Accommodation is the one area where costs can quickly escalate. As I plan to be on the road for 12 months, this means that I effectively have to find 365 nights accommodation, and so even a tenner a night soon adds up to several thousands of pounds.
To reduce accommodation costs, I am really hoping that the kindness that people have shown when I have previously cycled will be repeated. I am always amazed at how generous people are to strangers in offering a bed for the night, or somewhere to pitch their tent. Having a safe place to get some rest and recuperation every now and then is always a god send. A website called Warm Showers really epitomises this spirit; people who are willing to host touring cyclists sign up to the website and provide their contact information. Many of the hosts are themselves cyclists, with the main benefit being that they really understanding your needs – getting a hot shower, get the laundry done, and the sharing of a few adventure stories over a cold beer.
So far, I have only had the pleasure of hosting Warm Shower cyclists on their cycle tours through Vietnam, and as yet I have not been on the receiving end of other cyclists hospitality. This part, I am really looking forward too. In preparation for this journey, I have already been in contact with many hosts to find out the best ‘off road’ cycling routes in the areas where they live, and their advice has been invaluable in the planning of my journey.
The majority of the decisions on where to spend each night will be made on the day, and will probably just depend on where I am in the hour before it gets dark. I think that the only times that I will plan ahead is when I am staying with friends/Warm Shower hosts, or I will be having a day or two off the bike and so would like nicer surroundings.
As I will start this cycle from Vietnam in July 2016 then the camping equipment will be kept under wraps for the first couple of months, and only used in ’emergencies’. July coincides with the time when the monsoon season really gets going in South East Asia and the humidity levels rise to the extent that you feel like you are cycling in a sauna. The thought of camping in these conditions is not remotely appealing and so I will only break the tent out as a last resort.
If you plan to come to Vietnam during the dry season then camping is currently springing up all over the place. A recent trend has seen a number of tented eco-resorts pop up where you have the option of staying in cabins or pre-erected tents. The tents come supplied with all that you need – mattress, bedding, and an electric fan. If ‘wild’ beach camping is your thing then I would definitely take a look at Tom’s website – Vietnam Coracle for ideas if you are planning on camping in Vietnam.
Instead of camping in Asia, I plan to take advantage of the wide availability of cheap hotels that you can find everywhere in Asia. In Vietnam, local hotels are advertised as Nha Nghi’s which literally translates as ‘rest house’. They are generally cosy, family-run places with lots of local character. A couple of years ago, I cycled from Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam to Bangkok in Thailand, passing through Cambodia en route. Each country had their own version of the Nha Nghi, and it doesn’t matter if you take the roads less travelled as you can be confident of finding a place to sleep at the end of a long day in the saddle.
Many Nha Nghi’s rent the rooms by the hour for just a few dollars. In Vietnam, this has led to them gaining a reputation as ‘love hotels’ because the majority of young people still live with their families until they are married, and so often make use of the Nha Nghi’s for a bit of privacy. The advantage for the cyclist is that it allows the affordable option of having a nap and a shower during the hottest part of the day, before continuing refreshed in the cooler temperatures of the late afternoon.
Once I leave Asia, and fly to New Zealand, South America and Europe then the price of accommodation significantly rises. When cycling through these countries my main accommodation option will be camping. This aspect of the trip will be amazing – just stopping at a beautiful spot in the wilderness and setting up the tent for the night; blood red sunsets, full moons, awesome star shows and wonderful sunrises. This part of the trip I am really looking forward too, and hopefully the reality of it will not be a disappointment.
Now that I have set off and I am currently cycling I will update the places I stay and costs of accommodation as I incur them in the table below. This smeans that once I have completed my cycle I hope to have a truer picture of the total cost that is associated with a 12 month world cycle tour adventure. The table below lists the type and price of accommodation; if you click on the location of each this will open a separate google map to show you exactly where I stayed each night:
|26th/27th/28th Nov 2016||Stayed with Simon and Helen||Wellington||£0|
|29th Nov 2016||Camped by river||Manawatu River||£0|
|30th Nov 2016||Camped at beach||Koitiata||£4|
|1st Dec 2016||Camped by river||Whanganui River Road||£0|
|2nd / 3rd Dec 2016||Camped by river||Ohakune Mountain Road||£0|
|4th Dec 2016||Camped by river||Tongariro National Park||£0|
|5th / 6th Dec 2016||Camped at campsite||Taumarunui||£10 per night|
|7th Dec 2016||Camped by river||Timber Trail||£0|
|8th Dec 2016||Camped by lake||Mangakino||£0|
|9th Dec 2016||Camped by dam||Waipapa Dam||£0|
|10th Dec 2016||Camped by river||Waikato River||£0|
|11th Dec 2016||Camped at Emma's||Cambridge||£0|
|12th Dec 2016||Camelot on Ulster Hotel||Hamilton||£60|
|13th - 18th Dec 2016||Stayed with Alison and Doug||Waerenga||£0|
|19th - 31st Dec||Deirbhle joined me for holiday||North Island (various places)||Wife paid !!!|
|4th/5th July 2016||Stayed with Uyen Nguyen's family.||AP. Phu Dinh, Vietnam||£0 per night|
|6th July 2016||Stayed with Khoa's sister||Khu Di Tích Cái Ngang, Vietnam||£0|
|7th July 2016||Thai Duong 2 Hotel||Long Xuyen, Vietnam||£7|
|8th July 2016||Gia Phu, Nha Nghi||Chau Doc, Vietnam||£5|
For the first few nights accommodation I had already arranged these before I left as I was staying with friends. For the first 2 nights I stayed with Uyen and Phuong in the Mekong Delta and had an amazing time (click here to watch the video) My third night was in a traditional village with the sister of a Vietnamese friend. This was a truly unique experience and the memories will stay with me forever. (click here to watch the video) Hopefully, I will get to experience similar hospitality throughout each country during my cycle.
So far on my trip the outsanding experiences have been when I have stayed with local people rather than in hotels/guesthouses and I would really appreciate it if you could offer me more of these opportunities as I cycle my way around the world. For a more detailed explanation of the route that I will be following please click here or follow the route tabs at the top of the page. If it looks like I will be cycling past where you live feel free to join me for a couple of days, or if you can’t join me then the offer of a meal, a garden to pitch my tent or even a bed for the night would be amazing.
To contact me about the future dates that I will be cycling through a specific city/country please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can, or alternatively click here to email me direct!
For a complete breakdown of the myriad of additional expenses that you may incur if you set about planning your own cycling adventure click on the following links or use the ‘Costs’ tab at the top of the page:
Finally, if you have read my other pages, you will already know that I intend to record my journey via blog posts. So, if you haven’t already signed up I would love it if you would ‘join’ me on my journey as I cycle around the world by adding your email address to the form at the foot of this page to receive automatic updates.