One of the most exciting ideas for a vacation is to pack up your motorcycle and take it with you to another country. Imagine the excitement of touring England, Ireland, Japan, or Germany on your motorcycle, but what happens when disaster strikes. It may be even more important to have a response plan in place, because being on your motorcycle can leave you feeling much more vulnerable.
Insuring Your Bike
Insurance for a motorcycle becomes a little more complicated, when you take it into another country. You’ll find that crossing into Canada is one of the simplest processes, while taking your bike into Mexico or across international waters becomes more complicated. For one thing, some countries require you to pay an import fee for bringing your bike into their country. Additionally, the insurance you carry here in the U.S. will likely not be valid in another country. In advance of your trip, it’s a good idea to contact your insurer and find out what additional coverage you’ll need for the trip.
Create a Contingency Plan
Whether you have an accident on the roads in a foreign country or a natural disaster strikes, it’s important to prepare a response plan that can be applied to any and all situations. In addition to locating a safe place to ride out the emergency, be sure to store important phone numbers in your phone. Obtaining travel insurance can also help you stay prepared for an emergency, because many packages will provide evacuation assistance, reimbursement for accommodations, and coverage for emergency medical care. It is also important to know which authorities you need to alert if something should happen before you head out to another country.
Enroll in STEP
One of the most useful safety tips you can follow is to enroll in the STEP program, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The acronym stands for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and it offers tips and other useful information about your travel destination. Once you input your destination, you’ll begin receiving security and travel warnings that will affect your destination. In the event a natural disaster does strike in your location, the STEP system will send out travel advisories, curfews, and other important information that will help you survive the emergency.
Let Someone Know Where You’re Going
Another part of planning your trip should be to give someone close to you copies of your documents. You should include a copy of your travel itinerary, airline tickets, passports and visas, and other pertinent information. This way, if there is a disaster or if you don’t return home on time, you loved ones can turn this information over to the authorities. This may be helpful in getting you back home safely.
Pack Your Motorcycle with Essentials
If your bike doesn’t have a hard shell luggage pod attached to the back, you may want to invest in side saddlebags. Be sure to pack your bike with an emergency roadside kit that includes tools, flares, and other mechanical necessities. Add a first aid kit to help with injuries and other medical emergencies as well. An umbrella, poncho, sunscreen, and flashlight should be included also.
We all hope that our vacations will go off without a hitch, but this isn’t always the case. Especially with changing weather patterns, it’s likely that you may be in a tropical location just when a natural disaster strikes. The best thing to do is to plan your vacation as though you expect a disaster to strike. It’s better to pay the extra money to bring more than you need than it is to be caught in a disaster without the essentials you’ll need to survive it.