Let’s be honest, all of us like the feeling of getting a good deal and nothing beats saving money, especially when it means that you have just that little bit more to spend. Bali attracts travelers from all walks of life and the island can still be enjoyed even if you happen to be on a tight budget. We have compiled a few handy tips to make your Rupiah stretch as far as possible without missing out on essential Bali experiences.
Staying in a hotel room can often take a large chunk of your hard-earned holiday budget. However, if you are prepared to lower your standards, there are many different ways to sleep well in Bali. Choosing a traditional home-stay is one option where you can rent a simple room that is part of a Balinese family compound. This is s a great way to interact with the local community, but don’t expect any luxuries and breakfast (if any) is usually very basic. Home-stays are usually located down the back lanes of tourism spots such as Kuta, Sanur and Ubud.
The demand for affordable accommodation in recent years has given rise to a choice of budget hotels, bed & breakfasts and hostels. These are simple places where you can get a good night’s sleep in a clean bed and something substantial to eat in the morning. Free WiFi is also an added bonus to update your social media accounts see what other travelers are doing on the island. Check out POP Hotel Kuta Beach, which is strategically located and has a swimming pool to help you beat the heat.
Other recommendations include BnB Style Hotel Seminyak, Tanaya Bed & Breakfast Kuta and Kayun Hostels in Kuta and Legian.
With the latest inﬂux of high-end restaurants and trendy cafes setting up business on the island, dining out in Bali’s tourism hotspots is no longer as affordable as it used to be. But don’t despair; there are still plenty of hidden gems to be found if you are willing to “go local”. This means eating at small warungs or food stalls where a plate of nasi campur is the standard fare.
Here you will be served a portion of rice and get te choose your preferred meat and vegetables from an array of dishes on display. A dollop of spicy sambal and glass of iced tea will complete your meal.
These local eateries are all around, so keep a watchful eye out. If in doubt, simply ask a Balinese person where they usually go for lunch. Warung Murah is a popular spot located on Jalan Double Six heading towards the beach.
A different eating spot also named Warung Murah can be found just past the traffic lights heading into Jalan Petitenget.
Another cheap and cheerful favourite is Warung Darsana near the entrance of Jalan Padma. All options will have you fed and watered at a price that will put a smile on your face for the remainder of the day.
Where to Shop
Even if you don’t have that much money to spare, shopping is all part of the Bali experience, Colorful market stalls are ﬁlled with inexpensive clothes, sarongs, sandals and souvenirs where you barter for 5 price that you are willing to pay. Expect to have a bit of fun along the way almost all local traders like to have a joke and chat as the whole exchange takes place. If you are not up for haggling, therey are a number of ﬁxed market stalls to visit selling all the usual Bali products. Ketut’s located down a small alley just off Garlie Lane in Kuta, is known to be very fair. So too is Dianne’s Shop on Jalan Kartika Plaza.
Keep an eye out for factory outlet sales if you are interested in branded surf products such as Billabong, Quicksilver and Roxy. Sizes and styles are often erratic much of it is surplus stock being sold off. Still if you have time to hunt through the rails you can often get some good bargains. There are several outlets located on the ByPass Ngurah Rai and the biggest sales tend to take place around Christmas and New Year. WBF (World Brand Factory) is also worth checking out as it sells sportswear, shoes and a range of locally made products.
Rather than buy drinks and snacks from the nearest mini market, it pays to head to the nearest supermarket such as and Hypermart, Carrefour and Hardy’s to get these things for less.
If you are staying for an extended period of time, beer by the crate and various imported products can be purchased from Lotte Mart, which is a type of cash and carry warehouse.
With Bali’s roads getting busier and busier, there is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic in the back of a taxi with the meter tricking over. if you have an international license, the best way to get around and explore the island is on a rented motorbike. However, this is only worth considering if you are an experienced rider as Bali’s roads are often insane.
Another relatively cheap transportation option is a motorbike taxi known as Gojek.
By downloading the app on your smart phone, you can order a driver to take you anywhere on the back of a bike. This cost effective service can also deliver food from your favorite restaurant and attend to other errands like picking up movie tickets. In addition, Uber is now available in Bali and it is the perfect choice when arriving at the airport rather than having to negotiate with aggressive taxi drivers out front.
Why pay out to watch Bali’s celebrated sunset when you can sit and enjoy it for free at any of the make-shift beach bars located along the Kuta/Legian strip. Cold beers and soft drinks are sold at shop prices from ice boxes as you sink back into a bean bag or reclining sun bed. This feet-in-the-sand experience is a great way to connect-with the locals and make new friends. A word of warning, you may ﬁnd yourself inundated by beach vendors trying to sell you the latest sarong or give you a pedicure. A few polite words Indonesian will ensure that you are left alone to take pleasure in the sunset without breaking your holiday budget.