Friends of mine frequently ask, “For Bali vacations how much money do I need to bring”. A lot of the times this is asked due to budgeting issues. So here are my tips how to budget your stay.
Horse carts were the traditional transportation ; this is a slide from 30 years ago
Transport – Taxi, car rental or hotel transport: To rent a car for the whole day is pretty much around 40-90 USD. Please do your due diligence and not take the first offer that is handed to you. You might pay up to USD 150 a day if you do not plan correctly.
Food – Outside of the hotel restaurants can vary from 5-10 USD per plate. Local food huts can range lower than that if chosen wisely. 3-4 star hotel food usually ranges from 9-20 USD per plate. 5 star and up can range from 20-150 USD per plate. Drinks will follow accordingly.
Tip - One of the largest problems with tourists in the tropics is dehydration. During the trip between the airport and hotel, please ask the driver to stop at a convenience store, which are plenty in Bali and pick up several 2 L bottled mineral waters. Around 1 per person per day. This way you keep yourself hydrated during your Bali vacations without burning your pockets.
Tours - excursions and tourist sites. Be prepared to pay a price different to the locals. Depending on what you want to do, visiting a tourist site like Uluwatu or GWK will cost between USD 10-20 per person. Sites like the water boom park in Kuta or the safari park will cost slightly more. A whole day tour can cost between 40-100 USD depending on what’s on the menu.
Tipping culture - Indonesians are used to a tipping culture. When people offer you a service or “help” they will expect a tip in return. Not giving it, will not result in anything serious just that person will not leave you alone. It’s a good idea that when you touch down in Indonesia, to visit an ATM, withdraw cash, because it gives you excellent rates, then go to a store and buy mineral water. The change you get is your arsenal to deal with this tipping culture. When I mean Indonesians, I mean everybody. The porter who carries your bags at the airport, the driver to the hotel, the bell boy who carries your bags to the room, the waiter at the restaurant, the bartender, the guide, etc. Keeping in hand Rp.2000,-, Rp.5000,-(+-1/2 US$) and Rp.10.000,-(+-1Us$) is handy. If you want to give more, please but remember, the porter who carries your bag when you are about to leave the country will also be expecting a tip!
Shopping - Bali has a very outgoing retail culture. Let me explain, if you walk around Kuta, you are going to be offered sunglasses, watches and more on the street. A lot of it are counterfeit products and if you don’t like it, just say no. You’ll be saying it a lot. But on the other hand, there is not much you can’t find it Bali. Some things might be even cheaper than what you find in your country. Giant, Hypermart and Carrefour and the major big supermarkets are the places you will find your travel essentials at a discount cost. Local markets offer plenty of souvenirs, T-shirts, organic spices and household knick knacks are just some of the few items that Bali is known for.
The travel insurance - is there because of a reason, any type of fun can result in some sort of injury. Bali has A list health care, it’s just that they do not let people in unless they are covered or can prove that they are cash worthy. Please don’t wait until you are hurt to consider insurance; keep yourself safe during your Bali vacations.
Woodcarving depicting Garuda the mythical bird
Souvenirs – Some cultures weigh heavily on buying souvenirs and some don’t but what is frequent is the lack of considering souvenirs weight when buying air fare. Bali is a haven for wood carvings, furniture, sarongs, T-Shirts and the wellness industry products. Please scout ahead on what items are available that might be to your liking so that you can incorporate the possibility of buying those items plus its extra weight on the flight.
Heavy items - Do not be alarmed. If there is a piece of furniture you like and need for it to be shipped home, there are countless expeditions that will send stuff for you. Just make sure that you make an arrangement with your seller and spend the time to see it through. Nothing is automatic in Indonesia. Please eyeball the process of sending your beloved item.
Taxes - Please spend the time to investigate exit taxes, etc. That is related to your item.
Hopefully these tips can help you plan your Bali vacations. Bali has tourists who are ultimate backpackers and also super A list jet setters. So whatever your budget, Bali has got something in store for you. Cheers.
Around the bigger area of Kuta budget stays
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