19 Days in Bali for Under $2000

March 2, 2018

There’s a lot of excuses we all can make to not travel. Flights are too long. You can’t get off work. It sounds dangerous. You need a passport. Yadda yadda yadda… I get it, life happens. We get stuck without realizing it. Personally, I wish I had a lot more stamps in my passport book. (#goals)

My main excuse to not travel is one that likely everyone has experienced: Budget.

Thankfully, I’m going to bury the sob story right now that a trip to Bali is too expensive. For two and a half weeks, I tracked my expenses carefully with an end result of under $2000. FLIGHTS INCLUDED. As well as hotel stays, delicious meals, exciting adventures, relaxing spas, and plenty of shopping.  Everything under $2000. Think of how fast you can spend that at home?! (Faster than you probably realize!)

(For what it’s worth, I can also put to shame the “I can’t get anyone to go with me” excuse – A solo trip to Bali was one of the coolest things I have ever done and I met a dozen or so other solo travelers from all over the world. Check out my other posts about riding solo including my itinerary, my scary moments, and what I would differently next time).

I did a lot of research before my Bali trip by reading other bloggers’ experiences. I want to give back to the same community by sharing a log of my expenses.

You can use it to estimate which areas you can make it rain a little harder or if you want to cut back in other areas. That way you have an idea of spending on your own Bali adventure. Because if you have the time and you’re not scared of the long plane ride, you’re booking your ticket now that you don’t have excuses, right?

FYI: I used the XE currency exchange app throughout my trip to help me convert the prices from Indonesian Rupiah to US dollars. I’ve included a currency converter below if you’re not using US dollars.

Here’s the breakdown of my spending.

Click on each category for further details:

FLIGHTS ⇒ $610

I was ECSTATIC to find a roundtrip ticket to Asia (from NYC) for under $500 so know that it IS possible! I traveled in the less-touristy rainy season of January-February which can make a difference if airfare is a concern.

Round trip NYC to Singapore   $474 USD
One way Singapore to Bali   $63 USD
One way Bali to Singapore   $73 USD

Don’t let flight time turn you off. The majority of the time I was sleeping, eating, watching a movie, or turning into a Tetris addict. The time will pass anyway, might as well say you traveled across the world. But if you’re dying to know what the flight time looked like:

NYC to Tokyo: 14 hours
Tokyo to Singapore: 7 hours
Singapore to Bali: 3 hours

ACCOMMODATION ⇒ $194

On average I spent $10 per night on accommodation. TEN A NIGHT! By using both Hostelworld and Airbnb apps, I stayed at a mix of very basic hostel dorms to fancier homestay options.  I did not book my rooms before my trip because my itinerary was flexible, and in January/February, there are plenty of open options!  I will say, however, that by the end of the trip I knew what I was willing to bargain for and what I wasn’t. Some of my must-haves in accommodation:

  • Clean bed
  • Clean shower
  • Hot shower (or at least a hot tub on site – I got stuck in a rainstorm at one point and couldn’t wait to get into some heat!)
  • WiFi available
  • Air conditioning
  • Not Must-Haves but definitely pluses: Breakfast included. And if in a dorm style room: Curtains to the bed.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of reading customer reviews. They helped me decide where to stay. Here are three of my favorites:

1. Suba Homestay, Nusa Lembongan: ~$8 USD/night

Maclir, the owner, is amazing. Out of all the amazing locals I met, I enjoyed conversation with him the most. Suba was his father’s name so he named his properties after him. Maclir knows all about the island and will help you figure out activities to do. His motorbikes to rent were the best that I was on (especially important for a new learner!). He has complimentary coffee in the rooms to make whenever you want. He has another property too that isn’t dormitory style (I stumbled over there and it’s gorgeous as well). Sharing this makes me really miss the island of Lembongan!

 

2. Umah Belos, Ubud: ~$13 USD/night

Another wonderful local to interact with, I stumbled upon Umah Belos accidentally and Made (pronounced MAD-ay) showed me around her property. I walked around the majority of my time in Ubud, but her husband was a taxi driver if I needed. I’m not sure if it was her son who cooked me breakfast every morning (included in the price) but he was so pleasant and accommodating. I had my own room here but my breakfasts were my time to interact with other travelers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Umah Belos.

 

3. The Gong by Bukit Vista, Uluwatu: ~$20 USD/night

How gorgeous is this?! The people were just as friendly (and had cute little dogs), and I loved that they had a laundry service on site. I was able to give my clothes to them and they brought them right to my door the next day. Waking up and walking out on the balcony to this view was pretty dreamy.

TRANSPORTATION ⇒ $234

This includes rides to the airport in the US, taxi rides in Bali, moped and bicycle rentals, gas (petrol), 3 boat tickets, and hiring a local driver for a half-day of touring.

