•   
  •   
  •   
 

You Are Viewing Cost of Bike Touring

The Cost Of Bike Touring: Extended Trips

Posted October 18th, 2012

How much will an independent bike tour cost?

Here are some typical expenses and budgets from bike tourists who’ve undertaken an extended trip across multiple countries and continents.

***

Chris and Margo went on an 11-month bike tour from Bangkok to Paris in 2009. The trip cost $30,400 in total.

Chris & Margo on tourChris & Margo on their touring bicycles.

Non-daily costs were:

  • Visas $2,775 (11 visas & various Letters of Invitation)
  • Transport within trip: $1,851.96 (Boat, bus, taxi)
  • Souvenirs bought & mailed home: $500
  • Care packages from home $1,515 (Bike parts such as drive train replacements, new electronics)

In terms of daily costs, Chris and Margo spent $73 per day as a couple.

We travelled as cheaply as possible when we were younger but now we are a retired couple and we know our remaining touring days are finite. We’re no longer on a tight budget.

Costs varied wildly between destinations such as China and the final part of the trip in northern Europe in November. They cooked and camped when logistically necessary, or when there was a good wild camping opportunity. On average, they camped about one third of the time and up to two thirds of the time in some countries. The rest of the nights were spent in a range of hotels, from cheap to mid-range.

We threw the budget out the window for the last six weeks as we entered in Europe in late fall. The weather was poor, the nights were long, and we were tired. We also felt we deserved to spoil ourselves, since –when we set out from Bangkok– I had thought the chances of a pair in their late 50s actually making it across Central Asia were slim. In fact, we had to keep reminding ourselves that we’d actually done it.

Their daily costs per country were:

  • Thailand $56
  • Laos $35
  • China $51
  • Kazakhstan $118
  • Kyrgyzstan $66
  • Tajikistan $27
  • Uzbekistan $70
  • Turkmenistan $50
  • Azerbaijan $85
  • Georgia $96
  • Turkey $73
  • Greece $109
  • Albania $40
  • Montenegro $160
  • Croatia $73
  • Slovenia $181
  • Austria $194
  • Germany $288
  • Switzerland $70 (stayed with friends)
  • France $166

***

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). Thanks!

The Cost Of Bike Touring: India

Posted February 29th, 2012

How much will an independent bike tour cost?

In India, prices are cheap but you’ll have to bargain for the best rates. As long as you barter, $5-10 U.S. a day should be enough for a low-budget tour.

Scroll down to read about bike tourists who’ve recently been there, and their experiences.

***

The Cyclist & The Trip: Sean and Jessica spent 2 months cycling 3,000km in India. “We are extreme budget travelers, yet we still try to do and see all that can be seen as a tourist,” they say.

The Cost: As a couple, they spent an average of $10 U.S. per day with a big variation depending on where they were and what they did. The lowest amount spent in one day was $2.50 U.S. (camping) and the highest was $38 U.S. (Taj Mahal entrance fee and bought a pashmina).

They list some costs as:

  • Hotel- Never paid more than Rs300 ($6 U.S.)
  • Food – Cooked own eggs and oats for breakfast and bought some street food for a total cost of  Rs200 ($4 U.S.)
  • Water – Used the MSR Miniworks pump so it was free!

Tips: They have many tips!

  1. Laugh at the first price you are offered – “Enjoy bartering and get good at it fast, you’ll save ALOT of money. If they can rip you off they will. Even Indians tell us stories of getting ripped off! We had hotel quotes as high as Rs2500 ($50) that we got down to Rs300 ($6) by walking away. Fruit and veg costs about Rs10 per kg (20 cents) so look around. Eggs are between Rs3-5 each raw, but we had so many people asking for Rs10 per egg, That’s more expensive than UK or Australia, where we’re from.”
  2. Don’t put your bike on a train – “In fact don’t even use the train unless you want to pay for first class. They may be cheap and can take your bike but you have to fight to get a seat and we had parts broken off and stolen from our bikes. They also wanted to charge us $50 U.S. for not picking our bikes up within the hour when they arrived on the train the next day.”
  3. Buses – “Ask a local what he pays and go straight to the bus depot to pay. Expect to get thoroughly ripped off for getting your bike on the bus, and expect to have to put it on the roof all by yourself. Oh and they’ll charge you for all your panniers so try sneak them on the bus as hand luggage.”
  4. Privacy – “What privacy? There’s no such thing in India. Stealth camping can be done anywhere, but they will always find you and just come and watch you for hours on end. It’s funny really but expect to be found anywhere you camp.”

***

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). Thanks!

The Cost Of Bike Touring: Australia & New Zealand

Posted February 14th, 2012

How much will an independent bike tour cost?

In Australia and New Zealand, as with many developed countries, it’s easy to spend as much as you want but there are also plenty of options for sticking to a budget.

