Indonesia is a country consists of more than 17,000 islands where Bali is one in the list. Bali happens to be the most demanding place that travelers flock to as this is known for its diversity. Apart from being famous, it is one of the top 10 World’s Best Island from Travel & Leisure along with Palawan, the Philippines as the consistent number 1 among the list.
Exploring more than a week in Bali had given me the ability to gain massive of ideas on how traveling on a budget is possible even in a touristy place.
On this post, will be sharing how my own set of a budget was used wisely. This is not a solo travel but a trip with my constant amazing travel buddy Jelyn [Read: backpacking in the Philippines]. Which I know it can be done on a solo trip too. Please note that this is a personal experience and by the standard of budgeting, I set my own, creating this article to show that somehow the way I travel with my budget will be benefiting for those wanting to see the beauty of Bali. Afterall, you and I travel differently.
Renting a motorbike is the cheapest way we did. We shell out only $21 rental fee for the entire week. This is by far the cheapest that I experienced, almost half price than in the Philippines, where $5/day is the cheapest rental fee there is to get. With the transportation system in Bali, a motorbike is a popular service even for the local. But, don’t fret, those who can’t attempt driving a motorbike, the app named as GoJek is popularly used in the country. Go-Jek is the first online motorcycle service in Indonesia, not as low-priced as the motorbike we rented, but the easiest, comfortable and fastest service a traveler can hire. In my opinion, solo travelers can fit their budget on Go-Jek. Read more of their details to check the pros and cons base on your preference.
Uber and or taxi were also available since our Couchsurfing host in Bali mentioned how aggressive the taxi drivers are, she highly recommends using Uber to her place from the airport. If finding an uber is uneasy, the blue taxi would be chosen next. I only ride a taxi or an uber whenever I transfer from the airport to a destination carrying my 15kilo backpack and a hand carry bag. So, in Bali we only used once from Uber and once from the Blue Taxi for comparison. Both did their job very well. One of the downside for Uber is that they cannot pick up guests easily in a touristy area even at the airport, they have certain pickup area exclusive for Uber (perhaps this has changed a bit now). We had experienced this kind of situation when he hired Uber on our last day in Indonesia. We asked Uber driver to pick us up at our hotel in Love F Hotel situated in Kuta, Bali. Unfortunately it was a bit of a chaos, few of the taxi drivers who waited in line outside the hotel aggressively went in front of our car, attempting to pull us out from the car, telling us that it is illegal for Uber to pick up guests in Kuta and showed us the sign posted nearby that Uber and Grab Taxi are not allowed in the area. To make the story short, we pursued the Uber and never went out from the car, just a heads up that taxi drivers are not friendly in that area or perhaps these taxi drivers we meet are not, I do not in any way generalizing everyone working as a taxi driver. We made kind gestures and good negotiations with those drivers but took us a couple of minutes to arrange this with them. And NO, we didn’t shell out any amount of money to pay them, we just arrange great future deals when we come back so they could release us, and so we succeded. So much for that, I also have some travel blogger friends recommending their favorite transport in Bali. Like Chris Stevens of Backpackerbanter.com who consistently show his Indonesian driver named Anthony in his IG Stories, telling his followers that Anthony can give a rate most likely the same with Uber, perhaps can be hired for tours too. Flashing you the details below which I got from Chris.
Taxi Fare We Paid for the route Kuta/Mengwi to the Airport (v.v.) IDR 72,000.00
Since Bali is a diverse island, each destination offers a place to stay in its unique vibe. Like in Ubud, where it’s famous for a digital nomad working in a co-working space, and villas for yogi alike and a perfect place to meditate. No wonder a lot of people wants to stay here for its low-cost vacation home, with huge discounts when a traveler stays longer. Though we didn’t get the chance to stay in one of these in Ubud, visiting the area to different spots, made us understand its uniqueness. I know few digital nomad and long-term traveler friends who have been staying a year or two in Ubud.
However, we were lucky to hop in 2 nights at the busy Kuta place on our last days in Indonesia. Jelyn’s sister recommended us to try Love F Hotel in Kuta, where there are plenty of things to do in a small hotel. For fashion lovers, I suggest checking this hotel. For 2 nights, we only paid 4,000+ pesos or almost $50 with good amenities and a buffet breakfast. Please note that this is located at the center of a touristy place in Kuta, so, a mix of both cheaper restaurants and warungs can be found, with those noisy bars almost every corner, and lastly, shopping centers are rampant here.
For More Hotel List, Check it out HERE.
