How to Finance a Long-Distance Cycling Trip

We never thought that we would be so long on the road; 5 years and counting is a lot more than we would ever thought possible! Not surprisingly, the question we get asked the most is: “How do you manage economically?” This is what gave birth to the idea of writing a small article on the subject. 

Obviously, from a non-traveller point of view, it’s common to think that a 9-5 lifestyle it’s all there is to life. For many, it’s impossible to consider staying out of employment for very long and, although going around the world is, generally, a lot cheaper than leading a “normal life” (most bike tourers know how inexpensive exploring our planet by bike can be), you’d still need a big savings account to pedal for several years and not worry about money!

Anyway, after considering the matter, we realised that we don’t actually know all the possible ways of financing a long-distance trip BUT we do know a lot of people who do, so we contacted some of those fantastic souls that we’ve met over the years and collected their experiences in this short writing whose aim is showing that it can definitely be done.

We hope that the following examples will inspire you to start planning your amazing and unique journey and show that money is not an excuse to not fulfill your dream … whatever that may be.

Travel mostly with savings

Montse & Edu; Travel in low, and work in high season 
This lovely couple from Catalunya, Spain, has been on the road for 5 years and have an infallible way of financing their travels; they go back home every year and work in tourism for a few months from May to September. Thanks to this practice, they have travelled from Spain to Uzbekistan in 2018-19, from Uzbekistan to Malaysia in 2019-20, in Europe in 2020-21, in Central America in 2021-22, and in Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand in 2022-23.

Apart from having the huge, obvious advantage of getting a regular injection of money to keep them going, it also prevents “long-distance burnout”. In fact, when asked about their end objective, they simply answered; “we’ll continue this way as long as we feel like carrying on”.

Generally speaking, they spend an average of 6$ each per day while touring but it must be taken into consideration that, on top of that, they must also face the cost of a return ticket every year.

We “bumped” into Montse and Edu in February 2020 in Cambodia, and spent an amazing day together in Angkor Wat. We’ve been in touch ever since and even had the pleasure to visit them in their home town of Sant-Hilari during our European Tour in 2021.

They are known as 360graus; follow them on FacebookInstagramYouTube

Jojo and Jacob; Counted on their savings and travelled low-cost
If you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember these two crazy Swedish guys from our time spent in Central Asia. What surprised us the most about them was their very young age; they started cycling in their late teens!

Most people don’t start saving until they are a lot older and are in full time employment so, how did Joel and Jacob do it? The answer is simple; they were determined and they worked very hard for as long as they could while spending as little as possible. Of course, that also meant living at home with their parents, which has its pros and cons…

Over a 2 year trip, they spent 11.000$ and 7.000$ respectively and in return they got the trip of a lifetime which made them stronger individuals and life-long friends. 

Not a day goes by that we personally don’t think back at the time spent with this ABBA loving duo, all the fun and unique adventures we lived together as a “family”, and the innumerable lessons they taught us…

Kathy & Martin; Downsized and rented their property
If it’s often thought that traveling when too young is complicated, the truth can be said about doing it when a little older; a family can be something very difficult to get away from, but this adorable couple from Canada proved otherwise; once their 4 kids left the nest, they moved into a small cabin in their back garden (which they built themselves!) and rented their house which allowed them to save before setting off, and gave them a comfy income while on the road.

This way, they had enough to have an amazing journey across their own country, Europe, Morocco, Turkey, and a big chunk of SE Asia! For 2 years and 2 days they roamed the land freely and did so on 18.000 $ per year. 

When we met Kathy and Martin, we immediately felt like they were family; their loving nature is just so relaxing! They also taught us an incredibly valuable lesson; go with the flow. Before that, we over-planned way too much! Thanks to them, we are now a lot more flexible and, as a result, we have found a better balance in our travels.

Use new technologies

Maru y José; Pictures and Apps
In their quest to financial independence, some travelers have had to adapt and have ended up finding an acceptable solution along the way. It’s the case of this resourceful Argentinian couple who, similarly to most people, worked hard and sold their possessions in order to leave home with a comfortable “cushion”. 

However, as it also happens often, while cycling, they decided that their planned destination didn’t have to be the end, and so decided that they wanted to visit all of Argentina’s 23 provinces on their bicycles! 

