One of the best things about owning a motorbike is the ability to just up and go on an adventurous road trip. That being said, when planning a road trip abroad, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and be prepared, so that you can get the most out the experience.
Choosing a Destination
There are heaps of great routes for you to choose for your road trip, from the classics that have been traveled thousands of times, to the lesser-known routes in less familiar locales. Here are three of the top destinations on our list.
Route 66 – United States of America
One of the best-known routes by name for budding road-trippers, Route 66 has gained its fame for a reason. Connecting the West Coast of the USA to the Midwest, Route 66 crosses a great many states, offering riders one of the most changing landscapes imaginable on a single route.
The Transalpine Route – France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria
If you’re less fussed about seeing man-made structures or you’re a nature buff, then the Transalpine Route is a stretch of road over 2,400km in length, which crosses from France to Italy, across the Alps. You’ll also get the chance to drink in Switzerland and Austria.
Bergen to Geiranger – Norway
Though it doesn’t have quite the catchy name that Route 66 or the Transalpine Route have, this route features some breathtaking scenery you won’t find anywhere else. Aside from cruising down the asphalt, you’ll be pausing to cross the great Fjords by ferry, all whilst passing domineering waterfalls and great glaciers.
There are heaps of other choices when it comes to choosing a route, and most have been traveled extensively. Lots of great tips are only a quick Google search away. You’ll easily find online communities who share tips and great rides through message boards and reviews.
Getting to Your Destination
You have a range of options for reaching your destination, and the choice will largely be influenced by whether you would prefer to be accompanied by the comfort and familiarity of your own ride, or whether you’re happy to rent a motorbike from a third party company during your travels.
Should you choose to leave own motorbike at home, or if you simply don’t own one, then you’re going to want to find the cheapest flights to your starting point. When it comes to locating cheap flights, websites such as SkyScanner are your best friend.
Make sure that you plan your route before you pay for your flights. There are going to be some key considerations here, for example:
- Are you starting and finishing in different locations?
- Are you permitted to leave your rental bike in your final location for pickup by the leasing company, rather than returning it to the original office?
Driving to Your Destination
Don’t forget that flying isn’t the only way to reach your starting point. Ferries can carry your your motorbike across the ocean to your destination. This is a gret option if you are travelling from the UK to France as the ferry journey is short.
Protecting Yourself and Your Bike
It’s never a good idea to simply assume that an existing policy will cover you for worldwide or European travel, because that might not be the case; it may only cover the driver for use of the vehicle in the country of issue. This is often the case with budget policies. If you haven’t adequately covered yourself or your vehicle, then an accident could result in hefty bills, whether that be to cover damage to the vehicle, or worse, legal or medical expenses.
Make sure you buy travel insurance when planning your road trip. This is perhaps the most important aspect of planning your trip and should be at the top of your list. Consider the following things:
- Does the insurance cover third party claims?
- Does the insurance policy include legal expenses or medical cover?
- Does the insurance come with breakdown cover, should the worst happen?
- Are there any exclusions to your policy, for example countries in which it would not offer coverage?
- Is there a time limit on your cover? For example, some policies have automatic EU coverage, but only up to 60 days.
Finding a Motorbike Rental
The range of choice that you have on offer here is going to be largely determined by your destination country. With countries such as the U.S.A, U.K and Australia, you’ll have plenty of trustworthy options on offer. In lesser-developed countries, you’ll want to tread more carefully and ensure that you’re dealing with a legitimate company.
As with any company these days, TripAdvisor reviews go a long way towards assessing the reliability of motorbike rental companies. Search engines can help you to find options within your chosen country, and coupled with TripAdvisor, you’ll be well prepared to understand which companies are favoured by other riders.
The Bottom Line
Planning doesn’t have to be a burden. By plotting all of the important aspects of your trip ahead, you can begin to get excited about the little details, as well as ensuring that you’re prepared for all of the essential points; understand the terrain on your chosen route, preparing for the weather patterns, and making sure that you and your vehicle are fully insured.