Back to top

RTW: Phase 1: Budgeting

I took some time to create a spreadsheet with expected cost. I am planning much faster than I can save money, which causes a lot of excitement, but also makes for disappointment due to not being able to leave sooner. But it will still be a nice realization to have saved for this trip and slowly see it become a reality. Back to the topic on hand though!

I've attached the spread sheet for you guys to see and comment if you so wish (located at the end of this blog).

Fuel cost are minimal and are taken from average cost based on various web sources. A few thousand miles here and there really doesn't add much to the cost. What it does add is the cost of being in the location itself. The total cost to travel around the world on gasoline is a low $2000.00!!! Thats less than an airplane ticket around the world by far!

Housing and Entertainment
The largest cost is housing and entertainment, the housing cost are rough estimates of hotel prices within the region (again, gathered from various internet sources). I am sure that in many locations there will be the opportunity to stay with someone or camp along the way. There will also be cheaper options which include hostels.

For the entertainment column, there are two noticeable things. First is the daily cost of entertainment, I assumed this value based on museum prices, alcohol prices and entry fees into various points of interest, after which I divided the cost by 2. Why? Simply because I don't expect to be doing something everyday. There are several thousand miles to cover via motorbike, so entertainment will likely be closer to 1/3 of the time spent on this trip.

Miles Per Day
I've also calculated the miles per day average, though this number doesn't really reflect much of the reality of riding, I feel like if we had a few hard days of riding and stopped and enjoyed the town or city we were in, we would be most comfortable at 70-100 miles/day pace. For example, I have allocated 40 days in China, with an average of 68 miles/day. In reality, I intend to spend a good amount of time in Beijing and then a good 3 days covering 1000 miles to reach Shanghai, while staying for a week or so, and then moving another 1000 miles to reach Hong Kong for some time. But the average number should be representative of the relaxed paced I could enjoy the trip at.

Shipping the Motorcycles (and yourself)
I've also allocated approximate $4300 for transportation cost. This would include the cost of shipping the motorcycles across continents as well as myself via air transportation. Unfortunately, I am flying across the LARGEST ocean and the cost is quite simply the cost. The going consensus is that you save zilch by going with sea transport. You will often be left without a bike for days and any money saved on sea transportation of the bike will be neglected by the port fees to unload your bike.

Medical is the amount of money I want to be able to produce should I need medical attention. In most countries, medical cost are lower than that in the United States, but you must be able to produce the money before being treated. I assume that the cost is not going to cover anything crazy such as a broken spine or months of therapy (that's what medical insurance is for). But for cost such as a broken bone, flu, etc. This is a spend as needed item and may not be spent at all.

Lastly is the paperwork for visas, carnets, and other misc items.

I also tallied two totals, one is the cost of the trip if entertainment and shipping cost were not involved. You see that the cost is actually quite low, its the added cost of choosing the method of transporting yourself and the motorcycle, as well as the amount of money you wish to spend in the city that really drives the cost up. Ultimately, $30K is what i aim for, though the reality is that I expect to spend much less.

So that's the cost of a trip by myself. Should anyone wish to tag along, the cost could be reduced in terms of housing. We would split the cost appropriately. Also, the upside of traveling with two is that there is a highly adventurous route across Siberia and through the Road of Bones. Its a two week trip into Russia from Mongolia into Magadan (which is a short flight into Alaska). This is the route taken by Long Way Round. It would be cheaper due to the lack of entertainment, but the reward is multitudes greater. I suppose at Magadan, one would be able to fly the bike into a port city in China. This would cut the trip in China short, and reduce the cost. However the additional cost in shipping would probably negate any real savings. Therefore it is probably worth it since there is no net change in cost.

Total Cost Excel Sheet