How To Travel To Bali On A Budget? 19 Ways To Save Money 2024

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Nothing is more wonderful than packing up and going travelling, but what makes travelling a little less wonderful? Budgeting! Luckily, travelling to Bali on a budget is totally doable, and by keeping those costs down, you’ll be able to spend more time making memories.

I loved Bali; we lived there for six months! It was such a beautiful and friendly place and can be extremely budget-friendly, but if you’re not careful, it can also get expensive. That’s why I’ve put together these money-saving tips to help you budget for your trip to Bali!

Want to Travel to Bali On A Budget? Discover our 19 money-saving travel tips.

Bali on a budget: Heavens gate - Bali Road Trip
Travelling Bali on a budget: discover 19 of my ultimate travel tips to keep costs down as you explore Bali.

In this post, I’ll share the best 19 ways to save money while travelling around Bali. Jack and I lived there for 6 months and we really did Bali on a budget – we had a £650 monthly budget (each) – yes it’s doable! Here are our top tips on how we managed to live the dream in Bali.

🌟 Guess what ->> As travel experts, our experiences have led us to be great at planning travel itineraries, so much so that I offer a bespoke travel itinerary service to all my readers. Interested? See what it’s all about here on my custom itinerary page.

Can You Visit Bali On A Budget?

Yes, It’s totally doable to do Bali on a Budget. In fact, if you’re travelling on a budget, Bali is one of the best and easiest places to visit for very little money. That’s why there are so many people visiting Bali, many of which have decided to stay and live there.

You will notice a lot of ex-pats now calling Bali home, and why not? Bali is beautiful, full of beaches and tropical rainforests, volcanoes, hikes, temples, warm traditions and kind, friendly locals.

This in turn has made Bali a little more expensive than it used to be. The influx of tourism has meant businesses are popping up everywhere from large resorts to high-end restaurants.

Even so, by no means does this mean Bali isn’t budget-friendly, it is. You can still do Bali on a budget, it just means you have to be savvier with your spending!

Things to do in Kuta Bali
Just because you’re visiting Bali on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best of Bali! You’re going to fall in love with Bali, just like we did!

Have You Decided Which Area To Visit?

The first thing you need to decide is which area you’re going to stay in. The tourist areas such as Canggu and Ubud are going to be more expensive than other areas such as Lovina, Medewi or Amed.

You need to decide what it is you want from your trip, how long you’re going to stay, which areas you want to visit and find a spot which fits your budget and lifestyle. If you’re visiting Bali on a budget I would choose somewhere like Amed, which will be a cheaper base than Ubud.

  • Ubud: is good for a relaxing, new-age hippie vibe
  • Canggu: is good for an upbeat, party vibe and surf
  • Uluwatu: is good for quiet beaches, surf and sunsets
  • Pemuteran: is good for National Parks and hiking
  • Lovina: has the best hot springs in Bali
  • Medewi: is good for beginner surfers and has a laid-back vibe
  • Amed: is great for scuba diving and calm waters

Amed was our favourite place. Looking for where to stay in Amed? We’ve got you covered with the ultimate Amed hotel guide here!

Visiting Amed in Bali was a great way to stick to our Bali travel budget
Visiting Amed in Bali was a great way to stick to our Bali travel budget!

Bali On A Budget: 19 Money Saving Travel Tips

1. Do Your Research Before You Go

Bali has an expensive (peak) season and a low season. Peak season is between April and September, which, due to the weather, means it’s sunny most of the time. The low season is the wet season and it rains a lot, it’s also where you’ll find cheaper flight deals and discounted accommodations!

We arrived in Bali in September and were there throughout the wet season. To be honest, it rained almost every day but it wasn’t bad. Rarely did it rain for the whole day, generally, it was just a morning or evening downpour lasting a few hours. There were, of course, exceptions.

Pro tip >>Try not to travel during Christmas and New Year, although in the wet season, it can still be more expensive. Research your flight options before you book, ultimately I find booking 2-3 weeks before the departure date offers the best deals. Book hotels in advance, don’t leave these last minute unless…read tip 3 below.

