Best Places to Sleep When Riding Motorcycle Cross Country: Campsites, Motels & Airbnb Tips

Best Places to Sleep When Riding Motorcycle Cross Country: Campsites, Motels & Airbnb Tips

Riding a motorcycle cross country is a thrilling adventure that promises freedom and unforgettable experiences. But after a long day on the road, finding the right place to rest is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newbie, knowing where to sleep can make or break your journey.

From cozy campsites under the stars to budget-friendly motels and unique Airbnb stays, there are plenty of options to consider. I’ll guide you through the best places to catch some Z’s, ensuring you stay safe, comfortable, and ready for the next day’s ride.

Key Takeaways

  • Plan Your Route: Mapping out your route helps identify suitable accommodations like campsites, motels, and Airbnb options. Use online route planners to mark rest stops in alignment with your travel schedule.
  • Budget Accommodation Types: Categorize expenses into different tiers (campsites, motels, Airbnb, hotels) and allocate funds effectively. Booking in advance can lock in lower rates.
  • Accommodation Options: Consider a mix of hotels, motels, campgrounds, and unconventional stays like Airbnb and hostels to match your preferences and budget.
  • Packing Essentials: Ensure you pack necessary items such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothing, personal hygiene items, lighting, cooking gear, water, and a first aid kit.
  • Safety Precautions: Prioritize safety by choosing well-lit locations, securing belongings, checking weather conditions, understanding local wildlife, and maintaining hydration and nutrition.
  • Benefits of Planning: Proper planning enhances comfort by securing appropriate accommodations and aids time management, reducing unnecessary detours and waiting times.

Planning Your Accommodations

Consider Your Route

Mapping out your route helps identify suitable places to stay. I recommend highlighting towns and cities with known accommodations such as campsites, motels, or Airbnb options. Utilizing online route planners like Google Maps assists in pinpointing rest stops that align with your travel schedule. Additionally, consider the terrain and climate along your route. For instance, mountainous areas might offer scenic campsites, while urban regions likely have more motels and hotels.

Set Your Budget

Establishing a budget streamlines the accommodation selection process. I advise categorizing expenses into different tiers.

Accommodation TypeAverage Cost per Night
Campsites$10 – $30
Motels$50 – $100
Airbnb Stays$30 – $150 (depending on location and amenities)
Hotels$70 – $200

Consider the frequency of each type of accommodation within your budget. For example, allocating funds for a mix of budget motels and campsites can stretch your finances further. Be sure to factor in extra amenities such as secure parking for your motorcycle. Booking in advance where possible can also help lock in lower rates.

Types of Accommodations

Types of Accommodations

Hotels and Motels

Hotels and motels offer convenience and several amenities. Hotels provide comfortable beds, reliable Wi-Fi, and sometimes include breakfast. Motels, often found along highways, usually have lower rates. Both typically offer secure parking, which is crucial for motorcycle travelers. Booking a room in advance can ensure availability, especially during peak seasons.

Camping Options

Camping options include public campgrounds, private campsites, and dispersed camping. Public campgrounds, often located in state or national parks, offer restrooms and sometimes showers. Private campsites may provide additional amenities like laundry facilities. Dispersed camping, available on public lands, allows for more remote stays without traditional amenities, ideal for those seeking solitude.

Unconventional Stays

Unconventional stays include Airbnb, hostels, and couchsurfing. Airbnb offers unique properties, from cabins to yurts, providing a diverse array of lodging experiences. Hostels, typically found in urban areas, offer budget-friendly options with communal spaces for socializing. Couchsurfing connects travelers with locals offering free accommodation, fostering community connections and cultural exchange.

Essentials for Overnight Motorcycle Trips

Packing List for Sleepovers

Having the right items ensures a comfortable and safe rest. Here’s a checklist:

  1. Tent: A lightweight, compact tent with weather resistance for varied climates.
  2. Sleeping Bag: A sleeping bag rated for the lowest expected temperature.
  3. Sleeping Pad: A quality sleeping pad or inflatable mattress for insulation and comfort.
  4. Clothing: Moisture-wicking base layers, weather-appropriate gear, and extra socks.
  5. Pillow: A compact, inflatable pillow for neck support or a stuff sack filled with clothes.
  6. Personal Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, and a quick-dry towel.
  7. Lighting: A headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries for nighttime visibility.
  8. Cooking Gear: A compact stove, fuel canister, lightweight pot, and utensils for meal prep.
  9. Water: A hydration system or water bottles with a reliable water filtration/purification method.
  10. First Aid Kit: A comprehensive kit tailored for minor injuries and emergencies.

