Check out these cheap Bali holiday tips, so this beautiful island can be enjoyed by anyone. Whether you are spending a luxurious holiday in one of the many villas or if you have been backpacking through Southeast Asia and want to explore Bali too.
Bali enables any type of traveler on any type of budget to enjoy everything that this unique place has to offer…
Despite being located in Indonesia where the cost of living is relatively cheap, Bali has over the years become one of the most expensive islands in the region.
If you are from Europe or the United States you might be surprised to find restaurants which could be more expensive than back at home.
It’s therefore not always the case that this island is the place to celebrate a cheap holiday. Nevertheless, there are many ways to keep the budget low. Here are some things you can keep in mind so you can enjoy the island without spending too much.
More and more budget airlines are flying to Bali. So it can save you a lot of money by comparing prices online.
If you are departing from Australia you should check out the low-cost airlines. Examples are Air Asia, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, and Garuda Indonesia.
As for South East Asia, the most popular airline is Air Asia. Since 2010 this carrier even has a direct flight from Phuket to Bali. So for those who are traveling through Asia, it is worthwhile to check their prices too.
If you are already in Indonesia and depending on where you are then there are other airlines of which you probably never heard. Popular domestic airlines are LionAir, Sriwijaya, Air Asia Indonesia and Citilink.
All Indonesian airlines are known to have bad safety records. Most of these airlines are still banned from the European airspace. But the Indonesian airline industry has improved tremendously compared to some years ago. It has become relatively safe to travel with them.
When coming from the United States or Europe it is, of course, best to go to Bali during the low season. Not only will the air ticket prices be lower but your holiday will be a lot cheaper overall. Check out Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways as they often have good deals.
For travelers from Europe, it might be an option to leave from another airport that charges lower airport tax, etc. For instance, London Heathrow is very expensive to leave from so you might want to consider traveling via Gatwick, Stansted, London City or Manchester. This can save you a lot of money.
Getting around the island
The cheapest way ever to travel around the island is to do as the locals do. Public Bali transport comes in different forms.
First of all, you have buses that travel between the biggest villages. Once in the village, you can continue your trip on the bemos (minivans) that drive a specific route and stop whenever somebody needs to get off or on.
There are no timetables or written information on the bus or bemo routes. So you need to ask around to figure out which bus you need to get into. Don’t worry there are many who are willing to help.
If you want some comfort and want to get to your destination much faster you can take the Perama Tourist Shuttle bus that runs scheduled routes between major tourist villages.
Private drivers are also pretty affordable if you want to do a day tour. Generally, it is best to avoid arranging one at the hotel reception as it is likely to be more expensive.
What you can do is to approach the many drivers along the road and negotiate a price. Some travel agents in the tourist villages have good deals as well.
Our favorite way to travel around is a motorbike as they are cheap to rent and you are able to drive where ever you want to go to. However, this way of traveling can be dangerous especially in the crowded south of the island.
Just be aware that the traffic in Bali can be much different then what you are used to and make sure you take the same precautions as you would do at home.
Another cheap option is taking one of the many taxis around. A taxi is quite cheap for short distances. So if you want to go from your hotel to a specific restaurant in town you will, sure enough, pay less than USD5.
Places to stay
Today Bali is trying to focus on travelers with a higher budget so don’t be discouraged if you only see accommodations reaching USD200. Fortunately, there is still enough choice for visitors who are searching for budget hotels in Bali which are cheap but with some value.
In Bali, the walk-in rate and the rates on the hotel sites are often much higher than the rates you would find on the many hotel booking sites. These sites offer great deals for all types of accommodation.
A great hotel booking site is Hotels Combined. This site searches through different booking sites such as booking.com and agoda.com to find the best deal for you.
There are a couple of pretty good cheap hotels in Ubud such as Lecuk Inn and Padma Accommodation in Jalan Kajeng. As for Sanur, we recommend Kekek homestay on Jalan Tamblingan or Bali Mille Guesthouse on Jalan Bumi Ayu.
The standard of cheap accommodation in the Kuta area is in our opinion very low however Kedin Inn 2 in Gang Sorga just between Poppies lane I and II are quite nice.
Luckily we have also found great eco-friendly places that provide a unique experience.
Eating out in Bali is one of the easiest things when it comes down to cutting your budget. In the tourist villages, food is found at almost any corner from international cuisine to the typical Indonesian restaurant.
The last one is the one you should watch out for if you want a cheap meal which is just super delicious.
Usually, if the name of the restaurant starts with ‘warung’ then they will serve a range of Indonesian/Balinese dishes. You either order from their menu but sometimes they have a dozen or more dishes displayed too.
Just walk over there and point at everything that just looks yummy. Fresh juices and other types of drinks (not alcohol) are always much cheaper here than in other types of restaurants.
After you’ve got everything all you need to do is…enjoy. Make sure you limit yourself to a few dishes otherwise you will be so full that your stomach just feels like exploding. Had to learn this lesson the hard way too many times 😉
Here are some warung-suggestions:
In Kuta, you have the popular Masakan Indonesia in Jalan Poppies II. If you happen to be in Legian then head to Double 66 street where you’ll find Warung Murah.
In the middle of the expensive restaurants in Seminyak, you have Warung Ocha. They are located on one of the corners of Jalan Legian. Look out for their red sign.
Great restaurants in Ubud are Warung Lada on Jalan Hanoman and Dewa Warung in the small Jalan Gootama.
At Warung Lada, you can enjoy delicious food plus wifi while Dewa Warung is a great place to meet fellow travelers. Here you can find just a couple of long tables so join one of them and eat with others the tasty food that is served with a huge smile.