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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 02-16-06, 07:26 PM   #1
dwbell888
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touring; cost of living

what are some budgeting estimates you all have made on a multi-week tour.

i.e. cost of food per week

repairs budget

i like to do things as minimalist as possible, so when it comes to most luxery items--i can usually do with out. but, i got to eat a lot of food to stay energized.

what sort of costs/week should i think about both in the USA and in Canada.

thanks
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Old 02-16-06, 07:38 PM   #2
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I find you can eat well and often if you make space in your pannier for food from grocery store. I carry good bread (always looking for bakery), cheese, yogurt, meat from deli (salami, turkey, ham, etc.), peanut butter, fruit. I try and find a grocery store in late afternoon to get salad items: good lettuce, tomato, mushrooms. There is usually two of us, but we spend about $10/day this way.

Camp grounds can eat up $ if you go to private campgrounds. We always look for state or city campgrounds to say money.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-16-06, 07:59 PM   #3
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I usually average about $18-20 a day, That covers food, odds and ends and most campgrounds, ( I don't do stealth)
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Old 02-16-06, 08:06 PM   #4
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I've looked at campgrounds here in Ontario, and they normally start at Cdn$20 for tent spot with no power. That's what originally got me looking into stealth.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:37 PM   #5
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I feel you on the cost of camping. I never had much money when I went touring, so I only got to sleep at one campground, which was in behind a gas/chicken place... it was $5. For food, I never spent more then $10 a day, except on my last day when I blew my final $20 at a restaurant. Oatmeal and brown sugar was my staple. That and peanut butter and jam sandwiches. oh, mars and skor bars too..
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Old 02-16-06, 09:44 PM   #6
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When I toured Australia for three months, I spent approx. $30/day.

That included:
-- camping,
-- hostels,
-- food,
-- some repairs (my free hub died, my computer flew away, I left my best bottle on a bus),
-- two intercontinental flights,
-- four bus trips between cities,
-- renting a car for three days,
-- and several tours (like a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef)
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Old 02-17-06, 06:21 AM   #7
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I don't know how you guys do it? I spent much more on my cross country. Campgrounds are $10 - $20 all by themselves, nasty weather called for motels many nights (I must be a wimp). 4-6000 calories a day costs quite a bit as well, I loved having one of my breakfasts at a local cafe, I met the most interesting people there. A good six-pack of beer is $6-8 bucks, how can you tour without suds? So my range was higher than the others. But then again there are those like Heidi on CGOAB who tours all season for about $2.33 a day! (She is awesome) So my suggestion is bring at least $8.33 -$10.33 per day, which is the Heidi minimum plus beer!

Greg
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Old 02-17-06, 10:13 AM   #8
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OK who's Heidi and how does she tour on $2+ a day?
Dave
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Old 02-17-06, 11:27 AM   #9
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If you're not into stealth camping...
you could try to find areas that have hiker/biker sites--such as all along the U.S. Pacific west coast. Really a bargain at $3-$5 a person, and no reservations required. There are also "primitive" campsites in the National Forests that are cheap or free. The National Parks seem to be the most expensive (and crowded) camping areas.
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Old 02-17-06, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drissel
OK who's Heidi and how does she tour on $2+ a day?
Dave

Who's Heidi???? http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ...c_id=998&v=1va
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Old 02-17-06, 01:30 PM   #11
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Go to southeast Asia. In Thailand, I paid between US$4-$10 for good private rooms with private bathrooms with hot showers. I could have paid less if I didn't want the private bathroom/hot shower. Delicious meals can be found for about $1.

Just got back from Sri Lanka where I paid between $7 - $22 for a room, though meals were often as cheap as in Thailand. Guesthouse meals typically cost a bit more than places geared toward Sri Lankans, but were still dirt cheap. I haven't been to India, but it supposedly makes Sri Lanka look expensive.
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Old 02-17-06, 01:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregw
I don't know how you guys do it? Campgrounds are $10 - $20 all by themselves, nasty weather called for motels many nights (I must be a wimp).
When I toured Australia, I was there approx. 90 days. $30 * 90 = $2700.00

It worked out that for approx. 30 of those days we had free accommodations (stealth camping, people (some friends, some complete strangers) putting us up along the way, using the free camping spots Australia has, etc.). For approx. 30 of them we camped in official campgrounds for the price of approx. $5/night. And for approx. 30 of them we stayed in hostels for approx. $15/night.

So over the 90 days, we spent approx. $600 in accommodations. We could have easily spent as little as $300 for those 90 days if I hadn't been so insistant on staying in hostels now and then. So that's $6.66/day.

Food cost approx. $10/day mainly buying stuff like bread, oatmeal, cans of beans, etc., and occasionally some luxuries so approx. $900 for food for the whole trip. We were also fortunate enough to have people (complete strangers!) give us food now and then along the way.

Total: $600 + $900 = $1500, or $16.66/day.

That leaves $1200 for the other stuff: cruises, flights, busses, car rentals, repairs, and luxuries (like chocolate, beverages that were not water, etc.).


All this talk about touring makes me want to get out there and do more of it NOW!!
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Old 02-17-06, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregw
All I know is Heidi's one bada$$ bike rider!

7,355 miles. 248 days. Canada, U.S.A. and Mexico. OFF-road. 3-wheeler. And check out the mohawk.
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Old 02-18-06, 02:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregw
I don't know how you guys do it? I spent much more on my cross country. Campgrounds are $10 - $20 all by themselves, nasty weather called for motels many nights (I must be a wimp). 4-6000 calories a day costs quite a bit as well, I loved having one of my breakfasts at a local cafe, I met the most interesting people there. A good six-pack of beer is $6-8 bucks, how can you tour without suds? So my range was higher than the others. But then again there are those like Heidi on CGOAB who tours all season for about $2.33 a day! (She is awesome) So my suggestion is bring at least $8.33 -$10.33 per day, which is the Heidi minimum plus beer!

