Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How does this sound for a timeline for getting ready for a BIG trip?

    I know there are a number of people on here who have taken off for extended tours. I'm trying to put togehter a list of things to do to get ready for such a trip, along with a timeline of when to do it. Would you read through this and see if there is anything I've left out and/or if you would change the timing of these items??

    Thanks!


    4 – 6 months prior to departure
    • Set up online banking so you can monitor accounts from the road
    • Arrange auto pay for all bills you will still have
    • Talk with property management firm about renting house
    • Make general repairs to house, but don’t do final painting/recarpeting
    • Set up website so it is easy to maintain on the road
    • Evaluate gear/equipment you already have and decide what you will need to buy
    • If homeschooling, check requirements for your state


    2 – 3 months before departure
    • Let boss know you are leaving
    • Start packing nonessentials
    • Start pile for yard sale
    • Research gear/equipment and start purchasing what you need
    • Make plans for homeschooling, but don’t stress over it – kids learn a lot just from traveling
    • If going internationally, make sure you have current passports

    4 - 6 weeks before departure
    • Empty out your house – everything is put in three piles
    • stuff to take with you
    • stuff for yard sale
    • stuff for storage
  2. If you’ll be renting out your house, now’s the time to paint it and get it ready for renters
  3. Purchase everything you can think of you’ll need (yes, there will be last minute purchases, but try to think of everything now to minimize the last-minute shopping)


  4. 2 - 3 weeks before departure
    • Hold a big yard sale



    By this point, you should be pretty much ready to go. All your ‘stuff’ is taken care of, so you will be free to spend the last couple of weeks hanging out with friends. If you’ve planned it right, you won’t have that massive mad dash right at the end where you are wondering if it will all come together. By that point, you know.
WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org
Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  • #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,276
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you have cars? what are you going to do with them?
    ...

  • #3
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good point! I forgot about that one!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #4
    Bike touring webrarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    My Bikes
    I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
    Posts
    1,548
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you are planning on getting any vaccinations you might want to factor the time lag required for those that have multiple injections.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  • #5
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    984
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    From your trip description, I would think you will need visa's to get into some of the countries you will be crossing. I assume that you have assessed the risk of traveling in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Colombia. I personally would have reservations about taking my family into those areas. But then again I'm a Wuss when it comes to that sort of that thing.

    Next I would find a trusted friend or friends who will send and receive things for you. Winter clothes exchanged for summer, spare equipment etc. Box the things you might need and make them easy for them to find and send. Figure out where post offices are along your route so you can have things sent ahead of you when you need them.

    Create a cheat sheet with all your needed phone numbers, contacts, doctors, favorite equipment supply numbers, web sites etc. Make several copies and laminate them in plastic.

    Test all your equipment before you go.

    The more of these types of things you can take care of now, the less you will have to mess with them later. Just makes for a more enjoyable trip. Good luck, will you be creating a journal on Crazy guy?

  • #6
    mev
    mev is offline
    bicycle tourist
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
    Posts
    876
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Somewhat similar list to what I did before taking off for 10 months to Russia/China/Thailand.

    Some things I also did or other comments:
    - Health issues such as vaccinations, malaria pills, etc (~3 months in advance to research)
    - Investigate visa requirements in addition to passports (done a little earlier than you have)
    - Tell boss about departure, I did that much more in advance but I wanted a LOA to be able to come back
    - Some bills such as property taxes come just once a year and might be tough to predict.
    Rather than use autopay or rely on the internet, I set up a joint account with my parents
    and put $ into it so they could pay some bills on my behalf.
    - Property management firm will have a vital role, make sure you can rely on such a firm
    by investigating in advance and/or having someone be able to act on your behalf (e.g. power
    of attorney)
    - Scan and save away vital information in a few ways, for example you can scan in passports,
    visas, airline tickets and then email them to yourself at a google account so you can access
    them on the road from an internet cafe. Also save away references and phone numbers.

    There will probably be a few things that fill that gap at the end...

  • #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,383
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't forget to talk to your bank about a bank card that can be used at ATMs throughout North America, and also in other countries. Talk to them too about where you are going and when, so that when you use your credit card in Argentina or something, they don't decide to put a hold on your card. Here in Canada, most of us are all set up with online banking, autopay, and bank cards by now, and have been for years (I rarely touch money (or cheques) anymore), but from my trips through the US over the past few years, I understand that most Americans are not set up with all this stuff. But this brings up something else for me ... because I rarely touch money anymore, I forget I need to have cash when I arrive in other countries, so you might also consider getting $100 or so in Canadian dollars a few weeks before you leave so that you have it when you enter Canada. If you need any more, you can get it out of the ATMs.

    I'd move the passport thing up a bit. If there are a lot of people deciding to renew or something, it can take more than 6 weeks to get a passport ... sometimes it can take a few months. I've been very fortunate with this, and have gotten mine in less than 6 weeks, but just recently there was a rush on passports and they were telling people 3 months or so.

