Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   -   Costs of RTW (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/costs-of-rtw-56177)

GS_Girl 19 Mar 2011 20:07

Costs of RTW
Ok so I've saved some money and want to go! There are two of us on two bikes. Have a house listed for sale that should contribute to the finances some. I know the costs of going around the world vary tremendously, depending on if you camp, if you cook, how many times you ship the bike, costs of visas, bike repairs etc. I would love to hear what your entire trip cost you, though everyone's trip and expenses are different hopefully if I get enough replies I can get an idea.

My very vague plan at the moment is to head from USA up to Alaska as a trial run, then down to TDF. Hopefully hang out in SA for a while. Would then love to fly to South Africa and work my way up. Go over to SE Asia, India etc. Then up into the Stans and Russia. I spent some time in EU and feel Europe is well preserved let's say, and all the historic sites will still be there tomorrow, and no hurry to go there and spend lots of money. Would love to go to Australia, but uber expensive it seems! Maybe another trip.

The question do I have enough money to go on the cheap while I'm still young, and willing to camp/eat whatever, or do I need to work more save more money, prepare more etc? The two ideas I have are one: either just go to Alaska then down to SA and around(maybe ride back up to US to save money on shipping?) for now, save more money, by building and selling houses so might take years. Or two: if it's realistic go for the big trip everywhere. I am wondering what other people spent on similiar trips. I know like I said that everything is a variable and it seems hard to get an answer, but if you went on a similiar trip down to Central and South America and have what it costs, or you went all over and know what you spent please let me know. Costs of solo trip, or trip with another person/bike are appreciated. I prefer camping and cooking, but not so strict that I will pass up every hotel/meal/tourist thing, want to experience it all! Esp, the food!!

Please let me know anything you know on what your costs were, or any advice is appreciated.

Lonesome George 19 Mar 2011 20:15

This is going to be interesting. I wonder what others will say? All I can say is I've just been from Alaska to Panama. And I would say that my average was about $1500-2000 a month.

Of course you also have to factor in buying the bike/equipment/insurance/flights/shipping at beginning and end but as an average, once on the road I'd say about $1500-2000 a month.

I KNOW lots of people will say they did it cheaper than that and I'ms ure you can. I'm guessing my estimate will be higher than most but that's what i spent.

mudmaps 19 Mar 2011 21:33

>>Would love to go to Australia, but uber expensive it seems!

Compared to where?

US-Europe or developing countries?

Camping and cooking is quite cheap down under.

TravellingStrom 20 Mar 2011 02:53

Yeah, why do you think down here is expensive? Maybe just because your dollar is down against ours for a change :)

Anyway, I can tell ya I just did the Americas and in the US there is nowhere to camp, unless you own an RV or want to live like a hillbilly. But, once you get out of town and hit Canada and Alaska then it is good to camp, everything is local.

Basically, I spent a lot of money on motels in the US, even the cheap ones were expensive to me. But, down south of the US border, it gets cheaper right away, so it is a waste of time taking camping gear, unless you really want to live like grizzley adams.

If you budget for $100 a day, or $1,000 a week for a solo(depending on how many beers you want to sample) then you would be not far wrong. That includes all expenses, including new tyres and chains/sprockets etc.


GS_Girl 20 Mar 2011 04:18

Ok I should clarify I think it's too expensive at the moment because of the shipping the bike there, the plane tickets etc. I have been looking at flights, I actually was offered a job there and do currently have a visa for Australia but one way was $1,500USD, I didn't even check on the bike. It's also not attached to anything, not like shipping to Africa and then going wherever. I'm not saying I don't want to go there, I just want to go to as many new places as possible on a budget. I'm also don't care so much about hitting the 1st world countries, for one expensive, and two I think in the coming years they aren't going to change as rapidly. Would like to see everywhere at some point though! I've ridden all over the US, and camped everywhere, mostly for free. If you're ok with sleeping in hay fields, church lawns work well(seem less likely to yell at you) etc., then it can be done. Campgrounds are too expensive most of the time, when all you're looking for is a place to sleep not showers etc., why not sleep in a field?

