What Will A Bike Tour Cost? You Tell Us.

US CurrencyA great many questions we receive from people planning bicycle tours are about the cost of a trip.

How much should I save? What’s a good daily budget for this country or that region?

We find these questions hard to answer. Our style of travel and the conditions we encountered might not match your experience. Most bike tourists, for example, will spend more on hotels if it rains for two weeks straight than someone else who lucks out with two weeks of sunshine.

So… we’re turning this question over to you with a new section on our website:

** What Does Bike Touring Cost? **

It features bike tourists who’ve recently been on tour and the details of how much they spent. We hope this new budgeting section will give a broader, more helpful overview than we can offer alone.

So far we have sections on:

Can You Help?
Keeping these sections up-to-date and adding new sections relies on the community. That’s you!

If you’ve recently been on tour and can tell us about your daily budget, please Get In Touch and share your answers to these 3 basic questions:

1. What did you spend per person, per day on average? This is for daily expenses like food, hotels, public transport within a country but not exceptional extras like bike repair, flights to/from the country.

2. Can you briefly describe your style of travel? Are you ultra low budget (e.g. a devoted wild camper, cook all your own food) or more medium budget (e.g. will occasionally splash out on a hotel, meal in restaurant)?

3. Any tips you want to share related to costs in this region? Was something particularly cheap or expensive? How would you recommend others save money?

We’ll add your answers to the relevant page, along with a photo of you on tour and a link to your bike touring blog (if you have one).



  1. Abel
    14th February 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    This is one of our most important worries, when we plan a bike tour. Great idea!

  2. Kalilileth
    14th February 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    For touring in Ireland (mainly Connemara and the Galway/Mayo/Roscommon/Sligo area) I usually budget €1 per day to bring with me for food-shopping and treats. I bring a basic food stash from the pantry and I cook my own food and wild camp. I just make sure I have between €20 & €50 in emergency cash with me in case of having to return home for any sort of problem in a hurry, by bus with the bike.

    I buy methylated spirits for the Trangia before I leave, as it can be hard to get in more isolated areas. Usually only Chemists sell it here, but not more than about a pint at a time because people were drinking it or using it in poteen making, so sometimes you are quite heavily quizzed when you look to buy any quantity. So this is not included in my budget and costs between €2.75-€3.50 a bottle. Better to pick up in a big town by getting a bottle in 2 or 3 of the local Chemists, if they won’t sell you more than one in each.

    For a 2 week trip this would be my food packing list:

    12 portions x basmati rice,
    6 x couscous,
    1 tablespoon x dried potatoes (as a soup thickener),
    4 tablespoon x vermicelli (cook with rice or add to soup)
    selection of stock cubes – beef/chicken/lamb/fish
    1 small bag of drinking chocolate
    1lb plain flour (to make quick pasta, noodle, chapatti or crepes or coat fish)
    8oz dried milk
    3/4lb oatmeal (breakfast & coating fish)
    1/2lb buckwheat flour (crepes)
    3/4lb lentils (1/4lb each urud dhall, green and red)
    2 carton cooked chickpeas
    1 tube tomato puree
    1 plastic jar coconut oil
    1 packet creamed coconut
    salt, black & white pepper
    1 bag sugar
    60 teabags/herbal infusions ( I like Lady Grey and Earl Grey and can’t always get them in small country shops)
    1 onion, 2 bulb garlic, 1 large piece ginger, 1 potato, 1 carrot. (use celery seed instead of celery to save weight and space).

    1 ziplock bag containing 20-25 minizip bags each containing 1 heaped tablespoon of the herbs and spices I use most

    (Emergency food:
    1 small tin tuna/sardines/mackerel
    1 small tin luncheon meat/corned beef
    1 packet dried soup)


    1 large bar dark chocolate (32 squares)
    12 oz Aniseed balls

    My only expense then is to keep my veg supply topped up buying single items as I travel and to occasionally get some fresh meat (mince or offal)or fish (heads or trimmings) or cheese or baked beans.

    Shops in the countryside are way more expensive than in the big towns where there are Aldi/Lidl/Tesco/Dunnes Stores, where you will find items reduced close to sell-by date.

    Also watch out for ethnic groceries where rice is better quality and you can often buy items by the scoop rather than by the full bag.

    As I have a long-term illness, I try to stick as closely as possible to my normal daily diet: 3 meals a day –
    Breakfast: porridge,
    Lunch: home made veg soup & bread,
    Evening meal: rice/pasta/cous cous/potato/buckwheat or plain crepe with veg/lentils/beans/egg.
    During the day:
    4 pints tea and 1 hot chocolate. 1 square of chocolate per day. i dessert per week. No eating between meals – only aniseed balls and water.

    I like to make sure I always have enough to share a meal with someone else on the road too.

    I find that I usually come back with the emergency tins and packet soup, but feel reassured having these mini-sized items in case I get stuck somewhere with no shop or in case I have an accident/get sick and can’t cook, run out of fuel or am stuck somewhere waiting to be rescued 🙂

    Leftover dinner goes into the next days soup or sandwiches or gets eaten at breakfast time.

    When I am travelling, I am much more careful with money, so usually return having spent considerably less than my €1 a day budget!

    It actually works out cheaper for me to travel than stay at home as my electricity at home is metered by my landlord and extremely expensive as the cost per unit is regulated by him.

    It is worth looking out for good local soda bread, or butchers who make their own sausages and puddings.

