Bali On A Budget: How To Spend Less Than $25/Day

Can you really travel on a budget in Bali? Agness from eTramping.com reports

A Hindu temple in Bali

Although Bali is one of the busiest and most visited islands in Indonesia, I found it surprisingly cheap to travel around. At first, I was planning to stay there for only 3 days, but I ended up extending my visit for another 4 days. In fact, Bali has so much to offer for so little money if you know where to go and how to bargain.

If you don’t believe me, follow these few tips on how to avoid overspending and you will be able to enjoy your visit here for less than $25 a day.

Accommodation: $5

Hostel: BedBunkers.

Price: IDR55.000 a night (around $5), 15 bed dorms.

Address: Jalan Dewi Sri no.45/18, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia.

Hostel review: It’s a cheap place with friendly staff and a good location. It is placed in Kuta area around 15 minute walk from the city center and 25 minute from the main beach. The rooms were clean and neat. Every bed was supplied with locker and there was a great Internet connection everywhere (including the rooms). The price of BedBunkers is unbeatable in Kuta and the whole hostel was really kept clean.

Local women getting ready for prayer time

Food: $6

Who doesn’t love Indonesia? Well, aside from the beautiful beaches and sunset in Bali and the warm greetings from the locals, there is something else Indonesian should be proud of: affordable Balinese local cuisine.

Fried chicken, spicy noodles and veggies – Indonesian style dish

Food type: Street food.

Daily cost: $6.

What you can eat:

  • Mild or spicy noodle soup with your own choice of meat for IDR7.000/$0.62, a cup of black tea or coffee for IDR2.000/$0.18 and a bowl of tropical fruits IDR4.000/$0.35.
  • Chicken served with rice and veggies for IDR15.000/$1.32 and a glass of ice tea IDR3.000/$0.26.
  • Grilled pork meat with a bowl of rice and grilled sweetcorn for IDR20.000/$1.76.
  • Local pancake called Martabak for IDR7.000/$0.62.

Total: $5.11 a person.

Transport: $5

The best way to explore the island on the cheap is to rent a scooter. It costs IDR50.000 ($4.50) a day and if you find a travel buddy, you can share the expenses! The petrol is only IDR6.000-7.000 ($0.50) and it will last you for more than 10 hours of ride.  In this way you can be transport independent and definitely more flexible with your sightseeing plans. It’s also a great adventure to do Bali’s Temple Hopping on the cheap. Scooters shops are everywhere, but you can also rent one from BedBunkers and other hostels. Before riding it, make sure you have an International Driving Licence and you wear the crash helmet.

Sightseeing: $1.76

  1. One of Bali’s top 5 temples.
    Tanah Lot temple is just an amazing rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali, great place to capture stunning sunrises. If you get there after 6 pm, the entrance is free (I did it).
  2. Fish market.
    It is free of charge market filled with fresh fish and seafood where you can get your dinner or lunch on the cheap. Moreover, it is a stunning sight as traditional boats, or jukung, bring their catches to shore in the lemon-yellow morning light so you can take some amazing photos.
  3. Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary.
    The admission fee is IDR20.000/$1.76. You can spend around 2-3 hours at the temple watching the monkeys interact with the tourists who brought in food and drinks in their purses or bags.

Monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal

In Summary

Adding up all expenses you will ended up spending only $17.76 a day, so you still have more than $7 to spend on some extra snacks, temple entrance or some drinks when going out. As you can see, Bali can be a budget friendly place as long as you keep your parties in check, consume local food and avoid the busy city center where plenty of locals are just waiting to rip you off.

How cheap do you find Bali now?

Ulun Danu

About the Author

eTramping is a budget travel blog where Agness and Cez are sharing their tips on how to travel the world with $25 in their pocket. This Polish duo has been on the road since 2011, living and working in different countries all over Asia. They are currently based in China where they dig into baozi and jiaozi, explore local temples and teach English to kindergarten students. If you would like to read more about their adventures, you can check out their “Add the Brick to the Great Wall:” Experience-based Advice for China from Expats” e-book or visit eTramping.