    And like the others have mentioned, don't forget about visas (which can take anywhere from a matter of minutes (Australia) to months to process), vaccinations (sometimes you have to go through a series of them and that can take a few months), and travel insurance (this you can look into in your 2-3 month section). You might also look into bicycle insurance (although I was informed the other day that there is no such thing for Americans ... I find that hard to believe)

    As for gear, I'd start purchasing it now. If you start early you can take advantage of sales, or you can get something, try it out, decide it doesn't work, and still have time to get something else, etc. To me, purchasing everything you think you'll need in the last 4-6 weeks is "last minute". Those last few weeks go by incredibly fast. One minute you think you've got lots of time, the next you're in a panic because you've got no time left ... and that transition usually occurs in the 4-6 week point.

    Speaking of which, I'd move packing the house up into the 4-6 month section. If you are anything like me (a bit of a packrat), you'll be floored by the amount of stuff you've got, and the incredible amount of time it is taking to pack it all. I started packing with about 3 months to go, and wasn't done in time. If you give yourself lots of time here, you have the option of trying to sell larger, higher quality items for more than bargain basement prices ... you can post them on E-bay or run newspaper ads, etc. If you wait till the last minute (like I did), you'll be giving it all away. I'd also hold your yard sale earlier than that.

    As for that last bit ... it's a nice dream ... but there are always a million little things to do right up to the last second before you leave. I've never been able to sit back and relax at all before I leave for anywhere. However, if you take your list and move it back a month or so, you'll increase your chances of making that dream a reality.

  • #8
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    As for that last bit ... it's a nice dream ... but there are always a million little things to do right up to the last second before you leave. I've never been able to sit back and relax at all before I leave for anywhere. However, if you take your list and move it back a month or so, you'll increase your chances of making that dream a reality.
    Yeah well... I can dream can't I???

    Thank you all for your ideas!! It's amazing all the little things we are dealing iwth and we just kind of...do it. Trying to put it all down on paper is hard - I forget about so much of it!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,383
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    About the home schooling, you might consider checking into your local cyberschool.

    We've got one in Red Deer called St. Gabe's: http://www.stgabe.com/ They provide the material (mostly online) and access to teachers as needed. Students email in their assignments and talk to teachers via email or the phone.

  • #10
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One thing I've discovered about homeschooling is there are a million different ways to go about it - each family can tailor it to their needs. It really is amazing how many options there are!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #11
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post
    Good luck, will you be creating a journal on Crazy guy?
    Not on Crazy Guy this time - we've got a blog at www.familyonbikes.org I'll be posting there every chance we get.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #12
    Senior Member FlyingAnchor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Humboldt County Ca
    My Bikes
    All Recumbent, Strada and TT Tour
    Posts
    301
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like so much fun and to agree with you, homeschooling is a good way to go and there are lots of ways to go about it. We homeschooled our daughter for 12 years and she went to college at 17.

    Can I go with you?

    Steven
    Dragging Anchor

  • #13
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,305
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, a few extra things, some of which you should do anyway....

    - Last will & testament.
    - Get a safe deposit box, make sure it automatically renews (usually does). Put your important crap in there (e.g. will, jewelry, insurance papers, financial records etc)
    - Make sure your executor has a copy of your will, and that you have a will in your SDB.
    - Get PrivacyGuard.
    - Make sure whoever is handling your mail knows to shred credit card and loan solicitations.

    By the way, Alaska to Argentina is apparently a rough trip. 2 of the 3 people I met who were doing that route bailed in Mexico; and the guy who's still going was in the RAF for 15 years. You, uh, sure you wanna take your kids with you?

  • #14
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    By the way, Alaska to Argentina is apparently a rough trip. 2 of the 3 people I met who were doing that route bailed in Mexico; and the guy who's still going was in the RAF for 15 years. You, uh, sure you wanna take your kids with you?
    If we don't try, we won't know. Our kids have grown up traveling and are great travelers. The favorite part of their last journey was Mexico - and they can't wait to get back there. I suspect they will be just fine - it's me and John I'm not sure about!! That being said, what's the worst that can happen? If we end up being miserable, we'll bail and come back to Boise. Is that such a bad thing?
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,383
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    If we don't try, we won't know. Our kids have grown up traveling and are great travelers. The favorite part of their last journey was Mexico - and they can't wait to get back there. I suspect they will be just fine - it's me and John I'm not sure about!! That being said, what's the worst that can happen? If we end up being miserable, we'll bail and come back to Boise. Is that such a bad thing?
    I assume you have looked into which countries (or areas of countries) in Central and South America are "open" and which are "closed" because of various governmental difficulties (guerrilla organizations etc.), crime rates, drug traffickers, landmines (see Columbia, for example) and so on.

    Panama, for example, has a travel advisory:
    http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/report-...country=233000

    Here's the list of countries and their travel advisories:
    http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/cont-en.asp#3

    I suspect that the US has a similar site with a similar list.

  • #16
    Senior Member Miguelangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ositoland
    My Bikes
    Lemond Tourmalet
    Posts
    373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A good friend who just returned from Central America told me that Guatemala and Honduras were run by gangs. He has finished traveling thru all countries in South America and Central America...and he said Central America no way.... Panama was fine and so it was in Costa Rica (our favorite country) but he will never go back to Guatemal or Honduras. He told me it was the first time he actually feared for his life.... worse than his visit to Haiti!!!