To top it all, being a member of a Couchsurfing community, requesting a place to stay was not a problem since I have been hosting few other travelers. This was the first ever Couchsurfing experience that I did where I am being hosted instead of me being the host. Our lovely host named Sri accepted my request who is now our dear friend. We stayed for a week in her huge place, along with 2 other Couchsurfing members who came in a day after we arrived. Which was a blast, for we got to meet other travelers, and tour the area together, including our host Sri. This 7 days had saved us a lot for not paying anything for accommodation, the perks of being a member of the community. With true kindness and generosity Sri offered to us we also shared how hospitable and amazing guests we are so we shared our Filipino food to Sri and the other guests, this for me, was more than an experience. Yes, I did cook the famous “adobo”. Check Couchsurfing organization here, there are pros and cons of becoming a member, please be cautious.
There are plenty of things to do in Bali. Here are some of them.
Roadtrip. Driving a motorbike from Mingwe Village where Sri our host lives all the way to Kuta and Seminyak. Our initial plan was to stop whenever we wanted to, turns out, it became a street food trip, a village tour, and temple visit.
Money Spent $5.50 each (includes Motorbike rental fee for the day / Gasoline / Street Food)
Sunset at Tanah Lot. It’s touristy, but, never missed visiting this place during sunset, absolutely worth a visit. Money Spent $6.00 Entrance Fee
Shop at the Market: Looking for souvenirs and cheaper cost of items from Indonesia? Visit at Pasar Seni Sukawati Market just 20km from Denpasar and or in KRISNA in Bali for cheap and fixed price solely for souvenirs (with arts too)
Pura Gunung Kawi where based on the archeological findings is found that was built in the 11th century. Money Spent for Entrance Fee: IDR 15,000.00
Tampa Ayun Temple is a Royal temple of Mengwi Temple. Money Spent for Entrance Fee: IDR 20,000.00
Tegallalang Rice Terraces Ubud, Bali this is one of the most famous places to visit in Ubud because of the amazing scenes of rice paddies. This is a touristy place but I suggest for one to visit. Money Spent for Entrance Fee: IDR 10,000.00 (plus donations being asked from the settlers)
Tirta Empul Temple in Ubud it is a national cultural heritage site, its an about the traditional tale of good versus evil. Money Spent: IDR 15,000.00
Monkey Forest Ubud Residents of Padagtengal showing the importance of economic, spiritual, educational and conservation center of the village. There are 700 monkeys surrounding the area. Money Spent: IDR 50,000.00
Hubud Coworking Space – For digital nomads or entrepreneurs alike will certainly know this place in Ubud. I worked here for half a day and their food is amazing! Apart from the good location and fast connection. Money Spent: Ordered Food for IDR 80,000.00
Watch Cultural Show. We were lucky enough to witness the one in Mengwi village. Cultural show is available to some places even at Bali Beach, just look around and ask when you are in the area. We also watched Kecak Show in Tanah Lot for IDR 60,000.00
Chillin during sunset at the Bali beach, we went to Kuta beach so our fellow friends can try surfing. Money Spent: Zero
As I mentioned earlier, I stayed for a week with a local and thus, we explored whole day checking food on the street. There are plenty of food stalls everywhere on the road in Bali. But for me, the best places that I went to was in Mengwi village where it’s cheaper to eat at their Warung. We were fortunate to have stayed with a local as she showed us the Warung in the corners of Mengwi. Here are different kinds of food that we tried, that you might want to check on. The normal price we paid every meal in a Warung is in between IDR 7,000- IDR 12,000 in Mengwi village while other parts in Bali, we spend IDR 10,000- IDR 25,000.00
"A warung (old spelling waroeng) is a type of small family-owned business — a small restaurant or café — in Indonesia, and to a lesser extent, Malaysia. A warung is an essential part of daily life in Indonesia."(info from Wikipedia)
Nasi Goreng / Mie Goreng
Es Teller “Cihuy” Dessert
Beef Barbecue with their local chili sauce
Es Kelapa Muda
These are all the things we have done and shell out money with for our stay in Bali. Bali is an amazing island and is really a diverse place.
For places to stay: You may book it here
For activities: There are heaps of lists click here.
Overall Amount we spent 9 days in Bali was in between $160-$180 or IDR 2,390,000.00 each person.
Disclosure: Some links may include affiliates which means I can have a little commission when you click the link and make transaction directly with them. There is NO additional cost on your part (you MIGHT get discounts instead). In this way, a little commission can help this blog to a greater purpose. Please note that I ONLY recommend products or tours which I had a great personal experience.
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Author: Ferna Mae
Ferna is from the Philippines who travel spontaneously. Thrives to be more independent in her own skin. She first traveled The Philippines before she embarked to other countries. She believes that by traveling, her undying crave for learning excites her in a more profound way. Her flexibility had proven her that time is genuine. As a former tour guide in the Philippines, she hopes that her travel experiences will give value to the aspiring travelers. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org,