Bali international airport, flying to bali, is bali safe to travel.
Flying into Bali International Airport.

2. Should You Use Cash Or Card?

Well, in Bali, you might not have too many options. Many places don’t take cards, especially the more local shops, and those that do usually charge a hefty fee so if you’re visiting Bali on a budget it’s a good idea to stick to cash payments.

There are a few options to get cash, the easiest is from the airport’s ATM machines, however, there are safe places throughout Bali too. You want to look for the bank branded ATMs such as BNI, BRI, BCA, CIMB Niaga and Bank Mandiri.

Pro tip >>Don’t use ATMs in convenience stores. They are independently owned and have higher rates of fraudulent activity. Also, get big amounts out to save on paying transaction fees multiple times.

If you do choose to use your card, you will be able to do so in more western restaurants and shops. A great card which we use to save us loads of money on transaction fees and ATM withdrawals is a Wise Card.

With Wise, you can switch between currencies and accounts to save on transaction fees. The online international account is great if you’re visiting multiple countries and makes it super easy to withdraw money in local currencies without fees.

3. Slow Travel & Negotiate Prices

One thing I learnt while we were living in Bali was that the longer we were there the cheaper things got. For example, our accommodation was a lot more expensive for one week than it was for the month, Similarly, we got to know how much fruits and vegetables should cost and so were able to negotiate the price down until we were paying what locals paid.

Tours and activities became cheaper too as we stopped pre-booking and were flexible on dates. This is usually only possible if you’re slow travelling and I don’t really recommend doing it if you’re on limited time as if you wait, you might miss out on things you really want to do.

However, for slow travelling, it’s a great way to save and keep to your Bali budget.

aling aling waterfall, igoa-adventure
Aling Aling waterfall was one of the best waterfalls in Bali.

4. Choose accommodation wisely

One of the best tips for travelling to Bali on a budget is to choose your accommodation wisely. There are some fantastic villas available throughout Bali but these come at a price. If the plan is mid to long-term travelling/living in Bali then think about renting a guesthouse instead.

Similar to a hotel – with a private room and bathroom – but everything else is shared, such as the kitchen and communal areas. Some thought needs to go into this as not all guesthouses are equal and it will show in the price.

It’s also possible to negotiate the price for longer stays!

Top Tip: Go for accommodation which includes breakfast deals!

Where to stay in Bali?

These were our three favourite accommodations in Bali during our trip. They were all so great that I’m so happy to recommend them to you!

  • Frangipani House and Spa, Canggu: Fitted perfectly into our travel budget of £250 p/m. (Yes, per month and that was split between the two of us!). It’s located in the middle of rice paddies near Batu Bolong beach which was about 5 minutes on the scooter. It’s very central, had a pool and is extremely clean with super friendly staff! 
  • Wina Bed & Breakfast, Ubud: This was literally the prettiest little eB&B in Ubud. We were so shocked to have a room which was immaculately finished and intricately detailed. Unless you’re staying in a 5-star resort it’s unlikely you’ll find places which have more attention to detail than this place. Another great thing about Wina is their breakfast was fantastic!
  • Soka Beach, Amed: We stayed in Amed for a week and fell in love with the tranquillity of this place. There’s just enough tourism to make it a lively place if you want it to be, but not enough that it takes away from the village charm. These villas are beachside (just behind another complex) but still easy to access the beach and just outside of town, it was a great place to disconnect!

Click Here To Find The Best Deals On Accommodation In Bali With Hostel World!

Make sure you get breakfast included while your visiting Bali on a budget!
The breakfast at Wina Ubud Bed & Breakfast, it changed every morning but we always got fresh fruit, juice and tea & coffee!

5. Book Tours and Activities Online

A great way to visit Bali on a budget and make sure you stick to your travel budget is to book your tours online through companies like Get Your Guide and Viator. These are reputable companies where you’ll find loads of reviews on tours.

