That is a very good question and the answer depends on a multiple of factors.
When you leave the borders of your continent, riding a motorcycle in order to cross the whole planet or a substantial part of it, quantifying the cost is far from easy.
One very valuable source of information is the data provided on some websites, which quite accurately estimate some daily “living” costs, such as “food and overnight accommodation”, distinguishing them according to a low, medium or high budget. But here’s some other helpful advice.
Travelling prepared is a commandment that needs to be followed by any motorcycle traveler. Unforeseen circumstances (named as such because they are always unexpected), whilst taking several months to travel through unknown geographic areas, can always happen. From a severe mechanical problem, to insurmountable bureaucratic obstacles, to the theft of a vehicle or luggage, to a road accident …The important thing is to carefully evaluate any risks before leaving home and above all, ensure that the desire for adventure does not overpower rationality. Having a lack of funds whilst on the road and having no-one ready to help finance a return home is a situation that can be avoided with a reasonable and preventive budget plan.Departing with a perfectly set-up bike, the right luggage and the necessary visas to enter the countries on a planned itinerary, will make it possible to narrow down the field of expenditure-related items. For example, on the web, we can access country specific daily information regarding fuel costs at the pump. How much fuel will affect the total budget can be estimated with a good degree of advance calculation. And even the costs of any air or sea transfers that in the motorcycle world are always present, can be known precisely, in advance.
AROUND THE WORLD TOURS (aroundtheworldtours.com) available in both Italian and English is a portal specialising in AROUND THE WORLD TOURS (not only for motorcyclists) which, in the FAQ area, dispenses a series of useful tips and links for motorcyclists. Traveling in North America costs more than travelling in Africa is an urban myth that can affect a set budget on a daily basis in a variable way, depending on the predetermined lifestyle to be enjoyed whilst on the road. On this specific point we focus our report on suggesting some interesting tips found on the net.
HOSTELING INTERNATIONAL (hihostels.com) Join them and book your way, using your account. Also particularly interesting is their blog (blog.hihostels.com) which is full of information and updates regarding the world of hostelling. The “Destination Guides” area allows users to download PDF guides for many countries around the world. Some examples of hostel prices: Bangalore in India starts at €1.39 per night for 8 people. In Namibia we are at €14.49, in Brisbane, Australia we climb to €19.50 and in New York we reach €54.
BACKPACKER BUDGET (backpackerbudget.com) intuitively invites the visitor to 1) Select the country they wish to visit, 2) Configure the way to calculate a budget 3) Print the result or save it as a PDF document. The Backpacker Budget website is constantly at work and follows world cost trends with regard to a range of daily expenses that include dormitory accommodation, eating like a local, drinking alcohol (moderately) and the occasional purchase of a ticket to a local attraction. The image features an example budget that enables a visitor to “live” for 21 days between Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam with just over 400 Euros.
ADVENTURE RIDER (advrider.com) has many topics on offer, including a discussion relating to the costs of a motorcycle trip around the world.
XE (xe.com) provides “real-time” exchange rates for all the coins in the world and also for transferring funds should it be necessary.
BUDGET YOUR TRIP (budgetyourtrip.com) Is a site which is updated weekly and features details on all the costs associated with a stay (mainly relating to food and lodging with the addition of extra items such as entertainment, local transport, tours etc) in any country of the world. The interesting thing is the choice between Cheap, Mid-range and Luxury, and the currency conversion. In the image, there is an example of how you can go from $12 for a day in Cambodia to $33 for a Mid-range choice, right up to $90 for the most luxurious options available. The site allows visitors to purchase very low cost PDF country guides for less than $1 which can help with planning a trip.
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When calculating “living” costs a traveler needs to distinguish between the “rich” and “poor” worlds and this should be taken into consideration when deciding on the route for a grand trip. There is also the issue of timing to be considered as crossing richer countries in low season can significantly affect the budget available.
Whilst once again referring to what we find on the web, we can identify those who have a low budget and consequently impose on themselves somewhat limiting solutions (ie hostels, campsites, food purchased in supermarkets and little else) and who calculate the average daily spend to $20 in poor countries and not less than $60 in richer countries. The average budget brings the average daily spend to US$40 and US$90 respectively and would provide accommodation in motels and hostels with breakfast, the possibility to eat in fast food or local restaurants and adds the opportunity to take part in some fun activities a few times a week.
To aim for a high budget means having $80 a day to spend in poor countries and at least $180 in wealthy ones. This enables visitors to stay in decent hotels or B&B’s, choose typical restaurants and buy tickets for museums, events, national parks, etc. Following these theories we have had some fun “checking the budget” and here’s our final conclusion, to be taken with the necessary reservation. Unexpectedly and considering a mix of more or less rich countries, a couple who travel the world for a whole year on a motorcycle sharing the same accommodation, would need approximately $14,000 per person to eat, sleep, go sightseeing and have outings.