The Cost Of Bike Touring: India
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!
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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!