How much $$$ for approx year long trip around the US?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by jackc1027, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    Dude, I thought I was being clever with the "woofing" thing... now I just feel dumb again for the first time the second time around again.
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  2. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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  3. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Been here awhile

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    I went 'walkabout' for over 3 months, in 2011 and put on over 21,000 miles. (July 1 - Oct 6)
    Out of that, I held up in a motel for a total of 5 nights. The rest of the time I camped at Forest Service campsites mostly, some A.C.E., BLM and a couple of free NP/city campgrounds, or stayed at friends places. I cooked a lot of my meals, but I also ate in restaurants at times, as well.

    Total inclusive cost for the trip, including a new set of tires was < $4,000 , but I think I could have easily shaved $4 - $500 off of that if I tried

    I based my initial cost calculations on a spreadsheet program I found on the site - here - Not sure if it still works or not though.
    It worked out that I spent less that what it calculated, but I ended up staying at places that were free (campsites/friends places) more than what I had initially figured.It does give you a pretty good starting point on overall costs.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Dusty
    #23
  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    In my experience, fuel will be your biggest expense.

    Also, experience helps. As does necessity. If you hit the road without a lot of money, you quickly figure out how not to spend it.

    My least expensive long-term motorcycle trip was in 2007 when I traveled through parts of North and Central America for about three months. I spent just under $25 per day. At the time, gas was running about $2.50 per gallon or less, and I averaged about 270 miles per day. Fuel was more than half my daily budget.\

    For what it's worth, for that trip, I had a big chunk of time and very little money. I left my house without much of a plan and $2000 in my pocket. When the money ran out, my trip was over.

    More recently, my motorcycle trips through the US and Canada (again, averaging about 275 miles per day) cost me around $40 per day, again, fuel being about half my daily costs, though I've been a little less concerned with budget on those shorter trips.

    My opinion is that for an experienced budget traveler on a motorcycle, $20 per day would be the very minimum. Depending on your daily mileage and ability to stick to your goal of camping for free and cooking your own ramen noodles each day, I'd plan on at least $25-$30 per day, and that'd probably be cutting it close.

    What kind of bike do you have?

    Jamie
    #24
  5. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    It really depends how you travel and what you want to do during your travels.

    Ultimately, there are people surviving on $0/month here, living on the street and begging for food. That's the baseline. Camping and supermarket food will be super cheap and your only expense is fuel.

    But if you want a helicopter tour of the NYC skyline, raft down Colorado River, do a scenic skydive in the Rockies, take some climbing classes at Yosemite, or whatever- things can add up very fast.
    #25
  6. MarGyver

    MarGyver Ruteros De Chiapas

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    Make that trip around Mexico, and you will be able to ride for 2 years with the same amount... :wink:
    #26
  7. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    When I did my longest ride, into Mexico, I budgeted $100 per day. That is a full day of riding and real food. I camped a lot, but was not on a ramen diet, and used motels when it got cold.

    I had $3000 so figured I could stay out 30 days. I was able to save enough to extend my trip another 3 weeks, but I did dip into my reserve, from home, when I encountered very cold weather and used motels. Anyhow, I averaged about $75 a day while traveling. I had a week of sitting still or low mileage days. Sitting still lowers the average quite a bit, as does low mileage days.

    The cost of gas and food has gone up quite a bit in the last few years.
    #27
  8. Stan Dalone

    Stan Dalone Gotta get me somma dat

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    The end of june 2013 my GF and I are hitting the road for a year also. Were not spring chickens, well, one of us isnt. I am gonna be 50, she is gonna be 30!!
    We have several pre-paid planned mini vacations built into our trip, ( 10 day cruise to Alaska, 7 night stay at a time share in Cabo for Xmas 2014.
    We plan on being in the $75 a day range, so it will ad up quickly. We dont plan to live large,then again, we dont want to say no to anything that arises, but fuel, sleeps, foods, entertainment, its not for nothing when your away from your regular comfort zone.
    Our total budget for the year, considering we expect to have some days that cost less, and some that cost more, we have $35,000 set asise for the dream adventure of our lifetime.
    #28
  9. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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  10. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    wow.... all this reading has now motivated me to save up money and travel too...arggg

    hmm maybe get 10k, and ride the US for a year..?


    im determined now !!

