Plan Your Next Long Distance Trip with this Itinerary Builder
BUILDING YOUR TRIP:
Matanuska Glacier, Alaska. Photo by Ayres Adventures.
Start by brainstorming the specs of your trip. Note your answers to the following questions:
What total distance do you want to ride?
Don’t stray far from the longest distance you’ve ever ridden.
- How many hours a day can you realistically ride? Remembering that this trip is for pleasure!
- What is your budget?
- What timeline can you handle and afford?
- Can you get the time off work? When?
Note your bike's mileage: check the distance traveled since the last top-up and note how much fuel it used to travel that distance. Divide the liters used by the kilometers traveled, then multiple by 100. That's your bike's fuel range in liters/100km.
Number of days:
Daily average in miles:
Hours/day spent riding:
Budget + safety buffer:
- Plan to not hit your max for more than three days in a row. Mix up long and short distance days. Adjust your number of days and daily average accordingly.
Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Photo by Ayres Adventures.
Here's your time to daydream a little bit. What will your ride actually be like?:
Tip: Consider a circular route when planning your trip. When your home is in the middle of the route, you have more options and can easily cut your ride short if needed.
- What's your ideal accommodation? Are you camping along the way or more of a motel/hotel person?
If you’re camping, lower your daily average to account for the extra hours of energy it’ll take to set up camp. If you prefer a motel or hotel, you have a little more wiggle room.
- Where do you want to drive through?
- Note what you like most about riding long distance. Do you want to be along the coastline or see a desert sunrise?
- Are there any stops you want to make?
- What is your arrival destination?
- Are you traveling through states or cities with major spikes in covid? Consider regulations as they continue to develop.
- What time of year will be most sunny and dry in the places you drive?
I’m driving through:
I’m arriving at:
That will take me ____ number of days, traveling at an average of ____ miles/day.
- Looking at a map, using a travel app or google maps, begin defining your route given your preferences.
- Look over your route and note stops for overnight stays, attractions, etc.
- Adjust previous stats accordingly and add into your itinerary.
- Keep your routed map either in a screenshot, printed out or handy as a physical map for reference or future changes.
The Andes Mountains, South America. Photo by Ayres Adventures.
Plan a service visit. Don’t make changes to your bike that will throw you off your game before the trip, but do make sure your bike is in order.
Leading up to the trip, inspect your bike daily. Check your tires by filling them completely and checking for leakage a few days later.
Invest in a roadside assistance plan to account for what you can't prepare for.
Get a gas station best-price finder app to easily find stations during your trip.
Scan the checklist below for any pre-trip purchases.
THE WEEK OF:
- Share your itinerary with friend, family or a partner.
- If you could be driving in hazardous weather, scan this blog for best safety practices before and during the trip.
- Stay up to date on COVID restrictions. Do certain areas you’re considering have curfews, shortened hours of service, or limited capacity/virtual shopping? Keep in mind some places are not taking cash and some accommodations may be tricky to book.
THE NIGHT BEFORE:
Below is a bare minimums checklist for your trip. Lay out all of your must-have items and then test pack everything on your bike to catch extra Z’s.
- A repair kit and tire inflation tool that you know how to use.
- Rain proof clothes and gear.
- Half gallon water container.
- Vitamins, electrolyte packets, aspirin.
- Quality and light food (nuts, dried fruit, protein bars).
- Full face helmet. Laws vary between states, playing it safe is ideal and the full coverage will protect from the elements, making your trip more enjoyable.
- Ear plugs if preferred.
- Fully charged phone and travel charger.
- Your ID's, wallet, registration and insurance papers and an emergency card (make one at home or order one online that includes your first and last name, emergency contacts, address and any vital health information).
- Appropriate supply of face masks.
TIPS DURING YOUR TRIP:
- Stop often (ideally at most rest stops) and never ride tired.
- Drink water often and keep your container handy.
- Eat lighter meals earlier in the day and save larger meals for the afternoon.
- Avoid sun exposure or facing the sun when driving.
- Take time to stop and enjoy what you're doing. Don't opt for speed over longevity. Enjoy the ride. Take naps. This is your time.
Stay safe & have fun!