard bike, make your choice according to your physical capacity and especially your itinerary, which can sometimes be very hilly depending on the region. In recent years, many cycling routes have opened up in Europe, not only in cities but also across entire countries. Let's make the most of it!
How to combine a bike trip and HomeExchange platform?
- By organising classic, reciprocal exchanges : click here to see how it works
- By organising hospitality exchanges : click here to see how it works.
So, convinced ?Discover HomeExchange
(1) NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE | VOL 8 | JUNE 2018 | 522–528 | www.nature.com/natureclimatechange528
(2) World Tourism Organization (2019), International Tourism Highlights, 2019 Edition, UNWTO, Madrid, DOI: https://doi.org/10.18111/9789284421152.