I have not always chosen the safest path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I sometimes jump too soon and fail to appreciate the consequences. But I’ve learned something important along the way: I’ve learned to heed the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not always the best path and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted. I’ve learnt that its more thrilling to walk same road after being hit. I’ve learnt that essence is to walk. – Steve Goodier

There’s nothing more liberating than just grabbing your bag and hitting the road for a long trip. Everybody has their own style of travel and none of them are wrong. While we all love choosing the road less travelled, there’s no harm in knowing a few tips and tricks to make your travels more enjoyable.

Make a plan, but not a rigid one
If you’ve got a time limit (as most road trippers do), it’s smart to plot out a broad itinerary. This should include your daily destinations, rest days etc. This might sound a bit off, but don’t research your stops beforehand. I always know the destination that I am heading to but I seldom do any research of the place or any prior bookings for my stay. The reasons are simple – You never know when you might want to stay an extra night in a place that you’ve grown to like. Plus, expectation can be the grand crippler of happiness, so it’s best to go with an open mind.

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Pack light so there’s room to collect.
You’re going to find authentic shawls in Himachal Pradesh. And an awesome mountain-goat horn art in Cherrapunji. And so many amazing local delicacies and spices. It will be such a bummer if your bag is too full to stow these finds.

TLC for your motorcycle
This is the obvious one. Give loads of tender love and care to your motorcycle and it will never let you down. The first and foremost thing before you head out on a long trip is to make sure that your ride is serviced. Ensure all nuts and bolts are screwed in properly, the electricals are working (check headlight, horn, indicators etc).

Most importantly, make sure you do an oil change so you can rest assured on the ride. Every motorcycle brand and type has a special type of oil which is best suitable for the engine. For my Royal Enfield, I use Castrol POWER1 CRUISE 15W50. I recently started this engine oil and while I was riding up the hills I found a difference compare to my previous rides. It’s a semi synthetic motor oil specially formulated for such riding conditions. Its Power Sustain Technology manages heat and friction ensuring continuous power delivery, thus providing on-demand acceleration.

So, Identify the best suited oil for your bike and top it before heading out. While on the road, watch out for warning signs that your motorcycle gives you. You must know how to identify the early signs so you can get them fixed before any major breakdown.

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Be Adventure ready
You are going to face rains, heat and really bad roads. We live in a country where every corner seems to manifest an astonishing new aspect of the unpredictable kaleidoscopic wonders, some can be pretty and others, well not so much. So it’s best to be prepared. Wear comfortable all weather gear. Carry a rain poncho, a camel hydration pack and a tarp cover for your luggage.

Eat light and stay hydrated
Eat very light for breakfast, then eat an early lunch. If you’re going to eat a heavy meal or a lot of food, save it for the last meal of the day when you’re done riding — because big meals take a lot of energy to digest and will make you drowsy. Pack snacks if you have the space. Make it a point to drink some water every time you stop (even if you don’t feel thirsty). It’s important to your alertness and your overall comfort level to stay hydrated.

Remember every terrain, every ride is different and you need to prepare for it differently. But all in all these are just a few generic tips and tricks that you can follow before heading out. So, throw your leg over that motorcycle, keep your head clear/alert and just enjoy the ride.