Budget for a Bali Vacation

During the recent Chinese New Year, Kyle and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Bali.  As you can imagine the weeks leading up to this big vacation were filled with many google searches and hours reading the lonely planet guide.  Yet, I still had trouble finding the necessary information.  So I got the idea that after we traveled to Bali I would create a blog to answer all of my questions and hopefully be able to help other questioning travelers!!!.  Well here it goes…my travel guide for Bali.  Please if you have any other questions message me or comment below!!  I am happy to help, that is why I created the blog in the first place:)

This first post will just be about budgeting for your time in Bali.

Pre Trip Budget Plan – I always feel like this is the biggest question no matter where we travel.  This is the 4th or 5th major trip Kyle and I have taken during the last year and usually as a rule of thumb, we budget for about $50/day (not including accommodations) and a little extra for big activities like swimming with dolphins, elephants rides, snorkeling trips etc.  This was the same budget we decided to plan for while in Bali.  Also, know that we are not super cheap budget travelers.  I would say we are pretty average.  We like to enjoy vacation but by no means do we splurge.

Actual Budget: 

Here is an idea of what we spent: (also let me say that we do not drink alcohol so that automatically saves us some dough)


*Most days we spend about $30-35/day on food.  If we decided to have food delivered it was only a few dollars more…totally worth it:)

*Note that we did not eat any local food.  We have been deprived of quality western food living in China for the past 7 months.  So the amazing variety of food in Bali was like Christmas and well worth a few extra bucks!!!

*Local food prices – less than $2 for a plate of food.  For two people only eating local street food that is about $12/day.


Tanah Lot: Less than $3 for two entrance tickets and a parking pass

Uluwatu: Less than $5 for two entrance tickets.  But beware you may need to pay a dollar or two if a monkey takes your flip flop.  You can get it back in exchange for yummy treats.

*Elephant Rides: $55/person, This was one of our extra spending activities meaning it did not come out of our daily budget.  Usually, we are complete DIY travelers rarely ever going on a tour.  However, this time we found a tour that cost $55/person with round trip transportation, and lunch.  Taking the tour ended up saving about $30 or $40 since we did not have to hire a car or buy an extra meal.  Ahh… I cannot remember the company we did the tour through.  But I do know I grabbed their brochure in the airport.

*Surfing (Rental/Lessons): I think we got pretty ripped off here.  We paid about $6/board for 2 hours.  Our hotel owner said it should be closer to $3.  Still $6/2 hours is not that bad.  As for lesson, again they took us because they knew we did not really have options.  A lesson was about $30/session.

*Snorkeling: This was another thing we were a little naive about.  After recently going to Kauai, we had it in our mind that we would go to a beach, rent snorkel gear, and snorkel off the coast.  Well, that is not quite how it works in Bali.  The famous clear snorkel spots require a boat transport.  Which equals lots of money ($50+/person).  Instead we opted for the near shore option that cost us $20/person.  My opinion is that if you want to see true beauty pay the big bucks and go were the water is clear.  Our snorkel experience was definitely not worth the money but we still had a fun time and got to see some cool fish.


This was the big kicker!  We did not realize how long it takes to get from one place on the island to the other. Or how expensive it would be.

*Motor Bikes – For days when we did stuff locally renting a motor bike cost only about $5.  Since our only mode of transportation in China is a e-bike/scooter we felt comfortable riding around like this.  But honestly speaking if not for our China experience I do not think I would have been so keen of using the motor bike.  If you are brave and on a budget go for it.  Just DO NOT forget to put your helmet on!

*Taxi – During our vacation we stayed in Canggu the entire time.  Meaning we were a little bit out of the city and the meterd taxis were not super easy to track down.  But I think if you were staying somewhere near the hustle and bustle, taxis would be a pretty inexpensive transportation.

*Hired Car/Driver – This is what killed our budget.  We were not expecting to have to shell out $30-$50 for a car and driver.  Besides to and from the airport we only hired a driver twice.  Once to take us to Bukit Peninsula and then to take us to Ubud.  Even though it was not ideal, our driver was super nice and had a big, safe car.  We quickly realized that if wanted to see certain things we would just have to pay the money.   I am sharing this information with you so you can plan ahead.

*Airport pickup/drop off – If you can book a hotel with free pickup/drop off that is the best way to go.  But if you are staying at a smaller place that does not offer this service expect to pay between $20 – $40 to get to and from your hotel.

Well, I know this does not cover every detail of a budget for Bali but I hope it helps. Enjoy planning your trip to Bali it is a truly amazing place and I would be back there in a heart beat if it could!!!


2 responses to “Budget for a Bali Vacation

  1. Sounds fantastic! We’re thinking about going to Bali! Thanks for the tips!

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