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  1. #1
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    Daily Cost When Touring

    Exploring possiblities of a multi week tour and I am curious what sort of budgets people normally are working within. This would be tent camping with a hotel once a week sort of a tour.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I seem to remember a thread on this very topic, very detailed, going into variables, styles of touring, how you eat, etc. It's worth looking up. Maybe someone can locate it. I will try, but searching bike forums is not always an easy thing.

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    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Whatever it works out to be, subtract the cost of staying at home. Feels better that way.

    $35 day for me and I tour about like you're suggesting. Discounting getting to start and back and any gear cost.

    Here is a spread sheet calculator with all variables that works pretty good if you're honest, into nit picking, and want to face reality before the tour rather than afterwards.
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  5. #5
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    depends.....
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you don't also have to pay for the housing costs of home while away ..

    It's less than rent, Phone, electric utilities , internet service , and so forth.

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clint262 View Post
    Exploring possiblities of a multi week tour and I am curious what sort of budgets people normally are working within. This would be tent camping with a hotel once a week sort of a tour.
    How long is a piece of string? Where (and what) do you plan to eat, for example?

    If you want a proper answer, load up your bike and head off for a couple of days for a shakedown tour to give you an idea of how much you're likely to spend each day. It will also give you an idea of other things such as daily distances and so on that will help you on the way.

    If, on the other hand, you want hours of entertainment at home, look up the last thread on this topic and enjoy the chest beating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakdiver View Post
    depends.....
    Yup. Five years ago I was on my arvon1 on outback and northern Australia, and spent $1000 in 6 weeks. This past summer in a more built-up part of Australia I spent $1000 in 4 weeks. Mind you, this time I paid for campsites and ate more meals in pubs along with more beer - but that is what happens when I travel in built up areas.

    Seriously, bicycle touring has got to be one of the cheapest ways of travel. For me, it is cheaper than staying at home. YMMV.

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    I recently returned from a 66 day tour across North America. For me, the food budget was the biggest variable and the one I most underestimated. Also be aware that campground cost vary widely across the U.S. and Canada.

    Lastly, I can't say enough good things about Warm Showers. It is the only way to travel IMO.
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  10. #10
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Whatever it works out to be, subtract the cost of staying at home. Feels better that way.
    That actually makes sense for any type of traveling, so good point.

  11. #11
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clint262 View Post
    Exploring possiblities of a multi week tour and I am curious what sort of budgets people normally are working within. This would be tent camping with a hotel once a week sort of a tour.
    Eating at restaurants and gas station snacks will tear your budget to pieces. You do easily tour for under 10 bucks a day by getting your food at the supermarket. My main weakness is buying cold sodas all the time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    Eating at restaurants and gas station snacks will tear your budget to pieces. You do easily tour for under 10 bucks a day by getting your food at the supermarket. My main weakness is buying cold sodas all the time.
    I can see that being a problem for me too... The cold soda thing... I need my caffeine after a ride. I did buy some of those individual size drink mix things to take with me, that might be better than drinking warm water... But still not the same as a cold Diet Dew.. I can drink a lot of water during a ride... but sitting around relaxing later...I don't want water...

    <getting closer, got my tent today set it up in the living room>
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  13. #13
    DisMember YokeyDokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Whatever it works out to be, subtract the cost of staying at home. Feels better that way.
    +1
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  14. #14
    hansondad
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    Well, I'll be on the high side because I do the ultra-minimalist thing with regards to what I carry on the bike. I ALWAYS stay in a motel, and eat at diners and c-stores. Sometimes I travel alone, but sometimes with a buddy. Traveling with a buddy cuts my lodging cost in half.

    Here's what I budget for traveling alone:
    Lodging = $75, and that's held about right so far.
    Food = $35

    By the end of the trip, on the couple trips I've taken, this $110/day is about right when I'm by myself, coming down to something like $70/day when I'm with a buddy.

    Do you want to count equipment? That would add up pretty quick if you were really honest with yourself in that. (At least it would with me.) My bike is almost identical when touring as when home - just a trunk bag on the back. But I do spend money on the bike, and justify some of that spending with the fact that I don't want problems on the road.

    Really, though, I'd be spending something to eat if I were home, and I'd find some other excuse to spend money on the bike, so I figure the lodging cost is my primary "extra" cost of touring.

    Way more than it sounds like you're looking to spend, due primarily to lodging, but thought I'd give you my experience on the high side of the range. And btw, I NEVER regret that hot shower and those clean sheets at night...

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    I always look at what the "incremental cost" is for any vacation. So its the cost to travel to the start/return, lodging, and the small additinal cost of food.

