You don’t need to spend a fortune to have an excellent Bali experience and enjoy all the island has to offer. We’ve put together our best tips to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to traveling to Bali on a budget.
How to Enjoy Bali on a Budget?
We’ve put together our best tips to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to travelling to Bali on a budget…keep reading to get all our tips!
We see people writing all the time that Bali is not as “cheap as used to be”, and of course, that is true. Bali has blossomed as a world-class tourist destination, offering five-star accommodations, dining experiences and world-class luxury.
Bali can still be explored and enjoyed on a budget, though; you don’t need to spend a fortune to have an excellent Bali experience and enjoy all the island has to offer.
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Get Yourself the Best Flight Deal
One of the biggest expenses of your trip, and the first step in planning your holiday, will be your flight. Avoiding school and Balinese holidays, flying in Bali’s low season and being ready to book when a flight sale is announced are all ways to save money and get the best flight deal.
Another flight hack that we love is Wayaway; a relatively new flight price comparison website, in a way, it’s similar to Skycanner. However, Wayaway offers a lot more with their Wayaway Plus membership. For only $49.99 per year, you also enjoy cashback on your flights, hotels, and even on tours and excursions.
If you use our promotion code (BB10) you will get 10% off on your WayAway Plus membership. That’s a small fee compared to the potential savings and cashback you can earn from booking through WayAway:
Even better, last week, WayAway Plus has just released its FREE Trial. What are you waiting for?
Don’t Skip Getting Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is not compulsory, but not getting it can end up as a big and expensive mistake. Medical treatment (especially if it involves a hospital) for foreigners in Bali can be very expensive. Saving a few dollars on travel insurance at the beginning of your holiday can lead to a very expensive bill for you to have to cover if you get sick or injured during your stay.
It’s not uncommon for tourists to need to see a doctor while they are in Bali, even just for simple things such as ear infections from all the swimming or good old Bali belly. Your doctors’ visits and medications that are needed are all covered by travel insurance so that you can claim your expenses back after your trip.
Where you need travel insurance most, though, is when something more significant happens (think dengue fever, bike accidents, broken bones, etc). In the case of an emergency in Bali, the hospitals are pay first, treatment second.
By having comprehensive travel insurance, you can travel knowing that you are covered financially if something unexpected happens. Click here to read our blog about travel insurance.
Get the Best Accommodation Deals
Bali is full of different accommodation options. While staying in hostels and homestays will save you a huge amount of money on accommodation, there are ways to enjoy some of Bali’s most popular resorts and villas for a great deal too!
Luxury Escapes is an Australian travel brand that brokers deals with hotels in villas to get you the BEST price and HEAPS of inclusions at resorts and villas all over Bali. The best part is anyone in the world can book a Luxury Escapes deal. The key is to be ready to book when you see a deal you like!
The deals last for around two weeks (but some also sell out quickly). When you buy your deal, you don’t have to choose dates right away; you will have a booking window of around 12 months to choose your dates after you purchase your deal.
These Luxury Escapes Bali hotel deals can include some meals, airport transfers, activities and even room upgrades! We publish the most recent deals on our website every Monday.
Save Money on Your Money With WISE
When it comes to international holidays, a lot of people don’t think about what they will do for money until just before they go, but being a little more organised can really help with your budget!
Banks cards and travel cards are the traditional “go-to” when it comes to accessing your money overseas, but a lot of these services charge a large fee every time you make a withdrawal, and a currency conversion fee every time you charge something to your card. These fees can add up to a lot of money when you travel, especially considering that in Bali most ATMs only let you withdraw 2,000,000 Rp at a time (approx. $200 AUD).
We recommend signing up to WISE and getting a WISE card before you travel. WISE has been around for quite a few years now, and anyone that does regular international transfers will already know about it. WISE gives you not only the best exchange rates (yes, even better than what you can get when exchanging cash in Bali!!), but it also has very low fees. You can transfer money onto your WISE card in your own currency (from your bank), and then on the app or website of WISE you can transfer some or all of your balance to the currency of the place you are travelling (in the case of Bali that is IDR).
You can use your WISE card to both pays using the card at venues, and to draw out cash from ATMs. We can’t recommend this service enough, as people who live in Bali but still regularly transfer money over from Australia, WISE has saved us a lot of money in bank fees, charges, and exchange rates.
Use Online Apps for Your Transport
Over the past 7 years, online apps have changed the way people in Bali live. Apps such as GRAB are used for transport, food delivery, sending packages, paying bills, buying tickets and more. As a tourist, GRAB can save you a lot of money when it comes to transport and getting food while you are in Bali.
Gone are the days of having to haggle with a driver on the side of the road for transport or to have to check that the taxi driver has turned their metre on; by using GrabCar and GrabRide, you get a set price before you even meet your driver or rider.
Not only is this a cheaper (and safer) way to travel in Bali, but you also have a lot of choices. Book a motorcycle or car and choose from regular or XL for each. An XL car takes more passengers or can accommodate luggage, and an XL bike gives you a bigger bike for a more comfortable ride. Y
You can even rent a car for a certain number of hours if you want to enjoy having a driver and car available to you for multiple trips.
When using GRAB app you can either pay by cash or connect your card to the app. We recommend connecting your WISE card as then you don’t have to worry about carrying as much cash or dealing with getting change from the drivers or riders. You can even tip your driver via the app if you want to as well!
NOTE: You can also save money on your trip by renting and riding your own motorbike, but ensure you have both a motorcycle license in your home country AND an international license; always wear a helmet and don’t ride when you’re drinking alcohol…otherwise you will null and void your travel insurance should you have an accident!
Experience Bali’s Best Activities at a Low Price by Getting the Bali Pass
If you want to experience some of the best activities and adventures Bali has on offer at the best price, we recommend purchasing the Klook Bali Pass.
With the Klook Bali Pass, you can explore Bali’s top activities while saving up to 45%. Simply Choose 2, 3, 4 or 5 of your favourite activities from a list of over 20 top activities in Bali.
Some of the activities included on the list are Waterbom Bali, Bali Bird Park, Bali Zoo, Watersports in Tanjung Benoa, Surf lessons in Kuta and even a day trip to Nusa Penida or a Mount Batur sunrise trekking are among your options.
How does the Klook Pass Bali work?
1. Purchase your Klook Pass Bali
2. Go to ‘My bookings’ in your account to activate your pass and reserve your visit to your activity of choice
3. Select the date and timeslot for each activity (if applicable)
4. You will then receive confirmation of your reservation for your chosen dates
Enjoy What’s on Offer for FREE in Bali
There is plenty to see and do in Bali that doesn’t cost you a cent at all. Enjoying the culture, nature, and people-watching can be some of the most fun you can have during your time in Bali.
From the daily offerings to the temples in every house, shop and restaurant, the beautiful Hindu culture is on display 24/7 in Bali. Often, you’ll see ceremonies happening through the streets or on the beaches, take some time to (respectfully) watch on, these ceremonies are held for many different reasons and are full of colour and beauty. The Balinese enjoy sharing their culture with visitors, feel free to ask some locals to explain a little more about their religion and way of life.
Bali has many beautiful beaches, which are lots of fun! Heading to a Bali beach can be a great way to spend your time in Bali without spending much money. Whether you are looking for some snorkelling, surfing, white sand, black sand, or beaches with lots of fun and people…. Bali has it all to enjoy for FREE.
Get Your Shopping Fix at the Local Markets
Being on a budget in Bali doesn’t mean you have to miss out on getting some souvenirs to take home or enjoying some shopping. The street markets in Bali have lots of cheap and interesting fashion, homewares, accessories, and strange things to take home as a lasting memory of your Bali stay. If you want to get the best price, though, you do need to haggle!
Haggling doesn’t come easily or naturally to many people, and the market experience is not for everyone, but if you are keen on shopping during your stay, this is the cheapest place to do it!
When visiting the markets (or even just walking by them), expect the local sellers to yell out to you, offering their goods and asking you to come and look in their shop. Generally, they will give you a price for something you are interested in quite a bit above what is a fair price for you to pay. Go into these negotiations with a sense of humour and stay respectful; it’s all like a bit of a game, and some people even find it fun!
Our tips for negotiation at the markets include:
- Even if you want to buy a lot from one shop, negotiate on each piece separately first. That way, you know what you are paying for each item.
- If you plan to buy more than one of the same items, first negotiate a price for one item. After that, negotiate a lower rate for taking multiple of that item.
- Don’t rush into buying something. A lot of the same items are sold at all the markets. Spend your first day getting an idea of prices from different vendors.
- Never tell the shop owner it’s your first time to Bali…they ask you this generally to gauge how well you know the prices already.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. You can politely say no thank you if you don’t feel the price is right and walk away. Sometimes you will find the shop owner will yell out a lower price as you are walking away (then you might want to go back!).
As we said above, though, keep these interactions friendly and fun. If haggling is not your thing, but you still want some items, we suggest getting a picture of what you want and asking a local at your accommodation to source them for you. Pay them a small fee for their services, that way, you get what you want at a good price and save yourself getting hot under the collar!
Eat & Drink Like a Local
Eating local is one of the best ways to enjoy Bali on a budget. Local food from the street, markets and Warungs are the cheapest ways to eat in Bali.
There are delicious dishes to be enjoyed, and you can get a meal for just 15,000 Rp ($1.50 AUD). As expats, we love taking our visitors to our local night market for authentic, delicious, and super-cheap local meals.
You can also use GRAB app to help you figure out the most popular local places to eat. Being in a foreign country and wanting to eat local can sometimes be a bit daunting when you don’t know the dishes or the venue. By using GrabFood you can see the most popular local venues and dishes in your area and check out their ratings! Then either use the app to order your food to be delivered, or you can even order your food to pick up or dine in via the app too (no need to worry about any language barrier with your order, the app will automatically translate your notes into Indonesian for the venue…particularly handy for food allergies and asking for not too much spice!).
Avoid Common Scams
Wherever you find a lot of tourists in the world, you will also, unfortunately, find a lot of tourist traps and common tourist scams… and Bali is no different.
From dodgy money changers to taxi metres that have been tampered with and ATM scams, there are costly scams that you can easily avoid during your time in Bali by being aware of them before you travel.
Taking some time to inform yourself of such scams will not only save you money on your trip but also help you to have a nicer experience. No one likes to fall victim to a scam.
We hope this list helps to save you some money when you travel to Bali.
Bali on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any of the fun, culture, and holiday vibes that the Island has to offer.
You may also like to read our articles on how to spend a day exploring and eating around Sanur and Ubud on just a 100,000 Rp ($7 USD) budget!
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