Safety Tips

Safety is paramount when sleeping outdoors during a motorcycle trip:

  1. Location Choice: Choose well-lit, populated areas for camping, and avoid isolated spots.
  2. Secure Belongings: Keep your bike and gear locked. Use a cable lock for the motorcycle and a bag lock for luggage.
  3. Emergency Contacts: Share your itinerary with someone you trust, and check in regularly.
  4. Weather Check: Monitor local weather conditions, and have a plan for sudden changes.
  5. Wildlife Awareness: Understand the local wildlife and secure food properly to avoid attracting animals.
  6. First Aid Readiness: Know basic first aid and carry a first aid manual for reference.
  7. Navigation Tools: Keep GPS devices or maps accessible, with a backup for electronic failures.
  8. Discretion: Set up camp discreetly, and avoid drawing unnecessary attention.
  9. Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and consume balanced meals to maintain energy levels.
  10. Rest: Ensure you’re well rested to avoid fatigue, which can impair your riding ability the next day.

Essentials packed and safety measures observed contribute significantly to a successful cross-country motorcycle trip.

Benefits of Proper Planning

Benefits of Proper Planning

Enhanced Comfort

Proper planning significantly enhances comfort during a cross-country motorcycle trip. Choosing accommodations in advance ensures I select the most comfortable options, whether it’s a motel with excellent amenities or a well-reviewed campsite. Pre-booking means I avoid last-minute stress and the discomfort of unsuitable sleeping arrangements. For example, finding a campsite with showers and clean restrooms means I maintain personal hygiene standards, improving my overall experience. Planning for access to electricity also ensures my devices stay charged, which enhances comfort and convenience.

Improved Time Management

Effective planning leads to better time management on my journey. By mapping out accommodations along the route, I structure my daily rides, reducing unnecessary detours and wasted time. For instance, knowing the exact location of motels and campsites allows me to allocate specific hours for riding and resting, optimizing the overall schedule. Planning ahead also helps me anticipate and avoid peak times at popular locations, ensuring I spend more time enjoying the trip rather than searching for a place to sleep.


Planning where to sleep on a cross-country motorcycle trip can make or break the experience. By considering options like campsites, motels, and Airbnb, you’ll ensure comfort and convenience. Pre-booking accommodations not only saves time but also helps maintain personal hygiene and safety standards. Remember to anticipate peak times at popular spots to avoid last-minute hassles. With a well-thought-out plan, your journey will be smoother and more enjoyable. Happy riding!

When riding a motorcycle cross-country, finding the best places to sleep is crucial for ensuring rest and safety during your journey. Options such as campsites, motels, and Airbnb rentals offer various amenities and levels of comfort, catering to different preferences and budgets, as highlighted by Motorcycle Touring Tips. Planning your stops in advance and considering factors like location, security, and convenience can make your trip more enjoyable, according to Travel + Leisure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is planning accommodations essential for a cross-country motorcycle trip?

Planning accommodations ensures comfort, convenience, and proper time management. It helps you maintain personal hygiene standards, optimize time spent riding and resting, and avoids last-minute stress during the trip.

What types of lodging options are available for a cross-country motorcycle trip?

You can consider various lodging options such as campsites, motels, and Airbnb. Each option has its unique advantages, suitable for different preferences and budgets.

Should I pre-book accommodations for my journey?

Yes, pre-booking accommodations is highly recommended. It guarantees a place to stay, particularly in popular destinations during peak times, enhancing the overall experience of your trip.

What should I include in my checklist for overnight stays?

Your checklist should include essential items such as a sleeping bag, tent, toiletries, and a first-aid kit. Depending on your lodging choice, you may also need camping gear or personal items suited for motels or Airbnb stays.

What are the safety tips for sleeping outdoors?

Ensure your campsite is in a safe, legal location, keep a close eye on weather conditions, secure your belongings, and stay aware of local wildlife. It’s also wise to inform someone about your whereabouts.

How can planning help optimize my riding and resting time?

Planning allows you to set a structured itinerary, helping you maximize riding enjoyment and ensuring sufficient rest. This balance prevents fatigue and enhances the overall journey experience.