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  1. #1
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    How to save money for a bicycle tour

    Hi all

    It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on bikeforums. Heck, it’s been a long time since I’ve even logged on. But since this forum was such a valuable source of information to me, a newbie on his first bicycle journey, I thought it was about time for me to try to give back. Hopefully the following can be of some use to someone out there about to bike tour for the first time…

    So a lot of people over the years have asked me various questions related to the financial aspects of my trip; how did I afford to tour for so long, where did the money come from, how much did I spend on a tour of that length take? Etcetera, etcetera. I’ve never been able to give a very detailed answer apart from the “I’m good at saving money” response (or the sometimes used: “I’m a tight-arse” response) so I will try to explain a few of my ways in more detail here. Granted, a lot of these sorts of suggestions are lifelong habits that you could use at any time. Your up-bringing definitely influences your attitudes towards money. My tight-arse ways are straight from my parents. So here are some suggestions:

    1. Carry a pen and paper with you everywhere. If you can, keep it in your wallet or purse. With this pen and paper you are going to record every single time you take out your wallet; how much you spent and exactly what you spent it on. Now I know all you trendy, technology-savy kids are going to want to be doing it this on their iphones or other-brand electronic gadget-of-choice but I say this: “Do it on paper” – the act of writing it in ink and committing it to paper are a forced reminder that you are spending money.

    Put down every single amount you spent, no matter how small. Even if you gave spare change to the homeless guy on the street, put it down on your piece of paper.

    2. At the end of the week, add up how much you spent and what you spent it on. And don’t reach for that calculator - do it by hand, the way you were taught at school. Now next to each tem of expense, tick whether it was a necessity expense or not. Could you have lived without it? Then it’s not necessity then, is it?). Keep doing this over a couple of weeks, religiously recording every detail of your spending habits. Now you can see what is eating into your future “biking holiday spending fund”. And now you can start to slowly but surely put a little bit more money into a savings fund or in a piggy bank each week to start your bike trip that little bit sooner. Remember every penny you save now, is a penny extra that you can enjoy on yourself while on your bike trip/holiday.

    3. Use cash. Set yourself a limit for the week. At the start of the week go to the bank machine and withdraw the cash you’ve budgeted for the week. You’ll probably get it waaaay wrong to start with. Everyone underestimates how much they spend each week. Try your hardest to stick to your cash budget and resist pulling out the credit/debit card when you’ve literally got an empty wallet.

    4. Oh and another thing. Get rid of that debt. Ok I know that’s a silly thing to tell people in this credit-based society, but do your best to get rid of your debt. Unfortunately if you are one of those lucky ones to be living in a society where you are often drowned in ridiculous amounts of debt before you can even begin to earn a wage (… one thing that communism did get right…free education…and for everyone). Yes I know, I know…the entire economy would collapse (not sure that’s an entirely bad thing) if everyone started saving their money. But here’s the deal…, yes it may be a great freedom to have that buy-now, pay-later attitude but you will pay more for it later. And the more you pay for it later, the less you get to spend on your bicycle journey sabbatical. Try not to live beyond your means. If you can’t afford to be paying for something with money that you don’t have – shouldn’t you be questioning whether it is really a necessity? How about actually saving up for it and suffering a bit of delayed gratification.

    5. You like your corner coffee shop coffee? Your fancy schmancy Starbucks Skinny Caramel Macchiatos and your Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino® Lightly Blended Beverages, but try calculating (that’s right, your getting the idea, on paper) how much it costs you per year for those coffee fixes of yours. Think of how many pecan pies that is while starving for calories on your bike trip. That’s an awful lot of extra peacan pies right there. Start sampling the office coffee machine’s delicacies. Yes I know it tastes similar to the stuff you sweep up off a factory floor and puts hair on bits of your body that you didn’t expect hair to be growing but it’s saving you money right? And your office mates, those same ones that are asking you in for a morning round of coffees at the nearest coffeebar…yep, see them? Those fancy coffee-guzzling workmates? Yep…they are going to be the same fancy coffee-guzzling workmates (still sitting all day in-front of that 15-inch LCD monitor from 9 to 5) when you are riding two sweet wheels down that hill singing wooohooo all the way in a couple of month’s time.

