Rental car when traveling with bike

Just booked a trip to Hawaii with the family and would love to bring my bike along rather then renting one. I’ve travelled with a bike plenty of times but not since I’ve had kids. Do you guys just typically rent a giant SUV so it’ll fit all the luggage plus bike plus family?

We’ll be spending by far the majority of our time at the resort so renting an expensive car seems like kind of a waste. Any suggestions on alternatives to get family (me + wife + two kids who will need booster seats) + luggage + bike to the resort without renting a car?

Tough one. I travel plenty with my bikes on solo trips but essentially gave up trying to bring a bike as luggage on family trips. Just too much stuff to haul around and even if you do rent a car, good luck fitting everything unless you rent a gigantic (therefore expensive) XXL SUV.

I mostly now try to embrace family time and time off the bike. It is not always obvious. The mere sight of a singletrack or scenic dirt road climb during family hike can quickly lead to major withdrawal.

Occasionally, I would just ship the bike (eg to nearby UPS (hold at location) and pick it up during some downtime. Then wake up early to squeeze a ride before kids wake up (I am blessed with kids who naturally wake up late around 8am).



Agree with @pimu on this. Unless you need your bike for an event, I wouldn’t want to hassle with the extra cost of shipping (although some airlines are free), risk of damage to the bike, and unpacking/repacking for a minimal amount of saddle time. Consider all the extra things you need to bring (spare tubes, tire, pump, saddle bag, bike clothes, shoes, helmet, socks, sunglasses, head unit, nutrition, water bottles, chamois cream, chain lube, multi-tool, lights, CO2–which you can’t bring on the plane), and it’s not worth the hassle, in my opinion.

I have young children as well (both in seats), and for Memorial Day we took a driving trip a few hundred miles to the beach. I brought my bike and my trainer, and that was a pain in the rear… and that was with my own car that has a bike rack. And then to make matters worse, the weather was too cold for outdoor cycling and my KICKR '18 #3 fried on the second day of our trip. Point being, it’s probably not worth the trouble for a 1-2 week trip. I was a bit envious the last time I went to Maui and saw all the cyclists, but there are plenty of fun places to explore back home, so I just enjoyed my rare time off.

You guys make good points. My wife + kids sleep in much longer then me which is why I’m considering bringing the bike. Might take a look at renting a bike again and compare the costs. Guessing it’s cheaper then airline fees + a bigger rental car.

Minivan and it’s just for 2 of us. But we also bring 2 bikes.

Delta just changed their rules to allow bikes as part of baggage allowance, FYI. Also, Seasuckers fit in a bike bag and can go on any car. You could also simply call a flotilla of Ubers and Lyfts to get you and the family/gear to the resort? I was just going to lunch in Kauai and the dude picked me up in a Tundra that could have fit a family of four, luggage and a team’s worth of road bikes.

Also, you should call the resort and see how they can help you out. Transport can be wildly variable depending on which island you are staying on and where the resort is.

Personally I’d pack a board bag S shore swells have been pretty decent this summer.

do you have a case like an Orucase? That can fit in a small car, it’s only slightly larger than a normal checked bag.

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I travel with 4 kids, wife and a bike. It is a logistical nightmare. 7-seat station wagons would fit us and the luggage (we pack light) but not the bike. During the last trip in Italy we rented a 9-seat van which was very effective. For the bike I am using Thule Roundtrip pro XT. If I remove and fold hard wall inserts and wheels, it can fit into most SUVs. However, I often lament not having an Orucase.

For our next trip I am considering renting a bike and/or bringing a Seasucker type of roof mount.

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bit the bullet and buy the orucase. I just did an it’s PHENOMENAL.


If you only need to get your bike to and from the resort, there are often minivan or van taxis at airports for transporting large parties. We’ve used that to get our bikes from the airport to the hotel (but never in Hawaii). If the resort has a shuttle, it may have enough baggage space to take your bike.

I usually rent a truck with a second row. Throw the bike front wheel over the backend of the bed with a blanket and put the luggage in the bed with it.

You don’t need a giant SUV, get either a station wagon* or a regular car with a bike rack.

But let me rewind: are you really, really sure you want to bring your bike with you rather than rent one? Even when you get a good bike bag, those things are huge — and they won’t be the only pieces of luggage. Plus your kids*. And your wife. And their luggage. For a long vacation. I’ve only flown long-distance with my wife and my daughter once, but there is no way I could’ve taken my bike with me and stay married. We were literally having all of our hands full when boarding trains and the like.

(* Here, it depends on how many kids you have. You used kids as in plural, so I am assuming you have more than 1.)

Just get an Uber SUV/Minivan to get your family and your bike to the resort.
Or better yet, see if your resort offers such service