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