Bicycle Travel > General Discussion

Costs of Touring

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John Nelson:

--- Quote from: indyfabz on December 26, 2012, 02:26:37 pm ---I count on least $12 with a tip for dinner not including drinks.
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An $8 sub sandwich at Safeway is two pounds and provides me the better part of three meals.

--- Quote from: indyfabz on December 26, 2012, 02:26:37 pm ---don't forget to budget for repairs and/or replacement parts like tubes and tires.
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I consider bike repairs to come out of my emergency funds, and I don't typically count them in my daily expenses. I count tires, tubes and chains as equipment costs. I figure out what tires, tubes, chains and pads I'll need for the whole trip before the trip, buy them ahead of time (on sale), and then either carry them or have them mailed to me. It is often difficult to find good parts on the road (especially tires appropriate for touring).

Pat Lamb:

--- Quote from: indyfabz on December 26, 2012, 02:26:37 pm --- Breakfast at a local cafe or diner (say pancakes, some meat and coffee) is probably going to run me $7-8 dollars with a tip. Lunch probably $6-$7 dollars if I just get a sandwich, chips and a drink. I usually cook dinner, but if I don't, I count on least $12 with a tip for dinner not including drinks. Then there is the cost of snacks. That piece of pie or ice cream you cannot resist.
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Don't forget the cost of Gatorade / orange juice / V8 or whatever your drink of choice is, and those snacks.  I'll often eat and drink my way through $2-5 of fluids and snacks a day.  Water is usually free, but I like to buy something if I get it from a convenience store just so they don't think (and I don't feel like) I'm a freeloader.

It's been asked before here and many other places; touring expenses is a topic that's easily researched.

As noted, too many variables. You've been presented a ten-to-one range of <10 to >100 US$/day. That's impossible to reconcile but it is easy to average or find a median which you are comfortable planning for. Let's say $30/day for 70 days (which is spartan and depraved but entirely doable and, from what we hear around here, possibly pleasurable)--$2,100--but call it $3,000. If you budget for $60/day (which includes camping mostly, cooking mostly, layover or storm days in motels and an occasional restaurant, that's $4,000-5,000.

Regarding the idea that you're not spending money at home, you may be paying your rent or mortgage while on the road, paying someone to house- or pet-sit and, if you're leaving family behind, they're still eating and driving the car around. ONe trick is to find someone who will pay you to stay in your home while you're on your bicycle tour. Dicey, that.

Visit your local library and find everything you can on bicycle travel. The vicarious experience is a fun way to spend your winter and you can learn much from mistakes already made. The biggest hurdle to a long bicycle tour is simply committing. ONce you've decided you're going, planning is mechanical.

In summation, within certain upper limits and lower limits depending on how you conduct your tour, it can cost about as little or as much as you would like to pay.

I like to think I live pretty average at home.  But when I tour, I'm probably on the expensive side by what I have read here.  Credit card touring, with motels averaging around $60.  Most of these places provide a breakfast and I eat pretty light, but often during the day.  Evening or dinner time is when I like a good steak or equivalent.  I'm on of those that would probably crowd that $100/day.  Guess I figure it is a vacation.


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