    Same with cool drinks or fizzy drinks or sodas or whatever you may call them in your country. Do you really need that expensive sugar rush every day? Try drinking lots of water instead. Oh and none of that fancy schmancy bottled water – you’re trying to save money, remember?

    6. Bring your own lunch to work. Sure it may not look or taste as good as that deep fried breakfast burrito from that dodgy looking Mexican trailer near the worksite or that healthier sounding low-calorie baja bowl from Taco Del Mar but you’re here to save money, right? And if you’re lucky enough to be at an office where going out for work lunches are a social thing, bring your home-made lunch in a bag/lunchbox to whatever restaurant you are all going to. I’m sure if you eat it discretely enough the staff aren’t going to mind. And if anyone does bother you about it, tell them you’re on a special diet and can’t eat gluten or nuts or something like that. If it’s a workmate questioning why you are being such a cheap-ass these days, please refrain from telling them you’re saving up so you can quit this lame-ass job and go ride…Remember, those same office mates, the ones that are asking why you’re eating that dodgy looking home-made food when you could be munching on their Taco Del Mars? Yeah those ones… They are the same office mates that in a couple of month’s time, while you are lying sprawled out in a tent under a seemingly endless vista of stars that you never knew existed after an eventful day’s riding your way to freedom, are the same workmates that are going to bed exhausted after another meaningless 9 to 5 day in their dead-end meaningless job where they are just another worn out cog in a tired old, beat-up machine.

    7. Ok, might be time to curtail that socializing a bit. I don’t want you to not have fun, it may sound like it, but come-on…be creative… fun doesn’t always have to involve downing a half-dozen bottles of beer at the end of a work week. Either that or get some cheaper means of losing sobriety at the end of a week. Mentholated spirits may do the job but I’ve heard it can blind you too.

    8. Phone plans. They say it was a recession last year. It always suprises me whilst out and about the number of people with the latest iphone/blackberry/(insert latest cell phone product here). I know you say you couldn’t live without it but tell me how you managed to live your life quite successfully without it years ago? How much is your phone plan? Is this a way to save some extra cash for the trip?

    9. Get rid of that car. If you don’t need it. Remember you are going to starting a huge bike journey in a couple of months, you are going to be living on your bike for over half of your waking day, and for the rest of the day you are going to be not more than a few metres away from it. It’s time to start living and breathing bicycles. Live your life by bike rather than a car. Let this not just be a bicycle holiday for a couple of months, let it be… from now on.., a change of lifestyle behaviour. Start living by bike. Grocery runs on the bike. Visiting friends by bike. Sure it might be minus twenty degrees outside and heavily snowing, but it’s time you got used to it…In a few months time there will be no roof nor walls to separate you and the elements. A thin layer of tent material is the difference between inside and outside. Living it real baby!

    10. How much you paying for your cable TV subscription? Why not get rid of the TV altogether? You’ll find after a few weeks of living without you will no longer care about the latest TV show rumours circling around the workplace water cooler/coffee machine. And what to do with all this new found spare time that the TV was sucking up? How about spending the time doing all those things that you always tell people you have no time for. You have time now. And what else? Spend more time cooking dinner, have long conversations with friends, long make out sessions with your partner, spend more time doing the things you enjoy doing. Go on, the list is endless. Be creative and think of things rather than being spoon-fed ideas endlessly from that TV draining the life out of your living room.