12 comments

  1. Comment by Maria

    Maria Reply September 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Awesome guide. I am thinking about doing a month long backpacking trip of Mexico and Guatemala. I would like to do both the northern and southern backpacking routes in Mexico that you recommended. Would it be possible to do them both in 20 days and then have 10 days in Guatemala?

  2. Comment by Travel_Fitster

    Travel_Fitster Reply August 25, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Love the posts! Very informative 🙂
    Interested to know how long you spent in Mexico and/or how long you’d recommend to spend time in the places on the map?

    I know this will vary on a few things!

  3. Comment by Mitzi

    Mitzi Reply June 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Marek!
    I’d put aside six weeks to travel from Mexico City as far down Central America as possible then flying inland back to Mexico City and IF I had enough time doing the Copper Canyon before heading home.
    After reading this I’m not sure six weeks is going to be enough time! What do you think?
    Also would all of November and a few weeks at the start of December be a good time of year weather-wise? If not when do you recommend?
    Cheers for your help!

    • Comment by Marek Indietraveller

      Marek Indietraveller Reply June 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Six weeks is a good amount of time for seeing a lot in Central America. I would probably play it by ear though in terms of how many countries you can cover. For instance you can easily spend 2 weeks just going down from Mexico City (without rushing), 2 weeks in Guatemala, etc. If you’re dead set on getting all the way to Panama you might exhaust yourself or miss out on stuff along the way.

      Climate wise all should be good in Nov/Dec. I’ve been in the region during this time of year as well and it’s a perfect time to visit.

      Good luck with your trip!

      • Comment by Mitzi

        Mitzi Reply June 30, 2015 at 3:27 pm

        Thanks so much for getting back to me!
        Since I wrote this I’ve realised (due to extensive reading of your guides..) that I’m going to need at least two months to see everything. So I’m planning to head out late January/early February for an indefinite length of time (probably until April)! Would the climate be good this time of year also?
        Thanks again for all you help. The guides are incredible.

        Mitzi 🙂

        • Comment by Marek Indietraveller

          Marek Indietraveller Reply June 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

          The sunny/dry season runs until April, though even the months after that should be mostly fine. (Bad weather is mainly in aug-oct, though depends per country.) I’m happy my guides have proven useful!

  4. Comment by Charlie

    Charlie Reply April 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Very useful post! Bali sounds like a brilliant budget destination.

    • Comment by Agness

      Agness Reply April 17, 2014 at 6:12 am

      Thanks Charlie. It is, indeed! I really hope you can make it there.

  5. Comment by outforadventure.us

    outforadventure.us Reply April 11, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Hi, i beleave that you can spend less then 25 USD per day here! Take a bike and tour around by your self , eat some where in the road, nearby local people and sleep in small guesthouse with your travel mate

    • Comment by Agness

      Agness Reply April 17, 2014 at 6:13 am

      Yes, so true! Great tips! That’s how I did it.

  6. Comment by Marek Indietraveller

    Marek Indietraveller Reply April 11, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Thanks Agness for this wonderful post! When I visited Bali last year and first landed in Kuta, I felt horrible. Kuta was not the kind of place I wanted to be: expensive and catering mainly to Australian holidayers / binge drinkers. I thought I had made a mistake coming to Bali, but then I went further inland and discovered it could be cheap and so amazing, like your post illustrates so well. I was particularly happy with my accommodation in Ubud… a little temple-like structure with giant bathroom and bed for just $10. 🙂

  7. Comment by Agness

    Agness Reply April 11, 2014 at 12:37 am

    This post brings back such great memories from Bali. This island really surprised me with the fact I could stay there for less than $25 a day. I was expecting it to be much more expensive and we were both afraid of staying there a day or two. In fact, it’s a backpacker friendly island with such amazing temples you can explore, simple but rich in flavors food and extremely hospitable locals. One of the best experiences I have ever had in Asia.

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