There's a few things to consider prior to any type of trip, below is a few essential matters that you will need to be weary of before leaving. Concerning bike touring, it's a good idea to take a few practise runs in your home country before leaving. This is so to see what distances you can cover in a day, to see if you were adequately prepared and what would you bring/change on your bike for the big trip.
This is the probably the easiest part on your check list. You'll need a passport with at least 6 months expiry remaining, before buying your ticket. Be sure to verify this tiny detail as some countries won't let you in. Most Asian countries will give you a Tourist Visa on arrival and you'll need to have enough empty pages so they can put the visa inside your passport. If you don't have enough pages in your passport remaining, you may be refused entry to certain countries you plan on visiting. Some countries wont give you extra pages in your current passport and you'll need to renew it (Canada for example).
These depend on your nationality - contact your embassys website for exact details. Generally though, these are the regulations for most countries. Situations change quickly so verify these figures before departure. Prices below are in USD.
Thailand ⇒ 30 days for free on arrival by plane. 14 days by land
Laos ⇒30 days visa on arrival - price varies on nationality -$30-45
Vietnam ⇒You'll need an approval letter if arriving by air. Apply for visa in advance for land crossings
Cambodia ⇒30 days visa on arrival - $30
This is a tricky gamble when choosing to book your flight. We always are looking out for the better deal and won't jump into any purchase before comparing other airports in the region. Sometimes it can be cheaper to fly via another country, before your final destination to save on taxes. Certain countries have extremely high taxes, if you take for example the UK, and fly to Paris or Brussels prior to the long haul flight, you could save yourself a couple hundred pound. We've been using Skyscanner for years now and we always find low prices. Skyscanner tips that, by booking a long haul flight 18 weeks in advance you'll get the best prices. Compared to short haul at only 7 weeks. Click on skyscanner money saving tips here. Kayak is also a good searching tool. Momondo also with competitive rates.
Vaccines are probably the most boring part for me. Every country have their own recommendations and you're probably best to go to your closest Travel Clinic. Obviously not all of them are ESSENTIAL and the decision is down to you. This is a well informative website that will recommend all the vaccines you need by country and type of traveller you are.
A big question for us was weather to take Malaria pills. We still don't know what to recommend for this. Basically, even if we tried to protect with nets and sprays - we were still bitten.
Ouf ! This is another irritating part of travelling... Be sure to read exactly if you are covered... Max had paid for an insurance when we went to China, but as he had been living outside the UK for one year, he wouldn't have been covered - even if there was an accident. Only realising this the next time, when booking another trip - with the same company. Before buying your travel insurance, you need to be sure that you are a Permanent Resident of the country you are living in. Try to search, compare and discuss with other travellers before jumping in to any deal. We haven't recommend any of them, because there is too many options and it really depends on where you're from.
I don't know what I like about making a budget, but it's always something I enjoy. Max on the other hand, hates to make a budget and just goes for the lowest priced option when there! It's a good idea to do one before travelling to give you a rough idea of how much money you'll need.
See the pictures to the right ⇒ It would've been a shame not to do the Gibbon Experience when in Laos!
Using blogs and hotel finders to compare prices, then do you're research on the type of activities you want to do. Decide how much you want to spend on your flight and how much time do you plan to be away for. Money comes and goes, but you don't want to end up not being able to do what you want.