Best Budget Travel Guide For Bali
Bali attracts more and more tourists every year with the beautiful viral videos navigating its way through social media platforms. That didn’t deter me from visiting this beautiful island once again. This Budget Travel Guide For Bali will give you tips on the best area to stay in, where to eat and what to do.
Where To Stay in Bali
If you’re wondering which part of Bali to stay at, peep this guide. We chose to stay in Seminyak because it’s not too far from the airport. This area is filled with different boutiques, eateries, and spas this town had to offer.
Alcohol can be quite expensive here so be sure to purchase your favorite bottle at a duty free shop before arriving here.
On this particular trip, I used my points from Chase Sapphire Reserve to fly from Singapore to Bali and our stay was practically free when the hotels.com reward nights were redeemed.
Expenses – How I Only Spent $72 For Airfare and Hotel
Singapore Air Economy – Singapore (SIN) –> Denpensar (DPS)
Paid: 7,500 Kris Flyer points + $25
Average Temperature during March 1st – March 5th – 80 degrees and humid
Exchange Rate: $1 USD = 13,775 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah)
SIM Card Best Budget Travel Guide For Bali
Purchasing a SIM card at the airport is expensive (quoted around 300,000 IDR – $21 USD) so wait until you get into town. A 2gb SIM card went for 80,000 IDR ($5.81 USD)
When exploring Bali, you’ll notice that vehicles drive on the right side of the road. Plan on renting a scooter? If so, In Bali people drive on the right side of the road. If you plan on renting a scooter you’re supposed to have your International Driver’s License. Read my pre-plan on how you can obtain it.
Arriving At The Airport – Do I Need A Visa For Bali?
When I came here a couple years ago, US Citizens had to pay $25 USD for a visa upon arrival. Luckily, that is no longer the case. In any case, if you’re traveling from a different country you can check here to see if a visa is required. Best Budget Travel Guide For Bali
Transportation to Seminyak – TAXI SCAM
This was probably the most frustrating thing out of the whole trip. Upon arrival, the ride sharing app Grab quoted 72,500 IDR ($5.26 USD) to get to the hotel in Seminyak. Walking out of baggage claim, drivers bombarded the arrivals offering a ride to Seminyak for 450,000 IDR ($32.67 USD). What a price difference! I politely declined and mentioned that a driver from Grab was coming to pick me up. Then they all said Grab was not allowed at the airport. Determined to find a metered taxi booth, the drivers said it was a flat rate to get anywhere. As I continued, the price kept dropping.
Finally, I made a deal with a driver to us for 150,000 IDR ($10.89 USD.) I still felt like I got scammed. I found a blog on how you can avoid the taxi scam at DPS airport – click here. You can also take a bus out of the airport and get a metered Blue Bird Taxi.
Once you’re in the main area, Uber and Grab are available at the touch of your finger. If for some reason you decide to take a taxi, make sure it’s a metered taxi by Blue Bird.
Street Food – Is It Safe?
As far as eating I was told by numerous people NOT to eat the street food. What a disappointment! I LOVE cheap yummy skewers. Don’t risk getting the “Bali Belly.” One of the things you have to try here in Bali is their famous coffee called “Kopi Luwak” made from an Asian Cat’s droppings – weird huh?
If you’re curious about the tipping etiquette in Bali you can read about it here.
Things To Do
I spent many hours trying to figure out what I wanted to do in Bali. This 4 day trip was mainly to relax and I wanted one day of activities. Best Budget Travel Guide For Bali
Some attractions on my list were swinging on that famous swing in Ubud. When I researched it, the price was $35 USD per person!! White water rafting down Ayung River was $35 – $70 USD. So you’re probably turned off by all these costs right? Well, I found a driver that would do these 2 activities + 4 more stops for $55 USD. What a steal!
Personal Driver For Hire
Putu, our travel guide from BaliDriverFive, organized everything for me. $55 USD per person (and all entrance fees included) seems like a good deal to me. Here was our itinerary:
- Pick up at 6:00am (I chose to do it this early because traffic is bad in Bali)
1st stop: Tirta Empul Temple
Purification baths takes place here. Entrance fee is 15,000 IDR ($1.09 USD) and sarongs are required and provided for all genders. Since this was my first stop, I didn’t witness any ceremonies so onto the next stop!
2nd stop: Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Ubud
Entrance fee is 15,000 IDR ($1.09 USD.) It is truly a beautiful view.
3rd stop: Coffee Plantation/Swing
You will see a quick demonstration of how “Kopi Luwak,” the world’s most expensive coffee is made. Then it’s off to the swings. There are 3 different size swings ranging from small, medium, large. Due to steep drop off after the swing, you don’t have to worry about falling off because you’re strapped in with a safety belt. If you recall, I mentioned that doing this activity on your own would cost about $35 USD.
4th stop: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Entrance fee is 20,000 IDR ($1.45 USD.) Bananas are for sale, therefore purchase a bunch before heading in to feed the monkeys.
5th stop: White water rafting down Ayung River
This activity costs $35 – $70 USD if you were to book it on your own.
We were paired with another group. Above all, our raft guide was hilarious. Probably one of my favorite activities to do in Bali. Lockers are provided and includes a meal after the rafting trip. Be sure to bring your waterproof cell phone case to take pictures.
6th stop: Tegenungan Waterfall
Entrance fee is 10,000 IDR ($.73 USD) The pictures I saw online showed this beautiful clear water waterfall. Upon arriving, it was apparent that the water was brown and ugly. With the help of photoshop, I was able to make it looks somewhat pleasant.
This full day tour (approximately 12 hours) cost me $55 USD and of course I tipped the driver. Be sure to contact BaliDriverFive for your personalized itinerary.
- BreezyTours offers 3 hour sight seeing tours starting at $25 USD, and food tours starting at $45 USD
- Scooter Rentals – around 50,000 IDR ($5.60 USD) Remember to get your International Driver’s License for this
Anggita Spa – Credit Cards Accepted – This place is the cheapest massage that I found and it was right next to my hotel. 1 hour body massage for 75,000 IDR ($5.44 USD)
There are other more luxurious spas such as Body Works but those start at 275,000 IDR for 50 minutes.
Potato Head Beach Club – Credit Cards Accepted – I spent an entire day there. They open at 10:00 am so I suggest going a little bit early to reserve a day bed. It’s 500,000 IDR ($36.30 USD) minimum spend which is very easy to meet!
There are many restaurants in the Seminyak area but these two restaurants really stood out.
- The Luhron – Cash Only – Meals from 35,000 IDR ($2.54 USD) – 60,000 IDR ($4.36 USD). The Luhron Balinese Nasi Campur was really yummy.
- Atlas – Credit Cards Accepted – If you love Roast Char Siew Pork and Crispy Roast Pork Belly – 79,000 IDR ($5.73 USD)
Although we spent 4 days in Bali, I felt like there was still so much more to see. I’m coming back for you Bali!! Next stop: Manila & Cebu, Philippines