The Idea of long bike tours always takes my curiosity, tingles me with excitement, and sometimes I start mumping with the excitement. But what is stopping me from actually stepping my feet out is budget. Yes, outdoor long bike trips are expensive, unless you rely on cheap food and sleeping in tents on the open roads.
But when I actually started searching for the things, I can do to save my money on the trips, I finally found many amazing tips and ways.
In this guide, I am going to share with you the ideas of how you can save your money, and start your long bike travel journey on a budget.
Top Budget Travel Tips by Bike:
For cyclists, accommodation is what takes a major chunk of your budget. I have been biking for years and found that not only the motels or hotels but the campsite too are expensive. In some countries including the USA, the campsite tent pitching is as expensive as motel rent for a night. So, for those on budget, a campsite might not be an option to stay in.
So, what can you do for camping, if you are not interested in pitching for the tent at the campsite?
You can roam around the area; I am sure you will find some locals which will be there to help you. Ask any to let you camp for a night or two in their garden. I am sure, they would not refuse, I have done those multiple times, and always found locals very helpful and kind.
But what if there is no population?
Well for that too, you can go stealth camping. You can do stealth camp almost everywhere. You can choose quieter places, places like under the bridges, in the gardens, or near wood. You can check the map, and see the population around, or the green area in your surrounding.
Getting around in a place:
On tours, you mostly would be on your bike. But sometimes you have to use transport to see around, as you can’t take your bike there or there is no paved way to go on a bike.
For that, if you are on a budget, you can use your feet, if it is too long, you can use local buses. Local buses are less expensive, cheaper than cars or dedicated transport you hired to take you to the place.
Touring on the bike by budget, the most important thing is you should pack well. Firstly, if you refrain from packing lots of clothes, you would not be wearing half of what you are trying to pack. Second thing, pack almost anything you can save money on spending or renting on the roads.
Food is the second biggest expenditure after accommodation or transport. As we are on a budget, and we are pedaling miles after miles, we can’t afford to miss food or stay hungry. Rather, we should feast ourselves with a great meal, as we are saving money from accommodation and transportation.
If you are riding your bike through Asia, I am sure you would not have a problem with food even if you have nothing to spend. For foreigners, people mostly don’t charge much. You can eat cheaper foods from the markets and shops, and at some places, there are shops which have to throw food after a certain time period has passed, that food is still eatable and good to go for us.
If it is a harvesting season, you barely have to eat food, as you can pick fruits from the surroundings. Well, if nothing goes well for you, you still can prepare your food and experiment with different recipes. Believe me, it is really fun preparing your food on the open roads and enjoying near true nature.
For the water, especially in Asia, you can ask locals to fill up your water bottles with tap water. Or there can be reservoirs or water stations from where you can fill up your water bottle, mostly free, but if there are charges, they would be almost neglectable.
When you are down the road, things can really go scary sometimes. Expenses that you have not counted, might drain your budget. But, if you have little patience, and don’t get freaked at looking for anything broken, you can fix any situation or anything from your bike to your sleeping bag and storage bag too.
But it is not like you can fix everything from day one, you will have to train yourself for that. You will have to make it a habit to fix anything that goes broken around you, from your door to your electricity thing and like that.
I was not good at fixing my things in starting, it was the trip through the countryside that made me fix almost everything. And believe me, it feels amazing that nothing would go wrong, as you can fix anything.
Washing and Hygiene on the Road:
Hygiene can be one of the most important things and overlooked too. You hardly get time or way to clean and wash, but you have to do that, anytime you get a chance. If you overlook it, you can get skin rashes, infections, and things like that.
If you don’t take good care of your hygiene, you may fall sick, and in the middle of the tour on a budget, you can’t afford expensive doctors and medicines. So, make sure, that you keep all measures to stay healthy and clean.
Yes, you have to wash your clothes down on the roads too. You can’t spend money on washing your clothes, and believe me, it can be expensive. What you can do is, take a DIY washing machine, half fill the waterproof compression bag with the water, put some washing powders, and shake it vigorously from the left to right.
You can be on tours on a budget if you take care of the things mentioned. The biggest expenditure for you would be accommodations, don’t go to the campsite, they are expensive. You can get friendly with the locals, and ask them to let you camp in their garden.
The second biggest expenditure is food, you can stick with your own made food, or go with the options mentioned.
Try to keep yourself healthy and clean, try not to skip your showers or fall sick.