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How to Afford the E-Bike Holiday You Never Thought Possible

How to Afford the E-Bike Holiday You Never Thought Possible
One of the unfortunate facts of life is that we all have to live within our financial means.

No matter whether you are a student trying to put yourself through university, a middle-aged couple raising young children, if you are retired and living on a meagre pension or are planning a trip of a lifetime, the reality of life is that you have a finite amount of money to live on.

What a wonderful and carefree world it would be if we all had unlimited cash to splurge on whatever we wanted.

Just think about it. Unlimited personal possessions, travel, investments, real estate, amazing holidays, cars and whatever else we wanted would be there for the asking.

But unfortunately that is not the way of the world.

The reality of the situation, as we all know only too well, is that we all have to live within our means which translates to ‘living on a budget’ – unless, of course, your name is Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or maybe Mark Zuckerberg.

So there it is, that horrible “budget” word ... it is easy to imagine that it is one of the most hated words in the dictionary.

The fact of the matter is that except for the likes of the Gates, Buffetts and Zuckerbergs of this world, just about all of us have to live within a budget – it is one of the unfortunate truths of life.

So where is all this going?

To the e-Bike Cycle Tourists meagre budget for their ongoing long distance e-bike adventure in the UK, Europe and – later in the year – in Australia and beyond, that’s where.

First up let’s put a few common misconceptions to rest right here and now.

No, we are not independently wealthy. No, we have not retired. No, we do not have rich families who are supporting us while we e-bike our way around the world. No, we do not have unlimited savings. No, we are not financially supported by our sponsors – we wish!! No, we are not part-time bank robbers or clever swindlers.

The truth is that we are very, very good at making our money stretch as far as possible.

Also, for what it is worth, we are much more interested in personal experiences than personal possessions.
That is why with our three children now grown adults we decided to sell our house, put all of our worldly possessions in a shipping container on a friend’s farm and liquidated our investments in order to be able to afford our ongoing journey of a lifetime.

What we have vividly realised over the past few years is that unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens, that there is great freedom in simplicity of living and that living a mobile lifestyle on an e-bike provides an amazing, you could call it addictive, sense of freedom.

That said, we clearly still have to dig deep into our pockets each and every day to afford the necessities of life while we continue to e-bike our way from one country to another while clocking up the kilometres – now up to 19,000kms and counting.

But as many, many people have asked, how do we do it?

In a nutshell, we live frugally, rarely eat out, question the necessity of every purchase and are generally very, very careful with our money.

And we have never been happier!

Set-up costs aside, which totalled about $A10,000, after nearly 11 months on the road we have spent no more than $A30,000 which includes everything including many different forms of accommodation, all airfares, ferry costs, food, e-bike repairs and replacement parts and, most importantly, two café lattes each and every day.

If you do your sums, that works out to about $A90 – equivalent to 60 Euros or 47 pounds - per day. Not bad when you realise that that figure includes high priced airfares to and from Australia and everything else spent along the way.

As an aside, you could almost describe our trip as one long join the dots (cafes) expedition, with our one big treat every day being our café stops. It is also interesting to note that the best coffee we have found so far was at a Lidl Supermarket in Portugal at a cost of 90 Euro cents – compare that to the 4-plus pounds we paid for very ordinary coffee in London!

Do a quick Google search and you will read about intrepid cycle tourists touring the world on $10 or $15 per day, but let us tell you right here and now that that type of daily expenditure is not sustainable on an ongoing basis - unless you basically live like a pauper.

In contrast we live well, want for nothing, have never been happier, absolutely love everything to do with e-bike cycle touring on our Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bikes and for the life of us can’t work out why everyone in the world isn’t doing the same.

On second thoughts maybe that isn’t such a good idea. The cost of the already outrageously priced campsites we stay in would surely go skywards if they were constantly packed out with everyone living on the road full-time.

That said, we are convinced that e-bikes are the next big thing for people of all ages to be able to enjoy the joys of cycle touring.

So far only a handful of people in the world have gone long distance e-bike touring, but that surely is about to change.

Our hope is that the ongoing success of our journey will not only inspire many more people in our over 50 age group to follow in our footsteps, but that we have clearly shown that you do not have to spend a fortune along the way to have an amazing time.

Forget about sitting around boring swimming pools at over-priced hotels and every other type of stereotyped holiday experience out there and do yourself a favour, buy an e-bike and go cycle touring.

You are guaranteed to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

E-bike tourists tent

Gary Corbett is an award-winning Australian journalist who has written for a wide range of newspapers, periodicals and travel magazines for the past 30-plus years.

After years of writing about other people’s travel adventures, in the mid-2000s he  booked a personal holiday with a difference – a one week guided cycling tour in the Loire Valley in France – and was instantly hooked on those “how good is this” moments that only cycle touring can provide.

In ensuing years he has gone on to cycle well in excess of 30,000 kilometres completing guided, self-guided, bike and barge and solo long distance tours in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

Gary now writes exclusively about cycle touring and travelling in general and as such the attempt to set a new electric bike world long distance record along with his wife, Rachel, is his latest “fact finding” cycling adventure – however this time it will be on an e-bike.

His future goal is to see more of the world from the seat of his trusty Trek 520 touring bicycle, and now that he has discovered the world of e-biking, his new Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bike. There is, after all, always another country to be explored, new cultures to be experienced and more cycle tours to be completed.

Before this epic journey Gary (a.k.a. The Cycle Tourist) contributed many excellent cycle touring articles to the Cycle Tours Global blog - you can read them at find out even more about the expedition please visit
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By: Gary Corbett
Bruce Robertson
Thanks for the comment Bruce. Gary will get in touch with you directly.
24/03/2016 10:49:37 AM
Bruce Reznick
Dear Gary,
I'm a reluctantly retired journalist ( broadcaster) myself who has been quite lost with himself for some time. I'm looking for a new narrative that includes bike travel that suitable for my age, temperament ( two separate things) and budget. Could we chat on line..?

I'd welcome that, if possible


Bruce Reznick
21/03/2016 6:37:21 AM
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