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Anyone ever ship their bikes for vacation?(6 posts)

Anyone ever ship their bikes for vacation?riney
Sep 25, 2002 10:54 AM
I was thinking...to aviod the $150 charge for taking our two bikes on the plane with us we could send them UPS of FedEx to arrive the same day or day after. Anyone ever done this or have any insight of this option?
re: Anyone ever ship their bikes for vacation?PMC
Sep 25, 2002 11:14 AM
I've done it on a number of occasions but always to a friend's house and never to a hotel. I built "UPS time" into the process just in case they lost my bike. It's a bit of a pain but well worth it if your entire vacation revolves around riding.

Insight - Get a good bike case. I use a Trico Iron Case and haven't had my bikes damaged by UPS yet.
Find a UPS or other shipping service customer counter you'll use to send your bike home well in advance. You don't want to be searching for a way to ship your bike at the last minute. It's much easier now that most Office Depot and Office Max stores have UPS and Airborne Express customer counters in them.

Even with ground shipping you should expect to pay around 40-45 dollars each way with insurance.
No, my bike is too busy to take time off for travel.Steve_0
Sep 25, 2002 11:31 AM
re: Anyone ever ship their bikes for vacation?StewK
Sep 25, 2002 12:02 PM
I've shipped both UPS and FedEx and have been happy with each. Once I shipped to my brother-in-law's office and once I shipped directly to a Bed and Breakfast. I had the Bed and Breakfast ship it back home for me.

The other option is to join the League of American Cyclists. If you use their travel agent the bike gets shipped for free (on selected carriers).

I belong to the League and have flown my bike for free. But having done so I have to say that I prefer to ship it UPS or FedEx because then I don't have to deal with getting the bike from the airport to my final destination.
Did it once, mixed resultms
Sep 25, 2002 12:39 PM
I once shipped a bike to a resort by UPS. The good part -- the bike arrived on schedule unharmed and made it back unharmed. The bad part -- the resort was adamant that the bike not arrive more than a day before I did and was upset that I was leaving on a Sunday and UPS was not picking it up until Monday. The hassles of dealing with the resort were greater than the hassles that I would have had taking it on the plane and transporting it from the airport. Although, as one of the posts above notes, the plane trip is not a problem with the bike, the bigger hasssle is getting it from the airport to your destination. (I've done it both by cab and by rental car. Many cabs are not large enough and those that are sometimes try to get an extra luggage fee out of you. If you go the rental car route you have to get the bike onto a shuttle (most of the time) and then you have to rent a vehicle that can accommodate your bike.)
I've done it a few times...biknben
Sep 25, 2002 12:43 PM
I wouldn't consider it a money saving option. It may end up costing more to ship the bikes than fly with them.

I've gone on 2 vacations with the bike. They were both to Moab. Obviously, my entire vacation revolved around the bike. On my last trip, I shipped it out two-day air using UPS. Cost me about $130 one way. I wanted a garantee it would be there when I arrived. Airlines don't provide that.

On the way home I just brought it on the plane and spent $50. If it got misplaced or lost (temporarily) I didn't care. I was going home anyway.

There are a lot of pros and cons to each method. Using a shipping service, you could have a shop pack the bike and ship from the store. That way you don't have to deal with it at the airport. You also get garantees and insurance.
each time. I've shipped directly to the hotel without problems. Again, I was in Moab. They are used to it. On the way home, you don't neccessarily have to find a shipping location to return the bike. Fedex (maybe others) will do pick-ups from any address.

Random tip: Many people pack things in the bike box so they don't have to carry it on the plane. This is a good idea. OTOH, don't pack essential things in the bike box. Stuff like bike shoes, pedals, helmet, etc. (ie. personal, expensive items that can't be easily replaced). If your bike doesn't arrive as scheduled, at least you'll have your pedals that you can swap on a rental. When I flew I brought shoes, pedals, helmet, and one day of riding clothes, in my carry-on. If my bike or other luggage were lost, I knew I could grab a rental and ride. On a 4-day trip I wasn't willing to give up any saddle time. :-)