Fifthly, before going abroad, it is vital that you polish your language skills.
You can communicate in English almost everywhere, but in Europe, especially if you want to visit the Alps, the command of German is also useful. You do not have to speak it fluently, just be able to talk about the basics. Usually, people are kind and helpful having noticed that you are willing to use their mother tongue, even if you are unsuccessful. Bike-related vocabulary is worth learning too – it may come in handy in case of a breakdown. Learn some basic expressions, numerals and do not forget to take a phrasebook or a mini dictionary.