    11. Grocery shop a little more frugally. Yeah ok, I know organic is good for you, and shop locally etc – I know, I like to live healthy too. Yeah, so it’s good for you but it’s often pricier too. You are trying to save money right? Try getting the cheaper budget brands for a while, the cheaper mass-produced corporate fruit and veggies. Just think of it like this: you are in diet training. You think you are going to eat all healthy on that bike trip?? How many health food/community organic markets do you think there are on the road between Fairbanks and Calgary? Umm, last time I checked…none. Believe me, you are going to be ingesting all sorts of unhealthy rubbish on your bike trip, something’s got to make up for the thousands of calories you are burning each day and often junk food is the closest thing that is going to be available. Me? My fix was snicker bars and peanut butter and nutella on rice cakes. You think that stuff is healthy? No. But it gave me back the energy I needed to recover quickly after a full day in the saddle. I was still the healthiest bastard I knew because of all that exercise and fresh air everyday. Healthier than the six-months-ago-me sitting in an artificially-lit office cubicle staring at that 15-inch LCD monitor all day.

    12. While throughout this entire post I’ve ranted about ways to cut down on your spending, here’s one suggestion for the opposite: Invest in quality bike panniers. Spend a bit more than the usual and get panniers that will still be useable in thirty years time when you’re taking your grandkids out for bike rides. While I’m not out to be a walking advertisement for my favourite pannier brand, I will say this. They sent out a replacement part next-day-delivery free-of-charge to Alaska to replace the pannier part that had been crushed by a forklift truck while unloading my bike off a train. Paid for itself.

    13. Pay good money to buy quality gear – it tends to last and saves you money in the long run. And well designed equipment never loses it’s usefulness. It will never need updating to get the latest and greatest . But then again, on the other hand, don’t waste money on getting the latest / greatest stuff when there is no need. I didn’t have the fanciest high tech Gore-Tex jacket. It definitely wasn’t made of some space-age material straight from the astronauts on the international space station. My jacket was a 15 dollar nylon rain jacket I’d bought probably half a decade earlier. I layered up. When I got hot, I took a layer off. When I got cold, I put an extra layer on. Ok I may not have been as comfy as I could have been … but that 100 dollars that I saved from buying a new jacket allowed me an extra week of my holiday on the road.

    14. Consider moving back in with your folks for a while. Is that a gasp of surprise? Ok… I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Think about it though…only for a short while… and only if you’re desperate. Think of those long days of biking bliss. Think of the wind ruffling your hair. Think of those woohoo-inducing downhills. Think of the freedom. A little bit of sacrifice can only make you stronger right?

    Sh*t that was long winded. I can go on can’t I?

    So if you’ve read this far, you have done well – that’s a lot of ranting and raving you’ve read yourself through. I won’t bore you with anymore of my opinions or tight-ass narrow minded views. But please, what do you think? You agree or disagree? What have been your ways to save up money for a bike holiday?

    Oh and a bit of a plug: my North American Bicycle Journey website!
    http://leonsteber.com/biketrip/

  2. #2
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Wow! That's a lot of good thinking there! People ask us that same question all the time and I'm not nearly as good at answering it as you.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    ....not nearly as good at answering it as you.
    Is that a polite way of saying "phew that was long-winded?"

    ;-)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    So if you’ve read this far, you have done well – that’s a lot of ranting and raving you’ve read yourself through. I won’t bore you with anymore of my opinions or tight-ass narrow minded views. But please, what do you think? You agree or disagree? What have been your ways to save up money for a bike holiday?
    Please... don't stop. I want to read more of those opinions!! They're well-founded and pretty entertaining to boot.

