RTW Costs 3.0

Let’s talk about money…RTW costs, that is!

I try and keep real-world costs on a year by year basis, was very lax in the first five years but the last three it has become part of the daily routine and actually helps in being more aware where the money goes and trying to have realistic day to day costs.

I read of other riders doing the same, some seem very accurate where some seem to exaggerate with outrageous high or low amounts, and when questioned get very defensive, where others just simply don’t care at all and just say it is what it is. So, I guess I’m somewhere in the middle ground.

For reference, the previous year’s posts are below

Money 1.0 is HERE – 2016
Money 2.0 is HERE – 2017

…but as a brief description,

2016 was two people one bike (Super Tenere) and a yearly daily avg. of $65.86
2017 was two people one bike for a 1/3 of the time then two bikes and a daily avg. of $65.33
2018 was two people, two bikes and a daily average of $69.69

So how did 2018 break down?

I track four simple categories – fuel/ food/ lodging and miscellaneous first three are self-explanatory the miscellaneous covers everything that isn’t in the first three categories. Parts, repairs, border fees, entrance fees, replacement gear, insurance, medical insurance etc.

the reason solely for the increase in cost year over year was taking two bikes to Cuba and the related shipping costs, if instead we had simply ridden down to Panama and crossed the Darian the normal route 2018 would have actually worked out cheaper than both ’16 and ’17 by a dollar or so a day.

Averages were

Fuel costs – $2342.28 or $3.21 per day, per bike
Food costs – $8539.41 or $11.70 per day per person
Lodging costs – $7261.06 or $9.95 per day per person
Misc. costs – $7294.04 or $9.99 per day per person (Cuba skewed this number)

So if you skip back to Jan 1, 2018, and review where this ride report took you as a single rider it all could have been done for $12.720.25 (or $34.85 a day) for a year on the road riding thru US/ Mexico/ Guatemala/ Cuba/ Colombia/ Ecuador and Peru

in those 365 there were 69 nights of wild camping, staying with friends or comped rooms, so zero cost. I DO NOT live on noddles on a daily basis, I like a steak, I like a beer or three, I pick nicer places to stay, I DO NOT EVER STAY IN DORMS or shitty hippie hostels

I like to tell you all this stuff not to brag but to share information because there is this illusion that riding RTW is a pastime for the rich, and I AM NOT RICh by any means, but from these numbers, you can see it is more than doable.


5 thoughts on “RTW Costs 3.0

  1. Did you have a budget or just go with it?

    What’s up with the sub $4 a day gas budget?

    What would you do differently?

    Thanks for doing this.


    1. I had a budget for 2 riders (combined) for the Americas of $75 p.d. and for Europe $82 p.d. this is from years of experience, knowing these amounts are more than enough per day…and then of course try and beat them.

      I have no idea how/ why you think I have a $4 a day budget for gas? Gas costs are what they are and, most of the time cannot be any lower as with the other costs, shopping around to find better deals, generally not possible with fuel.

      The average of the total spent over the entire year divided by 365 calculates out to $3.21 per day for fuel…simple as that.

      Here’s another way to see how that $3.21 came about if you look here – https://rtwpaul.com/route/


  2. I love this bit:
    “I DO NOT live on noodles on a daily basis, I like a steak, I like a beer or three, I pick nicer places to stay, I DO NOT EVER STAY IN DORMS or shitty hippie hostels.”

    Thanks for the write up.


  3. 2019 will it be one person or two? just nosey! Ride on we met at ox 2017 I was staying at dustys campsite.


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