    So I did some math. Would 15,000 dollars last me a cheap year riding the 50 states ?

    That's be a saving of $241 biweekly until June 2015=15k ish
    #30
  11. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Been here awhile

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    In planning for my 3 month tour, I budgeted roughly $15/night camping, $25/day food and $35/day fuel = $75/day.
    Depending on your and your bike's 'appetite', you can shave $15/day off of that. My bike averages 35mpg and I eat twice/day, most my own cooking.
    In reality ..... because I spent a total of 3+ weeks staying at friends places, resulting in not doing much riding during those 3+ weeks and spending another total of 2+ weeks at various meet n greets with reduced riding and finally finding quite a few free campgrounds, it worked out to roughly $45/day :deal



    Dusty
    #31
  12. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    I am slowly planning to save up $15 k by April if June 2015 and take 6 months to ride as much of the lower 48 states in that period. What do ya think ? Enough bread ? Or need more
    #32
  13. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Been here awhile

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    Should be enough if camping ..... not enough if motelling it, based at an average of $65/night ($11,895) plus food, plus gas, plus tires/repairs etc.
    Got to look at the whole picture for cost.



    Dusty
    #33
  14. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    i just used the spread sheet listed above (thanks for the link) and came up with $16K for a 20K mile/6 month trip. I went high on the lodging numbers so that should cover emergencies I think. Out west camping can be very inexpensive or free, on the east coast, not so much and finding free camping in the east is harder. 20K miles over 6 months works out to 111 miles a day which is a nice pace for an extended trip I think. On 2-3 week vacation trips I usually average 350 miles a day and feel rushed the whole way.
    With your budget you're gonna have to earn money along the way. $3600 will get you started but won't last long. Go for it and just figure it out along the way. Good luck.
    #34
  15. kels

    kels Adventurer

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    I think 75 dollars a day would be a good estimate.
    A lot of days, you will be well under that, but it would
    give you a surplus for any of lifes little emergencies.

    If it works out, your trip might be a little longer.
    If the weather goes bad or you have major bike issues
    it may not last long. Mostly luck of draw, and if the
    highways gods smile on your trip.

    Since I like a HOT shower in the morning,
    I look towards campgrounds with showers.
    I normally budget closer to 100 dollars a day.

    Good luck
    #35
  16. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    No beer I assume unless yer planning on mooching, how bout hookers & blow ?

    while many times I have come back from trips only spending small amounts, for the times that I have spent my whole budget amount, I'm glad it was there

    I separate bike cost and personal cost, I have a known cost per mile, (45ยข for my V-strom 1000) then I estimate room/meals/entertainment separate, while some places you can find free or cheap camping, just as often, its $32/nite just to set up a tent and walk a quarter mile to a toilet & shower, and for a room, $100 a nite is more common the $50 a nite
    #36
  17. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

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    One of the bigger expenses will be doing things. There isn't a whole lot thats "free" in the USA as far as activities go. If you just want to ride around the country for a year and live in a tent it could be done for about $20 a day as long as you aren't a picky eater and dont put huge mileage on everyday. Shit adds up quick though, a six pack here, admission to something there, etc....spread out over a year can easily be thousands of dollars.

    ETA free legal camping east of the Mississippi can be hard to come by compared to the western states
    #37
  18. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Been here awhile

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    :lol3 Ya, right! You should try it some year!! It costs me $18+ to fillup, .... never mind campground, food etc :huh
    #38
  19. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

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    I have spent enough time on the road with no money. You can eat for about $5 a day (less if have have room to buy larger quantities of things). One of the biggest money wasters is gas station crap ie bottled water soda coffee snacks etc.
    When traveling you don't ride 300 miles everyday, once I find a place or area I like I'll spend some time there maybe a few days maybe weeks, that alone saves a good chunk of money. Somedays I'd spend $100 and somedays I'd spend nothing, it averages out. The key is not paying for anything that you can do/get for free, no $5 truck stop showers, no developed campgrounds, do your laundry in a sink or stream somewhere
    Being a likeable social person helps a ton it can get you fed, drunk, laid, a warm bed and hot shower tips on where to go and what to see all for free.
    #39
  20. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Good points. Carry a camelback, water is free in every convenience store. Private campgrounds can be much cheaper than state/national parks and KOA's. Public pools for showers can be as little as a buck or two.
    #40