  • #17
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    1st star to the right...
    My Bikes
    Merlin Ti Build, Trek Y-50, Bianchi Titanium Build, Custom Cuevas Road bike
    Posts
    1,469
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    If we don't try, we won't know. Our kids have grown up traveling and are great travelers. The favorite part of their last journey was Mexico - and they can't wait to get back there. I suspect they will be just fine - it's me and John I'm not sure about!! That being said, what's the worst that can happen? If we end up being miserable, we'll bail and come back to Boise. Is that such a bad thing?
    Nancy, I hope the prep is being less maddening on you. What about bike gear, can we start posting that stuff?

    I would reccomend a mapping handheld like the Colorado, and conect via Motion-based accoint Nancy, buy the premium package so that you'll upload enough data that thy will have a job when you return
    more items comming later [he passes out from president's day ride]

  • #18
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We will pay attention to what's happening politically in various countries. It's too early to rule out any countries at this point - a lot can change in a year! At this point it looks like Mexico is fine, Guatemala is dicey (but we mostly skirt that by going through Belize if we need to), Honduras is OK (from my understanding - I was a Peace Corps Volunteer there and have friends there), Nicaragua appears to be fine... But again - we won't arrive to Guatemala for another year or so, and a lot can change between now and then.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #19
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
    Posts
    3,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Holy cow! You're serious! For my tours I don't need to rent out my house, quit my job, or anything that intense. However some things I do which are similar are:
    • Have my paycheck auto-deposited.
    • Set up bill-paying capabilities on my bank's website. When I call my wife she tells me what bills I have to pay. I get on the internet at the next library and take care of it.
    • I get a new ATM card before I leave. I don't want to have it wear out when I'm out on tour, and have to try and replace it from the middle of nowhere.
    • I get cash with my ATM before I REALLY need it. That way, if there's a problem, I've got a cushion while I take care of things. But I don't want too much cash because I might lose it.
    • I have one of those Road ID bracelets with contact information on it, in case I'm ever found unconscious in a ditch somewhere. I also put a paper with contact information in the plastic window on my handlebar bag, in case someone forgets to check my wrist.

  • #20
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For our shorter tours we didn't need to do all that either. But seeing as how we're going to be gone for several years, we need to consider it all.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,383
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    As for that last bit ... it's a nice dream ... but there are always a million little things to do right up to the last second before you leave. I've never been able to sit back and relax at all before I leave for anywhere. However, if you take your list and move it back a month or so, you'll increase your chances of making that dream a reality.
    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    Yeah well... I can dream can't I???

    Thank you all for your ideas!! It's amazing all the little things we are dealing iwth and we just kind of...do it. Trying to put it all down on paper is hard - I forget about so much of it!

    Nancy, I've been meaning to ask ... how did your schedule work out for you? Did you end up with free time at the end? If so, perhaps you can send some tips my way on how you managed that.

    I need to put together a similar sort of schedule of my own very soon, so if you've got anything to add or change on your schedule, or any tips or advice on the preparation process, I'd love to hear it!

  • #22
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We did fine on the actual preparations for the trip itself. what we were working frantically on at the end was our house - getting it ready for renters. There were some things we knew about, so John started on those things early and was fine there. However, right at the end he decided to put a coat of paint on the barn and discovered that the siding was completely rotted out in one area. So there we were - a week before we're leaving - and he's ripping off the siding, digging out all the rotted wood in the support beams, rebuilding that, putting up new siding, and then (finally) painting.

    I was surprised at how long I spent dealing with our mail - trying to get everything switched over to online only. Every day for about three months I picked up the mail every afternoon, then spent about an hour looking up online for a physical address or an email address to contact and explain our situation and ask them not to send anything alse to that address. I was able to cut out most of the mail, but not all.

    The other thing I would recommend is setting up a Schwab Investor checking account and getting an ATM card - no fees anywhere, anytime. We can now access our money any place we can find an ATM machine and not have to pay each time we take some out.

    You've toured enough that you know what you need for the cycling itself so that's a non-issue.

    Good luck! You'll be out of there soon enough!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • #23
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,416
    Mentioned
    52 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Some of your four to six month items could be done immediately (like internet banking).

    On yard sale, if you have a lot of stuff, I would move it much earlier in the process, and plan on having more than one of them (and consider selling individual items via Craigs List or similar, that will garner more $$).

    Don't wait til the end for yard sale anyway. You will want to not be bothered by it at the end.

  • #24
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree about Craig's List - we did put some of our bigger items on Craig's List early. That way we could list them a couple times and, if they didn't sell, we put htem in the yard sale pile. We wanted to put the yard sale off until quite close to the end because we knew we would keep finding stuff even though we thought we had it all cleared out - and we were right. Even though we had the yard sale a month before we left and I thought the house was emptied out, I found a bunch of stuff after the sale that I could have put out that day. It all went down to the local thrift store.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  • Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •