Author Topic: transam tour  (Read 1278 times)

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Offline kardar2

transam tour
« on: February 24, 2014, 08:19:09 pm »
Okay I am a newbie,
I want to go on a transam tour in four years from now. What would it cost ( ball park) yes I know there are variables  but let say camping  5 days and  motel 2 nights a week. Does this sound okay?  I am thinking $ 2000.00 . Not including trip home. Thanks for your help

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: transam tour
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 08:59:38 pm »
I'd think the $2,000 would cover most of your motel bills, but you'll need to add in campground fees (where appropriate) and food.  I'd suggest you double the budget.

Basis of guesstimate: 80 days total ride, 22 nights in motels @$100/night.  You might be able to find cheaper lodging some nights, but Murphy's Law says the night you're exhausted, filthy, burning up, and there's a storm front coming in, the only room left at sunset will be $125.  AC maps will help you find free camping many nights, but you'll still want to plan on a buck or two a night for showers at community pools.  Campgrounds and hostels may range from $5-25 per night.  You may be able to eat for $5-15 per day if you cook your own meals, but figure on $10 per meal if you go to a diner (where you'll meet the most fascinating characters).

Offline John Nelson

Re: transam tour
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 11:48:46 pm »
First, let me assume that you are talking about the ACA TransAm route between Astoria, OR and Yorktown, VA. If you're talking about some other route across America, I believe it will cost you more. Next, let me assume that you are going solo, and will not be splitting costs.

When I did my TransAm in 70 days, it cost me $1134. But I stayed in a motel only one day out of those 70. If you are planning two motels a week, it will cost more ... a lot more. I spent an average of only $2 a day for a place to sleep. As you can imagine, I slept for free almost all of the time. The other $14 a day was for food, and at least two-thirds of my food came from grocery stores. There was virtually no alcohol in the budget. And I didn't buy any other goods or pay for any entertainment.

If you plan to spend 2 nights a week in a motel, then I agree with Patrick that your budget is probably too low. If you factor out transportation to the start and home from the finish, and you start with a bike in good condition and take sufficient spare parts with you, then almost all of your expenses will be food and places to sleep. Food costs depend on what you like to eat and where you like to eat it. Places to sleep can be found cheaply if you are zealous about seeking out cheap places to sleep. But if you cop out and get a lot of rooms or expensive campgrounds, it can skyrocket.

Give us more of your preferences and we can give you more ideas.

Offline staehpj1

Re: transam tour
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 06:48:26 am »
I think we averaged something under $5 per night, but we only paid for a room once out of the 73 nights.  We stayed for free the majority of the time.  We were invited to stay with hosts with some regularity.  I think I spent about $2000 including, food, campsites, beverages,  airfare, a new bike, racks, panniers, and a few gear items I didn't already own.  So eliminating gear, bike, and airfare I was well under $2000, and probably about $1500.  That was 2007 though.

So yes if you are fairly frugal don't drink a lot of alcohol, and generally have simple tastes, you can easily get by on $2K, but some folks easily spend twice that or more so I can't really say what YOU need.

Offline DaveB

Re: transam tour
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 07:49:17 am »
Allowing $100/day for everything (hotels, camping, food, etc.), based on your schedule, a 60 day trip will cost you $6000.

Offline staehpj1

Re: transam tour
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 09:25:40 am »
Allowing $100/day for everything (hotels, camping, food, etc.), based on your schedule, a 60 day trip will cost you $6000.

Do you actually ever spend that much per day on a multi-week or multi-month tour?

I guess I am a cheapskate, but I have a hard time imagining anyone spending close to that much on the Trans America unless they are credit card touring and even then I think I could go cheaper.  I could maybe see that budget in the east if staying in campgrounds and motels, but on the TA there was a ton of free places to stay, inexpensive food, generous hosts, and cheap motels.  That is one reason I don't tour in the east other than for a portion of a coast to coast tour.

On the other hand 60 days is a fairly tight schedule.  That is averaging about 70 mile days,  I'd allow a bit more time unless travelling fast and light with few or no rest days.  For me 60-ish mile days are about right for heavy touring or difficult terrain like maybe the Sierra Cascades.  For light touring on the TA I might do more like 70 mile days.  If pushing it and/or travelling really light 80 mile days may be the way to go.  Others may travel faster or slower, but as a moderately fit 62 year old, I think I am fairly typical in my daily mileage for any given type of ride.

