Choosing to Vacation on a Motorcycle – Is It Right For You?

Vacation Planning: Is It Right For You?    Choosing A Trip    Planning A Trip   

“Oh, I could never do that!”

How many of us give up our dreams because of that phrase?

Maybe you’ve heard it’s dangerous, or expensive, or time consuming, or …, or …

It does not have to be expensive, and the only special skills you need are the ability to ride a motorcycle and, most importantly, the right attitude!

Everyone knows that riding keeps you in touch with the changing environments you glide through; temperatures, smells, and increased visual range. Riding also establishes an immediate bond between total strangers at a restaurant, gas station, or hotel. When you ask someone about their bike it almost always turns into a great discussion. Whether it is about equipment, road conditions, places to eat (or not), things to see. Take an adventurous attitude and talk to the people you meet along the way!

The right attitude can also mitigate the ‘dangers’ you face along the way. There are real dangers to motorcycle touring, but approaching it thoughtfully should avoid the worst of the problems. There are environmental dangers, like weather (storms, heat & humidity, cold) and areas without services (hotel, gas, restaurants). There are personal dangers, like medical (conditions, medication refrigeration) and safety (traveling alone).

Environmental dangers can frequently be avoided with timing. Don’t motorcycle through Tornado Alley during tornado season. Don’t drive in the desert Southwest during summer. Motorcycle around the desert in Arizona in February and you will have a spectacular time! If you feel the need to go at risky times, reach out to locals who can help you plan your risk mitigation.

Personal safety is frequently the biggest issue holding people (especially women) back from motorcycle touring, but our aging population is pushing medical concerns ever higher.

Medical concerns might be as simple as keeping medications refrigerated, to availability of medical facilities, to health conditions that may limit mobility/endurance.  All of these can be addressed with a little planning and research on the internet. Keep your medical information on your phone with you by using a phone app that gives GPS-tagged messages to your emergency contact list.

Traveling alone can be a wonderful way to disconnect from a hectic day-to-day noise, but it is scary to some folks. “What if…” can keep people from taking that step into adventure, but it doesn’t need to. Anybody on social media knows someone who knows someone in virtually any area of the country.

One of the best social media applications for this particular purpose is Meetup.com. Join some motorcycle rider groups in your destination area and ask for help. You will be innundated with suggestions, and maybe people willing to ride with you.

As your mother told you, strangers are friends you haven’t met yet. With the right adventurous attitude you can visit amazing places, make new friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

So, which attitudes should NOT try motorcycle vacations?

  • Ugly American syndrome – if you feel the need to tell everyone why their location/lifestyles are inferior to your home location, please stay home
  • if facing some adversity (weather, road construction, schedule changes) along the way throws you into an emotional tailspin, please stay home
  • if you expect to be pampered, please check into a spa

The Proper attitude for a motorcycle vacation

  • you want to see something different, and meet interesting people along the way
  • you can accept that adversity is part of the adventure
  • you can be like a Boy Scout: be prepared, friendly, and cheerful…