After you’ve created a plan of action, the next step is to do some research.
At this point in the planning process, you may not have decided exactly where you are going to go. All you know at this point is that you are going to go somewhere… and you’ve made a list of the things you will need to accomplish if you are ever to leave home and head out on your big biking adventure.
Once you’ve completed these two tasks, it’s now time to begin doing some research. But by research I don’t mean planning your route. That will come later! Instead, I mean that you need to begin researching the places you are considering traveling to and then using that research to build to the “to-do” list you made in Step 2.
For example, let’s say that you’ve decided to go away this winter, but you aren’t yet 100% sure where you want to go. You are thinking about heading to Europe, but Central America sure would be nice as well.
Once you’ve got a couple places in mind, do some Internet research and find out:
· What languages do people speak in these areas?
· What are the road conditions like?
· Will I be able to eat the food?
· Will I have trouble accessing the Internet?
· Will I feel safe traveling there alone?
· Will I be able to find adequate places to stay each night?
· What is the weather going to be like?
· How will I get there and return home at the end of my trip?
· … and the list goes on.
This part of the planning process may take an hour or two… or it could take a couple days.
Once you’ve done this research, make a list of pros and cons for each place you are considering. Write down what would be good about traveling to Europe in the winter… and what would be bad about it. Then do he same for Central America. Based on your research, a clear winner should emerge.
At this stage in the planning process, you may need to go back to your list of actions that need to take place and add a few things. For example, if you decided on traveling to Europe in the winter, you may need to buy some warmer clothes. But if you decided on Central America, you may need to get a new mountain bike.
Once you’ve done you research, decided where you are going to go, and added or subtracted items from your “to-do” list, it’s now time to move to Step 4 and begin calculating just how much this bicycle trip is going to cost.