Logistics Update – 45 days to go

Camping Supplies Totes Backpacks

Since the itinerary has been discussed recently I thought of giving an update on some of the other progress we have made. The other day Paige and I were remarking that we still have some things to take care of but it feels like a lot of the “heavy-lifting” is done.

Getting the Jeep Ready – We got roof rails installed (my dad actually did it) and we bought a second-hand Thule cargo carrier for the roof. We also have car seat organizers for the kid’s stuff. We just need to put new tires on the vehicle, get it serviced and she is ready to go. We are actually outfitting the Jeep for a trial camping run this weekend with all the gear.

Bikes for the Road Trip – We replaced the stolen adult bikes with second-hand bikes and got them serviced. We purchased bike locks and have confirmed that the children’s helmets fit. Now we just have to get Julie off training wheels.

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Canada West Coast Plan – 125 days to go

Google Map driving directions Kluane National Park Vancouver

This is our projected itinerary for the second part of our cross-Canada journey. It picks up where Part 1 left off. The purpose of this leg is to get us down the west coast to Vancouver. There’s some decent mileage to cover but a far more relaxed atmosphere once we get to Vancouver Island. But getting there is half the fun right?

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Updates to the Route – 144 days to go

Canada Map Driving Route Canada Toronto Kluane

So as the days get closer, the excitement and nervousness builds. We are making progress as we have knocked a bunch of things off the list. All our vaccinations are wrapped up and paid for. We replaced the bikes that were “stolen”. We applied for new credit cards and opened a new bank account. And we have had fun conversations with friends and family about our plans. Recently a friend of mine told me: “You are supposed to be planning a trip around the world, when are you going to tell me something exciting about it”. So I’ve taken her advice and unlike previous posts about logistics, this one is focused solely on the journey. That is to say, no talk about budgeting, insurance or money, just places and things to look forward to.

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Vaccination Progress – 200 Days to go

Canada Government International Vaccine Certificate

Back in spring, I started researching vaccine requirements for the trip (the non-Covid ones). This past week we started seeing this research turn into reality as the family got a bunch of shots. The process has been interesting and chock-full of learnings.

For context, I went ahead and started my vaccination progress back in April. We decided I would try and figure out the best way to get it done and then the other family members would follow suit. I went online, found a local travel clinic, did a consultation and then signed up for a bunch of shots. The consult was done over the phone and it felt like a business transaction. A bunch of forms were sent back and forth with details of the trip, my medical history and personal information. It did not really feel like a medical appointment. Regardless, I checked some boxes, got some shots and spent some money. For the rest of the family, we decided to do a “family” consultation with a different travel clinic. It was eye-opening as I thought it would be standard across the clinics. Fortunately, the recommendations were consistent across the two, but the education, cost and service were very different. We decided to get the family’s battery of tests through the second clinic. My personal takeaway is that even though the situation was really a one-and-done type scenario, it makes sense to shop around. Yes, we ended up paying a couple consultation fees but our peace of mind and cost savings justified that expense.

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Time to track down the bikes – 212 Days to go

Bikes mounted on bike rack on car

We have started getting some of our ducks in a row for our cross-Canada leg of the trip. The first concrete decision is we’ve made the choice not to bring our electric car. This was a tough one as I was pretty confident we could have made the route work from a charging/mileage standpoint. In the end, it was the cargo space that led us to this decision. It is just too small and will not hold the gear we plan on bringing. Essentially we want the kids to have some comfort and we don’t want stuff piled on the children as we drive a few thousand kilometres. We haven’t yet made a decision as to what we will do with the car but I will either have to sell it, loan it out or take it off the road. That is a decision for another day.

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Parks Canada Discovery Pass – 296 Days to go

Parks Canada Discovery Pass Family Version

We are under a year to go now. It is far more exciting as there are actually “real” things to do. It is fun to see hotel and flight dates begin to be available for booking. Just to recap, we plan to take off on our round the world trip in July 2022. The first three months will be spent driving across Canada. With that in mind, I am super excited that we took our first steps towards getting organized for that part of the trip. This past weekend we bought ourselves a Parks Canada Pass.

We drove to our closest MEC store and bought a Parks Canada Discovery Pass. It cost us $139.40 for the “family” version. The pass essentially gives us access to the national park system and free access to the national sites here in Canada.

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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.

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Backup our Devices time – 502 days

Multiple Phones Computers laying on table

I like to hedge my bets. I hope for the best but plan for the worst. I imagine on our trip we will bring a camera, a phone, an iPad and a small laptop. I do not doubt for a second that we are going to lose one of these things. It will happen. Losing the device itself will be an inconvenience but it will not be that big of a problem. The files and photos on a lost device would probably be more regrettable. For that reason, I cracked and got myself some cloud storage this year.

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Vaccination Pre work – 510 days to go

Travel Immunization Record Booklet

Vaccinations seem to be top of mind here in Toronto. This is one area that I definitely do not want to rush so I have spent time figuring out what the vaccination process for family travel should look like. The first step has been trying to figure out the current “immunization” of the family. It is embarrassing but a few weeks ago, I was not entirely sure which shots I have had. This is in contrast to my wife who has a fully documented vaccination history in a well-maintained file folder. My children were an easy solve as they share the same doctor since birth. All of their information is on file digitally.

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Sell Some Stuff – 545 days to go

Online advertisement for automotive parts

When we started planning, we had a lot of time to get things done. One thing that benefits from a large time horizon is selling “stuff”. It is far easier to maximize your return on any business transaction when you are not at the mercy of an aggressive deadline. Before we take off on our around-the-world journey, we plan to sell some of our possessions. We hope to use the proceeds to fund a portion of the trip but we know it will not be the main contributor. Still, any extra dollar we can squirrel away now is one less dollar we have to worry about when we are on the road. And since we won’t be working, the less stress on that front the better. I wanted to share a quick update on what I have been tackling and some new considerations I have taken into account.

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