Vaccinations, Taxes & a Bike Rack – 406 days to go

Assembled bike rack lying on the ground

Next week we will be under 400 days to go. Even though we are still planning and dreaming, we have not done a good job writing about it. The good news is that we have checked off a couple more boxes.

This year we bought a bike with training wheels for Julie. She loves it. Isabella also jumps on her bike any chance she gets. Paige fondly remembers the days she used to bike to work. We decided the trip might be more fun for the kids if we brought our bikes on the trip. Bicycles at campsites just seem to go together. So have been on the lookout for a bike rack to mount on the car for the cross Canada segment of our Journey. Finding bike-related gear in Toronto in the current environment is not that simple. Fortunately, we had been scouring online ads for people looking to sell their used ones. A couple of weeks ago we scored a Thule hitch mounted-rack that can accommodate four bicycles. It was practically new and we had it delivered to the house by the seller. It was not cheap but got it for about 10% less than retail with no tax. That price worked for me. Plus we actually got it since buying things in stores in Toronto right now is not seamless. As a final bonus, we get to use it throughout this year and plan to try it out this weekend.

The next big update is that we filed our taxes. This might not sound exciting but I mentioned in earlier posts that we never budget for a tax refund in our annual budgeting process. Whatever we get from our tax refund goes right into the travel budget. So it was a big win when the taxes were complete and the refund went into the savings account.

Finally, I got my first round of vaccinations for the trip. Candidly, I had no idea how crazy expensive some of the shots could be. I am very fortunate that I was able to expense the ones I got to my health insurance. At the same time, I am happy I did this planning as far ahead as I did. Some of the vaccinations require multiple shots being spread out at different times. If I could go back in time and speak to my younger self I would tell him once you get the first in the line of shots, you should go back and get the boosters instead of just ignoring it. If I had done that I would have saved myself a couple hundred dollars this time around. I was the guinea pig in this process (partly because I had the worst documented vaccine record) so Paige is due up in a couple of weeks.

Ciao for now.

Mike

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