Solotravel tips

Wear earplugs.

Earplugs help reduce wind noise, and they’re fairly easy to come by. Check out the Sturgis Rider News Blog article “8 Innovations to Give You a More Comfortable Ride” to find out about DUBS Acoustic Filters and other cutting-edge products that’ll increase your comfort level on a ride.

Sign up for AMA Roadside Assistance.

To sign up, call the AMA at: 800-262-5646.

Look your bike over every morning before hitting the road.

Checking the simple stuff—air pressure, oil level, loose or missing fasteners—only takes a little time, and it can save you from big trouble.  Here’s a great motorcycle pre-ride checklist you can follow.

Use the envelope system to stay organized.

Going on a long, complex trip? Before you leave, prepare one envelope for each day on the road. Mark the outside of each envelope with dates and locations, then stuff them with things like hotel reservation info and lists of things you’d like to see. Instead of juggling your entire stack of literature to find the information you’re looking for, you can just open up that day’s envelope.

Carry a backpack hydration system.

Take a tip from off-road riders. This must for arid weather lets you easily drink while you ride. For more gear suggestions check out the Sturgis Rider News article 10 Essential Pieces of Gear You Shouldn’t Ride Without.

The best activities aren’t necessarily traditional tourist ones

Some of my biggest highlights are things that sound so normal: it was drinking and singing with newfound friends in the Philippines, hiking alone in the mountains surrounding Taipei, trying to guess what everything was at a wet market in Saigon, dropping my travel plans to fly home and surprise my mum for her birthday, and spending six weeks in Madrid because that’s where my friends were spending the summer.

Get up early

You see that photo of me on the beach? Half an hour after it was taken, there were a hundred people there. Tulum is a major tourist destination and as soon as the entrance gates to the Mayan ruins open, the beach is flooded with people. By arriving half an hour before opening time, I managed to get in before everybody else. And so, I got to explore ruins of Tulum on my own and without the crowds, simply by being there when it opened. Arrive early for everything and you’ll get to experience major attractions at their least busiest. Plus, sunrises are pretty.

One-way tickets are better than round-the-world

I’m all about travelling on one-way tickets, because they give you the freedom to be spontaneous, change your mind, and extend your trip, if needed. My original itinerary had me heading to Australia after six months, but I ended up going to Thailand instead and stayed for seven months! You can’t get that kind of freedom on a round-the-world ticket. Plus, with so many budget airlines around, one-way tickets are nowhere near as expensive as you think.

Get lost on purpose

Sometimes getting lost is the best way to make awesome discoveries about a place. Sometimes it just plain sucks, that’s true — but you’ll usually end up with a great story to tell, if that’s the case. If you’ve got a spare day in a place and don’t know what to do, start by picking a random direction and following it.

Wear your normal clothes

You know those ugly travel-specific clothes? They’re shapeless and made of quick-drying, breathable material, and covered in zips and pockets. Well, I guess they’re great for travel, but you’ll also hate them. You’ll hate every photo of you wearing them. You’ll stand out immediately as a tourist in any place you visit. Instead, just bring the same clothes you’d wear back home. You’ll feel comfortable, you won’t stand out, and you’ll actually like the way you look.