Categories: Travel Tips

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

by Nadine Dirksen - Tuesday, November 22, 2022 celebrating the end of a great ride

After you browse our tours, narrow your choices, and finally book your next, or first, bicycle vacation, the work of planning your travel begins. What are the best next  steps we recommend that you take on this journey? To answer that question, we point you to our comprehensive and chronological pre-trip planning checklist.

We encourage you to consult this list once you book your tour. This list assumes a long lead time on planning your travels, so if you book your tour closer to the departure date, you’ll just need to compress these steps. You will find this information included in all of our tour itinerary packets, so you’ll always have it handy along with your itinerary.

Things we recommend you do right after you booked:

  • Read through your Reservation Confirmation and follow the links we sent to you as they contain important information we’d like you to know. For example the “After you Book Information” will give you a great overview of the most frequently asked questions and what to expect next to help you plan your trip!
  • Check the date on your passport. The expiration date should extend three months past your date of return to your home country. If you find you need to renew it, start the process as soon as possible to allow for potential delays, and so you have it ready once you start booking flights and other travel.
  • Complete the Customer Information Form (CIF). This form helps us collect/re-confirm important details as we plan your trip. It also covers the required legal release.
  • We recommend you take out travel insurance. Start looking now, research policies and be sure you are aware of any potential deadlines to gain extra benefits that might be more expensive when added on later. Start with our information page on travel insurance.
  • Start thinking about getting in shape for your chosen tour level and choose a bicycle training program.
  • Learn more about your destination, take a look at hotels and find other tips and recommendations as you browse around on our Travel Planning Pages.

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date – time to start booking

Now it’s time to start making some travel arrangements for your confirmed trip. We recommend you check with our office if you don’t know if your trip is confirmed.

  • Refer to your Tour Packet to see step-by-step arrival and departure information for your tour, meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure, and start making those arrangements.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. If you’d like help with finding your perfect flight itinerary, we can help by connecting you with our partners at Exito Travel, a flight consolidator, who can provide quotes with no obligation to book.
  • Book any desired pre- and post-nights at tour hotels. We’re happy to help with this! Just reach out to us. (Explorer tours excluded.)
  • Begin your chosen training program.
  • Final payment for your departure is due 90 days (120 days for Bike &Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail we send 10 days prior to the due date for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Start reading one of the books or watching one of the movies from our Reading and Movie Lists.
  • Plan what you are going to pack and start packing! Refer to our Packing Lists for tips on what to bring, or not, and for luggage size and weight restrictions.
  • Receive your final departure information. We’ll email you your access code to Digital Daysheets, Hotel Itinerary, Participant Roster, names and contact information of your Tour Leaders, emergency phone numbers, and other important departure information about 2 weeks prior to your tour start date. All this will be provided to you via a feature called Experiences via the RideWithGPS App (tracks available but not necessary for navigation on Classic, Expedition and Bike & Boat tours).

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

Nadine Dirksen - A German native, Nadine is a happy Colorado transplant who moved from lush Bavaria when she married. She left the land of pretzels in 2012 and has been enjoying a fun life full of cycling, mountain biking, CrossFit, hiking, running and any other outdoor activity that involves her little black Dachshund-mix. When not having fun outside or at work, she tries her hand at different craft projects with varying success. She helps our travelers by answering all their questions before their tours and she can't wait to help you bring your dream trip to reality!

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