Living in Bali on a Budget: Week 5 (Lovina Beach)

Lovina Beach is a great budget getaway in North Bali. It is easy to live on under $50 per day for two people, and enjoy sunshine, the relaxing beach, local food, and excellent diving and snorkeling. Thrifty travelers can enjoy cheap activities like swimming in the warm, calm ocean and eating copious bananas! There are even dolphins that you can go and see in the morning or evening!


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: $28.87
  • Splurges: antibiotics, sunscreen, snorkeling gear
  • Avg. spending per day incl. bills back home: $31.80
  • Avg. spending per day overall in Asia: $37.69 

The clear water visibility was amazing this day!
So what are our living expenses in Lovina Beach this week?
  • Conversion rate: 10,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR) = US$0.75.
  • Accommodation: $81.50
    • Riktiga Bali in Lovina is still amazing. 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.
Even cheaper if you stay 4+ weeks!
  • Transportation: $3.75
    • Petrol (gas) for the scooter: 50,000 ($3.75) for snorkeling/swimming trips to Pemuteran, and into Singaraja to use the ATM.
  • Food and drinks: $74.18
    • The local grocer now only carries oatmeal in two-kilo bags, so we got a loaf of bread for 11,000 ($0.83) to go with our hardboiled eggs.
    • Still loving the fruit-milk-yogurt smoothies for lunch (as described in week 3).
    • Our beer budget was lower this week because I am taking antibiotics, and sadly our friends left town!
  • Misc: $42.60
    • Antibiotics: 318,000 ($23.85), we probably got grossly overcharged, because I got some weird infection and didn't want to have to find a doctor. Antibiotics are OTC here, so I figured I should buy these first and see if they worked. They did!
    • Sunscreen: 150,000 ($11.25) -- BUDGET FOR THIS! Always wear sunscreen.
      • We likely paid too much. However, we needed it, and it is generally expensive here because locals don't use it!
    • Snorkeling gear: 100,000 ($7.50) covers gear for two people.
      • We took a lovely ride over to Pemuteran, where you can rent gear and simply walk into the crystal clear turquoise water, then snorkel above a coral reef with tropical fishes. Amazing.
Happy snorkeler in Pemuteran Beach
    • Entertainment: 50,000 donation ($3.75) (but many people donated much more). We headed over to Jimmy Hendrix Dance Studio for a second time to see the kids perform traditional Balinese song and dance. Great!

Travel budget saving tips:

  • Grow your own fruit ;)
Our yard is half banana trees, and these ones were just in reach

They ripen faster in enclosed spaces! The ones on the right were not in the breadbox!

  • If you can't grow it, only buy fruit that is in season. No research needed, just ask your local fruit seller what's in season, and it should be cheap. For us, we love rambutans, but they're not in season anymore, so we are sticking to papaya and bananas.
  • Read the classics! Many were published before copyright, so iBooks and Kindle offer them free. Plus, they must be at least decent if they've stuck around this long, right?

Curious about Bali? Find out more below:

North Bali has been a wonderful place to relax and visit the beach, eat good local Balinese food, meet the locals, try the fruit, and generally enjoy the slower pace of life. It's super easy to live well in Lovina Beach on a budget!


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