Offline indyfabz

Re: transam tour
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 11:32:42 am »
Allowing $100/day for everything (hotels, camping, food, etc.), based on your schedule, a 60 day trip will cost you $6000.

Do you actually ever spend that much per day on a multi-week or multi-month tour?

The two of us have spent more than that in a day on a 10-day trip. Because the only camping option in Butte sucked, we stayed in the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen for around $55 or so including tax. We had eaten breakfast out that morning and bought sandwiches and snacks to take with us since there were no services between our starting point (Twin Bridges) and Butte and an a mountain pass to cross. Easily $25+. After checking in, I had to try the infamous double pork chop sandwich from Pork Chop Johns. Dinner and drinks here easily set us back probably $75 with tip:

http://casagrandassteakhouse.webs.com/

And after dinner we had a few glasses of wine while talking with locals at the hotel bar.

While we don't go our of our way to spend as much as we can, if we feel like it we will take advantage of more pricier options when available. After all, it's a vacation.

Offline staehpj1

Re: transam tour
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 11:46:48 am »
Just to clarify...  Yes I too have spent that much for a day here or there on one tour or another.  Spending that much as a daily average for a month or more in another thing entirely.

Offline DaveB

Re: transam tour
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 12:01:44 pm »
Allowing $100/day for everything (hotels, camping, food, etc.), based on your schedule, a 60 day trip will cost you $6000.

Do you actually ever spend that much per day on a multi-week or multi-month tour?
Well, the OP is traveling alone and planning on hotels a couple of days a week and that implies eating most meals out.  Between hotels, camping fees and meals, I don't think my estimate is too far off.  And yes, a 60 day schedule is pretty tight and demanding so, if it's 80 days instead and only $75/day it's still $6000. 

So, his $2000 for the entire trip is $33/day for 60 days or $25/day for 80 days and that won't come close to covering what he proposes.

Offline staehpj1

Re: transam tour
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 01:42:38 pm »
You may be correct that he needs that much, but it definitely is not a slam dunk and is dependent on his choices.  Even on trips where I stayed in motels fairly regularly I have never averaged anything even remotely close to $100 a day.  On trips where I got frequent rooms and ate in diners a lot and generally felt like I was splurging quite a bit, I still have always averaged under $50 per day for food, drink, and lodging.

Also as I previously mentioned, it is especially easy to go cheaply on the TA where it is extremely easy to find free places to camp, where you are likely to be able to stay indoors for free fairly frequently.  The maps list quite a few places to stay in churches or with hosts and I have generally met folks who offered hospitality now and then.  Most of the way staying in town parks for free is not a problem.  It seemed to only be iffy within a few hundred miles of the coasts.

Well, the OP is traveling alone and planning on hotels a couple of days a week and that implies eating most meals out.

Not sure why you say that implies eating most meals out.  Breakfast is often free with a room.  Lunch and snacks on the road can just as easily be from a grocery regardless of where you stayed.  Dinner may be more likely to be at a restaurant the two days a week he is in a motel, but the other 5 days a week it is likely to be in camp.  In much of the middle of the country, rooms can be had for under $40 a night if you choose carefully.  I know that I would try to pick nights where the room was cheap to stay in motels.

Offline kardar2

Re: transam tour
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 09:21:09 pm »
Thank you everyone for your input so camping it is and no motels.  And yes I will be going solo and yes I will be leaving astoria OR. And flying or train back from the East coast.

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Offline staehpj1

Re: transam tour
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 05:13:59 am »
Thank you everyone for your input so camping it is and no motels.  And yes I will be going solo and yes I will be leaving astoria OR. And flying or train back from the East coast.

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Have a great trip.

I think you will find that camping without using motels much is pretty easy on the TA.  A lot of the time you can get under a roof or get a shower without getting a room.  Town parks often had picnic pavilions and on the TA we tended to sleep under them when we could.  Also there were showers at a few of the town parks that had a pool.  Additionally a few churches put us up as did some hosts.

I seldom use them, but locating hosts via warmshowers.org is another possibility.  My only problem with them is that many hosts want at least a couple days of notice and I take it day by day or hour by hour not deciding where to stop until I am there.