Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Route Planning

Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 8 Feb 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 8
noob> So you get to outskirts of a town, what next?

Excuse this as a noob question, but if you're in a country where you don't speak the language (somewhere 2nd/3rd world, maybe Pakistan) and you get to the outskirts of a city/town, what do you do next? How do you find somewhere to stay, do you just drive until you see something? Or have you got something planned, if so how do you find it, since I'm guessing you don't carry a map/GPS with full details of every city?

I'm stressed about finding safe bike friendly accommodation and food on a long trip.
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Feb 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: London
Posts: 239
I think whats important to remember with alot of places, is there aren't that many places you can go. Normally a city lies on a 'major road' (which might compare to a small b road in the UK).

You either drive one way or the other. You probably came from one direction, so you probably should carry on the other direction. Most cities are nothing like London/Manchester and may be made up of 3/4 roads. You will also realise very soon that western travellers are the oracle of information, coming in the opposite direction, people swap addreses, good places to eat, stay, maps. Its very simple especially when there are lots of backpackers about.

Hotel is an international language. The word 'Hotel' will be liberally plastered around. The international sign for 'i need a place to sleep' is to place two hands togethor, put your head on them, close your eyes and make snoring noises. Then raise your hands to say where is. Its very simlpe how to communicate. Food wise...you'll never stave. Sometimes you'll end up eating packet noodles or crisps for a week (Cambodia preah vihear...not a culinary treat)...but its half the fun.

Finally...just remember 'It will be alright'
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Feb 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 65
Hmmm let me think...

Difficult question
- You could get the attention of a local and draw pictures in the sand of what you are seeking and maybe get a favourable response (They would also need to draw in sand).
- You could drive around and around for hours and hours until you accidentally find what you're looking for.
- You could decide it's too stressful to contemplate and turn back.
- You might feel it's not worth the hassle and drive straight through the place (just keep going straight)
- Pretend you've had a terrible accident so someone calls the emergency services (presuming there is one) and hope they finally provide you with a translator so you can ask your questions.
- Proceed into the town and pretend you are crazy until someone is compelled to help you.
- Hide by the side of the road until you see someone passing that might be going somewhere interesting and follow them and stick to them like glue until you get your bearings.
- Knock on the first door that has a sweet smell of cooking and happy music billowing out and hope they're friendly.
It might be easier to read a book or two (lonely Planet), Search the internet (Lots of info even on this site) but I find bumping into other travellers on the road is sometimes the best source of info.
Happy travelling
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Feb 2008
Redboots's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: On the border - NE FR
Posts: 842
In India & Pakistan you can always ask a tuk-tuk driver to drive to an hotel. Be aware that a lot of then expect a kickback from the hotel which will of course be passed on to you.
Make shure they know what sort of price range you are after.
They will want to charge you a fee for this service... I think the going rate for tuk-tuks is about 300rupees PER DAY so establish what they want to charge you BEFORE you go with them.

Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Feb 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 185
Biggest tip....Smile!! best comunication device in the world!

Don't stress about it once you get on the ground you'll find your own way.
The most common statement made by people when they first go traveling... " Everyone was so friendly!" And they will say this with some kind of wonder and surprise.(we must have such a dark view of humanity!) Especially because you are from another country, once you get off the mega touristy tour bus route, you'll be just as much a novilty to them as they are to you. I've been traveling for 4 years from the Middle East to Asia to Europe to the Pacific, and I'm constantly humbled by the generosity of the world. And most humbling of all the more "economicly deprived" the area is (i.e. the less they have in western terms) the more welcoming and friendly they are. But no matter where you are if you're from another country and out of a tourist group, and have an open smile on you face, people will always be more helpfull and friendly to you than their fellow countrymen.

I remember seeing a book ( by Lonely Planet i think) it was a book full of pictures, so you would point at what you wanted in the book and show the person ( i.e picture of a plate of food, hospital, hotel) That way if you traveling through several counties/ languages you can use it all the way. I saw the book in a shop and chuckled to myself, thinking how simple it was and how often i could have used it!!!