    And I agree with almost all of what you have said. It really is a matter of prioritising what's important in your life.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  5. #5
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I actually have a blog post all written and cued up to publish in a couple of days talking about that exact same t hing - it comes down to priorities. If you want it badly enough, you'll get it. If you want a new couch or a fancy car - you'll get that. If you want to travel, that's what you'll get. Just gotta make it number one on the list of priorities!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  6. #6
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    Great post Leon, I went to your website and spent over an hour looking at all your pictures and reading your stories. awesome pictures by the way, may i ask what camera you are using?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    Hey Skyzo

    Glad you like the website, good to know it still gets read from time to time. The camera was a film camera, a Nikon F70 (or it might have been called a N70 in the US). I used all Kodak E100VS - slide film. Oh that was for the bike trip, the film camera. If you're talking about my photos now I am using the Canon 5DII.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've been asked the same question many times ... how can I afford to dash off to Europe or Australia or wherever while the person asking me the question (often a coworker) is struggling to make ends meet. And it is about priorities. It is a priority for my coworker to pay for cigarettes and to go out to the bar 2 or 3 nights a week ... it is a priority for me to put money in the bank to pay for my next trip. It is a priority for my coworker to keep upgrading to a nicer apartment or condo or to get the latest and greatest "toys" (Nintendo, Wii, big screen TV, etc.) ... it is a priority for me to put money in the bank to pay for my next trip.

    I agree with most of what you've said ... especially the part about getting rid of the debt. It is a very good thing to be debt free ... so freeing in so many ways! I have been in debt a few times in my life, and as soon as I was able, I have worked very hard to get rid of that debt. One debt, in particular, was a 5-year loan ... it was gone in less than 18 months because I didn't want it hanging over me for 5 years. Getting rid of my debts quickly has been a matter of paying the required amount on the debt each month, plus a bit extra ... and it's amazing how quickly the process of regularly paying a bit extra can reduce a debt.

    But another aspect of being able to afford to tour and travel is employment ... acquiring the money. Most of us don't win lotteries, or get inheritances from rich uncles, or whatever ... most of us work and earn the money.

    So a few tips ...

    1. Additional employment ... picking up a part-time job in addition to your regular full-time job. I have done this many times in order to be able to pay down debts faster and to save money for something. The entire earnings from the part-time job go toward "the goal", while the earnings from the full-time job go toward living expenses etc. as usual. Christmas is a particularly good time for this ... you can often pick up a part-time retail position in early October and work through till early January. I've done this, and I had several acquaintences who liked to spend a couple weeks every January/February someplace hot and tropical do it as well. Retail jobs don't pay brilliantly, but 3 or 4 months of working through the Christmas rush can pay for a plane ticket and then some. Or for a cycletourist setting off from home, the amount that could be earned in that time could keep the cycletourist going for a month or two.

    2. Good educational choices. I spent my 20s trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, and trying to afford to go to University and get the degree ... like I was supposed to. Finally, toward the end of my 20s, I gave up the idea of a degree and decided to focus on getting some skills. I got my Engineering Tech certification (much shorter and less expensive than a degree) ... which got me a decent position with a company ... which allowed me to continue on and get further skills-oriented education ... which allowed me to get a better position with the same company ... which allowed me to earn enough to save for several tours, including a 90 day tour of Australia and my first year of University upon my return. All that skills-oriented education and experience also allowed me to get good-paying jobs while I was in University, so I could pay for University and still travel now and then ... and I finally graduated in my early 40s.

    I have absolutely no regrets going the skills route ... I just wish I had done it earlier. While you're still young (but even if you're older), take a year or two and get skills certification. Having skills can open up your employment options, which can open so many doors.

    3. Travel as much as you can when you're under 30. Many countries have a work-and-travel program for young people ... if you're under 30, you can come to Australia and work the harvest trail, for example, travelling through Australia and working to pay for your travel expenses. You can often go to places in Europe and do similar things. Once you reach 30, however, a lot of the doors for those sorts of opportunities close.


    We enjoy our travelling experiences ... but we have worked hard to get there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    When I graduated University two years ago I was saddled with debt. The job market in the US was terrible and my BA in Anthropology didn't get me qualified for too many jobs. However, it was a real asset when I came to Asia to work as an English teacher. The pay is similar to what I would have earned in the US sitting in front of a computer doing something mindless but the cost of living here in South Korea is a fraction of what it cost in the States, plus its a lot more interesting! I now am able to save well over 50% of each months paycheck.

