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How to travel on the cheap

Published: 26 January 2016

Updated: 08 January 2016

With just three months of biking experience Sam Manicom set off to motorcycle the length of Africa. Eight years and 200,000 miles later Sam returned home and has authored four adventure motorcycle travel books. Here’s his advice on just going...

Your bike, kit and accommodation are all sink holes for your travel funds. Ensure your bike is in good nick before you set off. If you need to have parts sent out to you, make sure that a copy of your carnet for the country you are in is faxed home to be included with the delivery.

Your bike is a temporary import – using this, your parts can be too. Set this up with your parts supplier before you leave. The less you spend in advance on if-but maybe kit, the more petrol you’ll have to put in your tank. Make your mantra – ‘do I really need it?’ Each piece of kit should have two uses where at all possible. Your ground sheet is an example. Stick yours on the bed in cheapie hotels and if it’s a type that doesn’t crinkle, you’ll have a peaceful and clean night’s sleep.

Don’t be shy in first world countries. Try cleaning people’s cars and mowing the lawn in exchange for places to camp for free. In the developing world, stay in local hotels but don’t arrive at the end of the day when the cheapies are full. Don’t fear wild camping. Do it as much as possible; it’s amazing how many stunning places there are to tuck yourself away. Always carry some emergency rations such as biscuits or nuts. That way you’ll not be tempted to splash out. On the subject of sustenance, don’t get carried away with beer.This can be a major budget breaker. An evening on the booze can suck up a week’s food money!

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Sam and seven of the world’s most influential motorcycle explorers will be appearing at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show on February 12-14. From Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa star Austin Vince to the Harley hardtail- riding Gareth Jones, the seasoned adventurers will be interviewed on stage, sharing stories, displaying their trusty steeds and giving out advice to budding travellers. To find out more about the show and to book your ticket, click here.

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