Thanks for all your figures. Any insights help so much to try and figure a realistic budget!

pecha72 20 Mar 2011 12:15

Europe to India to Australia (in Oct07-Apr08), six months, 34.000kms, 2-up on one DL650. Had no tent with us, first had a cooking device, but sent it home after around 1/3 of the way.

Generally, Europe (from Germany to the Balkans and Greece) was the most expensive, but Turkey wasnt far off. Iran, Pakistan, and especially India were a lot cheaper (India was dirt cheap), Thailand and Malaysia possibly a bit more expensive than India (but still very cheap compared to Europe!) and Indonesia was about on par with India, so highly recommendable to move fast through Europe, and stay longer in that region (between India & Indonesia) to keep the costs down. Camping could make it considerably cheaper in Europe or in Oz, but in many parts of Asia I simply wouldn´t bother, accommodation is so aplenty and so cheap.

Australia felt very expensive right after Indonesia, but I think was in fact a bit cheaper than Europe. (We did another trip to the western side of the US in 2009, and I think it was a tiny bit cheaper there than in Oz, but remember we come from the Euro zone, so the picture might look a bit different depending on exhange rates - Euro to dollar has changed a lot from that time already!)

Freighting the bike and flying ourselves is something most people end up doing a lot on that trip, because first of all the difficulties to get into China or Burma, then the sea between Asia and Australia, and then finally to get out of Oz (getting back home in our case).

The estimated breakdown of freighting and flying on this trip:

- Chennai->Kuala Lumpur->Bangkok, Jan-08, Malaysia Airlines MASKargo, on an open crate, about 600EUR +total 400EUR for our own flight tickets.

- Malaysia to Indonesia, the bike on an onion boat and us on a speedboat... can´t remember exactly, but it´s pretty cheap over there, so I guess about 200EUR probably got us all into Indonesia.

- Bali->Perth with Qantas, March-08 (this wasn´t planned, but needed to be done, because all hell had just broken loose in East Timor, from where we could´ve shipped the bike much cheaper to Darwin by sea, but were running out of time, so couldn´t wait for that to settle down, and couldn´t wait 5 weeks for seafreight from Bali either)... the bike on a closed crate, about 1200EUR (the plane on the direct route couldn´t swallow a package this big, so it had to make a nice detour via Melbourne, flight time went from 3 to 10 hours!) And again we payed about 400EUR for the direct flights for two.

- Sydney->Helsinki, bike by sea on a closed crate, forwarded by Tradelanes in Melbourne, only about 700EUR. Our own flights home via Tokyo were about 1000EUR each (probably possible to get 200-300 cheaper, but with more stops on the way, and taking much longer).

(So as you can see, we spent a bit less than 3000EUR for the above mentioned transport over the seas between India and Oz, and then again about the same amount, to get the bike and us home from Sydney).

All visas, the carnet (mandatory on this trip), and other required papers probably cost in the region of 700-800EUR total. And we didn´t spend a whole lot on entrance fees to sights, didn´t participate on many tourist trips while staying somewhere. And weren´t looking for classy accommodation (but also stayed out of the worst ratholes!) and we usually ate in local places. Especially in Europe & Oz, we often bought something to eat in the evening from the shops.

The "grande totale" of this trip, including all those mentioned above, and our costs of living + bike maintenance + fuel = everything, was about 15000-16000 EUR (or 7500-8000 per head).

And we stayed away for 182 days, so that means we spent about 41-44EUR per head per day, when including all freighting, flying, papers and everything.

Or if leaving everything else out, and calculating only our costs of living + bike maintenance + fuel, it looks like we spent about 24-26EUR per head per day.

And you probably could bring that figure down a bit by camping and cooking your own food, especially in Europe, US and Oz.

TravellingStrom 23 Mar 2011 10:27

You don't mention beer!!!

lockyv7 23 Mar 2011 11:59

I have been to Europe the last two years and yes you can eat in a restaurant in Paris cheaper than you can eat in a pub in Australia now.

TurboCharger 23 Mar 2011 12:01


Originally Posted by TravellingStrom (Post 329397)
You don't mention beer!!!

LOL. I think 1/4 or my budget was on beer and I still lost weight!