    After my first year I was debt free. That felt amazing. I even had enough cash left over to do a 3 month back packing trip to South East Asia. I am going to be finishing my second year of work in February and have enough dough to take 6-9 months off cycling around China, Tibet, Nepal, and India. I can't wait!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    I am all for free education, it is ridiculous the debt students get forced into these days just in order to have a chance in the job market. I was very lucky and studied in Oz just after they abolished free university but before the price of it got too ridiculous. It compares nothing to the US though, one of my roommates was studying law and was about a hundred grand under. Granted she is probably earning good money now but it would take anyone a very long time to pay off that sort of amount.

    Machka - I agree totally with your point 3. There are a lot of working/holiday options for young people, often once you get settled in a country for a year or so it is much easier to get your foot in the door and stay as long as you wish (or until they kick you out!)

  11. #11
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    This a great thread! Money is the thing that stops most would be bike tourists. Getting your financial house in order is the absolute best thing you can do to go on holiday.

  12. #12
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    At this stage of my life, I do not have time for extended bicycle tours. But most years, I manage to do a 4 to 7 day tour during the summer, several day trips, and the occasional weekend trip.

    My annual budget for touring, including bike maintenance, is under $1000. That includes the cost of traveling to my starting point/getting home, restaurant meals, bed and breakfasts and hotel/motels, etc. Last year, I spent less. In early October, two friends and I spent three days cycling in a bucolic setting, visiting wineries, eating in nice restaurants, seeing the autumn colours from the seats of our bicycles, and enjoying each other's company. It was a perfect holiday.

    The amount I need to save to be able to afford these wonderful expeditions is less than three dollars per day, or about $20 per week.

    Want to save $20 per week? Easy. Once a week, stay at home and make dinner rather than going out to a restaurant; don't buy lottery tickets; turn off the lights when you leave a room; in the winter, turn down the thermostat when you go to bed; buy fewer prepared meals; postpone buying something that you have been craving, but don't actually need; choose the $10 bottle of wine instead of the $20 bottle; drink tap water instead of bottled waters; borrow CDs from the public library rather than buying them or paying for the music online; etc.

    In no way will these measures diminish the quality of your life. In fact, talking and laughing with friends/family while sitting around the table with a homemade meal and a cheap-and-cheerful bottle of wine is one of the greatest pleasures I know of.

    Another great pleasure for me is bicycle touring. One of the reasons I can afford to do it, even in a limited way, is to try to keep my priorities straight!

  13. #13
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    I knew people who penny pinched all year so they could go on a great tour each summer.
    Then they penny pinched on their holidays.

    Being cheap wasn't something they did to enable their holidays in nice places.
    They were just cheap.

    What a waste.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  14. #14
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I must be a waste then. I am a cheap person. I think of it more as a hobby though than a way of life. Its fun not spending money and finding creative ways to entertain yourself.

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    Senior Member ullearn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    Oh and a bit of a plug: my North American Bicycle Journey website!
    http://leonsteber.com/biketrip/
    Good post and liking the travel blog, do you have a post or page on what camera and gear you took on the ride?

  16. #16
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    I must be a waste then. I am a cheap person. I think of it more as a hobby though than a way of life. Its fun not spending money and finding creative ways to entertain yourself.
    Like you said, a hobby, you can switch it on, and switch it off. It's about decisions and choices. You have less of one thing so you can have more of another. Or you delay gratification. I think we have some common ground here.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I'd like to think a biking vacation is also a way to save . You don't have to buy gas.. Camping vs the Hilton.. . Sure you have to economize to the extent you suggest thanks to the thriftiness of bike touring. ?
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    I must be a waste then. I am a cheap person. I think of it more as a hobby though than a way of life. Its fun not spending money and finding creative ways to entertain yourself.
    Machka has a bit of a chuckle sometimes, because I am a minor collector of other people's discards.

