Determining Your Bike Tour Budget

Determining Your Budget

Determining a budget for a bike vacation may not seem simple, but it can be.  Different types of tours include varying expenses. There is usually not a one size fits all solution for vacationing cyclists.  You should start by figuring out what your budget for a vacation should be.  

What You Should Understand

Some companies offer all-inclusive bike tours that cover airfare, accommodations, food, transportation, and guide fees. However, there are still additional costs for travelers to factor in such as health insurance, extra money for sight seeing, and souvenirs.

Sometimes companies cover certain meals, while others are not. Additionally,some companies offer a free night for participants, but the catch is that the participants must spring for their own hotel rooms on that particular night. It is best to call ahead of time and ask for a break down of typical expenses, because every company is different. Experienced cycling tour companies should be able to provide some simple guidelines.

Be sure not to overlook additional miscellaneous charges that won’t be covered in any package. Visas, passports, ATM fees, credit card charges, and admission fees often catch cyclists off guard. Savvy vacationers should factor these costs in ahead of time in order to avoid any nasty surprises.  We've provided additional detail on What You Need to Know on this page.

All-Inclusive Guided Bike Tours

At first glance some cyclists may shy away from engaging in an all-inclusive bike tour. The total sticker price may appear to be shocking, but all things considered, most often these costs would be the similar for most bike tours since many costs involved with a cycling vacation aren’t readily apparent.  First and foremost are the costs of transporting your bike, and then having the appropriate maintainence/repair gear available.  Factor in how much more you can get out with the great planning and guides a bike tour operator can provide, and you can understand why many who initially are resistant to doing a guided tour end up finding it to be a no-brainer.

In the luxury category, bike tours can be fabulously indulgent.  Tours offered by Duvine Adventures cost between $4500-$5500 depending on destination and other factors. Fabulous meals with wine are included as well as guides, accommodations, logistic (e.g. van support) and activities such as vineyard visits and wine tastings.   Similarly, Butterfield & Robinson and Backroads offers bike tours for cyclists ranging from $3000-$6000. Numerous destination types are covered, many of which include exotic destinations. You're paying a premium for planning, customer and logstics.  There are many local operators as well that provide high touch service.

There are other all-inclusive tours with support, accomodations and meals, but at slightly lower price point.  VBT is a popular choice for cyclists that still feels luxurious but a bit less indulgent. The trips usually cost around $3,000 and include some exotic destinations as well as some popular local choices. Riders typically cover more of their meals and accomodations will be 3/4-star rather than 5, but they can still benefit from the knowledge and experience of their assigned guides.  Many VBT trips offer an airfare bundle that can support savings as well.

Self-Guided Bike Tours
Some daring cyclists prefer having a little more control over their cycling trips and any costs associated. Self-guided tours are an excellent option for budget conscious cyclists with a higher level of experience. Many companies specialize in facilitating self-guided tours while some cyclists prefer to go it alone with little outside intervention.

Cyclists who’ve been on almost every tour imaginable sometimes prefer to engage in these types of tours, since they already have all the inside information on distant happenings and locations. These cyclists must plan appropriately and make reservations for accommodations as needed. In most cases, these types of tours may end up costing as much as guided tours when all costs are factored in. It just depends on the location and other extraneous factors.

Bike vacations can be as frugal or as costly as one intends for it to be. Budgeting can make for a luxury vacation on a limited budget, depending on what costs may be added or deducted from leisure activities. The possibilities are endless.  We've provided a packing guide for those who want to go this route.

Common Expenses


Common expenses that most cyclists incur include:

  • Airfare
  • Accomodations
  • Food
  • Travel Health Insurance
  • Souveneirs
  • Sightseeing
  • Guide Fees
  • Transportation
  • Bike Maintenance