The definition of bicycle touring (or bicycle travel) is varied and debatable.
Some would tell you that it’s not really bicycle touring unless you’re riding self-contained and sleeping in a tent on the ground. Others, including Adventure Cycling, take a more inclusive view. From leisurely to extreme, it’s all bicycle touring. So let’s get the wheels rolling and look at how whether supported, self-contained, or hybrid touring is for you.
The two primary formats falling under the Hybrid umbrella are guided inn-to-inn group touring and self-guided tours, a format more commonly seen in Europe but gaining ground in North America. You can accomplish both inn-to-inn and self-guided tours carrying little more than a credit card and a change of clothes (hence why they’re sometimes called “credit card tours”).
Self-guided tours are ideal for those who prefer not to travel with a group, yet appreciate the security of a mapped route, designated overnight and dining locations, and gear shuttle all provided by the tour organizer. But instead of riding with others each day, the rider is free to pedal toward their evening destination without a guide or group.