Great tips to travel to Bali on a Budget
Bali is a great budget-friendly travel destination. Although a bustling tourist haven, Bali is still very affordable. There’s plenty to do and see, so pack a bag and enjoy some of my best tips to travel around Bali on a budget.
The Indonesian island of Bali has been a popular destination for travelers for decades. With approximately three million foreign tourists visiting Bali each year, here are some of my best tips to enjoy one of the world’s favourite destinations – on a budget.
Travel during Bali’s Low Season
One of the best ways to reduce the budget of your vacation to Bali is to travel during the ‘low season‘. Book your travels to Bali between February and June, or between late September and November to get my best budget savings.
Low season is also the time to treat yourself to some luxury style accommodation at very reasonable prices.
Private villas can be found as low as 300,000 IDR ($30 AUD) a night, many are likely to have infinity pools and breathtaking cliff-side views. Some include breakfast too, so it’s worth shopping around for a great accommodation package for your visit to Bali.
If you’re traveling with others, consider hiring a car and driver for day trips and share costs. It usually costs around 500,000 IDR ($50 AUD) to have an air-conditioned car and driver who will take you exactly where you want to go for the day.
If you’e lucky, your driver will suggest little known gems that aren’t on the everyday tourist guides. That’s how we came across Padang Padang – Bali’s Best kept secret!
Eating well in Bali on a Budget
To enjoy the true Balinese experience this is the perfect opportunity to sample authentic Balinese dishes from the local ‘warungs’.
Discover authentic Balinese dishes; including the mixed rice dish ‘nasi campur Bali’ or ‘Bebek betutu’ – duck stuffed with aromatic spices and wrapped in banana leaves. Take the opportunity to sample Bali’s favourite national dish – ‘Babi guling’; a spit-roasted pig dish with ginger, turmeric and chilli!
Restaurants owned by westerners can be very affordable too, so look for cafés serving brunches and lunches.
Budget between 200,000 and 300,000 IDR ($20 to $30 AUD) a day for food and drink and you will live quite well.
One of the biggest attractions is the affordable treats that are available in Bali. Think luxury! Get daisy’s painted on your toenails as you soak up the sun on the beach. Feel like a shoulder massage? For just a few dollars, you too can be spoiled.
Massage houses can be found offering one-hour massages for around 100,000 IDR ($10 AUD) and if you feel like splurging, treat yourself to a day-spa at one of the many luxury hotels. For my favourite spa experiences – visit the Day Spa at the Hotel Pullman at Legian Beach, or the award winning Dala Day Spa at Alaya Resort in Ubud.
The stunning beaches is one of the main reasons to visit this tropical paradise. Each beach has its own charm, from soft white sand and limestone cliffs to extreme water sports and scuba diving.
Rent a beach chair and umbrella and relax away your days in total bliss. There’s a beach to suit everyone.
Activities in Bali on a budget
There really is so much to see and do in Bali. Bali’s ancient temples, awe-inspiring island scenery offer a wide range of engaging activities which you can enjoy for little or no cost at all.
Visit sites like Mt. Batur and the Pura Gunung Kawi Temple and Goa Gajah, the Sacred Elephant Temple and Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest. Visit Uluwatu to experience the Kecak Fire Dance or discover Bali’s cultural heritage by visiting the ancient Pura Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples.
Throughout the year Bali hosts many cultural festivals, street parades, ceremonial events and traditional Balinese dances. Check what’s on during your visit and soak up these cultural experiences where you can.
There is so much to see and do for free in Bali that you will have trouble fitting it all into one trip!
Adventures for everyone
There’s an adventure for everyone in Bali.
Catch the surf breaks at Bali’s most popular surfing spots, or sign up to surf school to learn how to ride the waves. Go white-water rafting in the mountain rapids, jump from the cliffs and slide down a natural waterslide at Aling-Aling Waterfall.
Or chill out and spend the day enjoying the waterslides and other activities at Bali’s popular Waterbom.
Bali is also an amazing place to buy from local artists so make sure a visit to Ubud is on your to-do list. It’s one of the best locations for shopping for wood carvings and artworks.
Bargaining is expected, but there are some protocols to follow when bargaining. Remember to be respectful when haggling. Don’t be too hard-nosed … basically, if it’s cheaper than you would pay for it back home, you’ve got yourself a bargain! Be happy, let someone else have a win.
Or if you don’t like haggling, explore Bali Collections for a shopping extravaganza including the Japanese Department Store Sogo, Billabong, RipCurl and other famous brands. Our ‘find’ of the century was discovering the Havaiana’s Vending Machine!
The Warmth of the People
Most people who have been to Bali will agree that the Balinese are the friendliest people. They’re genuinely friendly and warm and have made tourists feel at home for decades.
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