For this, they needed to generate some income. Initially, they started by printing their own pictures of beautiful landscapes (you certainly get a lot of those when traveling in South America) and selling them in town squares. This allowed them to interact with a large number of people and, one day, they stumbled across another solution; an App called Cafecitos, a sort of “Buy me a Coffee”, which allows people who sympathize with your project to donate a small amount of money as a sign of recognition or support.

We all know that bike touring can be incredibly inexpensive so even small incomes can fuel the greatest of trips!

Maru and José are known as Soñando en Bicicleta; follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Aurelie & Marco; Work on-line 
If you are a regular of this blog, this couple of steel probably rings a bell. Now known as 421adventure (4 wheels 2 hearts 1 world), they left home in 2018 hoping that their savings would last enough to get them to Singapore. Once they left Western Europe though, they realised that it would be more than enough. 15 months into their trip (which was initially supposed to last 1 year) they decided to keep on cycling about the world and so they started to seriously worry about their bank account.

They will never forget the day that they started working on-line using their language skills, translating texts and doing voice recordings of any type; it was a crucial and life changing event which enabled them to extend their life on the road indeterminately. 

Although 421adventure, just like many other long-haul bike travellers, loves wildcamping and being hosted by locals, they also regularly stay in paid accomodation due to the face that their work regularly requires them to, thus increasing their spending to an average of 20$ per day.

Follow 421adventure on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Earn along the way

Gabriel Simes; Works “on-the-go” 
Another preferred method of financing your trip is working as you travel, and this is exactly what Gabi does; he stops whenever he finds an interesting place to hang out or an occupation which will teach him a useful skill. He then carries on cycling with what he’s managed to save. 

He started traveling in 2014 and has been cycling since 2019, and in all this time he’s done lots of different jobs including; street performing, lots of different agricultural jobs (including fruit picking), eco-friendly construction, and many more (at the time of this writing for example, he’s learning about Mescal in Northern Mexico).

Gabi travels “slow” and stays in places for long periods of time so it’s difficult for him to know exactly how much he spends, but with a 5$/day budget he gets along just fine.

Thanks to his way of traveling, he gets to know local people pretty well and loves to have the chance to give something back whenever he can. What does he miss the most? His Mum, and his cat. 

Gabi is known as Pedalín el Cicloartista; follow him on Instagram and Facebook

Álvaro Neil; Creates biketouring content
Talking about Social Media and the Internet; one thing that it’s definitely true is that it helps to connect people and to stay in touch. Álvaro was on the road for an incredible amount of time (15 years, 117 countries, 168.000 kms) and has brought joy to many remote and less fortunate places by making people smile; he is, in fact, famously known as the Biciclown. 

His incredible encounters have taught him unimaginable lessons and his mission is now to share this wisdom with everyone so that we all might live our dream. 

He initially traveled on his savings, spending between 170 and 350$ per month, and then resulted to his wisdom and knowledge to write books and make documentaries. He now runs a sort of “Biketouring Netflix” where you can read, watch, and learn about traveling by bike, and he also organises bike travels around the world. Check it out here; or follow Álvaro on Facebook and Instagram.

We have been following Álvaro for a very long time and we are so immensely thankful for him being the way he is; hopeful, joyful, and inspiring.

Two enriching quotes from Álvaro are;

“I come from a world where people achieve their dreams”, and “The most difficult thing in life is to do whatever you wish”.


Whatever your style of travelling, your goals and ambitions, the time available, your age, or your preparation in life; if you have the will, you can certainly find a way of financing your trip. Hopefully this post has managed to show that there’s a whole world of opportunities out there, so don’t let money be an excuse!

Over the years, we have met many cyclists who have come up with different ways of “getting by” which tells us that there isn’t just one righteous path but, just like biketouring, there are endless techniques of funding your freedom around the world!

Just one last word of wisdom; while interviewing all these great people for this article, there were several answers which came out over and over. The summary would be something like; nothing is comparable to the feeling of freedom, the joy of meeting new people and getting to know other cultures, and the indescribable sensation of self-accomplishment perceived while doing things your way.

Apart from sharing our wisdom on this blog, you can also find us on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. If you don’t follow us on any social media sites but enjoyed reading this blog entry, please consider following us here as this will enable us to grow and will keep you updated on our progress, publications, etc.

And please don’t forget that part of our adventure consists of fundraising and raising awareness for two incredible NGOs so please help us to spread the word and, of course, if you’re feeling generous, donate here.

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