To most people likely to see this article, me included, the answer will be a resounding yes. However NimbleFins have done some analysis to back this up and while it is somewhat subjective, the criteria used stands up to scrutiny.
They have used used 14 different types of holiday which is probably a pretty exhaustive list – although some may be a bit questionable (e.g. what is a ‘fitness’ holiday as opposed to many of the activity holidays they’ve used?).
There are two measures, well-being and experience, each broken down into five metrics. The score used for each is 0 to 1, from none or little relevance to being a major part of the holiday. – with 0.5 being somewhere in between. Also by holiday they mean package holiday, not a do-it-yourself trip such as bike-packing for which the scores could be quite different – for instance ‘organised’ would be a 0 although nightlife could be 0.5 or 1 depending on your interests!
‘Well-being’ is measured by the metrics spa, fitness, nutrition, meditation and nature. Perhaps not surprisingly given the categories chosen, the top result went to yoga holidays with cycling at number four. Did you know you can join a bike and yoga tour – the score would be through the roof!
The ‘experience’ metrics are adventure, culture/local exposure, sun boost, nightlife and organised for you. By this scale cycling, hiking and safari holidays jointly take out top honours, with scuba and sailing not far behind. Again there are bike tours combining with the other top activities – bike and hike and bike and wildlife tours.
For the record the researchers allocated the following scores for cycling:
1 : Fitness, Nature, Organised, Adventure, Culture, Sun
0.5 : Nutrition
0 : Spa, Meditation, Nightlife
Do you agree with this? If not, then tell me in the comments below how you would score cycling. The numbers for other types of holiday can be found here.
Active holidays, led by cycle tours, are best overall – not necessarily the most popular! As the folks at NimbleFins conclude, holidays, when organised for you, take the pressure off and you return home healthier than you left – physically, mentally or both. The greater prevalence and seeming popularity of less active holidays - such as beach, city break or car/rail/bus touring - is probably a reflection of the society we live in and the busy lives we all have nowadays.
Despite my above reservations and the subjective nature of the methodology I agree with the analysis and results because the logic makes sense for me and Cycle Tours Global. NimbleFins, as a travel insurer, is probably quite impartial. Travel insurance is required or at least recommended for all types of holiday – in fact the one exclusion in common for most bike tour listings on cycletoursglobal.com is travel insurance, which is often mandatory or a prerequisite to joining the tour.
Of course the best type of holiday for you is one where you’re most relaxed, doing what you love and is the most memorable to you – whether that be cycling or something else. I know which I’m doing.