    So for me its $25/night for camping, $75/night for a motel. I can get by on a schedule of 2/3 nights camping, then a motel. So for a week the incremental cost for lodging is $225 - $250.

    Travel cost is very variable, is it driving or air, Having to ship the bike, an extra night in a motel. No way to estimate since its so variable.

    Food - This ALWAYS cost more. I just get very hungry riding each day vs sitting in the office typing on a computer like now. Since I have to eat either at the office or on vacation, the incremental cost/day for food is $25/day. So about $175/week over my at home food cost.

    Net of all this is, I plan about an extra $500/week to bike tour + travel $$$ to start/finish.
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  16. #16
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed523 View Post
    I recently returned from a 66 day tour across North America. For me, the food budget was the biggest variable and the one I most underestimated.
    I would love to go on a 66 day bike tour. If I did this, however, my biggest expense would be the cost of one job and one wife.
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  17. #17
    DisMember YokeyDokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
    I would love to go on a 66 day bike tour. If I did this, however, my biggest expense would be the cost of one job and one wife.
    I'm trying to find the problem with this.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
    I would love to go on a 66 day bike tour. If I did this, however, my biggest expense would be the cost of one job and one wife.
    How many of each would that leave you with?

  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    Eating at restaurants and gas station snacks will tear your budget to pieces. You do easily tour for under 10 bucks a day by getting your food at the supermarket. My main weakness is buying cold sodas all the time.
    How much did you spend on your East Coast to Texas tour?

  20. #20
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    On my 8 day tour, I sacrificed a lot when it comes to finding places to stay. I stayed at three people's places via WarmShowers and camped for the rest of the days (5 days). The sacrifice was mainly hygienic but it did save me a lot of money in the end. The tent quickly paid for itself in a single trip.

    The only true expense was food. You really do gobble up on food when you're touring and it's a necessity if you want to keep pushing on with a decent speed average. Sometimes when there are no supermarkets, I am sometimes "forced" to end up eating at sandwich shops which would often cost $3 to $6 and would only serve as one meal. When you go to the supermarket, you can buy yogurt, granola, fruits, and vegetables and store them in your food preserver storage (the one that you use to keep ice in) and it will likely last you two days. Supermarkets are infinitely cheaper than shops. You could get by with $10 a day by going to the supermarket.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    Eating at restaurants and gas station snacks will tear your budget to pieces. You do easily tour for under 10 bucks a day by getting your food at the supermarket. My main weakness is buying cold sodas all the time.
    I tried but couldn't touch a day's groceries for ten bucks for more than a day or two at a time. In theory, perhaps, but not when I had been on the road for that length of time. I share the cold soda weakness as well.
    By the way, I am happy to report I am still married and still have a job-although it did take a new one (job) to made the whole trip possible.

  22. #22
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    It varies too widely to give a good answer. Location and personal preferences both can cause extreme differences in cost.

    It is possible to go for $10 a day in at least some locations, but I am on vacation and want to eat well, including some restaurant meals, so I am more likely to spend more. Then there are campsite costs that can range from $0 to $40 or so depending on where you are and where you choose to stay.

    My personal approach is to have much more $$$ available than I will use and spend based on what luxuries I feel I want or need at the time. So far this has meant that depending on the trip my costs can vary from $15 to $30 per day.

    BTW, if I do as Cyclebum suggested and "subtract the cost of staying at home" some tours might pay me to go rather than cost given the high cost of driving when at home.

    Oh and any of the numbers quoted above do not include airfare or other transportation costs for getting to and from my tour location.

  23. #23
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    How much did you spend on your East Coast to Texas tour?
    Around $400 total. Half of which was diet-pepsi's. Once in a while I would eat those $1 cheeseburgers at McDonald's and once I ate at Cici's.

  24. #24
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    wow- i am speechless 35 bucks for CAMPING ?????

    do you guys know that you get an excellent hotel for 8-12 bucks in south east asia?
    no need for a cooker. food is 1 dollar. i mean excellent food in thailand or in vietnam

    also living in asia makes you totally happy. every day sunny, people friendly and cheap

  25. #25
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    It's all how you live as mentioned above. I keep daily stats when I ride www.tiredofit.ca/stats-logs/ - Of course, I've been resting for the past month but starting back up in a week continuing RTW. Cutting out the beer changed my budget drastically.
    Currently Pedaling around the world away from a career in Information Technology - Tired of I.T! www.tiredofit.ca
    Books, Gear, and Free Campsite Listing for Bicycle Tourists along with free trip journals at www.bicycletouringhub.com

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