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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

Picture Gallery
Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

Receiving Money Donations for Bicycle Touring Trips or Bike Tours

Sponsors - Economizing/The Fugal Traveler - Stealth/Free CampingBudgeting - Charity or Cause - Receiving Donations - Health Insurance - Dreaming of Travel - Leaving It All Behind - Videos About bike tour Finances - How I pay for long term bicycle touring main finance page

Many long distance bike tourists dream of funding trips, especially around the world bicycle tours, through donations raised through their websites or blogs. The thinking runs along the lines of donating to PBS or NPR: if people like the content enough they will be willing to pay to keep it going.  This article does not address raising money for a third party or charitable cause.  I raise that issue on a separate page in detail.

Asking readers of your web site or blog to send you money to help fund your trip is controversial in many bike forums. You might want to consider this before asking for posting that Paypal donate button.

My own experience started back in 2002 when my trip started.  Amazon and Paypal had recently rolled out services to add donate buttons to websites. Lots of people were putting them up.  During the first couple of years of my tour, I had only a small number of people donating money but this tapered off to nothing as the years passed.  My website,, grew to thousands of pages and because of the inactivity of the donation button, I forgot it was even there.

In 2008, as I was riding from Alaska southwards, I logged on to a popular bike touring forum (which shall remain unnamed) and found myself getting called a "freeloader" and a "panhandler," also that I was "begging for money."  One poster even went as far as to say that my trip and website took away from the "purity of touring." As you can imagine, it was a total bummer to read that sort of thing about myself, and definitely subtracted from the purity of my tour. I didn't know where this attack was stemming from, so I dug back to find a comment that complained about my funding my whole trip through donations.  Like that had ever happened! My donation button was buried and forgotten deep in my website but since it was obviously getting someone very riled up without bringing in any donations, I removed it.

I personally don't think there's anything wrong with touring cyclists attempting to fund their trips with donations. And this all happened ages ago, so maybe things have changed a little since then. I read lots of bike touring travelogues and it seems like donation buttons are getting more common these days, especially among younger riders.

I think the controversy this stirred up in some online cycling forums was way over the top.  First, after talking to hundreds of touring cyclists I met on the road, it seems like few, if any, have received much funding from donations beyond friends and family.  Most cyclists I met came to the conclusion that having a donation button didn't translate to many actual donations.  Secondly, bike tourists are a mostly open-minded bunch and criticizing another bike tourist for doing their own thing seems out of place.

In conclusion, I am very pro-choice when it comes to bicyclists asking for donations.  I do not include a donation mechanism on my website anymore, not after that little storm of negative comments. But it seems perfectly acceptable and okay if others want to try it out. If you add donation buttons I probably will not pull out my wallet but I won't run away and complain either.  Beware, if your trip and blog asks for money and grows popular enough, you might run into some resistance from the online bicycle touring community.

Sponsors - Economizing/The Fugal Traveler - Stealth/Free CampingBudgeting - Charity or Cause - Receiving Donations - Health Insurance - Dreaming of Travel - Leaving It All Behind - Videos About bike tour Finances - How I pay for long term bicycle touring main finance page


Camp Stove
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping pad
Water Filter
Camp Cooking
First Aide
Touring/Utility Bikes
Solar Charging
Tools and Repair
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Bicycle Touring
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Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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