Living in Bali on a Budget: Week 3 (Lovina Beach)

If you want to travel on a budget, living in the collection of villages called Lovina in North Bali is amazing. The people are wonderful and friendly, and it's much quieter and cheaper than the southern end or Ubud. Plus, it's still a tourist area so if you're into spas, diving, temples, and beautiful waterfalls, they're at your fingertips.

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): Lovina, Bali, Indonesia
  • Avg. spending per day: $40.00
  • Splurges: transportation, visas, beer
  • Avg. spending per day incl. bills back home: $42.90
  • Avg. spending per day overall in Asia: $41.67

The view from our private front gate

So where did all that money go?
  • Conversion rate: 10,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR) = US$0.75.
  • Accommodation: $81.50
    • We have really enjoyed our stay in Riktiga Bali in Lovina this week. Check out the video tour in our Bali Week 2 budget
    • Remember, our AirBnB has a four-week discount of 38% off, so our nightly rate is very affordable.
  • Transportation: $40.88
    • OK so we lied and we rented a scooter and two helmets. For 500,000 for 14 days. This works out to about $2.68 a day, but for simplicity we are including its total cost in this week.
    • We also put gas in it (40,000 or $3) and some air in the tires (5,000).
    • We still think scooting in Bali is probably a terrible idea for Westerners, but Lovina is a lot less congested, plus there aren't many tourists dangerously running down other motorists. Just us.

He's so much bigger than everyone else.

  • Visas: $53.25
    • We started extending our 30-day Indonesian tourist visa this week. Check out my guidebook for how to extend your visa! The visa extension cost per person is 355,000 so 710,000 total (US $53.25)
  • Food and drinks: $94.27
    • We continued eating oatmeal for breakfast to save a bit of cash, but also sometimes substituted hard boiled eggs (10,000 or $0.75 for six).
    • Our eating has changed such that we have a small brekkie, yogurt and milk and fruit smoothie for lunch, and only eat out for dinner.
      • Smoothies: yogurt and milk for about a week's worth cost 65,000 and fruit is about 20,000 for papaya, banana, etc. Therefore, a week's worth (14 small smoothies) costs 85,000 or $6.38 -- $0.46 a piece.
    • As usual we probably overspent on beer. We also had one exceptional fish dinner at Warung Ayu (an entire fish) which was a splurge at almost $16 total (incl. drinks).
  • Misc: $10.13
    • Entertainment
      • We saw an adorable children's traditional dance performance at the Jimmy Hendrix Dance School (you can stay here!) for a voluntary donation of 50,000 ($3.75).
      • A visit to the Aling-Aling Waterfall only put us back 20,000 and was amazing:

Worth the $0.75 per person!

 Loved this "waterwall" on the way to the multiple actual waterfalls on the Aling-Aling trail!
    • Cat food for Penyu, the stray cat that immediately knew what cat food was and started sleeping on our porch. She is so sweet!
So little

So sleepy 

Budget saving tips:

  • Look around for local events, like the Lovina Festival, for a free/cheap genuine cultural experience.
  • Always do your research before dropping some cash on things like scooters. If you know what's reasonable, you're less likely to get swindled. People don't like haggling, so pick your price, only bring that amount, and walk away if they won't take it. They probably will.
  • Rent big ticket items from hotels. They're more willing to negotiate because it doesn't come out of their personal pocket if you cut a deal. Plus, it makes their jobs easier if they cut a deal and don't have to do it again with someone else!
  • Don't adopt a cat.

Curious about Bali? Find out more below:


Remember, if you are traveling on a budget and you would like to do some relaxing, eat great seafood, and get in some world-class diving or snorkeling, North Bali is the place to visit!


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