Greg
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ..._id=17840&v=j1

i seem to recall this page at one time listed her food costs at ~$834 for 317 days which does work out to +2$ per day. i was amazed it was so low. i remember reading she carried whole potatoes etc so i thought maybe, but two bucks a day? i think the summary page must have been revised.

now her figures indicate a food only cost of $6 per day. and thats living very frugally (read the journal, she free camps the whole time). heidi also lists bike repairs at $1500, yours would probably be much less.

based on this fairly lengthy tour, $10 a day would be minimum. i believe double that would be more realistic for most people.

Last edited by seeker333; 02-18-06 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 02-19-06, 06:47 AM   #15
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Cost of living or cost of survival? I thought living was on a higher plane than survival. My ancestors fought the British, the French, the Indians, and amongst themselves. They survived the critters and varmints of the forest and plains. All so I could have hot showers, sheets, mints on the pillow, air conditioning, and little bottles of shampoo. I live it up. My trips always run $100 per day. I survive the other days of the year.
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Old 04-16-06, 04:39 PM   #16
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Eat well and simply too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoCyclist
I find you can eat well and often if you make space in your pannier for food from grocery store. I carry good bread (always looking for bakery), cheese, yogurt, meat from deli (salami, turkey, ham, etc.), peanut butter, fruit. I try and find a grocery store in late afternoon to get salad items: good lettuce, tomato, mushrooms. There is usually two of us, but we spend about $10/day this way.

Camp grounds can eat up $ if you go to private campgrounds. We always look for state or city campgrounds to say money.

Hope this helps.
For my C2C I've pulled together some research here on GCOAB http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journal/Cookonabike

Tim
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Old 04-16-06, 08:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
When I toured Australia, I was there approx. 90 days. $30 * 90 = $2700.00

It worked out that for approx. 30 of those days we had free accommodations (stealth camping, people (some friends, some complete strangers) putting us up along the way, using the free camping spots Australia has, etc.). For approx. 30 of them we camped in official campgrounds for the price of approx. $5/night. And for approx. 30 of them we stayed in hostels for approx. $15/night.

So over the 90 days, we spent approx. $600 in accommodations. We could have easily spent as little as $300 for those 90 days if I hadn't been so insistant on staying in hostels now and then. So that's $6.66/day.

Food cost approx. $10/day mainly buying stuff like bread, oatmeal, cans of beans, etc., and occasionally some luxuries so approx. $900 for food for the whole trip. We were also fortunate enough to have people (complete strangers!) give us food now and then along the way.

Total: $600 + $900 = $1500, or $16.66/day.

That leaves $1200 for the other stuff: cruises, flights, busses, car rentals, repairs, and luxuries (like chocolate, beverages that were not water, etc.).


All this talk about touring makes me want to get out there and do more of it NOW!!
When you toured Australia, how many of you were there on the tour? I'm envious of your three month tour, and how little $ you spent doing it!
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Old 04-16-06, 09:19 PM   #18
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2 dollars for food and you have to be eating out of garbage cans, which apparently is a pretty good way to score some cheap food thrown out behind grocery stores.

To me the real issue is whether I am spending more or less than if I stay home. When I stay home I normally have expenses and treats that just don't come up on the road. On short road trips of a few weeks, or thereabouts, I don't miss the absense of luxuries. So the major cost for me was accomodations. This was a problem. I'm for stealth camping in theory, but in practice along the nice roads I followed there was very little that wasn't a 50 foot lot. There are lots of little nooks and crannies one can use, but at mid forties, I feel like I'm taking advantage playing the hobo card. I find most parks a major disappointment, and very poor value, where I am at. And motels are expensive over a long run of stays and not the experience I am after. I'd love to find some routes with decent roads, easy camping, and few psycho dogs, but it isn't happening.
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Old 04-16-06, 09:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
When I toured Australia for three months, I spent approx. $30/day.

That included:
-- camping,
-- hostels,
-- food,
-- some repairs (my free hub died, my computer flew away, I left my best bottle on a bus),
-- two intercontinental flights,
-- four bus trips between cities,
-- renting a car for three days,
-- and several tours (like a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef)
machka, i'd just like to make sure that i'm getting this straight. that's $30 (presumably canadian) including the roundtrip from canada to australia? if so, pretty good!
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Old 04-16-06, 09:50 PM   #20
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well, although this was about 30 years ago so it would be rather more in todays dollars, i went roundtrip from R.I. to nearly Mexico City in about 2 months and a week or 10 days or so, for $300. paid for accomodations only once in the u.s., and "splurged" 2 or 3 nights in mexico. spent a total of maybe a week at various relatives located throughout the south, 1 night in a public shelter during a hurricane on the gulf coast, and otherwise mostly camped for free someplace. mainly ate right out in front of grocery stores or carried some stuff for the next morning's breakfast. i don't remember doing any cooking except boiling up water for instant coffee or instant noodles, and that only happened where it was o.k. to make a fire.

it seems like the cash/free time ratio is mostly diametrically opposed throughout much of life, with a short interval after marriage but before kids where it's perhaps well balanced.

these days i like to spend 1 or 2 nights per week at youth hostels and don't mind paying occasional campground fees for the bathing facilities. but, if you're short on cash, big on time, and don't mind going spartan, you can still get along on next to nothing.
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