HOW TO START PLANNING

This is it! This can be the moment where it all starts. It takes time, it may cost you some nerves but it is definitely worth it. With planning the journey begins. Feel free to copy the following lists and add everything you are missing. Be patient and enjoy every step!

Before you buy or book anything you should answer these questions:

3-4 months before the trip

  • How much time do I have?
  • What’s my goal? Cycle a certain distance, get to know a country, do some stress detox, explore, be outdoors?
  • How much money do I want to spend?
  • Do I want to do it alone or with a travel partner?
  • Will I go in a country where I need a visa?
  • Do I have a passport? Make sure it doesn’t expiere during your trip.
  • Do I need a travel / health insurancy?
  • What equipment do I already have that I can use?


If you can answer these questions you can go into more planning.

2-3 months before the trip

  • pick a start date and a start point
  • go to your doctor and check what you need (if you need vaccinations go at least two months before you’re leaving to avoid stress)
  • tell your friends and family so they know you will be missing the coming up events
  • are you renting your apartment in the mean time? Get that organized.
  • are you on vacation or quitting your job? Get that organized.
  • get an idea about your destination, the climate, security, points of interest, etc.
  • when flying: check airline guidelines about traveling with a bike, book your flight and purchase ticket for bike if needed
  • think about what you want to buy for the trip
  • get in touch with other cyclists via warmshowers, instagram or in facebook groups

1 month before the trip

Here is a list of what I recommend you to pack. This is very individual though and may vary depending on where you go. Please think of my list as an inspiration.

  •  bike that you are comfortable with (it doesn’t have to be a new one)
  • 1-2 rack(s) to put your panniers on
  • 2-5 panniers
  • personal stuff: passport, vaccination passport if needed, cell phone, cash, credit card
  • for camping: tent, mat, sleepingbag, tent pad 
  • for cycling: helmet, glasses, 2x bib shorts, 2x jerseys or t-shirts, sports underwear, socks, rain jacket, warm jacket, leg warmers, sleeves
  • equipment: head torch, lights for the bike, lock, pump, 2x inner tubes, repair kit, tape, cable ties, tire leavers, multi-tool
  • for leisure time: sweat pants, hoodie, t-shirt you love, flip flops, head phones, a diary, a camera
  • for hygiene: shampoo, soap to wash clothes, deodorant, a microfiber towel, tooth brush, tooth paste, sun blocker, ear plugs, comb
  • for medical issues: painkillers, water disinfection tablets
  • for cooking: small stove, gas, 1-2 pots, pan, plate, spork, good knife, cup


1 week before the trip

  • throw a good-bye party
  • make sure the fridge is empty
  • if you are flying: try to find somebody on warmshowers to help you in the first days
  • if you are starting from home: set a daily goal for the first 3-4 days and then see how it goes
  • don’t plan too much!

when on the road

  • take it easy in the beginning
  • always make sure to make enough breaks, drink water and eat well
  • plan one week after the other
  • pack smart so that you have everything you might need while on the road handy
  • get a routine of biking, cooking, washing your clothes, sleeping
  • stop and talk to other bikepackers
  • find out if you feel comfortable or if you want to change something on your bike
  • write diary and take lots of photos

6 Antworten auf „HOW TO START PLANNING“

  1. Hey I just stayed following you a few weeks ago congrats bon your huge trip must have been amazing I also love bikepacking whenever I get a chance!!! Went across America 4 years ago on my very first tour by my self just like you. Think that’s the only way to do it on long tours. But do alot of small bike trips with friends when it works out. I’m just wondering if you ever though about coming to the states to do a tour there lots to see and friendly people especially down south. But if anything I just wanted to reach out and say it’s really cool a young women like your self went out by your self and did this big trip. Hope everything acrosse the pond is well and keep peddling your friend AJ

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Solo bikepacking was the best expierence for me so far – I totally agree. If I am coming to the states, I will let you know. For now, I am not planning on flying so far but you never know what the future brings. Best wishes and good routes! Your friend from Germany Rosa 🙂

  2. Hi, I‘ll go in February/March to Chile for 4 weeks. I wanna cycle from Puerto Varas to Puerto Natales (mix between bike and ferry) and then to El Calafate by bike again. I‘m interested to know, how did you managed your things around the mobile phone connection (Messenger, Google Maps, Komoot as example) I‘m using a Iphone. Thanks for any advices 🤓. Grüße Andreas

    1. Awesome! I think that’s a wonderful idea. Prepare for some wind, I heard it’s windy down there. I only crossed north Chile and Argentina, so I can’t give any specific tipps. But I never had problems with internet/my phone. The service was always good. Just buy a local sim card and get a data package. Sometimes you need to unlock your phone for other continents but usually you will find somebody who can help you with that, too. In case there is no service I recommend you maps.me – it’s free and you can download as many maps as you wish.
      Thanks for commenting and hope to hear again from you! Herzliche Grüße 🙂

  3. I’ve got a question. How did you do you navigation on our tour GPS or maps ? One day I’ll be starting to tour in Europe as soon as I’m done hitting most trails American. I like to use maps for the most part. I use a maps system from https://www.adventurecycling.org/members/. Was curious if there any maps and routes that our similar to these kinda maps innl Europe? it’s how I plan most of my bike trips. Any info would be greatly appreciated 😊

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