Sure, there are plenty of luxurious photos on Insta that would make you think that a trip to Bali costs a fortune, but Bali can be quite affordable with proper planning and preliminary research. Here are five tips that can take the weight off your wallet.
1. Eat and drink like a local.
With a tight budget, avoid those fancy French and Italian restaurants and go local. You’ll be able to truly experience the flavors of Bali. Away from the tourist strips, you will find Warungs, streetside vendors selling traditional cuisine at local prices. You’ll often find food ranging from meatball soups to nasi goreng (fried rice) and noodles.
Local cuisine is way better than the tourist restaurants that have been westernized, and it’s WAY cheaper – a few bucks for a giant plate of nasi goreng and some fresh watermelon juice compared to $15 “fancy” avocado toast!
Another budget-friendly Bali food tip is to eat at the local markets in the early morning and at night. These markets boast tons of tasty Indonesian food for cheap, giving you another taste of local life, and also providing a chance to shop for souvenirs made and sold by local business owners and artisans.
Alcohol isn’t cheap in Bali, with wine and imported spirits heavily taxed, so it’s best to stick to the popular local beer, Bintang. Taking a local’s approach to food and beverage in Bali is not only a money-saving tip but truly gives visitors a firsthand seat to Balinese culture.
2. Book everything with a trusted agent.
Bali is one of those places where it’s much better to plan ahead instead of “winging” it. Most people do not realize that Bali has a great infrastructure and is highly connected to the internet. Balinese business owners regularly use the internet to drive their sales and facilitate tourism. Whether it’s a day trip, local tour, or cooking class, you’ll save money (and time!) by having your travel specialist make accommodations for you.
3. Rent your own scooter.
If you’re visiting an area small enough to get everywhere on foot, scooters are your best option. You won’t have to rely on drivers to get you where you need to go, and it costs roughly the same amount to take a scooter across town as it does to just rent your own for the day!
4. Pay with cash.
Or, even better, exchange your native currency to Rupiah, IDR, which will allow you to pay much better rates than with USD. Many places aren’t able to accept credit cards at all, and the ones that do will charge hefty convenience fees. And, if you have to use your debit card, make sure yours waives foreign transaction fees.
5. Travel during low season.
Bali’s low season is April to June and the month of September. Visiting during these times often results in better customer service with more attention to detail, fewer crowds, more time to interact with the locals, and more relaxation.
Traveling to Bali can break the bank, but it certainly doesn’t have to. We can help you get the most bang for your buck. So, when should we start planning your much-needed “vacay” to Bali?