Living in Bali on a Budget: Week 2 (Ubud)

If you want to travel on a budget, living in Bali is a great place to go! Bali is affordable, fun, welcoming, and a great place for a cheap tropical vacation. 

Our goal: $50 per day total, including transportation, accommodation, visas, and bills back home. For two people.

In every budget update I will add a prorated estimate of our bills back home (loans, phone plan, etc. which may vary slightly by month), to include in our $50/day travel budget. I am not including travel insurance -- this would add about $5.75 per day to our total.

  • Days: 7
  • Location(s): Ubud and Lovina, Bali, Indonesia
  • Avg. spending per day: $34.18
  • Splurges: transportation, yoga, beer
  • Avg. spending per day incl. bills back home: $37.08
  • Avg. spending per day overall in Asia: $41.10

One of Ubud's beautiful temples

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So where did all that money go?
  • Conversion rate: 10,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR) = US$0.75.
  • Accommodation: $101.64

    • Best of all, there's a four-week discount of 38% off, so our nightly rate is very affordable.
  • Transportation: $23.34
    • This week, we took a shuttle bus from Ubud to Lovina for 310,000 IDR (155k per person).

Straight up through the mountains

Blurry shot, but nice composition eh? You can see the beach!
      • There is a bit of a shuttle bus scam (more of an annoyance) whereby you will not actually be brought to your final destination...
      • Instead, you are brought to a place where the shuttle bus company can try to hard sell you on tourist attractions (e.g. a day of diving) while you are sort of trapped there.
      • In our case, they were very nice, and when we refused their final offer (which honestly did seem like a good deal), they just put us on motor taxis and brought us where we were supposed to go. They didn't charge for the final taxi ride.
      • In other instances I've read about, they try and charge for the taxi, or they are aggressive about selling, and it can be very unpleasant. Just stand strong!
  • Food and drinks: $97.13
    • We continued eating jam, salt, raisins, oatmeal, and bananas for breakfast to save a bit of cash.
    • Beer accounts for the extra spending... oops!
  • Misc: $17.25
Everything does yoga in Bali
    • I splurged on Yoga at the Ubud Yoga House with a couple of visiting friends. It was certainly nice to relax out in the rice paddies!
      • For 130,000, I don't think it was over 2x better than my 50,000 classes at Yoga Saraswati. However, this is because I concentrate a lot during yoga, so I barely notice the outside road noise.
The view from Ubud Yoga House. It was certainly pretty!

Budget saving tips:

  • It seems tempting, but keep eating off the main roads. One of my best meals was up in the rice paddies at Joglo Organik -- it was not too expensive and also incredibly beautiful! Don't be tempted by "happy hour" signs as they often aren't that cheap if you compare them to the off-the-beaten-path destinations.
The view from one of Joglo Organik's tree house dining areas. Worth the walk!
  • Private cars are nice and air conditioned, but we saved 200-300k ($15/$20 ish) by taking the shuttle. For three people it would have been only a little cheaper for the shuttle.

Curious about Bali? Find out more below:

Remember, if you are traveling on a budget but you don't want to sacrifice a visit to a tropical paradise, Bali is perfect!


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