Scroll down to read about bike tourists who’ve recently been there, and their experiences.

***

The Cyclist & The Trip: Guy & Freddie cycled from the UK to Australia. They arrived in Australia in 2011, and cycled a total of 5,000km there at the end of their journey.

Frederike & Guy

The Cost: Around $23 Australian dollars per person, per day.

Australia is generally very expensive but as we cycled mostly through the Outback we were able to wild camp a lot. Most of our money as spent on food (we like to eat well) and camping fees. We camped for 3 months straight as hotels are unaffordable. On average we probably wild camped 1/3 and stayed at campsites 2/3 of the time.

Tips: “If you are happy to eat only very simple food and wild camp all the time you could get by on less money. Some of the roadhouses have shower facilities, saving on campsite fees.”

***

The Cyclist & The Trip: Andy lives in Australia and frequently bike tours around his home country.

Andy Jennings

The Cost: Around $20 Australian dollars per person, per day.

I tour quite a lot around Australia and very rarely stay in a hotel but I do like caravan parks rather than free camping. I’m a sucker for a shower at the end of the day’s riding. My budget is about $15 Australian dollars per day for a campsite (up to $30 if it is on the coast or in a popular place). I only spend about $10 per day for food.

***

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). Thanks!

What Will A Bike Tour Cost? You Tell Us.

Posted February 14th, 2012

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).

Thanks!

The Cost Of Bike Touring: North America

Posted February 8th, 2012

How much will an independent bike tour cost?

You can spend as much or as little as you like in North America. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants that will be happy to cater for you but equally there’s plenty of open land and supermarkets for those on a low budget.

Scroll down to read about bike tourists who’ve recently been there, and their experiences.

***

The Cyclists and the Trip: Eric and Amaya spent 9 months bicycle touring in the USA and Western Canada in 2011. They are seasoned budget cyclists on a multi-year tour.

Eric & Amaya

The Cost: $7 per person, per day.

We are very creative when it comes to keeping down food and accommodation costs. We find free places to pitch the tent at churches, public parks, fire stations, schools, rodeo grounds, picnic areas or in a farmer’s field and use Couchsurfing and Warm Showers in bigger cities. We try to stock up on food at large discount supermarkets in big towns.

Tips: Amaya and Eric have several tips!

  • If you stick to popular Adventure Cycling Association routes like the TransAmerica, many towns along the way will be set up to receive cyclists at local parks, churches, fire stations and other community centers. You’ll have a free place to pitch your tent plus access to a hot shower.
  • The only drawback to following ACA routes is that they seldom pass through large towns, where you will find well-stocked supermarkets with reasonable prices. If you detour to discount supermarkets and stock up for a few days, you can make a huge difference to your food budget. At small town supermarkets, look for bargains on items which are about to expire and on day-old baked goods.
  • On the popular Pacific Coast route through Oregon and California, Hiker-Biker campsites cost just a few dollars a night. In the off-season, when campgrounds are officially closed, it’s unlikely that anyone will bother you if you slip in quietly for the night. Free camping is also allowed at primitive Bureau of Land Management sites.
  • In rural areas, people are very accommodating if you ask to pitch your tent on their property. You’ll seldom be turned away and more often than not you’ll be invited in for a meal. Having a flyer with a short write-up about your tour and who you are will build trust.
  • Be sure to stop in at tourist information bureaus for excellent free road maps and (if you’re lucky) free internet, coffee and cookies. Another good spot for free internet is public libraries.

***

The Cyclist & The Trip: Dom began cycling around the U.S.A. in May 2011. He’s a low budget traveller and has managed to keep his costs down by never paying for accommodation and always eating out of supermarkets.

Dom Luther

The Cost: Under $10 U.S. per person, per day. For 5 months of his trip, Dom travelled with his sister. “During that time we spent a total of $3,200 U.S. on everything including a few major bike things that are not to be expected. My sister started with a bike that didn’t fit her (the frame was too large) and had to pay to get a bunch of things changed. Even still, we spent around $10 U.S. a day each.”

Since starting to tour by myself, I’ve spent around $700 U.S. in 100 days. About half of that was for food. I didn’t spend anything on accommodation. I use WarmShowers, stumble upon strangers, knock on doors and wild camp. I don’t carry a stove and my breakfast tends to be oatmeal while snacks, lunches and dinners are something wrapped in a tortilla such as peanut butter and a banana or beans. My goal is to spend no more than $10 U.S. a day but I try to spend less.

Tips: “People are spectacular and so many are willing to help if you ask for it. They’ve been the highlight of my trip and some of my favourite stories (such as this one) came from knocking on people’s doors and asking for help. The interactions themselves are glorious and you save money as well by not having to pay for a place to stay. I’ve not paid for a place to sleep in the last 3 months.”

***

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). Thanks!