Sometimes the tours can be overpriced but they do offer some great discounts, so, just have a good look and find the ones which are suitable for you!

Here are a few of our favourite activities:

  • Airport Transfers: If you’re not one for being bombarded straight off the plane you might want to arrange an airport transfer straight to your hotel.
  • Experts Bali Private Driver: Private drivers are a great way to explore Bali and set your own itinerary. These tours work best if there’s a group of you which can make it really affordable.
  • Mount Batur Sunrise Hike and Natural Hot Spring: Jack and I hiked Mount Batur and found it to be one of the most rewarding sunrise climbs we did in Asia, (along with Mt. Ijen). It’s certainly something I would recommend you do while in Bali!
  • Spectacular Waterfalls Tour: Chase the stunning waterfalls in Bali, of which there are many!
  • Besakih Temple & Lempuyang Temple Gates of Heaven Tour: Heavens Gate is the picture at the very top of this post. It was a lot smaller than we thought it would be but combined with the rest of this tour, it’s a great experience!
  • Waterfall, Rice Terraces & Monkey Forest Private Tour: A day out in Ubud exploring all the famous sites. This tour has it all and although we didn’t do this exact one it’s got everything and has some fantastic reviews. I’m confident you will have a great time.

Search For Your Own Tours On Get Your Guide!

igoa-adventure, Mt Batur sunrise hike on the ridge while visiting Bali on a budget
Sunrise hike at Mt Batur. Walking along the ridge admiring the views!

6. Enjoy Lazy Beach Days

One thing which is absolutely free in Bali is visiting the beaches. Since Bali is the ultimate beach destination, being an island and all, the beaches are unbelievable. There are a lot of beaches; some are good for surfing, others which are great for swimming and the rest, good for scuba!

In fact, scuba diving and snorkelling in Bali are a must. The biodiversity of marine life in Bali, heck Indonesia is beyond incredible. It’s by far one of the best places in the world to see marine life!

Jack actually did his Padi Open Water Diving Course in Bali, well, just off Bali on the small island of Nusa Lembongan.

View of the road next to the beach in Medewi, Bali
Medewi beach; we went surfing almost every day there and just loved how quiet it was.

7. Stick to the local restaurants

Locally known as warungs they offer the best deals on food. Try not to get swayed by all the western restaurants! Bali is full of them and they aren’t exactly cheap – well not cheap in comparison to Bali standards!

Warungs will offer canteen-style eating displayed in class cabinets. It’s easy to pile on the food which will still be relatively cheap but for the cheapest option select just one main and two salads/sides to go with either rice or noodles.

Pro tip >>A really good warung and my favourite is ‘Warung Jaba’ which is on Pantai Batu Bolong Street. (This is on the road which leads to Batu Balong beach). It has open-air seating with fans and straw hats dotted along the walls. There’s a great selection of food and it’s always served hot! Try the Nasi Champur for an authentic dish.

Why is Bali so cheap? warung style food trays on display in Indonesia

8. Eat the street food

This is the best way to travel around Bali on a budget! Like the warungs, street food in Indonesia is extremely cheap! Most stalls will be selling deep-fried bananas or deep-fried sweet potato; fried noodles or fried rice; chicken or pork skewers; and bakso soup.

Bakso, as you will see is the go-to street food and is sold on every corner, it’s a broth with noodles and either chicken (Ayam) or beef (Sapi) meatballs. Not so much a street stall but a cafe, Bakso Iga Canggu on JI. Raya is worth a visit – 20.000 IDR for a bowl, you can even try the chicken feet soup!  

9. Embrace the local markets

Markets and food stalls are everywhere in Bali and should be fully embraced. We soon realised it was better to shop at various places, for example, fruit and veg at one stall and dried foods from another.

You can get everything from the markets including clothes and accessories, Ubud has a fantastic market which sells absolutely everything and was one of our favourite places to stroll around. You’ll need extra space in your suitcase or consider sending a box home before you leave!

Pro tip >> Why Not Try The 10 Tastings of Bali With Locals Private Street Food Tour.

