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Crossing the pond on the cheap?

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Crossing the pond on the cheap?

Old 12-22-08, 09:32 PM
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CrimsonEclipse
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Crossing the pond on the cheap?

...

Last edited by CrimsonEclipse; 04-17-18 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 12-22-08, 09:47 PM
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Plane travel is cheap! If you could ride your bike from NYC to France, you'd spend more money on food than the plane fare.
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Old 12-23-08, 02:25 AM
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There can't be THAT many different ways to cross an ocean...Let's see: fly or float. At least you're not exactly overwhelmed with possibilities

I have heard that some ships will take on travellers as workers/sailors in exchange for passage, but that was from a much older gentleman I met a while ago. And I would have no idea where to start with that one.

I also think that I've heard of some seasonal jobs paying for people's plane tickets when one agrees to work for them for a season (paid). But I think that depends on how far you would have to fly, and prior experience. And I also could be making this up, actually...

It's really bloody expensive, so make sure you make the best of any opportunities you get!
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Old 12-23-08, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
Plane travel is cheap! If you could ride your bike from NYC to France, you'd spend more money on food than the plane fare.
Once , while on a multi day tour, at our campsite; we ran into a New Yorker; who'd crossed North America on bike.. He did so on even a beater bike.. But, he ditched the bike and went back on Greyhound.. Horrors that is. I'd rather bike back.. But, he said, the cost of food. Greyhound saved him tons of money on the return.. I figure, gotta eat somewhere... You'd think Spam and apples would not cost all that much. He was pretty destitute..
ps... Fly across the big pond in certain parts of the Spring or Fall. You'll save a ton of cash , besides the campsites are less full- than during the summer... A late April cycle tour of central Europe can be quite nice in mid Spring or Fall... pps.. choose your airlines carefully. Some screw you big time, for bringing along a bike..
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Old 12-23-08, 06:00 AM
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I'm with you, cyclezealot-- I'd rather ride back than take the bus. But the bus would be cheaper.
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Old 12-23-08, 07:59 AM
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Is your goal the journey or the destination?
If the destination then find alternate transportation like air and boat and bus.
If the journey then find the shortest points to cross the oceans.

Ride up the Pacific coast through Canada and into Alaska, then find a fishing boat to take you across the Bering Sea. I'm sure someone has done it. And Mongolia is one of those places I've always wanted to visit someday.

For crossing the Atlantic you might be able to find short hops by using Iceland and Greenland as stepping stones. "Might" being the operative word.

I'm thinking a Surly Pugsley towing a sea kayak might be the way to go if you want to go fully self propelled. But then maybe I'm just nuts to even think this would be possible.
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Old 12-23-08, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ultimatekiwi View Post
...I have heard that some ships will take on travellers as workers/sailors in exchange for passage, but that was from a much older gentleman I met a while ago. ...
Yes, that's how my father came over for the first time in the 1950's. It's no longer a possiblilty, as far as I know. You can still book a passage on a container ship, and the cost depends pretty much on the number of days on board, figure something like $100/day. Yes, I'm making this up. My brother did it once, and he said he'd never do it again. I'm kinda tempted, myself.
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Old 12-23-08, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by treebound View Post
Is your goal the journey or the destination?
Ride up the Pacific coast through Canada and into Alaska, then find a fishing boat to take you across the Bering Sea.
I like your creativity but I doubt this is possible. You would have to go to a port of entry or else be in Russia illegally, and if you're in Russia illegally you're going to end up being illegally in whatever country you try to go to next unless you go to a border crossing and then you get caught. Although bribing might be a possibility the prospect of finding a fisherman to smuggle you into Russia without paying him a lot of money seems to me to be unlikely.

As for crossing the Atlantic, hitchhiking on yachts is possible. Working for your passage as someone mentioned earlier no longer happens, and that is why they heard it from an old man. Typically people with yachts charge $30+ per day to take on a passenger, to pay for food and fuel. Crossing takes 2 weeks or so I think. You can do this for the Pacific as well but I find that many yachts like to stop off at islands for a long time so you could end up stuck in Fiji riding around in circles.

