1: Don’t risk new riding kit on tour.
If untested you’re guaranteed boots will rub, gloves will be uncomfortable, waterproof trousers will leak and the jacket will be so bulky you can’t move. Test it
2: If away for a long time practice packing and unpacking at home first. It took us three days on the road to find the optimum place for everything!
3: Use a map rather than sat nav on your journey. The latter only shows you a very small area or main roads, but a map allows you to see the bigger picture and find alternative, more interesting routes.
4: Don’t be afraid to haggle for a hotel, especially out of season or arriving late. Online booking can also be cheaper than walk-ups, and get loyalty cards and mobile Apps for potential discounts.
5: Learn numbers 1 to 10 in different languages. It will prove useful for
many things from fuel to directions, booking hotel rooms and even buying a round of drinks. Just don’t stop at pump 11 at the petrol station!
6: Either mark your mph speedo in kph, or make a note of the main kph limits in countries you’re visiting and learn their mph equivalent so only a quick glance at your speedo is needed when the limit changes as you ride along.
7: Check out in advance deals for mobile phone roaming abroad, including data usage. This could be ideal for checking weather forecasts and booking hotels.
8: With so many gadgets in our lives these days, invest in some double USB chargers. You can get these for both 12v cigarette sockets on the bike, and 3-pin wall plugs, allowing one socket to charge two appliances (and don’t forget your travel adaptor of going abroad!).
9: Even if camping, if the weather is very bad a cheap hotel with secure indoor/ underground parking could prove ideal to dry your kit and tent out.
10: Remember that place names can change from country to country. What is Liege in Belgium to us here in Blighty becomes Luik on local road signs, while Munich in Germany is signed as Monaco in Italy.