Top Tip: For the best markdowns find shops on the smaller streets and always negotiate on the price. Never accept the first price they give you, this should be fun and lighthearted, it’s all part of the shopping culture in Bali.

ultimate travel tips budget travel use local ingredients
One of the best ways on living in Bali on a budget is to buy local food and cook at home.

10. Cook at home & use Asian ingredients

Well kind-off, your guesthouse will become home over time. This is the ultimate way of living in Bali on a budget while having complete control over what you eat – the Balinese are chilli crazy!

To make the most of cooking at home stay away from the larger supermarkets as these are more pricey. Instead, choose the local market stalls which sell everything you need from fresh fruit and vegetables to staples such as noodles, rice and sauces.

ultimate travel tip budget travel cook at home
Squashing some potatoes to make potato cakes. We learnt to make this in one of our cooking classes while we were in Indonesia.

Depending on what you’re after it’s usually a good idea to head to a few different shops as they don’t all sell the same product.

Pro tip >> Check out Lummbung Pangan on Jl. Raya, it’s a great place to buy fruit and veg. They also have refill stations to stock up on nuts, seeds, oats and dried fruit – just remember to bring your tubs! 

ultimate travel tip budget travel cook at home
Our friend was one of the best cooks and we were so lucky to have her cook for us! She helped us make living in Bali on a budget easier, showing us what ingredients to use.

To really keep to your travel budget try and cook Asian dishes such as fried rice, tempeh, tofu and noodles. The more western ingredients like bread, cheeses and cereals are really expensive. This is a great way to start experimenting with new local flavours and dishes!  

11. Stay away from pricey cocktails

As lovely as they are, they aren’t cheap! Having a cocktail (and let’s be honest, it’s rarely just the one) can be more expensive than the meal itself.

The best way of sticking to your travel budget while visiting Bali on a budget is to remove alcohol completely, but that’s easier said than done especially with the buzzing nightlife!

Therefore, to keep drinking costs to a minimum go for the local Bintang beer. It’s refreshing and similar to lager, cheaper and it comes in two sizes. Second to that, opt for purchasing a bottle of spirit from a local shop and make your own cocktails before you head out!

Top Tip: Stay away from buying your booze at supermarkets as they have premium prices. A good place is Dolar Spirit Wine Shop on Jl. Pantai Batu Mejan in Canggu.

12. Find free food and drink deals

Numerous restaurants across Bali are always offering fantastic deals from free food to happy hours to all-you-can-eat buffets, ladies’ night and 2-4-1 cocktails.

This is all to bring in customers, which is perfect for those wanting to live in Bali on a budget! The easiest way to find places offering such deals is via the restaurant’s Instagram account – generally popping up on stories.

Top Tip: For a great social spot in Canggu, The Black Sand Brewery offers some great drink and food deals all week. P.S they do banging triple-fried chips too!  

13. Rent a scooter to explore the island

If you’re visiting Bali on a budget then becoming a pro on the scooter is the perfect way to keep costs down. With little to no public transport, especially in the more remote areas, having a scooter is a game changer.

The only other way to get around is via taxi in either a car or on a scooter. The scooters are cheaper and quicker but can be precarious so make sure to wear a helmet! Taxis are the most expensive transport around there.

Renting a scooter is the “way” of Bali and is very affordable. You can rent one for 30,000-50,000 IDR ($3-$5 USD) a day! That being said, if you want to have one ready to go when you arrive you can use sites such as BIKAGO.

Pro tip >> It’s important to make sure your insurance covers you – this generally means wearing a helmet and having an international license – the latter can be applied for at your local post office for £5.00 before leaving!

Driving a scooter in Canguu
Ultimate travel tips – we used scooters to get around Bali instead of taxis (most of the time) it gives you so much freedom to explore and helps you to live in Bali on a budget.

14. Use public transport

If you really aren’t keen on getting a scooter then it’s possible to use public transport. The Kura Kura bus operates between popular destinations including Ubud, Seminyak and Sanur.

