Bali is well-known as a paradise destination. Interestingly, it’s beloved both by luxury travelers and backpackers. Even though people tend to think holidays in such an idyllic location must be expensive, that’s not the case. The range of accommodations is incredibly wide, local food cheap and delicious, enjoying the stunning nature doesn’t cost anything and many attractions are either free or reasonably priced. Here’s a list of 7 tips that will help you to organize a budget-friendly trip to Bali. Read them and you’ll see it’s not difficult at all.
Don’t travel in high season
The peak season in Bali lasts approximately from mid-December to early January. High season begins in July and ends in September, that’s when international students usually have their holidays. These are the periods you should avoid. Flights are the most expensive then, so is accommodation and various attractions. If you can’t take many days off during the low season, perhaps you could make a use out of the long weekends? Luckily, the weather in Bali is wonderful most of the time, so you don’t have to worry about that when choosing the date.
Look for cheap flights
Before you book a flight, compare fares of different airlines. Make sure you’re not about to overpay. There’s lots of websites you can use to do it, such as Skyscanner.com or Kayak.com. It’s fast, simple and can save you tons of money. You may also subscribe to one of these pages; they’ll then send you an email when the prices get lower. Keep one thing in mind: in the last stage of searching, right before booking, always take one more look at the fare. The first prices that appear are often estimated and as the page gets the newest information from airlines, they change.
Take advantage of free & affordable attractions
There are lots of things to do in Bali that cost nothing or nearly nothing. Appreciate its beautiful nature and you won’t even need much more. You can watch the sun setting behind a temple or sunbath the day away on a gorgeous beach. It’s great to see the Balinese culture at its best and to do it, you can participate in a traditional festival or ceremony, this way you’ll get to watch a dance or drama performance for free. Instead of paying for the shows that are organized for tourists specifically, become friends with locals and get invited to a private ceremony. In Saun and Ubud you can also go to see a rehearsal of dance troupes or gamelan musicians, they practice regularly. If you walk around the streets and hear some music – don’t hesitate, get in, listen and watch for a while, the artists won’t mind. If you’re into visual arts, visit museums and art galleries in Ubud – many of them are free. Go to Amed and watch the colorful Balinese boats called jukung. Visit Hindu temples. Go climbing or hiking. Scuba diving is going to cost a bit, but you can still do it without spending a fortune, just compare prices of different schools and agents – the same applies to rafting, snorkeling and other sports. The prices can vary a lot, so analyze them a bit before you decide which offer to choose.
Don’t spend too much money on accommodation
First of all, accommodations are cheaper in less touristy spots. In areas such as Ubuk, Seminyak or Kuta, you’ll most likely pay more, but you can always look for some good deals or backpacker-friendly places. The prices of simple rooms start from approximately $10USD per night. For $20USD you can find something very comfy. If you want a bit of luxury, check out holiday rentals. They often turn out to be cheaper than hotels, more comfortable and private. It’s especially great if you travel as a family or couple. Take a look on Airbnb.com, there’s lots of gorgeous villas in Bali. For $50-100 per night you can really bath yourself in luxury in one of those.
Use buses whenever you can
Transportation in Bali is a bit tricky. There aren’t many buses and tourists often use taxies, but it doesn’t mean taxies are cheap – unfortunately. Try to avoid them as much as possible. There are several bus companies connecting the major tourist destinations, such as Perama or Trans Sarbagita. Mini-buses oscillating somewhere between a taxi and a bus are called bemos. They’re way cheaper than cabs and, although they don’t have a regular schedule and using them might be time-consuming, it’s still worth it. You can also use other kind of mini-buses, the ones designed especially for tourists – they’re more expensive, but still affordable, fast and comfortable.
Nothing will save you as much transportation money as cycling. Rent a bike and travel around the island. At first you might get terrified with the chaotic traffic, but you’ll get used to it fast and it’s going to be great. The prices are low, for a day rental you’ll pay around $3USD.
Eat like a local
Don’t go to tourist restaurants, they’re usually worse and always more expensive. Instead, try some authentic Indonesian flavors. Warungs, local eateries, serve cheap and delicious food. They come both as restaurants and street side cafés. You can also get some culinary gems from kaki lima, the roving vendors. In general, it’s very easy to eat cheap and good in Bali, way easier than in the United States or Western Europe. Your budget-friendly trip to Bali can be full of taste. Unless you choose to pay much, you won’t. Avoid tourist traps and you’ll see that food isn’t going to be a major expense.
Are you convinced to head to Bali yet? A dream vacations really doesn’t have to cost much! Share this article with your friends, so that they too could take a budget-friendly trip to Bali.