Sticker price on a bike tour isn’t usually all-inclusive. The costs involved for cycling vacations can vary a great deal by tour providers and locations. The good news is there are bike tours intended for every budget imaginable, and many additional costs can be reduced and controlled. Some of the additional expenses involved in taking a bike vacation, in order from most to least costly are:
Find Out if Food is Included
Many of the higher end tours offered by Duvine and Butterfield & Robinson offer food themed tours where many meals are included in the price. Breakfasts and Dinners are usually covered, but cyclists must fend for themselves for lunch time meals.
Food and wine themed tours that have food included can be costly, but who doesn’t want to sample the local cuisine in far off places? Experiencing an all-inclusive food themed cycling vacation is a pleasant treat especially after a long day of cycling.
The costs of any food that isn’t covered on a cycling tour is a daily expense that can cost as little or as much as a cyclist wishes to spend. In some areas (such as Mexico) the food is very inexpensive. In places like Tuscany and France, the food prices can run extremely high. In most places there is room for negotiation. However, this isn’t unilaterally true. Find out about food costs and cultural customs before traveling to a destination in order to develop a realistic food budget.
Are Accommodations Part of the Package?
Sometimes accommodation prices are included in the package for a guided bike tour. A luxury bike tour, for instance, will usually include the cost for accommodations. However, a guided bike tour doesn’t always offer all-inclusive accommodations and cyclists must cover their own expenses out of pocket.
Many tours offer cyclists the option to have a free night away from the group. In some cases, accommodations for this free night aren’t covered. It’s best to find out beforehand if the trip has one of these nights planned when considering a travel budget.
Some of the most popular accommodation options are:
Cyclists who choose self-guided tours often choose to go camping. Camping allows cyclists to enjoy the surroundings of any location up close and personally. Camping is usually an option that anyone can take advantage of at cheap rates. Camp sites are often available for as little as $3 per night.
If there are no available campgrounds, or if the area isn’t safe for camping, hostels are often an option. In South America, cyclists can often find a cozy hostel bed available for $5-$10 a night. Most cyclists who choose to use hostels are traveling on a self-guided bike tour.
There are hotels available in almost every city, and prices can vary greatly. Popular destinations can be extremely expensive, even for budget hotels. However, there are some great deals for accommodations to be had in more remote locations.
It can work out better for cyclists to choose companies that offer all-inclusive packages. Both DuVine and Butterfield & Robinson appear to have a huge price tag, but cyclists should factor the unstated costs of hotel rooms and chateaus in lower end tours could work out to be just as expensive as all-inclusive tour when everything is said and done.
Most cycling tour companies include the cost of a van in with the total trip price. The van usually holds the belongings and luggage of traveling cyclists. Additionally, vans can assist in transport through areas where cyclists may not be able to travel. In some cases, cyclists may have to avail themselves of other means of transportation in times of emergency or if a van isn’t provided.
Ferries are a common expense for riders in some areas.When traveling by ferry, riders are often gouged for bike storage because a company may have a stranglehold on the transportation in that area. These types of companies can usually set any rate they want. This is one reason that cyclists should keep a financial cushion available for unexpected expenses that may happen.
Don’t Forget Those Miscellaneous Fees & Charges
Tour Guide Tips
The cost of tipping the guides is almost never included, and can typically run several hundred dollars are Euros depending on the type of trip and the attention you received.
In certain regions, cyclists may wish to visit local landmarks, tourist attractions, rivers, and mountains. Sometimes admission fees are charged for entrance to these venues.
Different locations may charge various fees for entering the country. Cyclists should be prepared to pay unexpected fees by keeping some funds on hand. Mexico is notorious for their $20 entry fee charged to tourists entering the country by land.
ATM/Credit Card Fees and Exchange Rates
In addition to any fee your bank may charge, international banks usually charge about $1.50-$3.50 per transaction. Cyclists should attempt to minimize bank transactions to save money.
In most cases, cyclists find out that all-inclusive tours offer better prices overall. Who can argue with the luxurious accommodations at four star hotels and villas? With food and other amenities included, cyclists can spring for a trip to the spa after a long ride, and spend their bike vacation time in the lap of luxury.