It’s a cheap and convenient way to make sure you visit Bali on a budget however, they aren’t great for exploring other areas which are off the main tourist routes. There are also local buses which circulate the island on the ring road, but that’s about it.

Pro tip >> Using local transport will help you with saving money while you’re in Bali but I wouldn’t rely on them too much, especially after you leave these main areas.

15. Download the Grab and/or Gojek app

If riding around on a scooter isn’t your thing then this is the second best option for keeping to a travel budget. These two are taxi services but offer a cheaper yet reliable alternative to normal taxis.

What’s really great is the app tells you the exact price of the journey, which is easier than jumping in a taxi and having to haggle over the price! I think in general Grab is a little cheaper than Gojek.

Couple sitting on scooters down a dirt track in Bali countryside
But we loved our scooters!

16. Don’t settle for any laundrette

Generally, guesthouses won’t have a laundry service so it’s up to you to get those delicates cleaned. Laundry services are all over Bali, you only need to cross the road to find one.

However, prices vary depending on where you are and Canggu can be a little more expensive. Be sure to look around but generally speaking anything in the region of 10,000 to 15,000 IDR per kilo is acceptable.

Pro tip >> For the best laundry service in Canggu head to Adi Laundry 2 just off Jl. Raya Semat. It’s down an ally – Gg. Jalak XIX – and costs 10,000 IDR per kilo, plus the ladies there are really friendly.

17. Go to Kuta for surf lessons

If learning to surf is one of the reasons you’re in Bali then you won’t be disappointed, the surf is incredible. However, learning to surf in areas such as Canggu is super expensive!

For some reason, surf lessons are around three times more expensive than in the neighbouring town of Kuta which is only 20 minutes away from Canggu!

To keep costs down while learning to surf, head over to Double Six Beach in Kuta and do your surf lessons there, expect to pay around 150,000 IDR for a two-hour lesson. Once you’ve mastered the basics head back to Canggu or Uluwatu for the best waves.

Good To Know: Board hire is only 50,000 IDR for two hours (that’s the standard price throughout Bali). P.S. If you do want to learn in Canggu it’s going to be around 250,000 – 350,000 IDR a lesson!

Surfing in Lombok
This photo was actually taken in Lombok, an island next to Bali but still part of Indonesia. As you can see we started to get a bit better. Lombok is also a good place to head for the surf.

18. Save At The Spa

Bali is world-famous for its spa sessions. It’s one of the best places to get pampered and surprisingly, prices still remain relatively low.

However, there are variations and of course, there are some more expensive spots, so try to stay away from them. You should be looking to pay around 200,000 IDR for a 90-minute massage.

Luckily, there will be massage parlours and spas on every corner which makes it super easy to just pop in and have a treatment. You will feel refreshed and relaxed and ready for the week ahead.

Pro tip >>Travelling in Bali on a budget means you will have to be extra savvy. One way to save even more money on your massage is to have it on the beach. You can generally haggle on the price and so get it a little cheaper than at the spas!

19. Take your water bottle

It’s super hot in Bali and throughout the day it’s likely you will be spending more money on drinks than anything else! Take a refillable water bottle with you every day and everywhere. These can be filled up at most guest houses and some restaurants offer refill stations.

On top of saving a bunch of money, it’s also great for the environment and the best for hydration! It’s one of the best and easiest ways to save money while visiting Bali on a budget.

living in Bali on a budget make sure you have reusable water bottle everywhere you go!
We are always travelling with a water bottle as I drink so much and love to stay hydrated. We had one each although Jack’s has a thermal layer so it stayed cold for longer.

How Much Would A Trip To Bali Cost?

Ultimately, it completely depends on how long you’re going, what time of year and what type of travelling you’re doing. Since you’re on this post, I’m assuming you’re not going to be doing the luxury-type travel and gearing more towards a backpacking-styled trip.

To give you an idea, I’ve broken down the basics and provided estimated costs below. These costs are based on my own experience, showing a 5-day, 7-day and 1-month trip cost for visiting Bali on a budget.

