Bali on a Budget: 6 Helpful Tips

One of the hottest travel destinations for Filipinos nowadays is Bali in Indonesia. The island is famed for its beautiful beaches, particularly those that can be found in Kuta and Seminyak. There are also stunning, sparkling blue waters in Uluwatu and Nusa Penida. Meanwhile, the town of Ubud in the uplands of Bali will charm those interested in Indonesian culture. Here, you can immerse yourself in traditional Balinese arts, crafts, and performancesas well as visit various temples.

If youre planning on a Bali holiday soon but dont have too much leeway in terms of your budget, here are some tips to help make your vacation dreams happen!

Get a Tour Package

For Filipinos, the good thing about Indonesia is that you dont need a visa to visit. All you need is your passport with at least 6 months validity and youre all set. This will immediately reduce your travel costs to Bali. Youll save some time, too! For even more savings, its best to search for a Bali tour package. Doing so will give you better rates on both your airline tickets and your accommodations.

Book a Homestay

Alternatively, you can also drive down the cost of your accommodations by ditching hotels in favor of a homestay. There are plenty of homestay options in Bali, which not only cost less but will also allow you to feel more immersed in Indonesian culture during your stay. So if you want to live like a local and have a more authentic experience, homestays are the way to go.

Travel on Leaner Seasons

Like the Philippines, Indonesia (and by extension, Bali) has warm weather all year long. This means that you can generally visit any time you want. For the lowest hotel rates, however, its best to go during March, April, and May. This period is the lean season, which also means youll have a considerably more peaceful time on the island. For reference, the busiest seasons in Bali are Christmas and New Year, Easter, as well as the sunny months of July and August.

Be Wise in Exchanging (and Spending) Money

The Philippine peso goes a long way in Bali, with an exchange rate of PHP 1 to about IDR 269 or higher. However, its best to bring US dollars to Indonesia and have it exchanged to rupiah when you get there. Though you can directly exchange pesos to rupiah, you wont get good rates. If you want, you can also withdraw money directly from ATMs in Bali. Just make sure to make arrangements with your bank beforehand, so they wont flag and block your account due to suspicious activity. Finally, be more conscientious in spending since its easy to get lost with all the extra zeroes. Make sure to do your research on the average prices of meals, transportation, and the like so you dont end up overspending during your trip.

Rent a Motorbike

Solo travelers who know how to drive and have an international license should definitely consider riding a motorbike in Bali for a cheaper and faster way to get around. If you dont know how to ride a motorbike or dont have a license, taxis are also quite reliable in Bali. Flag down the blue cabs, if there are available ones. Their company, Blue Bird, is the most reliable of the lot. Its also a good idea to always bring smaller denominations of the rupiah for paying drivers. Finally, be aware that the fares are usually rounded off to the nearest IDR 5,000 and the excess is considered a tip.

Get a Local SIM Card

If youre planning to stay online for the whole duration of your trip, save yourself the exorbitant mobile network fees and get a local SIM card. For further savings, buy it in advance to get discounted rates. For those traveling in groups, the best option is to rent a pocket WiFirouter. Of course, you can also rely on free WiFi in hotels and restaurants. This way, you can check-in on your loved ones in these establishments, stay offline while youre exploring, and reserve the use of your own data services during emergencies. The bottomline is that you should guarantee that you have a way to keep in touch with people back home, especially if youre traveling alone.

Have an Itinerary and a Strict Budget

You probably already have an idea where you want to go, but its still best to prepare an itinerary and follow it to the letter. This will help minimize side trips, which will throw your budget off. Whats more, preparing an itinerary also gives you an idea of how much youre going to spend in terms of entrance fees, tickets, and the like. After all, most of the attractions in Bali have entrance fees, including the temples.

In terms of your budget, make it a point to avoid extra expenses but also set a maximum amount that youre allowed to go beyond your allowance for the day. There are times when you cant help but spend a little bit more, so just make sure you dont overindulge to keep your budget on the safe side. Finally, and more importantly, allocate an emergency fund and DONT spend it for non-emergency situations.

Almost all of these tips can essentially be applied to almost any foreign destination youre planning to visit. Still, Indonesia is one of our Asian neighbors and its also one of the easiest ones to visit. So with these tips in mind, make your plans, book that tour, and enjoy Bali on your next vacation!