Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: camasa45 on April 03, 2021, 10:38:43 am

 
Title: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: camasa45 on April 03, 2021, 10:38:43 am
I will be on a long distance "credit card" tour this summer with a friend.  We will be splitting the cost of motels each night. 
We don't want to get into the awkward situation where one pays and then the other forgets what is owed. It would be nice to immediately share or split the cost when a bill arises. 

Is there a good app to swap money back and forth? Or maybe having a prepaid Visa debit card where both have put in an equal amount of money? Or maybe try to get the hotel upon check out to split the bill and each pay that half?
I would really appreciate others' suggestion on how to share costs in the best possible way.
Thanks,
Chuck
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: staehpj1 on April 03, 2021, 10:47:59 am
Most motels and restaurants will split bills between two cards.  I did that quite a bit when travelling with someone else.  It worked fine.

With a group of more than two it gets messier and you start to need to keep records and keep track so you can adjust when someone gets ahead or behind.  If everyone is honest you can just each take turns and each keep a running tally.  When someone gets behind they just pick up tabs until they catch up.  That won't work with all groups, but I have had success doing it that way.

Alternately one person can keep records and keep everyone honest.  I have not done this method.  I'd rather not travel and mix finances with folks I can't trust so it has never been necessary.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: John Nettles on April 03, 2021, 11:48:05 am
What I do is just pay for everything and then when the tour is over with, just add up the hotel charges and divide by two.  Sometimes the other person may be the "treasurer".  For me, this system is much simpler to do it this way since you don't have to worry about exact change, who's turn to buy, etc. 

Hope you have a great trip!

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: HikeBikeCook on April 03, 2021, 12:06:20 pm
I just let my wife pay for everything  ;D
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: ray b on April 04, 2021, 12:29:09 pm
Is there a good app to swap money back and forth? Or maybe having a prepaid Visa debit card where both have put in an equal amount of money? Or maybe try to get the hotel upon check out to split the bill and each pay that half?
Agree with above - especially the benefits of letting the spouse enjoy free use of the credit card.

Venmo and other apps are not ready for use in retail.

I like the debit card idea.... I know of some others who've done that for small projects. If you do it for a long trip, let us know how it works.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: LouMelini on April 04, 2021, 12:52:26 pm
I basically do what John Nettles suggests; keep receipts and split the difference at the end. Most problems I hear about are differences in spending, (camping vs. motels or cheap motels vs. expensive motels); where to go to eat (eating in camp vs. going out or less expensive vs. more expensive restaurant). Hopefully these are worked out. When I am with my wife, HikeBikeCook has the correct advice.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: staehpj1 on April 04, 2021, 04:59:40 pm
There are people in the world who will stiff you.  At the end of a coast to coast trip that could be for more money than you might want to write off.  When among friends or family I take my chances with that without worry.  When with someone who was a stranger before the trip I am more inclined to limit my potential losses.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: John Nettles on April 04, 2021, 05:06:47 pm
When with someone who was a stranger before the trip I am more inclined to limit my potential losses.
I totally agree.  I guess I was thinking you know the people pretty well.  In the case of a relatively unknown, I would probably do the hassles of trying to split the bill or at least settle up every night.  Maybe have an accounting sheet which shows who has paid what.  I have done the accounting sheet before and it is a pain.  It is amazing to me how people will get ticked off when someone has to pay a literal penny more. 

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: Pat Lamb on April 05, 2021, 09:09:37 am
It is amazing to me how people will get ticked off when someone has to pay a literal penny more. 

FWIW, I usually try to figure my bill and contribute 5% more to the "treasurer."  Either it goes into the tip or I figure that's the price for not getting stiffed myself.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: John Nettles on April 05, 2021, 09:18:39 am
Pat, you and I are alike in this matter.  I always try to put a little extra into the pot. 

However, I have had one person get into a huff because I had rounded their portion on a group item up to the higher cent (it was just his turn on rounding, others had been "rounded" earlier).  He thought I was cheating him (and the others) because of this and "pocketing the difference".  After showing him the ledger, he calmed down but still checked the ledger daily to verify I was not cheating.  Needless to say, I don't tour with him anymore.

As others have said, I don't "loan" money unless I am willing to write off the entire amount.  The longest tour I have been the "treasurer" for was about 35 days but even then, people paid partial payments along the way.  The most I would have been out was less than $400 divided amongst 3 other touring partners so I figure the most I would have been out was around $100. 

Tailwinds, John


Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: staehpj1 on April 05, 2021, 09:28:50 am
Pat, you and I are alike in this matter.  I always try to put a little extra into the pot. 
I think most of us are that way and most of us have run into cheapskates who are the opposite.

Quote
As others have said, I don't "loan" money unless I am willing to write off the entire amount.  The longest tour I have been the "treasurer" for was about 35 days but even then, people paid partial payments along the way.  The most I would have been out was less than $400 divided amongst 3 other touring partners so I figure the most I would have been out was around $100. 
I was always happy when a "friend" or coworker would stiff me for a $5 loan.  I figured I got off cheap and then knew I never had to get burned loaning them a larger sum.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: DaveB on April 05, 2021, 09:49:31 am
I have "credit card" toured with a small group of friends.  For hotel/motel bills one guy paid for all of them, kept the receipts and billed the others for their share at the end.  We each wrote him a check and settled that way.  For meals we asked for separate checks and that avoided any cost disparities.   Fortunately no one in this group agonized over the exact penny.

Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: driftlessregion on April 10, 2021, 06:37:16 pm
Bring one guy who is compulsive about keeping track and is good with numbers. In our group it is the engineer. Afterwards he sends a spreadsheet with all the bills laid out and how much we owe whom. Saves the rest of us  lots of headaches!
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: John Nettles on April 10, 2021, 07:45:39 pm
Bring one guy who is compulsive about keeping track and is good with numbers. In our group it is the engineer. Afterwards he sends a spreadsheet with all the bills laid out and how much we owe whom. Saves the rest of us  lots of headaches!
Do you loan this guy out?  ;D
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: driftlessregion on April 16, 2021, 01:15:28 pm
A little moonlighting business maybe. Could be done virtually I suppose.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: fahrrad on April 18, 2021, 06:37:10 pm
  When we road trip we each put a set equal amount in a 'kitty', say $300 each. Everything gets paid out of that pile along the way. When it's depleted we do it again. Small town diners and rural stores like cash. I've never bike toured with a card. Maybe y'all can load a debit card that way, beforehand, and use it for everything. Personal groceries and snacks can be separate.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: John Nettles on April 18, 2021, 06:48:28 pm
The problem with that is that, at least with the group I tour with, we have a wide variety of eating habits.  Some like a just a sandwich others like a steak and dessert with wine and some are in between.  When we cook ourselves, some riders eat at least twice as much as others.

I could see it working for stuff like lodging or group stuff, i.e. if you are buying group groceries, but for restaurants it could be a bit of a difference.  I do like the "kitty" bit but then I hate to carry a ton of cash around while touring and then you still have to keep track of who has contributed to the kitty or have everyone do it at the same time I guess.
Title: Re: Best way to split bills while traveling with a fellow cyclist?
Post by: RonK on April 19, 2021, 06:13:43 am
There is an app called Settle Up made specifically to manage shared expenses.