Obviously the cheapest way remains by air. Cheapest bet is to fly into Britain and use Ryanair or Easyjet if you need to get deeper in.

edit: indeed the above poster is right with the estimate of around $100/day. This is what I've found for container ships, they are really not practical. Better to find a yacht and would be more fun IMO because you get to help sail it.
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Old 12-23-08, 06:07 PM
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Here is a very informative page on traveling via freighters.
http://www.geocities.com/freighterman.geo/mainmenu.html

Becoming a crew member requires a lot of preparatory work and experience. Some people simply can not adapt to life on a ship. If you've never been on a ship there simply not going to take the chance that you can adapt. Also you must register with your government so you can be identified and returned home in the event you become separated from your ship for whatever reason. You can't just walk up to an embassy and expect to get help. They keep a list of sailors so you must be on that list to get help. The simple answer to the question about working for your passage is, NO.
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Old 12-27-08, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
in theory, I can go anywhere in North or South America, by bicycle.
Then there's the rest of the world. If I want to try a world journey, I have to cross the Pacific and/or Atlantic, usually by plane, which is usually expensive.

So are there any other ways of crossing the big bodies of water on the cheap?(besides a running start)

CE
Who said airfare is expensive? I see posts all the time about taking a bike on a plane and how you need to have a custom box made and ship it by FedEx...etc, et al, blah, blah, blah. Unless you think the world begins and ends in that small planet called the USA, there are many inexpensive options. Most of the world don't travel like we do, but they still fly.

Most of my European trips start out at $125 return and that includes 4 panniers and a bike. Recently I've been paying as much as $400 for taxes and fuel surcharges, but $525 is still cheap for a return flight from North America.

Take a look around, think outside of the box (especially a bike box) and be prepared for an adventure, after all, isn't that what bike touring is? An adventure.
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Old 12-30-08, 10:05 AM
  #11  
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stokel, you are a loose cannon! Where do you find $125 return tickets across the pond? And how much extra will it cost for your bike and luggage? Some of those cheap airlines charge by the pound!
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Old 01-01-09, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JakeEdwards View Post
stokel, you are a loose cannon! Where do you find $125 return tickets across the pond? And how much extra will it cost for your bike and luggage? Some of those cheap airlines charge by the pound!
Well Air Transat flies from most major Canadian cities to Europe. I don't know where the OP lives, but even if it is a trek to come to Canada it is worthwhile. Since Toronto is known as 'The centre of the universe', it's a good place to start. The Air Transat web site allows you to check for last minute deals under 'Flight Deal's on the top menu. If you go there at any given time you will find flights that leave from Toronto to Europe and back for $125 or less. There is one there today at that price, to London and including all taxes is CAN$557. that's probably about US$500.

Check the luggage allowance and bikes and camping equipment fly free. More bargains! Europe for $500. Yeah!
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Old 01-01-09, 04:58 PM
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stokell is absolutely right ...

I've heard very good things about Air Transat ... a Dutch friend of mine uses it when she travels back and forth to Holland.

Air Canada has some good European specials as well. Their websaver specials are posted weekly, and if you keep an eye on it you can get in on some pretty good specials.
http://www.aircanada.com/en/offers/a...ver_fares.html

As for bicycle charges, when I fly Air Canada, I pay $50 for my bicycle in a cardboard box which I pick up from a LBS ... and that's really not bad.


If you have a look over the list of airlines here (scroll down), you can see which airlines charge for bicycles and which do not.
http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm



Rowan might have to confirm this but he flew between Australia and London (Heathrow) with Thai Air and I believe he had a good experience with them too.
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Old 01-03-09, 01:35 AM
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As far as I'm aware, you CANNOT crew on a cargo ship anymore. Most of the crew come from the Philippines these days and union regulations make just hopping on board to wash the deck impossible. Cost as a passenger is about double that of a flight, bank on $100+ a day.

You can, however, crew on a yacht. There are many websites where you can post and reply to ads. Usually your expenses will be paid but no formal salary. You'll have to be willing to go with the routes of the season though and have the time to spend on the voyage. Experience is not always required. We looked into it and were quickly offered a voyage from Japan to Australia but it wasn't for us that time... flight to Japan would have been more than just flying direct to Australia.
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