Nothing is better for motorcycle riders than planning that long cross country motorcycle trip. The thought of riding on the open road to destinations undiscovered is enough to keep anyone going until the big day arrives. However, the key to success on your journey is preparation, preparation, preparation. Listed below are the steps to get any rider ready for a long motorcycle trip. Use this as a basic list and add your own items as well. Happy traveling!

Pack a medicine bag- Get a waterproof container (like a soft thick plastic container) and put in Ibuprofen, Aleve, Sudafed, Tylenol or similar medicines as well as any daily vitamins or medicines you take. Include sunscreen, lip protection and eye moisture drops. Pack basic first aid items like Bactine, Bandaids and foot or wrist wrap.

Pack a bag of small gadgets-include a good pocket knife, multi-tool pliers, spoons and forks, can opener, wine opener, flashlight, cigarette lighter, spare ear plugs and reading glasses.

Document your trip- bring along a digital camera, batteries and a camera bag. Also a small portable tri-pod and a USB cable to download your pictures are good to bring. Don’t forget a simple journal and large envelope to write down notes along the way and keep mementos of special places visited.

Pack a bag on minis—check your local drug store, Target or similar stores for mini items like empty bottles for shower items, mini binoculars, a mini 10” tape measure, a few pens, tire pressure gauge and light weight gloves. Travel Windex wipes, hand sanitizer and a pack of anti-bacterial wipes are good to bring along too.

Bring entertainment—no, not a portable TV although some riders have been known to bring them. Rather some good books and a radio are good options to keep yourself entertained when taking a break from your cruiser.

Items for your tank bag—this is where you want to store your cell phone (make sure you have a nationwide calling plan so you don’t rack up high long-distance charges), water, breakfast bars, small bungee cords, maps, lunch for that first day and a sweatshirt to wear for cooler weather.

Other suggested items. A $50 luggage rack for motorcycles is a great investment since using a backpack will not cut it on a motorcycle. Also, a good lightweight motorcycle suit is invaluable for those times when the weather is cold and rainy since no one wants to get stuck traveling in wet clothes and socks.

Last but not least, give your motorcycle a check-up. At a minimum, do a general check-up making sure all is ok with your bike’s tires, oil, lights and brake fluids. If you have noticed some issues with your bike beyond normal wear and tear, now is the time to take it into the shop to have a mechanic look at it. Better to do it now than have a break down while on the road.  If you need to replace your motorcycle battery, do it well advance and order from a reliable online battery retailer.