Long story short..... Chill Jono! Go with the flow and smile a lot (sometimes like an idiot helps! ) make a few hand gestures and you'll be fine!!! - think of it a s huge game of charades! ;0) It's a bit hard at first but you'll get in the swing of it in no time! (just leave your western paranoia and suspicion at home)

Happy travels!!

"he who travels lightest, travels happiest" - Budda
'99 R1100GS - In a suitable shade of black

It's not that life is so short, It's just that we're dead for so long....
"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." ~ Saint Augustin
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Feb 2008
Sime66's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wild West (of Crete)
Posts: 285
Originally Posted by JoeSheffer View Post

Finally...just remember 'It will be alright'
This is really all you need to know, on this and pretty much any other topic. So that's the HUBB complete then.

Now what are we gonna do???

London-Cape Town 2004-06
Buenos Aires-Vancouver 2008-10:
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Feb 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cairo
Posts: 187
That's how you keep yourself occupied during the six months or more of planning your trip. You will discover every blog/website/publication etc vaguely related to your journey. You will have detailed routes/camping areas/hotels/food plans/bike/gear etc etc sorted down to the detail. I have found it the only way to cope between trips. My wife calls it an obsession (I think it was getting the bike up 11 floors in the lift with the help of 5 blokes and stripping it in our apartment living area to get it out of the rain and kitted in time that finally convinced her). You will find travelling easier than you think and much of the planning overkill, but it's fun and gives you piece of mind. Having a list of accomm options in your kitbag is useful, but you'll eventually rely mostly on word of mouth, be it locals or other travellers. And in most countries the locals will be more than happy for you to camp on their property.

Incidentally, another universal word - "".

cheers, Brett
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Feb 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,366
Arrow Go ...

Originally Posted by BrettUAE View Post
Incidentally, another universal word - "".
Piva in Russian ?

Anyways .. once out of town you are probably headed somewheres .. (north, south etc) so take the road going that way .. food - lunch around midday - look for people - they eat too you know .. ask them .. make eating motions..

Say 3 hours before sunset .. find more people .. ask them about a place to stay .. make sleeping motions .. and may be through in eating too.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Feb 2008
DLbiten's Avatar
HU California Meeting Organiser
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Camano is. USA
Posts: 443
Well kids that have not learned to talk dont die most of the time. Just go to shop selling food point at some food then point at you mouth wave some money in there face you get some food. Bike friendly accommodation they take a bit more looking sometimes you will not find any. Bring a tent if you like to stay out of towns. Many places to sleep for a night under your bike bring a tarp.

A little homework on the places you want to go some maps will go a long way. Try to learn to say please and thank you a little gos long way. smile and a wave will get the rest of the way.

Even babies get what they want. pointing and head nods will get you by.
books like Wordless Travel Book and Point It Picture Dictionary may help a bit more. google it.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Feb 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wisconsin and Panama
Posts: 52
I usually try to find the town center. In Central America each town usually has a central plaza. That's where the old and inexpensive hotels are. Try to find a hotel with secure parking. Sometimes that means parking your bike right inside the hotel.

If the town is growing, there might be better hotels on the main roads near the outskirts.

Keep an eye out for back-packers. European back-packers tend to find the good towns and cheap hotels.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Feb 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,301
Doing your homework ahead helps
When possible, avoid really big cities

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 08:11.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shipping or Flying/Sailing with Bike from Cape Town to South America jolaglabek Trip Transport 1 19 Nov 2007 22:12
Argentina Or Chile To Cape Town thecanoeguy Trip Transport 6 12 Jul 2007 17:05
London - Cape town: How Much? edorr Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 5 25 Dec 2006 17:16
Land Rover Cape Town Adventurisedotcom sub-Saharan Africa 1 4 May 2006 23:06
Airfreight: Cape Town to Buenos Aires Stephan Solon Trip Transport 0 11 Nov 2000 05:11


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:51.