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The Cost Of Bike Touring: Extended Trips


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.

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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

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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 Next?
Related Pages
 

4 Responses to “The Cost Of Bike Touring: Extended Trips”

  1. Doug W. says:

    Every data point helps! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amaya says:

    Great information for purposes of comparison and proof that you’re never “too old” for cycle touring–even in challenging spots such as Central Asia.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Manfred says:

    Germany $288 per day??? What were you living on?
    I am from Germany and I guess, cost of touring (mainly food and accommodation) here are about average. It’s definitly cheaper compared to Canada or Australia. I am sure you can get along on $100-$150 a day for a couple, staying in budget hotels (“Pensionen”), enjoying a non-continental breakfast, Pizza & beer for dinner and on-the-road supply for occasional stops during the day. And you could try the warmshower network.

    Cheers Manfred

    • Don’t hold too much in store by the country averages in Europe. I think the Germany figure was a calculation artifact, i.e. not representative of reality. Our record keeping system was falling apart by then, as border crossings no longer aligned with currency changes, and we were only a short time in each country. This means per country averages were difficult to calculate.

      One half of the team submitted these per country figures, whereas the other half felt that regional averages (SE Asia, China, Central Asia, Caucasus,Turkey, Europe) were far more meaningful.

      M

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