Budget Travel: Backpacks or Bikes?

Probably one of the most asked questions I hear is: “WHERE are you going to live?” or “HOW are you gonna live?”. Way back about two years ago when we first started planning this grand adventure we had planned to be backpackers. After some research and thinking, we decided that it could get expensive so we made a few key decisions early on:

  • BIKES INSTEAD OF BACKPACKING
    • they will enable us to carry enough gear to camp
    • transportation friendly: can take them on buses, trains, planes etc…
    • exercise is a good thing
    • free local transportation
  • CAMPING
    • save money on accommodation; more money to spend on great experiences
    • exploring the wilds of our host countries
    • when you aren’t feeling the camping thing: there are always hostels, house sitting, hotels, airbnb, friendly villagers if needed/wanted
    • YOU’RE ASLEEP what does it matter when your eyes are closed?
  • NO COOKING
    • lighten the weight load; no pots, pans, et al
    • allow us to experience the local fare and mingle
    • everyone eats somewhere: grocery stores, street food, farmer’s markets and don’t forget those friendly villagers mentioned above

Of all the points mentioned above there is a HUGE benefit to all three that we definitely noticed on our bike tour of the Florida Keys. There are so many more opportunities to meet and mingle with the locals when you are traveling slowly by bike. First they notice your heavily laden tourmobile, questions are next and that’s when the real conversations start. Things like “That’s so cool!” and “Man, I’d love to do that” and the ever popular: “Why?” and “Are you crazy?!?”

As we get closer to leaving, Patty and I will be doing a video of everything that we are taking with us for those that are interested. 🙂

Published by

Heather

Hey there! February 2014 after a bit of soul searching but more of a desire to live my life differently, I made the decision to sell my house, sell all the crap that is filling up my life and hit the road for the life of a vagabond. These are my pictures, my stories and my journey...

8 thoughts on “Budget Travel: Backpacks or Bikes?

  1. I cycled across Czech last summer with my partner and it was the best decision we made. We also did it without full camping gear (this didn’t always turn out great- emergency cereal bars are life!), it is definitely better than just on foot, on the one hand if you hitch hike no bike wins but on the other hand if you have a bike you don’t have to hitchhike! Can’t wait to read about your journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s terrific! How long was your trip? Were you able to communicate with most ppl? I lived in Germany for a 7 years and took classes to lean German, and while most seemed to appreciate my efforts, most of the ppl I met spoke English. Is it the same in the Czech Republic?

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      1. Ahh well in the Czech (or Czechia, I think it has just changed its name officially) they will appreciate your German! Young people do speak English but not as much as in other European countries, the majority of people we met in Czech and Slovakia speak German as their second language, for us we found if you asked something in English they would answer in German (maybe they assume you are German?). It was just a few weeks, we went onto some other countries after by train. In Slovakia in particular they really didn’t know any English, once you get the hang of one slavik language a lot of the others are similar including Croatian. The German’s are amazing English speakers, I always have (a very tried joke) when someone says they want to learn “proper English” I tell them to go and live in Germany! 🙂

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