Length of TripEst. CostsWhat’s Included?
5-day£200.00Hostel, scooter rental, 3 meals p/day (warung or street food), 2 excursions (£50 each), 2 surfing lessons, 2 yoga classes.
7-day£360.00Hostel, scooter renal, 3 meals p/day (warung or street food), 4 excursions (£50 each), 3 surfing lessons, 3 yoga classes.
1-month£750.00Hostel/Guesthouse, 3 meals p/day (warung or street food), 4 excursions (£50 each), 6 surfing lessons, 8 yoga classes
*Note: A local meal with a drink can be picked up for about £2, I’ve based my meals on this price. For a meal in a Western restaurant, you’re looking at £10 p/meal and £5 p/alcoholic drink.

What is the cheapest month to fly to Bali?

Due to the rainy season, you will be able to pick up the cheapest flights between the months of November and March. There are a lot of posts out there providing conflicting information, but the truth is, flight prices are volatile and fluctuate all the time.

I don’t believe there is any given month (during the wet season) when flights are particularly cheaper.

Stay away from the dry season and holidays i.e. Christmas and New Year, Easter, etc.

To grab the best deal you will have to keep a watchful eye on flights and sign up for flight notifications with companies like Skyscanner and WayAway which will notify you when there are price fluctuations.

Pro tip >>You can usually cancel a flight within 24 hours (I find it easier to call them to do this). So, sometimes if you find a good deal it’s good to book it and see if you can fit your plans to work those dates. If not, you can cancel but you have to be quick!

Is Bali worth the trip?

One hundred per cent! Jack and I loved Bali, it really is as beautiful as it’s made out to be. There are some negatives, like any other country, such as their pollution problem but they are trying to tackle this and the number of stray animals which is sad to see at times.

Aside from that, Bali has everything you could want from a tropical paradise. Coconuts trees, long sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, a warm climate; mountains, jungle, cliffs and a welcoming community.

You’re going to love your trip!

Why Is Bali So Cheap?

If you’re wondering why Bali is so cheap, it’s typically because the cost of living in Bali is super low. This means that products, such as food and accommodation, can be offered at a much more affordable price.

Is Bali Cheaper Than Thailand?

Since we travelled around Bali and the whole of Indonesia just before we reached Thailand, I can absolutely say that Bali is cheaper than Thailand.

Thailand has seen a lot more tourism over the last couple of decades in comparison to Bali, which has helped its economy grow. It’s still a cheap country to visit, and very affordable, however, Bali is cheaper.

There are some places in Thailand which were on par with Bali, the lesser visited spots which haven’t developed as much are great places to visit. One such place is the island of Koh Mook, we absolutely loved this place and found it to be really cheap like Bali.

Arriving at Charlie Beach in Koh Mook
Discover beautiful beaches lined with coconut palm trees at Koh Mook. The island where you can disconnect from the world!

Is Bali Cheaper Than Singapore?

Omg, yes! Bali is SO much cheaper than Singapore. I get asked this question a lot as Singapore is very close to Indonesia; you could probably swim across the straits…

Maybe not, but Bali is cheaper. Singapore is actually one of the most expensive countries in the world and has developed as a sustainable green city. It’s done a great job at this and is truly a remarkable country.

That being said, don’t let its flash-packer status deter you from visiting; even on a budget, it’s still possible to visit Singapore and have an incredible time.

Singapore fountains!
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, did you know they are free to walk around?

Conclusion: Travelling To Bali On A Budget

So, are you ready for your trip to Bali? I hope so! Hopefully, my 19 money-saving tips to travel to Bali on a budget have been useful and helped you pre-plan, brainstorm and figure out how you can visit Bali on your budget, whatever that might be!

Bali truly is a fascinating island full of wonderful traditions and local people. The Balinese culture is warm and giving, and it’s certainly somewhere you’re going to fall in love with, too!

>> Read More: What Is Canggu Known For? 21 Unique Things To Do In 2023

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Thanks for reading. If you have any questions shoot me a message.