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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

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I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

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May 2008 to April 2010

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Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

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March 2002 to April 2003

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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


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(see all 3 book)

Our bicycle touring travel expenses and budget and how we stick to it

Our bicycle touring travel expenses and budget and how we stick to it

Our bicycle touring travel expenses and budget and how we stick to it.

Setting our budget is easy because we have done this for years and we live on what we make. 

We came up with a solution called the "balanced budget agreement" where we agreed on a daily/weekly/monthly budget and stick to it.

To further complicate things a bicycle touring cycle touring budget also depends on what countries you will be cycling in, what the current exchange rate is between your home countries currency and the one your visiting. 

If you only have a set amound of travel fuds them you can subtract thing off like airfares, bike parts, and other pre trip one time expenses.

All this

 

 (new page)

If Cindie and I can get a room in a develoing country or a camp ground in an expensive country

 

 

Latin America Budgets - link

 

Below we have outlined our budgets we used in the countries we have visited.  Prices are stated in US dollars to avoid the confusion of fluctuating currency exchange rates.  Please remember that we traveled on a shoe string and constantly asked ourselves if we needed what we were buying and stayed on our daily budget.  These numbers may not work for your style of travel or prices can change drastically in foreign countries.


eXTReMe Tracker

$1,000 MONTH
   
year $12,000
week $231
day $33

Budgeting While On a Trip

Budgeting Trip Holiday Budget Budgeting

 

It can be very tricky to predict the daily costs you'll incur while on a trip, and the longer or more extravagant the trip, the trickier it becomes. You can give yourself a head start by booking your travel and accommodation in advance, though this means you'll be less flexible if you were planning on moving around, but if several things are already paid for when you depart you'll have a clearer idea of how much you have left to spend on enjoying yourself.

However, there are always surprises - money can see to evaporate when you're on a trip - so when planning your budget always round up. You'll probably need around one and a half times what you think you'll need.

 

Before You Go

If you know exactly where you want to be and for how long, you can save money by booking flights, trains and accommodation in advance. If there are long distances to be covered you should consider doing overnight flights or trains - not only do you save on accommodation but you save valuable time in the places you want to visit too, if you can handle sleeping in cramped and uncomfortable conditions.

The earlier you book the better a deal you can usually get with regards to both transport and accommodation. Doing a comparison of prices on various accommodation portals can help you get the best deal possible.

Another way to save money if you're planning to stay in one place for more than a week is to go self catering. You can buy food from shops and supermarkets rather than in cafes and restaurants - and you'll have a little more privacy as an added bonus.

Organising your finances before you leave can save you paying extortionate charges and fees for exchanging money. A prepaid foreign currency cash card from one of the major Bureau de Change is a good idea if available in the currency you require, otherwise travellers' cheques are your best bet. It's also a good idea to have internet banking so that you can keep track of things while you're away.

 

While You're Away

You can try to divide your money into the number of days or weeks you have, but you shouldn't be too hard on yourself - you're on holiday remember! Budgeting is not just about self discipline, it's also about spending wisely. Take opportunities when they come along even if it means stretching your finances slightly - you can rough it to make up the difference later on!

If you have credit cards or an overdraft, then you have a safety net in case of emergencies. Using cards for such things as transport and accommodation also helps you to monitor your finances closely and gives you more time to play with. Do be careful at all times however, as identity theft and fraud is a growing problem. Always make sure you know how to contact your bank and card issuer at short notice if any problems should arise - because getting robbed is definitely not conducive to good budgeting!

Eating and drinking off the beaten track will help you avoid the tourist traps and probably discover more about the place and the people. Read up as much as your free time permits you before you go and you'll also find out about cheap deals on public attractions, tours and excursions. Being on the look out for other travellers to share costs with, such as group tours, car hire or even accommodation can also help you cut back on costs provided you feel safe and secure.

You may have to endure some uncomfortable journeys, sleepless nights and poorer quality accommodation than you'd like, but making some small sacrifices in order to stretch your funds when the most appetising experiences come begging is wise spending.


 

Related Articles in the 'Managing Money' Category...

 

Budget for Arizona
(March 30, 2002 - May 13, 2002)

US$21 = day
US$150 = week
US$924 = 44 days
=============

We left with several weeks of food and free camped most nights.

lunch = US$8 - US$15/for two
Camp ground = US$10 -  US$12/night
Hotel = US$30 - US$40/night

Rode 608 miles/979 kilometers


Budget for Mexico
(May 13, 2002 - November 7, 2002)

US$28 = day
US$200 = week (About 2000 Pesos)
US$867 = month
US$2494 = 89 days

==========================

We free camped some (33%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.

