ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours, in 1972 became the first North American tour company to offer bike tours in Europe (<a href="http://www.experienceplus.com/" target="_blank">http://www.experienceplus.com/</a>), over the years has devised an ease-of-tour <a href="http://www.experienceplus.com/about_you/tour_level_ratings.html" target="_blank">rating system</a> from 101 to 501 that families can tap into when they’re planning a multi-generational bicycle trip over international waters.
“Daily mileage and terrain difficulty are often the factors, after a destination choice, that affect a decision on where to go,” says company co-owner/director Maria Elena Price, adding that her company offers a 20 percent discount for ages 11 and under and a 15 percent discount for ages 12 to 16 on its 101-level guided tours. The daily mileage on 101-rated tours is between 30 and 35 miles on flat to gently rolling terrain. While the mileage may not increase significantly on higher-level tours, the amount of climbing does. Tours in Slovenia, Italy and France are among the <a href="http://www.experienceplus.com/tours/tours_by_rating.html?rating=101" target="_blank">101-rated trips</a>.
Price underscores that on these and other tours “there’s no rush. With our <a href="http://www.experienceplus.com/what_to_expect/a_day_on_tour.html" target="_blank">chalk dust arrow navigation system</a>, everyone can go at his/her own pace. If you want the whole family to come along and not everyone can do the day’s route in full, the van can shuttle those who don’t want to ride all day long.”
This company is geared up year-round from Europe to South America to accommodate vacationers who want to slow down their worlds by biking through new experiences. School breaks and holidays are prime time to take advantage of family cycling adventure opportunities.
“This is when kids can travel with their parents. And the parents ‘get’ that this kind of family-fun time is fleeting,” Price says, adding that a family may expect, on average, to spend $400-$500 per day, per person on an international cycling vacation, exclusive of air and personal purchases/activities.