The other day I was contacted by a magazine editor who was seeking some good tips for a virgin bike tourer embarking on an adventure to a foreign country.
I thought I’d share what the first things were that came to my mind!
My top tips included:
Booking a hotel/accomodation (and even transfers) for the first night in the foreign country from home. I know it takes me a day or two to get ready before starting my tour, so making sure the transition from Australia to the destination is easy and not stressful is really important!
Take small gifts. People will often go well out of their way to accomodate you in many ways, and having 5c coins, stickers, Australian paraphernalia as well as lollies will show your appreciation (money is often not accepted!)
Take pictures of things from your home. People are always really interested about your personal life. Having pictures of your family, house, pets, work, bikes and other travel pics is really interesting for them, and a great way to spur more conversation.
Do your homework on the weather and pack clothing accordingly. I’ve been to places like New Zealand and Tasmania in the height of summer, with summer clothes – only to get snowed on! I wish I knew there was the possibility of snow beforehand…
Pack everything you think you’ll need, and take out 10% of it. There will be lots of things you don’t actually need when you think about it, so think twice about what you’re taking!
Make sure you have some lights with you, even if you don’t plan to ride at night. Chances are you will get caught out riding on dark roads at night.
Research the possibility of riding as many back roads as you can. Google maps will help you out to an extent, but do not treat these maps like the any source of truth! Sometimes roads that are on Google maps are not found in the real world. Avoid riding on highways when possible – it’s fast, but just not nice.