Over 11 months travelling from Sydney, Australia to Oslo, Norway, 2up on 1 bike back in 2009 all included the trip cost too much to tell here. Not that I have any regrets, quite the opposite but I don't like to discuss big $$$ on public places. Call me old fashioned...

What I will say is the the 44,000kms we travelled we spent Approx AUD$2,666.88 only on fuel (approx because of the exchange rates). We kept log of every time we filled up the bike to track how expensive fuel was in each country.

On average all expenses included we spent for both of us AUD$100 per day. RBTL.

When I say all it includes EVERYTHING. Parts, accommodation, beer, food, tourism etc.bier

Oops did I just contradict myself?? :innocent:

mcgiggle 23 Mar 2011 13:05

UK-India-UK 270 days (150 days in India)27000 miles, 2 people, 2 bikes, cheap hotels, street food or cafe's, 1 set tyres each and chain sprockets sets. flight and shipping 1 bike from north Pak to Goa. Oh yeah both big drinkers! spent much more on beer than on food.
£75 ($120 US) per day for the 2 of us.

Wheeee! 23 Mar 2011 14:40

For Developed countries and 'touristy countries I would budget euro150 a day just to cover petrol and miscellaneous costs. Less developed countries 100.

You also need to have some contingency for breakdowns and replacement parts. If you are off the beaten track then you might well have to ship parts in and this will easily take a week so that's another say 500euro in subsistence -not counting parts shipping and labour. For South America, I remember reading about a traveller having to ship their bike to BA to the dealer and then having to wait for parts to arrive in. Similarly parts are sometimes only shipped to major cities so you might have to travel hundreds of miles to check if parts have arrived and/or collect them. This is hard enough without adding the extra worry of not having the funds to get the bike fixed.

Given the choice, I would save and have a generous budget rather than goining sooner and counting every cent all the time. If you know you have the money, you will relax and enjoy yourself more. When you're short of cash, you spend the whole time trying not to spend money.


mark manley 24 Mar 2011 06:41

I spent most of 2007 touring Africa so this is a little out of date but not including shipping, insurance or things like rafting or diving my costs were about $1,000 per month. This included petrol, usually 50 US cents per litre, cheaper hotels, hostels or camping $10-15 a night, cooking my own food where possible or using cheap restaurants, a few beers and visas. I thought this was about as cheap as it could be done and still have some pleasures, money could have been saved with a more economical bike, my ageing BMW only does 50 miles per UK gallon.
I hope this is helpful.

mtncrawler 24 Mar 2011 22:31

I don't have any useful information in terms of dollars/day for a trip like this, I only thought it was curious that your trip plans, sound just like what I'm conspiring (at least up to and through Africa) - my plans aren't quite as mature as yours, so I'll be listening in on this thread.

I know there a few good, recent, ride reports over on ADVRider.com too - especially covering the Prudoe Bay/Ushuaia/SA portion. If you haven't already pinged folks over there yet, it might be a good resource.

Are you planning a departure this summer up north? Any travel blogs or sites setup yet to track your travel progress? Where are you in CO?

GL with your plans and trip!


ta-rider 25 Mar 2011 23:30


Traveling can be really cheap if you are doing wild camping. Yes you can do wild camping in Europe as well as in Africa etc. You have to calculate about $100 per Country for Visa and about $1,20 Euro per Liter petrol. Therefore your average cost per day are depending on the millage you want to travel.

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

Have fun, Tobi

tmotten 26 Mar 2011 01:01

I've just worked out a prelim cost for our trip from Cape Town to Holland and for 2 including tyres, flights, shipping, hotels, food, petrol for the distance, oil, visa's, general living expenses, etc, it came to AU$45000.

Food I calculated as US$40/day pp which is probably conservative in Africa and a bit under in Europe, 4 hotels per week @ US$60/night just as a contingency. This can be savings during the trip by camping more if you spend more elsewhere. Fuel in Africa US$1.15 and US$2.5 in europe with a usage of 21km/l.

It's pretty simple really. Just be honest to yourself and don't freak out about the price. I use to always go to myself, surely not that much. But end up coming heaps short. The second trip it was about right. A friend of mine went to Europe for a 5 week holiday and rented a car or two, stayed at 3 star places and it cost him AU$25k. Trips are expensive.

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