Bali is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, as well as a definite stop for anyone traveling around Indonesia and South-East Asia. Planning your budget for Bali is a must, as the island is a tourist haven and pricing differs between Bali and mainland Indonesia.
Bali is a lot bigger than you think it is, and does offer more than just beautiful beaches, therefore planning your budget accordingly is essential, especially if you are planning on traveling or doing one of the many activities the island has to offer.
Pricing varies depending on what part of the island you are on, so if you are a budget traveler, avoid the major tourist hotspots, but if you have a bigger budget, the whole island can be your playground.
If you are on a budget, $25 – $30 a day for a single person will suffice, especially if you look in smaller towns for accommodation and food. Couples would need $35 – $40 a day, these amounts will definitely vary, but are a great base point.
There are many different price points when it comes to accommodation in Bali, as there are many different types of accommodation. You will find everything from cheap single bedrooms to luxury hotel suites.
The hotels and luxury accommodations are found more in the tourist areas and are usually at the higher end of the pricing scale, once you leave the main tourist hubs though, that’s when you will find more budget-friendly rooms lonsmens.
You can find about three different pricing points in Bali, budget, midrange, and high-end. The budget will come in at around 150 000 rupiahs ($11), midrange will come in at 150 000 – 500 000 rupiah ($11 – $35), while high-end is 500 000 rupiah ($35) and up.
Flights to Bali
Flights to Bali have become more common out of Asia and Europe, as well as cheap flights directly to Bali from Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phuket and many more. These closer flights are cheaper but should be booked in advance.
Booking flights in Indonesia to Bali can be very tricky, the websites aren’t up to scratch and the systems are constantly failing. If you are planning on going to Bali, book your flight in advance.
Although many carriers offer flights to Indonesia, many travel agents across the globe often have travel packages to Bali, especially during the summer, once again, making it easier to find a budget flight.
Bali has many different options when it comes to food. They have everything from street food, to high-end restaurants and recognized food chains. This spread fits any budget and you can most definitely find many places to eat that will fit your budget.
Street food is the most common in Bali, and they have everything from meat skewers, satay, fruit, vegetarian options, and fish. All are absolutely delicious of course. The 5-star restaurants obviously offer the best of the best, and you can definitely spoil yourself at one of the many fine establishments.
Alcohol and Cigarettes
Smoking is an incredibly widespread activity in Bali, almost everybody smokes and you can find cigarettes everywhere. International brands will cost you between 13 – 17 000 rupiah ($1).
Local brands are even more common and are much cheaper all across the island. These local cigarettes can be found for between 7 – 10 000 rupiah (less than $1).
Beer is very highly taxed in Indonesia, and in turn, Bali. Bintang is the national beer and a small bottle can be bought for between 25 – 27 000 rupiah (less than $2), while a bigger bottle is between 37 – 40 000 rupiah ($3).
Hard liquor is even more expensive with a mixed drink costing around 70 000 rupiahs ($5), while a bottle of Absolut can cost 600 000 rupiahs ($42) and even higher at some bottle stores.
Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants within the tourist hubs, but they become less and less useful and you travel further out of the hubs where only cash will be accepted.
Credit card fees range between 2 – 3.5% in most places, more high-end establishments might charge more. But considering the exchange rate, this percentage is nominal and won’t get too out of hand as your holiday continues.
Activities and Tours
There is a wide range of activities and tours on offer in Bali, the prices will vary a lot depending on what you are doing. The best option is to use your hotel and ask them for recommended vendors for particular activities and tours.
If you are unable to speak the language, there is a chance you could get overcharged, and therefore, using reputable vendors or having your hotel do the booking for you will ensure you get the best price for your budget.
Traveling in Bali
There are a few different modes of transport to get around Bali, including minivans, tourist buses, motorbikes and renting a car.
Minivans, or bemos, are the most common form of public transport, but can also be the most inconvenient. They often require multiple stops and transfers, but if you do choose to use one, the prices start at about 5000 rupiahs and go up from there.
Tourist busses vary from minivans to full-scale busses, some are air-conditioned if the destination is further away but shorter journeys usually use the smaller minivans. Prices vary a lot depending on location but the average for longer journeys is about 50 000 rupiah ($3,5).
You can easily rent motorbikes in Bali, and are a very common form of transportation, especially since you can dodge the masses of traffic in the town centers. You can rent a bike for a day for about 50 000 rupiahs depending on the renter.
You can rent a car in Bali if you want to be more in control of your traveling. Prices vary a lot depending on the type of car and time. The average price is between 200 – 600 000 rupiah ($1 – $4) a day.
Bali can be an extremely fun, exciting and rewarding holiday destination, even on a budget. It is very easy to find exactly what you need depending on your budget, and there are multiple options and prices for everything.
It is always a good idea to do some research, as well as shopping around, as by simply telling a vendor “I can get it cheaper down the road” will almost always get you a better deal. Don’t be scared to barter a bit, 9 times out of 10 it will save you quite a bit of money.