Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Guide to Planning a Motorcycle Road Trip in the USA

Planning to a motorcycle road trip in the US? Then you might want to read this guide.

As a Englishman who planned and then rode 21,000 miles in America on a road trip, I learnt a lot about what to consider if planning a motorcycle road trip in the US for the first time. Thinking it would be useful to others doing the same thing, I wrote about my views on this. If you are planning to visit the US from a different country and are going to ride a motorcycle while there, you might want to read my free guide giving tips and advice about planning such a trip.

Americans might find it useful as well, or you could let me know if I have missed anything.

The free guide is available here


Trobairitz said...

Hmmm, going to have to go back and peruse that - when I am not at work.

Speaking of, I should get back to work.......

Erik said...

Gary, I just finished reading your guide. Well done!
I find that my planning is a mix of 2 types. I had a great vacation when I just told myself I'm going to west to California. No planning other than looking at maps each evening and thinking about the next day.
I've also gone on vacations where I did my route planning and mapping ahead of time. Both styles work for me, but I could never lock myself in to how far I'd travel in a day, or where I'd spend the night.
You bring up a good point about doing laundry at motels. I've even stopped in a small town and took a break at a laundromat and did my wash. It worked well as a way to get out of the brief rain!

Thomas Osburn said...

Good job on the guide. Looking forward to the other guides. Very effective in communicating the ideas and thoughts.

Rex J. Covington said...

Fantastic guide!

The over all route is great, your route can easily be changed. The local people can give great advice on where to go for those really neat places or things to see, that are not in any guide or the web. Also doing a overall plan & picking the place you want too see along the way is great advice. I do this for most of my trips.

Your first approach on NOT planning accommodation in advance is the best way to go. I found even in the busies seasons, you can find a place to stay most of the time.

I carry a camping hammock, which is light & easy to pack & use if I can not find accommodation. The times I could not find a place to stay, the hammock came in handy. I found the camping hammock to be very comfortable and easier to set up that a tent. BTW: I do prefer the hotels.

Love your posts and keep up the great work.

Rex, AKA: Lone Star Rider

WooleyBugger said...

Nice guide with things and points to surely make note of. A couple things to add for travel in one country while you live in another, if you buy any keep sakes during the trip you wish to take home send them home via Fed Ex or something similiar. This way you keep needed space and won't have to carry it all around. Another is prepaid gas cards from a few different fuel companies kept in different places, this way you save on your spending money, plus if you run short you still have gas to go by. I got these from my brother who lived in Europe and traveled all around.

Dick Cepek said...

Thank you for the guide, the good thing is that it can apply to many routes, you can change the routes and still enjoy the adventure. I plan to do this during my vacation.

Erik Lucien said...

Awesome guide! Planning in advance seems simple enough. It would help you on the next road trip. Don’t forget to take stops when feeling a little dozy, by the way.

- Erik Lucien -

Gary France said...

Trobairitz – I hope you found some time, but at this time of year, time is at a real premium. So much to do!

Erik – Thanks. I agree about not being able to forecast how far to ride each day – that is almost impossible because it depends on so many factors. Much better to be flexible if you can. I find it really hard to just ‘wing it’ and do no planning.

Thomas / Oz – I am glad you liked it. I am going to try to write a new guide each month. The next one gets launch 18th February.

Gary France said...

Rex – A camping hammock sounds like a great idea, but is probably more realistic the further south you are in the USA. Living in Texas, it is perfect. I will add the hammock to the guide when I update it. I absolutely agree that not planning accommodation is best and apart from the busiest tourist spots, I always found somewhere to stay.

Wooley – Good point about shipping things back home. I will add that when I update the guide. Can you buy pre-paid gas cards for the USA and if so, is it cheaper that way?

Dick – Having a flexible plan that you can change is the key for many people.

Erik – Thanks. That is good advice. Feeling tired is not good, but on a motorcycle, I suffer from it much less than in a car. I wonder if that is true of most people?