    For a while after I moved to the district where I live, my bath towels were collected from the roadside, having flown out of boats making their way home from the nearby lake. One of my favourite frames was picked up at the rubbish dump. There are all sorts of bits and pieces in the shed and garage that have been "collected" for free (and I don't mean stolen!!).

    And I am a very regular purchaser of stuff on the internet -- bike equipment, mainly. I can have the best of both worlds -- a bit of retail therapy and saving for travel and cycle-touring as well.

    Oh, and having gone for 12 years without owning a motor vehicle, I was able to sock away a fair bit of money to pay for trips. I own a vehicle now, but its use is largely for travelling to bicycle events or bicycle touring destinations (we live in a country area that is not well served by public transport). We can bear the cost on it.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  19. #19
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Most of what the OP says is good advice for general life and saving for your ultimate retirement, not just your next bike tour. But for me the one that really makes a lot of sense is this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    4. Oh and another thing. Get rid of that debt. Ok I know that’s a silly thing to tell people in this credit-based society, but do your best to get rid of your debt. Unfortunately if you are one of those lucky ones to be living in a society where you are often drowned in ridiculous amounts of debt before you can even begin to earn a wage (… one thing that communism did get right…free education…and for everyone). Yes I know, I know…the entire economy would collapse (not sure that’s an entirely bad thing) if everyone started saving their money. But here’s the deal…, yes it may be a great freedom to have that buy-now, pay-later attitude but you will pay more for it later. And the more you pay for it later, the less you get to spend on your bicycle journey sabbatical. Try not to live beyond your means. If you can’t afford to be paying for something with money that you don’t have – shouldn’t you be questioning whether it is really a necessity? How about actually saving up for it and suffering a bit of delayed gratification.
    I think the thing that a lot of people don't understand about paying for something on credit is the interest you're likely to cop at a later stage, and given that a lot of people who get into debt tend to stay there, that tends to add up. Ultimately, saving up for something can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

    BTW, why do people assume that the economy would collapse if people stopped borrowing money? In case nobody was watching, the GFC was largely the result of the banking system being unable to cope with people borrowing beyond their means. If borrowers and lenders alike had been a bit more responsible, it would never have happened.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    I think if you are a major cheapskate in normal life then that attitude is going to carry over when you go out in holiday mode. I don't see anything particularly wrong with that. It's almost a hobby in itself!

    I find bike touring still costs a fair bit per day, but mostly in the food department. But then food is your fuel. I never kept track of costs while touring because I'd managed to save enough to not have to worry about it. If you can holiday without having the worry of how much money you are spending then that in itself is an added bonus to the holiday. You shouldn't be worrying about your spending costs while on holiday - that's not to say you can't continue to be a cheap-ass but just enjoy your holiday for what it is. If you don't think something is worth paying for while on holiday, don't pay for it! For instance one year I rode over to Stonehenge (in the UK) just after Christmas (stupid idea I know; cold, wet and miserable) but when I finally got there and realised there was like a 10 pound charge (about the price of 4 beers at a pub) to get in and up close to the stones, I refused to pay it. I just stood outside the fence and looked at them. Was my holiday experience depreciated by not paying an entrance fee in order to see some ancient stones? No. The whole journey getting there was a lot more than just seeing some bloody stones up close.

    I was pretty lucky before doing my long bike trip to have a good job so I managed to save up money and didn't have to worry about finances while riding. I was also "unlucky" enough to get a bit of cash from an out-of-court settlement after an Oakland Raiders football player ran me over in his SUV while I was riding to work. Though the amount I got after my lawyer and insurance companies took their share was only $5K. Better than a kick up the arse.

