How to Travel on a Motorcycle with a Minimal Budget

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When you go on a tour, the main things you spend money on are fuel, food, and a place to stay. There’s also a fourth important cost: taking care of your motorcycle.

First of all, identify what are your basic expenses that are out of your control. For instance, you can’t do much about fuel prices and your bike’s fuel consumption at a certain speed. However, you can save a lot on food and accommodation.

Let’s check what bad habits drain your budget the most.

Worst Mistakes That Blow Your Budget

#1 Buying coffee and food at petrol stations

You can easily overspend on petrol stations buying coffee and fast food. On average it will cost you 5 euros per stop and imagine doing it every 2-3 hours. That is an additional 20 euros per day.

How to fix it? First of all, get yourself a good Thermos and a Stove. This will pay off after 4 days. Prepare food yourself in the morning use the stove to boil water and make yourself a full thermos of hot tea for the day. A good thermos will easily keep tee hot for the next 12 hours so you won’t have to buy any hot drinks at petrol stations.

Regarding snacks, buy plenty of walnuts and pistachios in advance in your local store and bring them with you. This way it will be at least 5 times cheaper compared to buying these at a petrol station.

An additional benefit is that you can make rest stops at scenic places and enjoy your tea and snacks there instead of being limited to petrol stations.

#2 Eating in Cafe or restaurants

Use a Stove to cook food for yourself on the go. I recommend using freeze-dried food. This is a specific food that is cooked and then it is quickly frozen and put into the vacuum chamber to get all the frozen water out. This way food keeps all its nutrients, fibers, and vitamins. This is what cosmonauts eat in space as they can’t have an open fire to cook food the regular way. All you have to do is add hot water and your meal is ready. These don’t take much space so you can easily pack 2 weeks of freeze-dried food and you won’t have to eat out.

#3 Using paid roads

No need for explanations here. Some paid roads cost 50 euros to go 100 kilometers, which is insane. Set your Waze settings to avoid paid roads. Thats it!

Open the Waze app >> Go to Settings >> Tap “Navigation” >> Turn “Avoid toll roads” on.

#4 Staying in Hotels

Stay in Hotels only if you need to do the washing. I tend to stay in Hotels only once a week. For me, this is enough. Most of the time I go camping. A good tent with a good sleeping mat and sleeping bag will do a job as well as a basic Hotel for a fraction of the cost.

#5 Not preparing your motorcycle for the trip in advance

Any unexpected repair will cost significantly more in a foreign country than in your own garage. Always bring simple and small parts like spark plugs, wheel bearings, brake pads, and tire repair kit with you. Make them part of your motorcycle toolbox. Trust me, trying to find a replacement wheel bearing in a foreign country and replacing it may become a two-day quest.

Basic maintenance like engine oil, air filter, chain, sprockets, and tires should be replaced before the trip. This way you won’t have to think about it as you ride, nor you will have to spend your money in an expensive country. If your travel route is over 15000 kilometers – plan for tire and oil replacement in advance and choose a cheaper country to do it. Don’t service your bike in Switzerland =).

Bottom Line

Traveling on a budget is all about not wasting money on things you don’t need. Little daily expenses add up and can easily double your total expenses. Your trip won’t become less enjoyable without junk food. And choosing camping instead of a hotel will add to trip authenticity as well as make more memories.

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