Many motorcycle enthusiasts need to plan ahead if choosing to travel out of state for their spring break vacation to a warm weather rally destination. With only a few short months making up the spring break rally season for riders, the key questions you’ll need answers for are: When should I schedule my trip? Which rally do I want to go to? And, how do I get there with my prized bike in tow without using up all my vacation days?
If you don’t have a lot of time, don’t want to fight inclement weather when riding from one of the many colder climate states, and there’s no question that you want to visit your rally destination with your favorite travel companion – your motorcycle – the “Fly and Ride” just might be the one answer you’re looking for. The Fly and Ride allows you to pre-package your Spring Break Motorcycle Vacation. With a Fly and Ride vacation, you can contract with a specialty tour company to customize a road trip experience that provides for a tailor-made motorcycling escape, shipping your bike ahead to your rally destination without the hassle of a spring snowstorm or a pelting rainfall. Professional planners of Fly and Ride motorcycle vacations offer one-stop shopping for the rider who is too busy to plan their own road trip – from booking lodging destinations and flight and transportation itinerary, to ensuring that experienced guides have mapped out the perfect highways and back roads for your spring break riding getaway.
If you’re preplanning a Fly and Ride for convenience, to save time, and to make trip planning easier for you, then why make things tougher by not preplanning your air travel needs. With the new rules and regulations post 9/11 for air travel security, booking your flight is often the easy part. It’s preparing ahead for smooth air travel that is key. A few advance tips will make the air travel experience more pleasant – you’ll be ready for air travel by packing for airport security, having the right travel documents like an itinerary, proper photo I.D., and an e-ticket, and of course, knowing the ins and outs of carryon luggage. If you follow a few tips, book your Fly and Ride with a reputable motorcycle shipping company, then you’ll fly and meet your motorcycle ahead and be ready to ride.
Tip one: Pack Smart, Pack Light
If you really hate packing more than anything but a light carry-on luggage when you travel, then you really need to know how to “pack smart/pack light” before you head out the door to catch your flight. Most airlines limit what you are allowed to bring with one or two pieces of carry-on luggage often the max, and that’s if you’re lucky. First, check in advance with your airline on the number of carry-on pieces you can take, and find out weight limits per bag as well. You don’t want to be hit with a weight limit fine before your trip even begins. Here’s a quick list when light packing a carry-on bag for travel to a warmer climate rally destination:
- Drivers and cycle license or other photo ID, wallet and other necessary travel documentation
- Local guidebook and rally destination map
- List of emergency contacts / cell phone
- List of ailments / known conditions / blood type / medications
- List of phone numbers for hotels / airlines / Fly and Ride tour agent
- Clear plastic baggies for toiletries including sun block, bug repellant, toothpaste, moisturizer, antiseptic ointment, antiseptic wipes, band aids, deodorant, shampoo, etc.
- Shaving gear / comb/brush
- Sunglasses / bandana or cap
- Digital camera so you won’t forget a minute of your prefect Motorcycle Spring Break Fly and Ride!
Tip two: Dress and Pack for Security
Whether you’ve air traveled in the past five years or have just kept up with the daily news, you are well aware that the United States has implemented a plethora of strict rules and regulations regarding what is okay and what is not okay to check through airport security and carry on to a plane. To make flying hassle free and not take a risk at causing any delays when you head to the airport to begin your Spring Break Motorcycle Fly and Ride, you’ll want to arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance of check in, sometimes more. So check with your airline and find out what the preferred arrival time is that day.
And dress for comfort and ease, too, because you’ll have to remove your shoes, belt and jacket just to get through airport security, not to mention possibly sprinting to make your connecting flight. So be sure to read up on airport rules before you go and avoid any preflight turbulence. Find out what these rules and regulations mean for your ease in packing and using the right kind of carryon bag, with a goal of not having your bag pulled and possible having to check it, or even having to discard some of its packed articles. Checked bags can get lost, damaged, lifted – accidentally or otherwise – from a baggage carrousel, all causing a delay in your best laid Spring Break plans. So before you head out the door:
- Research how to pack for airport security
- Know which travel sized liquids and gels are okay to carry on
- Find out what security level has been advised for you departure date
- Check on your flight and boarding status
Tip three: Pack for comfort
You’ve put all sorts of effort into planning a hassle-free Spring Break Motorcycle Fly and Ride so that you arrive and meet up with your bike in ship shape riding condition, so why not make sure you’re in tip top arrival shape yourself. With all your preplanning, don’t forget how to pack for your own comfort while on the flight. With a few light essentials stowed in your carryon, you’ll arrive in ready to ride condition, just like your bike:
- Developing a bad neck crick can cause strain and discomfort that will stay with you for your entire vacation. Avoid this by bringing an inflatable or travel neck pillow. Deflated neck pillows can even fit in your pocket!
- Even one time zone change can put you off balance. Check into no-jetlag pills if you’re traveling far, get plenty of rest, and if possible, one week in advance of your trip begin to make mini time adjustments, like going to bed one hour earlier. Small steps can make one or more time zone adjustments less disruptive to your trip.
- Check to see whether you can carry bottled water on to the plane. Some will let you bring water purchased beyond he security checkpoints. If carry on water is not allowed, there’s sure to be plenty aboard. Be sure to ask the flight attendant for water throughout your flight. And if you have a water addiction, click your flight attendant button right away so you’re set for the first part of the ride.
Whether you want to create your own Spring Break Motorcycle Fly and Ride or have a custom trip planned for you by a specialty tour company, make sure that transportation of your prized bike is booked with an expert motorcycle shipper who is insured and has credentials. “A good motorcycle shipper is there to take away any of your trip planning hassles, so that you can enjoy your spring break vacation, not worry about,” said Ken Durik, co-owner of Daily Direct Motorcycle Transportation. Durik said that a quality motorcycle shipping company offers upfront its rates, credentials, grantees and is insured. Learn more about shipping your motorcycle ahead for a Spring Break Motorcycle Fly and Ride at www.haulbikes.com.