The best 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 get ready to enjoy some of my best tips to travel to Bali on a budget.
The Indonesian island of Bali has been a popular destination for travellers for decades but what is it that draws travellers to this magical island?
Perhaps it’s the beautiful sandy surf beaches, exotically spiritual people and the much envied relaxed lifestyle?
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 your Bali vacation budget is to travel during the ‘low season‘.
Book your travels to Bali between February and June, or between late September and November to pick up some of the best budget savings on flights and accommodation.
Low season is a great 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 shop around for a great accommodation deal for your next visit to Bali.
Take a look at these deals. You may find one to suit.
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!
Enjoy the Weather
Bali enjoys 12 to 13 hours of sunshine each day, regardless of the time of year. That gives you plenty of time to indulge in everything Bali has to offer. Temperatures ranging between 26 and 31 degrees Celsius every single day throughout the year.
Expect it to rain between October and April, but usually they are intermittent showers, after which the sun always comes out. The best part is that due to the temperate zone, the rain is warm!
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.
Adventures for everyone
There’s an adventure for everyone.
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 has some spectacular coastal beaches. Its no surprise that Hollywood chose Bali’s ‘Secret Beach’ for the movie location for Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts.
The stunning beaches are one of the main reasons to visit this tropical paradise. Each beach has its own charm. Expect to see soft white sandy beaches and sheltered bays – perfect to laze away your day. Sheer limestone cliffs drop into clear turquoise lagoons or hunt out one of those strikingly beautiful black-sandy coves with beach umbrellas and deck chairs available where you can order fresh juices and other refreshments.
In Bali, every beach there is a beach to suit everyone. There are beaches for surfers, beaches for families, secret escapes for artists and resort beaches where every modern convenience you may want appears as if by magic by just by waving your hand.
Visit the Temples
There really is so much to see and do in Bali. Bali’s ancient temples and inspiring island scenery offer a wide range of engaging activities which you can enjoy for very little or no cost at all.
There are many temples in Bali, catering to differing cultures and beliefs. Some of these temples have become some of the country’s most recognised landmarks set against the most scenic backdrops. Many of Bali’s temples are centuries-old and have become a part of the mythical stories and legends of the dance rituals which are shared with all who visit.
Visit sites like Mt. Batur and the Pura Gunung Kawi Temple and Goa Gajah, the Sacred Elephant Temple and one place that should be on everyone’s to-do list is the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud.
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.
[bctt tweet=”There is so much to see and do for free in Bali that you will have trouble fitting it all into one trip!” username=”territorymob”]
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, then you’ve got yourself a bargain! Be happy, share the love and 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 some of the friendliest people you will ever encounter. They’re genuinely friendly and warm and have made tourists feel at home for decades.
Balinese hospitality is the key to your holiday enjoyment. You will get to mingle with friendly locals who live a simple way of life, influenced by their daily rituals and festivities. Be prepared to strike up a conversation with a local. Be kind and gracious. Learn to say good morning in Bahasa, you will be met with a beautiful smile in response.
Value for money
Bali is known for its upmarket resorts, however there are plenty of low cost accommodation available so you can usually enjoy very comfortable hotel, guesthouse or villa, sensational food and visit many of the local attractions without putting strain on your bank account.
There are plenty of free public parades like the Bali Kites Festival or the Bali Arts Festival to enjoy so it’s not going to cost a bomb while you’re there.
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