Searching for the location, checking the motorbike or preparing enough money is some of what you need to do before the backpacking trip.
Backpacking by motorbike is not too difficult, especially when you prepared the plan.
Here is a practical guide to backpacking by motorbike
Research the roads
First, you need to know about the location you will drive to. Using Google Maps to test and measure distances and asking someone who knows about the place are good ideas. Doing this helps you understand the routes with bad roads and prepare for the journey to be more careful. For example, you should avoid highway 1A – where there are some of parts under construction, bad roads and traffic jam.
Google Maps can display any roads you might drive past in detail.
Checking and maintenance of motorcycle
Before you go, you should take your motorcycle to check tires, chain gear, bearings and change oil. If any parts have problems, you need to replace them immediately. From experience, being stuck on the side of the road with the broken motorcycle is the worst.
Related read: A Safety Checklist for Renting a Motorbike Anywhere in The World
Calculating how many days you will travel to bring suitable clothing is also important. For example, a pair of pants can be worn for two days but with shirts you need to change every day to ensure sanitation. Note that clothes must be comfortable, a little loose and durable. Backpacks used should be large and able to hold many items.
You will need a great motorbike backpack to carry all of your clothing and items.
- Raincoats: This item is essential but often missed. The most convenient one is the raincoat including pants and shirt, avoid buying batwing type ones.
- Protective clothes: One of the most common protective items is gloves. You can buy them online with prices ranging from 500,000 to 600,000 dong/pair. In addition, the helmet should be used as a full-face type (covering the entire face) or at least the one covering 3/4 of the face. Note the use of normal helmets should be restricted because it is easily overturned due to strong winds and you might suffer from tinnitus while driving.
- Dustproof glasses: You should buy large glasses or use safety goggles to prevent dust and wind causing dryness and redness. Normal sunglasses are mainly used to drive in the city.
- Shoes: When driving, you should wear shoes that help you easily control the brakes. Additionally, you can prepare a pair of rainproof shoe covers to ensure safety in all weather conditions.
The list will include cakes and drinks. When you give your legs a break, you should eat in order to charge energy to always keep your body in good condition and alert.
- Gasoline: You’ll need to budget gasoline per person. For motorcycles, you can calculate a litre of petrol to run an expected number of kilometres. For example, if driving 40 km will consume a litre of gasoline, the amount of depreciation deducted will be 30 – 35 km/litre.
- Eating: Budget how much you expect to be eating along your journey.
- Accommodation: For the hotel, the cost is about 150,000-200,000 VND per night.
- Total: Cost of food a day in combination with the hotel will fall about 300,000 VND with the extra costs incurred (if any) of 50,000 and gas money. You can estimate the average budget per day and then multiply the number of days in the journey to know the total amount to prepare.
- Equipment: The best motorbike backpack would cost a lot of money, so do some research and even look for a second-hand backpack ahead of your journey.
It is also important. You should anticipate the worst situations like broken motorbike, rainy days, running out of gas or other unexpected problems.
Once you prepare well, when the bad situations unfortunately happen, you are calm enough to figure out the way to solve the problems. In case it happens in reality, you just assume that it is the experience you get after the trip. There is no need to think too negatively.
On the road
You should drive within the allowable speed limit. Before passing the truck, if the road does not have dedicated lane for motorcycles, you will have to turn left, turn on signal and honk. Be aware of all of the road rules.
Because you are backpacking, you will likely have more time to stop and take pictures or sightsee the landscapes. So, it is necessary to calculate the time properly if you do not want to arrive in the place so late.
There may be some tension, but after each journey, you will have many exciting experiences to look back on.
Backpacking by motorbike helps you have more time and a feeling of freedom, but sometimes, it will give you a sense of unsafety on the road. That’s why it is extremely important to prepare well and know what you are getting yourself in for.