Bali is cheap. The Southern part of the island around Kuta can be expensive, but doesn’t have to be. The same is true of Ubud.

Once out of those two tourist meccas, there’s not much temptation to spend money. Although fancy hotels are available practically everywhere, so it is possible to spend a lot for those with money to burn.

My time in Bali was spent between three week-long stays in Kuta, Legion, and Sanur, and a two week motorbike trip. So I’ll break my spending report into slow travel (staying put), and fast travel (my motorbike trip),

My Cost Of Traveling Slow In Bali

CagegoryCostCost Per Day
Sites And Activities$15$1
Everything Else$128$8

When I stay put in a town, I aim for accommodation that costs $15 a night or less. This got me a decent room with air-con in the center of each of the towns I stayed in. It put me in the high end of the budget category. Costs can be cut my giving up the air-con, and cut further by staying in dorms. But I needed comfortable rooms to work in, so this was money well spent for me.

I love to eat, but I did pretty well keeping food costs down in the expensive towns I stayed in. I always skip breakfast, then eat local food for lunch, which is cheap. Then no snacking until after dinner. The only food to snack on when you travel is junk food like donuts, ice cream, and potato chips, so I skip that stuff until dinner. For dinner I often went to touristy restaurants, but never went crazy with expensive dishes. One expensive meal and one cheap one per day averages out to very little cost.

Transportation was significant, because in Bali you have to rent your own scooter. It frees you from the sketchy guys on the street hawking transport, Viagra, and ladies. This category includes the rental at $3 per day, gas, which was only $9, and $25 for an Indonesian driver’s license.

Finally, the catch-all Everything Else category was significant this month. The biggest contributors were $40 of cheap Balinese massages, which added up, and $28 to extend my visa on arrival.

My Cost Of Traveling Fast In Bali

CategoryCostCost Per Day
Sites And Activities$80$6
Everything Else$46$4

When I’m on the road, costs often plummet. There are fewer temptations to spend while traveling. That happened to me in Bali, but the effect was not great.

My accommodation cost did got down a bit, from $15 to $11 a night. But my food costs actually went up by a dollar a day! Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t exactly on the road every day. I spent a substantial number of nights in Ubud, where there are many expensive tourist restaurants.

Transportation continued to be dirt cheap. My cost of only $3 a day included both the scooter itself, and gas, which is basically free in Indonesia. Renting a scooter is the way to go here!

I was visiting temples every day and I climbed Mt. Agung, so my Sites And Activities costs were high for this trip. I didn’t do any diving, so that kept my costs down.

Bali is a cheap destination. Your money goes far there. It’s even cheaper to live there full-time.

I rigorously track my spending every day, and report it here for every country I visit. Read about my methodology and my Philippines costs.

I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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