Uber isn’t well appreciated in the majority of Bali. Go-Jek is another Uber-like app with more acceptance, which I signed up for but never ended up using. It came down to negotiating taxi fares (which I hated doing). You can probably cut off a good chunk of spending from this category if you’re a good negotiator. But if not, at least make sure you’re not getting ripped off because the taxi drivers were the least favorite parts of the trip. Here are a few examples of what I paid so you can get an idea of what to spend:

Taxi from Sanur to Ubud (~15 mi or 24 km): 150,000 IDR ($11 USD)
Motorbike rental for one day: 70,000 IDR ($5 USD)
One way boat ticket from Sanur to Nusa Penida: 200,000 IDK ($15 USD)

 

FOOD/DRINK ⇒ $334
SPA/MASSAGE ⇒ $91

I HAD TO include spa activities in its own category because you can’t go to Bali without indulging in their spas!  Getting pampered is my guilty pleasure so you certainly don’t have to go all out, but to get all of this done for under $100 is absolutely UNHEARD OF in the States so I soaked it up.

Massage at side shop in Ubud: 125,000 IDR ($9 USD)
Fish pedicure: 55,000 IDR ($4 USD)
Manicure: 150,000 ($11 USD)
2-hour spa package: 442,000 IDR ($33 USD) 
Pedicure: 222,000 ($16 USD)
Another manicure: 178,000 ($13 USD)

The 2-hour spa package included a 1hr massage, 1hr body scrub, tea & cookies, and a floral foot bath.

ACTIVITIES ⇒ $237

Included in this $237 are 9 yoga classes, a sunrise volcano trek, two pool day-passes, a snorkeling tour, coffee plantation tour, and admission to Monkey Forest and other tourist attractions.

You can read a more thurough itinerary here but here are a few of my faves (and what they cost)!

SHOPPING ⇒ $301
I DEFINITELY could have cut back here. Depending on your shopping splurge tendencies, this category can be highly variable. Personally, I got a little shop-happy a few days (Ubud you got me), mostly with new outfits and family souvenirs. I would do this differently next time, like putting aside money ahead of time to know what to spend on souvenirs and on my own shopping habits.

This $301 also included a stock up on toiletries/snacks along the way and extra shoes I needed because I destroyed the two pair I packed. And lastly, included is also $15 I spent on laundry services (approx $5 each time I got my laundry done.)

So can you do Bali in under $2000?

As you can see, there are certain areas that I could have been more frugal with to make a “cheap-trip blog post” more impressive. I also could have splurged a little more in some areas to experience more of what Bali has to offer. So it’s up to you. But if you have the time, get to booking and get to living. No more excuses.

Much love ♥ Carlie

Comments (2)

  • Jan Zac

    March 3, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweets and thought I will check your website. Have to say it looks very good!
    I’m also interested in this topic and have recently started my journey as young entrepreneur.

    I’m also looking for the ways on how to promote my website. I have tried AdSense and Facebok Ads, however it is getting very expensive. Was thinking about starting using analytics. Do you recommend it?
    Can you recommend something what works best for you?

    I also want to improve SEO of my website. Would appreciate, if you can have a quick look at my website and give me an advice what I should improve: http://janzac.com/
    (Recently I have added a new page about FutureNet and the way how users can make money on this social networking portal.)

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    P.S.
    Maybe I will add link to your website on my website and you will add link to my website on your website? It will improve SEO of our websites, right? What do you think?

    Regards
    Jan Zac

    1. Carlierose24

      March 3, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      Jan it’s great to meet you,

      I’m extremely new at all this, as in like a solid week new, so I love that you saw my tweets and came by the site. Since I’m so new, I’m not sure how much I can offer to improve your site other than saying I love the clean look as well as your content for two reasons: 1) I know absolutely nothing about investing and I think you have something great to offer for people like me who don’t even know where to start. I will definitely invest some more time diving into your content, it looks easy to try to grasp! And 2) I’m loving your travel page, it’s awesome to connect with people who share the same passion, I’d even add a little comment box there 😉

      From what I’ve researched so far, I plan on using some social media outlets for promotion. I just graduated grad school so anything that costs more than $1 is too much for me right now. (I’m not using my personal Facebook or Instagram because I’d rather connect with people with similar interests instead of blowing up my friends’ feeds.) So Twitter and Pinterest are going to be my main focus points for now. As far as SEO, I am a BABY at this, for real. But let’s stay connected. I’d love to grow and offer tips as I learn them and learn from you too. And I signed up for your newsletter as well, looking forward to it.

      Much love for reaching out!
      Carlie

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