Saving for the Long Bike Tour

Working while dreaming of the bike tour, and saving those pennies is never easy.  It’s never easy to be stressed out at work and wanting to leave.  It’s never easy to say no to things because it means saying yes to future dreams.

Based on several people’s opinions, my boyfriend and I are saving up to have $2000 USD each month we are away.  We spoke with a family that toured (2 adults, 2 children) and they also budget $2000 per month for their trip from Alaska, USA (flight from Idaho to Anchorage) to bike down to Argentina.  They said that they were more or less in line with their budget.  The extra buffer we set aside will allows us that transcontinental flight, the little bits of shopping and splurging along the way as we also make our way down to Argentina, then across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.

So far I have been using Mint.com (free service, also owned by Intuit [who write Canadian tax filing software]) free service to aggregate my spending between all my credit cards and bank account savings.  It’s been awesome.  Having this consolidated view allows me to see where the fat of my spending has been.  How much do I spend on using a car?  How much am I spending dining out at a restaurant instead of eating leftovers or cooking at home?  It fuels decisions on whether I should take that rent from car-sharing or try to do things on my bike or public transit.  It keeps me on track for restaurant expenses when the last thing I want to do is make food after a depressing day at work.  (Note: I like what I do, I just don’t enjoy the organization I am working for their constant lack of planning a daily emergency that I have to fend.)

After reading Alistair Humphreys’s journey around the world, it seems he took about 4 years to complete it.   This puts me on track at finding nearly $50,000 per person ($100,000 USD total) for it all.  Alistair wrote that he perhaps about 14,000 GBP ($21,000 USD) for his journey without the use of a plane and cycling the entire length.  $50,000 vs $21,000 seems large, but I have to also account for a possible $3000 folding bike purchase too.  Some people have journeyed on $300 bikes, but my particular plan is on a folding bike.

I figure that it will be about another two more years before we actually roll off into the distance.  Until then, I have a lot more to learn about bike touring for long lengths with a folding bike.

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3 comments

  1. I have the ambition to do a world trip soon too. The folding bicycle seems like the most versatile choice. When are you both leaving and do you have a general route outline yet?

  2. We did a trial run of sorts. We’re just at the tail end after being away for 2 months in Europe. Less than a week until we’re back. I actually moved my blog to http://hitchbiking.meltan.ca

    I really love folding bikes but it’s really dependant on what you want out of your trip. For our next trip, we’ll probably use Bromptoms because we really hitch as much as we bike. They are super compact and I would not worry about bringing them on the crazy busses of India, South America where luggage room is almost non existent (as locals don’t really own much in the first place). The Bike Fridays turned out to be really unwieldily in train stations of Europe. They also take more time to pack for planes. However, they rode super well and I had great confidence when descending in the mountains from Autun to Beaune in France in rainy and 6˚C weather (miserably wet and cold).

    When we start out on the bigger trip, we’ll go from Vancouver (where we live) to South America. There’s a great book called Bicycling the Pacific Coast that we’ll start with. http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Bicycling_the_Pacific_Coast.html?id=c9jk69QZqSIC&redir_esc=y

    We like the idea of following summer. As winter sets in, keep heading south. When the Southern Hemisphere gets cold, go to the Northern Hemisphere, and keep alternating.

  3. When I get home, I plan to take a look at how much we spent for the 2 months and use that as a high point as Europe is probably going to be the most expensive continent to travel.

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