5 Awesome tips for bike touring on a budget | RydBikes
And you are thinking what an absurd title….of course biking is about keeping it within a shoestring budget! In that case we are going to give you a big shock on how sometimes a bike trip can prove to be much more costly than your routine low budget trip. Just because you have a bike to transport you does not mean that you are immune to incurring heavy expenses while planning and executing a biking adventure. Here we share with you instances where your budget can go completely haywire and how to absolutely avoid such a situation!
1. If flying, let the bike go separate way
Biking around a country can definitely save you a moolah. No fuel bills, no dependence on public transport (almost) and your own pace of exploring the heartlands. But let us rewind a little, did you just pay a hefty dollar amount to travel by air? The airlines charge a bomb for extra weight and unless you are just travelling with a baby rucksack, taking your bike along by Air might be stupid. Better thing to do is, book it on courier services like FedEx and DHL and let it arrive separately. You may even look for hiring a bike in the destination country and see how much it costs and how economics work out for you.
2. Look for free stays
Biking surely takes care of your transportation bills, but what about stays? Now a long day biking calls for a well deserved comfortable night stay and shower. Well, we strongly recommend couchsurfing, Airbnb and warmshowers to look for a homestay while planning the trip. Living in tent sounds exciting but once in a while a real bed can make you feel like a baby….snugly and pampered!
3. Free camping sites
If you go to Iceland, most of the places to stay are absolutely costly, so is food and just about everything else. But you know what, you can save tonnes of money on your stay. You can camp just about anywhere in the country. Now similarly, many countries have the option of pitching a tent in a public park, farms etc. The only thing to ascertain beforehand is level of safety your destination affords. Getting mugged is definitely expensive and not worth it!
4. Save on Food
Food constitutes a major part of travel budget. A little carelessness and your budget could go through the roof! Carry a camping stove and such other light equipment that can help you cook your own meals. Shopping for your veggies and meats locally and cooking them is the best way of saving on food. Imagine things you could do with all that money you save!
Let me give you one instance here. Though it was not a biking trip but we were in a very expensive destination, Maldives. We saw a store that stocked imported stuff and was having a discount sale with almost 90% off! We checked with them and realised it was the food items that were expiring by end of the month. We stocked food from this store and going forward always ask groceries to give us discount on items that are heading expiry. Most of the time they are happy to give away the items on heavily discounted rate.
Buying water is not only expensive but also ecologically damaging when you think about the plastic bottles water comes in. Start with research about the country you are headed to and the water quality there. For example, in Switzerland the tap water is safe for drinking. But what do you do in case of countries where tap water might give you a bad case of Cholera? Well carry your own water filter and no, it is not the size of elephant! There are many ultralight and compact water filters right from the one that use Ultraviolet (UV) technology to the kind that filter water to down to 0.1 microns. Boiling water is also a good way of getting water rid of microbes and obtaining drinkable water just about anywhere.
Next time you pick your bike, keep in mind these simple and practical tips that will help you keep your biking trip budget literally to shoestring. All you need to do is a little homework, research and stick to the budget resolutions!
About the Contributor
Sarita Mehra Pandey is co-founder, writer, editor and content manager of Bohotraveller and Investorwhiz. A finance professional by qualification, she is a writer and an avid traveller who is happy to chronicle her own experiences as well as that of others. Get in touch with her on contact@bohotraveller, on Twitter and Facebook.