The sun is out, the weather is warm and the road is clear. It's time for your next big trip. If you're anything like me, you're so excited that you want to swing that leg over your Wing and ride. Let's go already! But let's take a minute and make sure we have everything packed and nothing's missing. Isn't it the worst when we realize we've forgotten to pack some minor yet essential item? That's why we've compiled a short list (in no particular order) of some items we don't want you to forget on your next trip.
1. GPS Navigation (OR at least a good ol’ fashioned map)
For some of us, there’s something about whipping that map out, unfolding it and spreading it across our Wing or some other surface as we chart the next leg of our trip. Not to mention the rewarding challenge of folding it back up the way it originally was! On the other hand, a GPS Nav Unit like Garmin is way more convenient and can do a lot more than a map can.
There are so many different amazing roads along the way and a quality GPS unit will help make sure you don’t miss out on any of them.
2. Roadside Assistance Insurance
The Goldwing is a solid, reliable motorcycle but anything can happen out there on the road and it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? That’s why it’s so important that you are adequately prepared. If you do end up stranded on the side of the road, it’s always nice to have access to a Roadside Assistance program such as Road Riders Rescue (you can get a discounted rate if you’re a GWRRA member) or AAA.
3. Rain Gear
We’ve heard plenty of stories of riders who failed to bring along proper rain gear when packing for their next trip. It usually happens in the summertime when we kind of assume it will be hot and dry the whole time. Our owner, Rick, has been caught in a
rainstorm once or twice without his Frogg Toggs and had to resort to a convenience store trash bag! You can watch the videos where he talks about it here and here.
Depending on how much gear you wear while riding, this may or may not seem like a crucial item to bring along.
Either way, typically the rider’s neck is exposed to the sun for long stretches and needs to be protected. Plus, it’s not like we’re covered head to toe in riding gear the entire time. When taking a break along the way - or even when we reach our destination - it feels good to shed some layers and what better time to have a bottle of sunblock handy!
5. Ear Plugs
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten ear plugs when packing for a trip and
seriously regretted it. Some riders may not mind the continuous noise inside the helmet on long trips, but subjecting your ears to it for hours on end can really wear on you over time and increase your rate of fatigue compared to when you have ear plugs.
Secondly, if you’re lodging with others you will definitely want a handful of these bad boys. Let’s be real, we all snore. And some louder than others. Much louder. So pop in a couple plugs at the end of a long day of riding and get the sleep you deserve!
Whether you’re camping or find yourself on the side of the road at night, it’s always extremely convenient to have a hands free light handy. Just make sure you pack some extra batteries as well.
7. Extra Bags
At the very least, you will probably want a trash bag for your soiled clothes to separate them from the fresh ones. Another great idea is to throw a dryer sheet into your luggage to help freshen it up.
8. First Aid Kit
Hopefully this stays put in your saddlebags or trunk, but if you or one of your riding buddies get hurt along the way you will be prepared and the hero of the trip.
What other essentials have you forgotten on a trip? Let everyone know in the comments below!