    At the lower end of the scale, I don’t think most of the restaurants are worth bothering about – usual fast food chains/rubbish pasta joints/ethnic restaurants you can find anywhere in the world.

    If you are in Galway, it is worth going for fish and chips at McDonagh’s in Quay Street. If in Dublin go to Burdocks near Christchurch for the same.

    Pubs do reasonably priced lunches – carvery or traditional dishes. These can be good value, but you need to have a look at what the locals are eating to see whether they are worth splashing out cash on. Lunches are always better value than eating out in the evenings.

    Sometimes you will find a pub that does really good home-made soup, but a lot of the time it is just yesterdays leftover vegetables chucked into packet soup. But you could make it yourself, for way less money, on the side of the road.

    And don’t be fooled by the smell of french bread in the supermarkets and shops. It arrives frozen and is then baked in the shop, but is mainly air and no substance. Look out instead, for genuine craft bakers who sell “real” bread.

    Generally, I wouldn’t bother eating out myself when travelling or at home, but if I was in a foreign country, I would be more interested in local foods and spices.

    So my advice would be to make an initial “pantry space” of your normal food, either from home or from a big town, and then try to buy wisely as you travel. Try to shop any time except Thurs night-Sunday afternoon, to get good price reductions on expiry date goods. Always check for reduced price shelves and try to get the best deal you can. You can then enjoy your trip without blowing your budget.

    And if you are near Moycullen, blow €5 of your budget (even if you have to live on noodles for a few days)on a day in Bridget’s Garden. It is really worth spending a day looking around and you can bring your own picnic or get things from their small cafe.

    By the way, I have no commercial connection with anywhere recommended above – have just found them to be excellent from my own experience.

    • Branwen
      15th February 2012 at 12:00 pm #


      I am currently putting together a little pantry for a 4 month trip in the States and your thoughts are really useful. Cooking is really important to us as we are vegetarian and my husband is gluten free. We can’t always pick up snacks or eat in restaurants. I would be really interested in your buckwheat flour crepes recipe, sounds like it could be adapted to be gluten free?


      • Kalilileth
        15th February 2012 at 1:16 pm #

        Thank you for your response. It is usually recommended to mix buckwheat half and half with plain/cream flour. Iy makes lighter crepes. I personally like the nuttier taste of them made just with buckwheat flour. I usually make the mixture in the morning and keep in a screw top plastic container to give it the day to mature. It tastes better that way. Buckwheat is gluten free. I often have crepes when I have managed to pick wild mushrooms (august) or picked up a reduced carton in a supermarket. I fry them off in a little butter with some chopped scallions, add herbs and a little milk or powdered milk to make a nice creamy sauce. Top with a little grated cheese, roll up and enjoy. I don’t know how big your appetite is so that would indicate the quantity you would want to make for a meal. Just follow your normal quantities for ordinary crepes using half milk and half water, or dried milk and water and an egg and a pinch of salt. It should initially have a creamy consistency, but if you leave it made for the day, it will have thickened somewhat by evening. Just give it a good stir before pouring thinly on the pan. If I was travelling with someone, I would have one cook while the other ate, taking turns so no body had to wait! You can enrich even further by pouring on some beaten egg ontothe cooked crepe and letting it set a little before adding the mushroom and cheese.

  3. Trevor
    17th February 2012 at 4:59 am #

    Last year my GF and I did a trip through the Middle East to Europe. We thought we would get away with a budget of EUR 50 per day for the two of us. In fact we wended up spending about EUR 70 per day overall.

    The big killer was the European part of the trip – even campgrounds were expensive and wild-camping is very difficult to get away with because almost everywhere is occupied. Even worse, crossing the border from Hungary to Austria seemed to double the cost of the beer!

    In Jordan, Syria & Turkey we often stayed in cheap hotels & hostels, mainly because there simply weren’t any campgrounds. Occasionally wild-camping but that generally wasn’t necessary.

    In Europe we camped to save costs. Hotels (even really daggy ones) were often EUR 100+ per night.

    TIP: In Turkey even small towns have a “öğretmen Evi” (Teacher house) for visiting teachers. They are often open for tourists to stay at very reasonable prices. They all have showers and Internet, are comfortable and the price generally includes breakfast.

    • Michael
      29th March 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      >Last year my GF and I did a trip through the Middle East to >Europe. We thought we would get away with a budget of EUR 50 >per day for the two of us. In fact we wended up spending > about EUR 70 per day overall.

      That sounds much more expensive than I have experienced it. Of course, two people are more expensive than one, but still …
      Camping grounds are indeed more expensive than one would think — about 10€ per tent and night. For a bit more you could allready stay at some landlord and get breakfast for free. Wild camping is hard in more „civilised“ areas but farmers and such will often allow you to camp on their meadows. I usually buy my food at cheaper supermarkets like Aldi, Hofer or Lidl where you can buy a day’s ration for 5 or 10€. Visiting a restaurant or drinking a nice cold beer at an inn on a hot summer day can be nice too. So I’d say 20€ per day should be enough.
      Desperatly trying to save money while travelling doesn’t make much sense in my opinion since the quality and quantity of food and shelter will affect comfort and health. After all it’s still likely to be cheaper than staying at home.

  4. Paul
    13th March 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    I’m shortly setting off to cycle slowly around the world over the next 4 or 5 years. I’ve budgeted for £15/$25 a day. Based on reports/books/online blogs this seems a reasonable amount whilst camping most of the time so we’ll see. I live simply, but I’ve included a contingency fund for flights of fancy here and there.

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