Introduction to Steph Jeavons
How much does it really cost to travel the world by motorbike?
How long is a piece of string? A wise person once said, ‘Work out what to take with you and how much money you will need, then halve what you take and double your money’. But there are ways you can dramatically reduce your cost of living, and you may just be surprised at how cheaply you can live if you put the effort in.
It’s true – man cannot live on memories alone. So here are some tips for keeping that road-trip budget low and the experience high. Remember – great memories are made from interacting and problem solving. This philosophy will enrich your adventure in a way that hotel rooms won’t.
Tips for saving money
There is no right or wrong when it comes to bike choice, but consider an economical bike with good fuel consumption if budget is tight. Remember, small and light can save you money on shipping costs too, whilst reliable can save you money on parts!
The kindness of strangers is important and you quickly learn that there is often a helping hand when you need it most. Explore, safe in the knowledge that people are generally good. Being a biker gives you the added bonus of a built-in worldwide community. You will be surprised at how often you are offered a home cooked meal, or a bed for the night in exchange for tales from the road. Practice saying ‘Yes’ to offers of hospitality. Be prepared to change your plans at the drop of a hat.
Be Internet savvy
Surf the net – There are more and more websites for travelers these days, offering free or cheap beds for the night. couchsurfing.com is possibly the most commonly recognized, but there are many out there. Look for biker forums like ADVRider, where bikers offer ‘tent space’ all over the world.
Food and drink
You will save the most money by carrying camping gear, and especially cooking equipment. Even if you are in a hotel room, you can make your own dinner. I call this ‘hotel camping’. Being able to make a good coffee on the side of the road can really make your day at times too.
An inexpensive stove is fine. Don’t spend a fortune on gadgets before you leave. For the gas, use blow-torch canisters. They are a lot cheaper and you will find hardware stores everywhere.
Eat street food. It’s cheap, yummy and often a gastronomic education! Don’t be frightened to step out of your comfort zone.
Make money as you go – sell your photos on istock, write travel articles, tell your story to local groups for a fee (or a donations tin). If you can sing – busk! If you have a trade – trade it (there are many websites for this too)!
Mostly – keep an open mind and an approachable manner. Return favours whenever you can before you move on. Whether you believe in Karma or not – roll with it! You’ll be amazed at the rewards.
Picture Gallery for How to Ride Around the World on a Budget: