Even though it might not look like it, Bali can be super budget friendly. Seriously. Although this beautiful island has become one of the top travel destinations and is packed with tourists, it’s still totally affordable and probably a lot cheaper than you think.
I’m sure you’ve seen all the amazing photos of beautiful villas on the island and if you’re like me you probably thought “there’s no way I can afford that”, but the truth is, you can. Of course there are villas that you probably can’t afford to stay in, BUT there are a TON that you can. If you’re traveling solo, then you probably want to stay in a hostel (average rate is about $10 a night.) If you want a little more privacy, then there are a ton of private rooms you can rent from small B&B type places (average rate is about $18 a night.) I recommend using Agoda.com for these. If you’re traveling with someone or in a group, then I highly suggest you rent your own villa. You can rent a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom private villa with a pool for as low as $50 a night. For this, I recommend using Airbnb.com. Airbnb.com.
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As soon as you land in Bali, you’ll quickly see that everyone owns a motorbike. It’s the most efficient and cheapest way to get around! So I suggest renting a motorbike as soon as you get to where you’re staying. These are super cheap to rent, only costing about $5 A DAY! My first trip to Bali I was really intimidated to drive one, so I just rode on the back of a friends with whole time, but my second time to Bali I rented one and jumped right on! If I can drive one of these things, you probably can too.
If you aren’t comfortable driving around yourself, then use the GO-JEK app for an Uber/Lyft type of service but on the back of a motorbike instead of a car. There is Uber in Bali, however, it is somewhat “banned” by a weird monopoly the taxi drivers have, so you can use it, but you’ll need to be discreet about it. Now speaking of taxis, they are the most expensive option of transportation and most of them (like everywhere) will try to rip you off. If you need to use one, I suggest only using Blue Bird. They even have an app you can use to make it easy.
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Mmm! Bali has some seriously amazing local cuisine and I highly recommend trying it all. Local food and street food like Nasi Goreng, Pisang Goreng, and Satay can be found SUPER cheap from $1-$3. Warungs (small restaurants with fixed prices) are also really good places to go if you’re on a budget. There are a lot of cute, vegan cafes, delis, and other places to get really good “western foods” but those places will cost you a bit more.
Read TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN BALI for more tips!
Bali is a beautiful place and you’re going to want to spend as much time outdoors as you can. Luckily there are a ton of different activities to do and most of them are pretty cheap! You’ll be able to do things like ATV-ing, cliff jumping, hiking, canyoneering, snorkeling, and more. I suggest you hire a driver for a day. This will run you about $30 for a day and they will take you on a tour to see whatever you want. Usually, this includes a visit to Monkey Forest, Temples, Luwak Coffee Plantation, waterfalls, and a lunch stop. In addition to the driver’s fee, you will have to still pay for whatever activities you chose to do but they won’t cost much.
If you’re in the mood to treat-yo-self, the check out a spa. You’ll see them on every corner around and services are really cheap. You can get an hour-long massage for about $8 USD. There’s also lots of great shopping in Bali. You can easily find the exact same touristy stuff all over the place…just like any tourist destination, but Bali is a very “artsy” area and there are also some really unique boutiques and art galleries to check out too.
Make sure you negotiate! If you’re American, this may not seem acceptable or polite to you, but in Bali and many other countries, this is the norm. If a driver says he will take you around for the day for 600,000IDR ask for 300,000IDR and settle at 400,000IDR. You can also negotiate on activities like canyoneering, parasailing, hikes, beach chairs and umbrellas, shopping and more!