Current Mexican Paso Exchange Rate

lunch = US$6 - US$9/for two
Hotel = US$8 - US$15/night

Graph of the Exchange Rate
Mexican Pesos per USA Dollar
During the Six Months While We Were in Mexico

lastsix.png (5009 bytes)

Rode 1,616 miles/2,602 kilometers

 


Budget for Guatemala
(November 7, 2002 - January 7, 2002)

US$19 = day
US$133 = week (About 1000 Quetzals)
US$576 = month
US$1,159 = 61 days
=============================

The exchange rate during the two months while we were there.
US$1 = 7.5 Guatemalan Quetzals
Current Guatemalan Quetzal Exchange Ratet

We free camped some (15%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.

lunch = US$4 - US$8/for two
Hotel = US$3 - US$9/night

Rode 260 miles/418 km


Budget for Honduras
(January 7, 2003 - February 1, 2003)

US$23 = day
US$168 = week (About 1000 Lempiras)
US$576 = 24 days
=============================

The exchange rate during the 24 days while we were there.
US$1 = 14.5 Honduran Lempiras
Current Honduran Lempiras Exchange Rate

We free camped some (37.5%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.

lunch = US$4 - US$8/for two
Hotel = US$6 - US$15/night

Rode 349 miles/562 kilometers


Budget for Nicaragua
(February 1- 20, 2003)

US$25 = day
US$175 = week (About 2500 Cordobas)
US$500 = 20 days (includes a trip to the dentist for Tim and Cindie)
=============================

The exchange rate during the 20 days while we were there.
US$1 = 14.5 Nicaraguan Cordobas
Current Nicaraguan Cordobas Exchange Rate

We free camped some (0%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.

lunch = US$3 - US$7/for two
Hotel = US$2.50 - US$9/night

Rode 290 miles/467 kilometers


Budget for Costa Rica
(February 20, 2003 - April 11, 2003)

US$36= day
US$252= week (About 2500 Colones)
US$1800 = 50 days
=============================

The exchange rate during the 50 days while we were there.
US$1 =480-495 Costa Rican Colones
Current Costa Rican Colones Exchange Rate

We camped some (40%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.

lunch = US$4 - US$10/for two
Hotel/Campground = US$2.00 - US$15/night

Rode 285 miles/458 kilometers


Budget for Panama
(April 11 - 17, 2003)

Panama uses the US dollar as its official currency

US$ 35.72= day
US$ 250= week
US$ 250= 7 days
 


Budget for Ecuador
(June 4- Aug 4, 2003)

Ecuador uses the US dollar as its official currency

US$25 = day
US$175 = week
US$500 = 20 days (includes bus tickets, new sun glasses, and one very expensive room (US$29) in Loja.
=============================

We free camped some (25%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.

lunch = US$2 - US$3/for two
Hotel = US$6 - US$14/night

Rode 432 miles/695 kilometers


Budget for Peru
(August 5 - October 31, 2003)

 

US$20.50 = day
US$145 = week
US$1800 = 88 days.
=============================

We free camped some (8%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time. Lodging is cheap in Peru plus we felt safer inside a hotel room.  We also bought new equipment, replaced our stove, new cables for the bikes, waterproofing for tent and Gore-Tex.  Our friend Karen brought it down to Cusco, thanks.

lunch = US$2 - US$3/for two
Hotel = US$1 - US$9/night

Rode 1,289 miles/2,062 kilometers

Exchange Rate for Peruvian Soles


Budget for Bolivia
(October 31 - December 9, 2003)

 

US$20.50 = day
US$143 = week
US$800 = 39 days.
=============================

We free camped some (23%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.  Camping was much easier in Bolivia. We had one very expensive room near Lake Titicaca, US$35 for the night, it was not worth the extra cost. We bought souvenirs in La Paz and sent them back to the states.  We also bought more water than usual, in some places the water was just not filterable.

lunch = US$2 - US$3/for two
Hotel = US$1 - US$9/night

Rode 496 (197 on dirt) miles/827 (329 on dirt) kilometers

Exchange Rate for Bolivian Bolivianos


Budget for NW Argentina
(December 9, 2003-January 9, 2004)

 

US$26.10 = day
US$182.70 = week
US$800 = 43 days.
=============================

We free camped some (%) and stayed in hotels the rest of the time.  Camping was much easier in Bolivia. We bought souvenirs in La Paz and sent them back to the states.  We also bought more water than usual, in some places the water was just not filterable.

lunch = US$ - US$/for two
Hotel = US$ - US$/night

Rode 1,018  (102 on dirt) miles/ 1,642(165 on dirt) kilometers

Exchange Rate for Argentinean Peso


Budget for Chile
(January, 23, 2004 - February 19, 2004)

 

US$31 = day
US$217 = week
US$870 = 28 days.
=============================

We free camped some (10%) and stayed in hotels and campgrounds the rest of the time.  We were stuck in the town of Cunco while we waited for a new hub to be sent to us from the US.  This took a week.  We also stayed at a room at a hot spring for $25 a night.

lunch = US$6 - US$9/for two
Campground - Hotel = US$6.83 - US$38/night

Rode 294 (170 on dirt) miles/ 490 (284 on dirt) kilometers

Exchange Rate for Chilean Peso


 

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