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Author Topic: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!  (Read 3118 times)

petervanglabbeek

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Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« on: January 10, 2010, 01:09:12 AM »
Hello cyclists,
I have noticed in my travels that many people understand that cycling in developing countries can be cheap. But almost everyone thinks that in rich western countries traveling for a long time is hard to afford. This is not true. In many occasions I found traveling in richer countries cheaper. The only thing is that it depends on your choices. If you use accommodation and eat in restaurants, then it is expensive. But if you take a stove with you and look for wild camping spots or use warmshowers and couchsurfing to stay with local people, traveling is basically for free. I traveled once in France for 5 Euro in one month! I have to admit that it was September, harvest season, with lots of food left on the land. In Germany I traveled 3 weeks for 35 Euro, in the Netherlands 2 weeks on 25 Euro, in the US 2 months for 100USD. I am sure that almost everyone can afford this. Don't decide against a bike tour, just because you expect it to be expensive!
Peter
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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 10:40:56 AM »
Hi Peter! I agree on your point, as you probably remember I joined you on our low budget trip to France. Actually I think we spend 10 euro's each in around 20 days so that is a 0,5 euro per day schedule we followed there. After I left you for my solo-trip through Spain, life remained below 1 euro per day, so also there it is possible. I want to add some remarks:

-France is an excellent country for asking old bread at the bakers which is mostly 0,5-1 day old. It is called "Pain Rassis" and they use to give it to you for free in quantities from 0 (if you are unlucky) to 10 kg (if you are lucky). I think a lot of other countries have similar possibilities, but I think you always have to do a little research. In Spain it is called "Pan De Ayer". they throw it away after the end of the day or at the early morning after so the best system is reserving it the day before so that they keep it for you in the morning.

-We also need some vitamins. As Peter told, some months you can pick fruit in the fields, and actually I think this is more than half of the year the case. But, a good second choice is the leftover fruit from the market , fruitstores or small supermarkets.

-For the other stuff you maybe want to go to a supermarket. In a lot of European countries, these are unfortunately closed. But in Spain for example, there is a lively recycling culture. Best times are directly after closing time and sometimes in the middle of the night after they have opened the door for the garbage people how will empty the big containers before the next morning.

-In my opinion not all ways are equally easy or comfortable, but they are all doable. Don't be shy and don't stay at home only because a lack of money. Go out and you will find it :)

petervanglabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 01:25:24 PM »
Hi Geert,
I remember that you were on that trip with me. :)
That was a cool experiment, I thought it was comfortable.
Have fun in Africa!
Peter
Peter van Glabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 02:03:08 AM »
+Best times are directly after closing time and sometimes in the middle of the night after they have opened the door for the garbage people how will empty the big containers before the next morning.+
I agree but the problem many times was, many people were already in a queue for this 'aid' like the poor locals. So after some times I stopped. One time I lost my purse, almost sure by pickpocketing.

And after reading the kind but urgent request in a Belgian fruit-area near St. Truiden not to pick their fruits I felt ashamed. It is not left they pick it later because it has got some growing potential.

But there's a better solution. Just offer them (e.g. the fuit-farmer) to help some hours in the afternoon. Mostly you will be offered to dine and have breafast after it and a place to sleep. Not always in the adolescent son's or daughter's bedroom.
Even sometimes they will pay you something because it's difficult to get fruit-pickers. At the end I had an extra € 85 and many nice contacts with the locals.

NB. I'm curious for more stories about this nightly bread-run and the market-garbage.

biciclown

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 06:38:11 AM »
Normally what I used to do in expensive countries is go out of the town. People are more friendly than in the big city. And if you ask someone to pitch your tent probably he will give you some dinner.
Another tip that helps is to have a big sing in you bike about your tour. They will see that you are in World tour and they will be asking and..., the tea is almost ready for you.
Thailand    (56 countries)71,934 kms and 5 years No stop
www.biciclown.com/ing/index.html
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petervanglabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 05:00:14 AM »
Good tricks biciclown. Definitely the rural areas are easier to find a place to pitch a tent.
I think that in cities people are friendly as well. But it is hard to break through the mask they wear in the streets.
Hospitality networks like couchsurfing are a good way to meet locals even in the most touristy metropoles.
In extremely hospitable countries like Iran or Colombia you can even get invited to stay with people in a busy market in the city center.
Peter
Peter van Glabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 07:40:59 AM »
I like to think that travelling in any country is only as expensive as you (the traveller/tourist) want to make it.

If you want to do these things and still live your lavish western lifestyles that you have become accustomed to then yes touring can be expensive.  Otherwise, if you want to 'get down and get dirty', live life in a minimalistic way, forego all the luxuries, then cycle touring is cheapest by far.

I personally can 'get down and get dirty' for long long periods of time. As I'm sure many of the long term cycle tourers can/do.

I'm only able to post here and surf the net at the moment because I'm house based. As soon as I get on the road again I will only have web access if I can borrow someones pc/lappy or whatever. I might try to find an internet cafe once a month just for a general heads up / contact thing.

Only cheaper method of touring I can think of if hitch hiking and wild camping.
You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, And we can cycle the world as one.

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world...

petervanglabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 03:11:11 PM »
walking might be a little cheaper, no spare parts.
it is slower too, which is good.
i just don't like that pack on my back!
Peter van Glabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 03:55:11 PM »
I've done the walking / hitch hikng scene too. Can be good fun and you get to meet some very interesting people. You also get to meet some right weirdos also. One benefit is riding in some nice vehicles you wouldn't otherwise get to ride in.
You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, And we can cycle the world as one.

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world...

Stephane

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 07:59:24 PM »
I don't necessarily agree that traveling by foot is cheaper. When you walk, you carry much less gear, food, water, etc, which subsequently reduces your autonomy. So you're more likely to spend more money for accomodation, food, and probably transportation (people who travel on foot often hitch-hike and usually take transportation from time to time - and keep in mind that there are many countries in which hitch-hiking is not free, ie. SE Asia). I can't imagine walking and carrying a comfortable tent, a decent pad, a stove, cookware, a warm enough sleeping bag, a variety of food, enough water, a good set of clothing, etc. all in your backpack! And this is just the basics to keep you independent; it doesn't include extra "luxury" items that make traveling more comfortable (book, music, etc.). Surely, there are people who do travel by foot with very minimal gear and manage to spend very little money, but it is certainly something that only a few people can do. Not to mention the fact that traveling by foot and carrying a heavy backpack puts a lot more stress on your body.
Moral: there is nothing like traveling by bicycle!  ;D
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 12:00:15 PM by Stephane »
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umitorhan

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 03:09:53 PM »
Thank youvery much for all the ideas that you shared!
I just love this forum...


One thing that i want to add about walking is that, most long distance walkers does not carry a backpack! Sure they have a pack but it is not on their back, they carry with a vehicle like baby stroller, which has wheels and makes possible to carry a lot of stuff. So in that situation, it might be a lot more cheaper and more sustainable at the same time.
But i think it is too slow! I cant imagine myself walking around the world for 12 years. It might be just amazing but, i dint know, sometimes i want to go fast in the places that makes me feel bad, and want to go slow that makes me happy. Isn't that the thing called life? I cant go through everywhere at the same speed...
That's way i like bike more (for now), it is slow enough to see the land and fast enough to reach a destination...

Umit

petervanglabbeek

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Re: Traveling in Europe is not expensive!
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2010, 04:26:41 PM »
ok, I agree, biking is the best!!!
peter
Peter van Glabbeek