bike touring tips: how to finance a world tour


The key to achieving your dream

Saving is easy once you get used to a simple lifestyle.Most people are curious about how we managed to save enough money to be able to quit our jobs and embark on a multi-year cycling tour.  Did we get rich during the boom years?  Perhaps we inherited a large sum from a long lost relative?   Maybe we got lucky playing the lottery?

If only it had been so simple.  The truth is we were able to quit our jobs and become bike nomads because we lived simply and saved.

living below your means

Being a cheap-skate is no longer something shameful. Given the current economic situation, living below your means is suddenly in fashion.  We've been living well below our means since we got married in 1997.  

Eric is a penny-pincher at heart so saving comes naturally to him.  I, on the other hand, was more like the average western consumer.  Before I set off traveling in 1995, I spent almost everything I earned on expensive clothes, a nice car, trendy restaurants and the like.  When I started traveling, a change in my spending habits gradually took place.  I  discovered that cutting back on indulgences didn't meaning cutting back on the enjoyment of life.  Much to the contrary. I began to enjoy each small pleasure much more intensely.  

how to get started saving for your dream bicycle tour

You don't have to risk pneumonia by cutting the heat in the winter or resign yourself to a surviving on mac and cheese to save money.  Here are some cost-cutting ideas that worked for us:

Here are some things we didn't give up (and they didn't hinder us from saving money):
share your dream
Most people are used to spending rather freely.  If you suddenly start turning down restaurant invitations and focusing on free entertainment, friends and family are certain to start asking questions.  Be open about your plans.  If you have the support of those closest to you, saving will be all the much easier.

Once you start saving, be sure to get sound financial advice.  Letting your money accumulate in an old-fashioned savings account probably isn't the fastest way to make it grow.  And don't forget about retirement and having a cushion when you return from your cycling adventure.  Do you really want to move back in with mom and dad at the end of your tour?  

Finally, If you really want to set out on a bike tour, you will find a way to save money.  We've met families on the road, recent graduates who've never worked full-time and retired people enjoying the freedom of travel.  Take the steps needed to make your dreams come true.  Start now.

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What are your experiences trying to finance a bike tour?  Any tips for saving money to finance a cycling tour? 

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