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25 Tips for Cross Country Rides

When deciding to hit the road for a cross-country trip, lots of things come into play when planning your route. It can be overwhelming managing the checklist of tasks you have to take care of. Traversing thousands of miles across the great USA is a privilege not too many people get. How do you know the best route to take? What should you pack? Heed these tips before engaging in a coast-to-coast trip.


  1. Give yourself plenty of time. America is huge (bigger than you think!) so tack on extra time to ensure your total enjoyment. That means at least two weeks.
  2. If you don’t already have a bike for the trip, choose wisely. Just because a particular bike is expensive and fancy doesn’t mean it’s the work horse you need to make it across the country.
  3. Book your motorcycle shippers well beforehand and start by getting a free instant quote.
  4. Keep the accessories to a minimum. These are not only costly, they’re distracting to yourself and other riders on the road.
  5. Go backroads when possible. The highways are not nearly as much fun or scenic. Take the road less traveled!
  6. Ensure you have the best tires possible before heading out, and make sure they have up to 4,000 miles lifespan in them.
  7. Invest in a bunch of old-school maps. They’re easier to whip out while on the go, plus you don’t run the risk of dropping/losing/breaking your cell phone.
  8. Wear earplugs to protect your hearing. It can get quite loud on the road for hours at a time listening to the roar of the bike.
  9. During hot weather, don a cooling vest. They’re well worth the investment. Trust us.
  10. Don’t forget to take pictures. You’ll want to compile an album of your travels to show your kids and grandkids, so make sure you stop to smell the roses.
  11. Keep track of where you stop so you can correctly notate your journey later and match the locations with the photos.
  12. If you love to write and you have access to the Internet, why not blog about your daily experiences? Other riders will appreciate the time you took to outline certain routes and provide them with helpful tips.
  13. Consider raising money for a charity while logging those miles.
  14. Use geotags for your photos using a smartphone with GPS. This way you can upload your photos easily and people know exactly where you were.
  15. Plan for no cell service. There will be spots where you can’t get any phone service. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times.
  16. Travel between May and October to avoid snowy or icy conditions.
  17. Bring rain gear and dress in layers. Weather can change at the drop of a hat.
  18. Connect with weather band radio, especially if you plan to be in the midwest during tornado season.
  19. If you can afford it, stay at a cheap hotel at night. Camping is affordable to be sure, but you’ll be exhausted at the end of a long day and you’ll need a good night’s sleep.
  20. Eat light in the mornings, pack snacks, and save the big meal for dinner when you’re done for the day.
  21. Nix the beer and wine until you’re done riding at the end of the day.
  22. Hit the hay by 10 p.m. and be up by 7 a.m.
  23. A great route to try is to start on the east coast in Boston, then head through New York, Chicago, South Dakota, Salt Lake City, and finally San Francisco.
  24. Another good route is Los Angeles, to Texas, to the Gulf Coast, to Orlando, Florida.
  25. Ship your bike through AA Motorcycle Shipping!

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