    Bike touring is a helluva lot cheaper than most holidays that's for sure. But the point of bike touring isn't about trying to save money on your holidays, it's all about the experience of traveling and experiencing the world on two wheels. If you can save up enough money before your trip so that you don't have to worry about your finances whilst on your trip than I think you've done well and that's what you should aim at.

    ullearn: I mentioned camera earlier! It was all done on slide film, that's why there's that "look" about them. I am currently in the process of redoing the website - all the original scans I had done of the slides were pretty poor, so I've rescanned them and am going to put larger and better quality pics on the website. The whole point of re-scanning them was actually for a book I am making too, but unfortunately with Blurb's prices and the size of my book (about 240 to 280 pages long) it's going to be a bit pricey so I may be the only one that buys a copy! When I do eventually get the book completed (don't hold your breath, it's been several years in the making) I'll definitely put a link up on my site.

    Cheers, Leon
    Last edited by Leon; 01-24-11 at 12:04 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member radumas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    14. Consider moving back in with your folks for a while. Is that a gasp of surprise? Ok… I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Think about it though…only for a short while… and only if you’re desperate. Think of those long days of biking bliss. Think of the wind ruffling your hair. Think of those woohoo-inducing downhills. Think of the freedom. A little bit of sacrifice can only make you stronger right?
    um..er...uh.... moving back with your folks is whose sacrifice? (I'm the Dad)

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    has anyone thought, time permitting that we penny pinch on tour so that we can tour for longer, it is what I do.

  23. #23
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenjubb View Post
    has anyone thought, time permitting that we penny pinch on tour so that we can tour for longer, it is what I do.
    Exactly. I can tour like a king for a month or I can tour with my tent and basic, but tasty food, and tour for three months.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    Being cheap wasn't something they did to enable their holidays in nice places.
    They were just cheap.
    I've gotta say: so what? Some people value owning the latest electronic gizmos and expensive cars. Some people want to get the absolute maximum amount of leisure time they can squeeze out of the minimum amount of working time. Most people fall somewhere in between. If someone is happy to continue their frugal lifestyle while on tour, then who are you to judge?
    -----
    Funny story. Earlier this week, I found myself wondering how many of my peers can afford to buy new cars and live in big houses. Then I did some mental math, and realised that since my wife and I met 7 years ago, we'd spent somewhere in the neighbourhood of $40k seeing the world, and that ignores the lost income, and being out of the housing market during a major runup in prices (which has not reversed itself here). Not a lot of bike touring - I'm new to it, and have only taken one touring holiday so far - but backpacking is a similar mentality. If I hadn't gone traveling, I wouldn't have an extra $40k in the bank, I'd probably have bought stuff with it, and with some leverage, I'd own a house instead of a condo, a Prius instead of an Echo, and probably some new furniture to with it all instead of the hand-me-downs and thrift-store finds that furnish my home.

    But then I'd be sad. Because I hadn't seen the world, and was trapped in a routine focussed on making money and buying more stuff.

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I've been asked the same question many times ... how can I afford to dash off to Europe or Australia or wherever while the person asking me the question (often a coworker) is struggling to make ends meet.
    One other consideration when asked this question is this ...

    When my coworkers and acquaintances think about going to Europe or wherever for a vacation, they are thinking:
    -- flight (and preferably something "classier" than what I call "baggage class")
    -- car rental upon arrival
    -- nice hotel
    -- decent restaurants
    -- tours of this, that, and the other ... each of which has admission fees
    -- fuel for rental car
    -- shopping, shopping, and more shopping
    -- etc.


    When I think about going to Europe or wherever for a vacation, I am thinking:
    -- "baggage class" flight
    -- airport train/shuttle service upon arrival
    -- mainly bicycle travel throughout the trip, with occasional train travel
    -- a night in a hostel upon arrival and before departure
    -- otherwise mainly camping (in campgrounds or wherever)
    -- food from grocery stores (or occasional cafes)
    -- a small selection of tours, because most of my time is spent cycling
    -- and shopping at Decathlons and GoSports

    So one of the reasons I can afford to go places is because I don't spend a fortune getting there or while there.

    I have suggested to my coworkers etc. that perhaps they should consider camping and using trains, but they just don't feel comfortable with that idea ... so they stay home and don't go anywhere instead because they can't afford to travel in the style they would like to travel.

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