One of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, Bali has been in the headlines for the last few years for being the ultimate luxury destination in Asia. A simple internet search will show you pictures of visitors rolling around in luxury villas and eating fancy vegan breakfasts while posing for the camera. Looking at these makes you wonder if Bali can actually be done on a budget. The good news then is that you can absolutely visit Bali on a budget as low as Rs. 1000 a day! You’ll just be visiting a different side of Bali or rather the more authentic one from the resort-goers. If you have been craving for a getaway without breaking the bank, then here are few money-saving tips that will help you plan a surprisingly affordable trip to this dream destination!
There are ample accommodation opportunities in Bali that will offer you not just breathtaking views but also let you learn more about the local culture. For anyone who has a profile on the travel hosting website, Couchsurfing, there are quite a lot of opportunities in Bali to be hosted by friendly locals who are more than happy to welcome you for free in their homes. If you are however keen on a private stay, then there are a lot of great family-run homestays in Bali as well that include not just stay but breakfast as well. For larger groups, bigger villas complete with private pools and food services can be super affordable with the cost split up.
Cost: Depending on the area, a per night stay in Bali starts as low as Rs. 500 a night.
Using local transport is one of the best ways to see any destination on a budget. Sadly, in Bali, there aren’t many local transportation options, especially in remote areas. The best option to explore Bali, however, is to walk! With great interconnecting roads and their proximity to each other, not only can you walk around the villages but also between two towns. Instead of paying for a taxi, take that easy walk to travel between two towns such as Canggu to Seminyak. The other option is to rent out a scooter which can be rented for as low as Rs. 300 a day through local vendors spread across the island. For travelling to different towns, Bluebird taxis are metered cabs and are the next cheapest option which can cost as low as Rs. 200 for a trip depending on the destination. Considering Bali’s traffic on the roads, you might want to keep this as the last option though.
Cost: Rs. 200-300 a day
Food and Drinks
The cheapest places in Bali to eat are often Warungs, which are small and often family-run restaurants. Try and look out for the authentic ones depending on where you are staying and avoid the touristy ones. A lot of these Warungs are tiny and have similar names, so its difficult to recommend any. However, your local guides or accommodation owners are your best bet for recommendations. They do buffet style heavy plates of food for really cheap to let you fuel up for the activity led day ahead. Another budget-friendly food tip for Bali is to visit the local markets which open in the early morning or during the night. Here you can taste some great organic food sold by locally owned businesses for really cheap and even get your hands on free samples for all sorts of delicacies!
Cost: A hearty meal in a Warung can cost you as cheap as Rs. 80-100 with drinks! Food costs for the entire day can be as cheap as just Rs. 200 a day if you eat local.
The best part about exploring Bali on a budget is that most activities are completely free. Start your day early to watch the sun rays reflecting on the rice paddy fields and visit one of the many stunning temples which will leave you amazed with their brilliant architecture. For the water babies, with stunning sandy white beaches and crystal clear blue waters all around you, unwind with a Bintang while watching the amazing sunsets or explore the amazing coral reefs and marine life that Bali is known for.
For exploring the local culture and traditional dances that Bali is known for, you would require to buy a ticket. However, a more authentic alternative is to watch one of the children’s dance shows if you are visiting on a Sunday. Dressed up in traditional wear, it is much more enjoyable than the paid performances across the town.
- Skip the touristy areas which often tend to be overcrowded and head over to the unexplored areas instead.
- For when you fancy a drink, the famous hotspots such as Rock Bar and Potato Head Beach Club are free to enter, however, the drinks are super expensive! Still, it’s a scenic place to enjoy the view for a short while and head over somewhere else for cheaper drinks.
- Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. As ridiculous as it sounds, considering how cheap bottled water is in Bali, at the end of the day, you end up spending way too much on just bottled water after all the exploring you need to do in its tropical climate.
‘Curated by Neha Bhise’