Saturday, January 7, 2017

Packing for Your Car-free Vacation

Have you ever considered taking a vacation without a car?  Yes, I mean without a car.  No rental car when you arrive at a destination.  Oh My Goodness!!  Yep.  If you are not a seasoned cyclist who engages in these types of trips, then the following sites might be of interest to you.  We are not seasoned cyclists -- although, we are becoming seasoned cyclists.  Did this happen over night?  No.  Have we tried various trips and learned different lessons on each. Yes.

Engaging in a bicycle adventure trip is easy.  First, you have to make up your mind that you are going to try to go on one.  Second, decide where you would like to travel to.  Some bloggers suggest going on an overnight trip to a local hotel near your house on your bicycles with a couple of panniers to start out with.  This is one strategy.

Another strategy is to decide to go further.  If you decide to do this, the learning curve is steeper.  But you adjust very quickly -- which is a good thing.  We started by taking trips down to the beach near family (around 60 miles away) and staying in a hotel.  This trip was simple in that the whole trip involved a bicycle and a hotel (easy to plan).

Next, we extended this toward taking the train which we ride daily to the beach to camp last year.  You can read about that experience in the following blog post -- written by Mike.  Adding a train component to a bicycle vacation is not difficult.  But remember, the train usually has limited times of departure and arrival.  Be sure to consider these schedules while planning a vacation departure or arrival time and date.

Recently (as in last week), we took a bicycle trip up north to Grover Beach and stayed in a hotel.  The bicycles served the purpose of a rental car.  We were able to explore the town car-free and stress free with a bicycle.  Part of the journey is the bicycle trip.  Most of the time on vacation, people are trying to get to a destination to enjoy the destination (such as a beach).  When riding a bicycle to a destination, the journey is part of the enjoyment of the destination.   With all of this being said, you might be wondering what to pack for such a trip.

If you are considering a car-free vacation, you may find the following links to our previous trips useful.  Each contains suggestions for packing.

Newport Beach and Oceanside (July 2014) + Metrolink + Hotel

San Francisco and Santa Cruz (May 2015) + Amtrak Coast Starlight + Hotel

Doheny Beach (January 2016) + Metrolink + Camping

Grover Beach (January 2017) + Amtrak Pacific Surfliner + Hotel

We hope that you enjoy reading the above sites packed with the lessons that we have learned evolving over time while learning how to bicycle adventure.  The photos below are of the recent trip to Grover Beach which we just returned from.  Additionally, we hope to see you out on the road on a bicycle vacation.  Have a great day!

Day 1: Waiting for the Amtrak

Day 1: On Board the Amtrak

Day 2: View from our Hotel Balcony

Day 2: Monarch Butterfly Grove (FREE)

Day 3: Bike Ride to Avila Beach (FREE)

Day 3: Bicycle Parking in Hotel Room (FREE)

Day 4: Tour of the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (FREE)

Day 4: Riding San Luis Obispo County Transit ($5 Day Pass)

Day 5: Returning via Amtrak

Day 5: A Beautiful way to End our Vacation

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