A Bali vacation for a family can mean saving for the whole year, so to help you budget we’re giving you some tips on how to plan and make the most of your savings. From visas to food options, we have all the info you need to make your budget stretch as far as possible!
Picking Your Vacation Dates
Airfares to Bali will vary depending on where you’re flying from of course, but also the season. July to early September and December and January are peak season in Bali and during this time flight and hotel prices can be up to 50% more than low season. Using Australia as an example, in low season you might grab a great deal for AUD$300 per person where it could be AUD$650 per person in high season. For a family this makes a HUGE difference.
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You can snag cheap flights to Bali by keeping an eye on the rates online. You can also score discounts by signing to newsletters from airline companies. Cheap flights are available all year round via budget airlines like AirAsia or Tiger Air. Just register on their website to receive notifications for promos and discounts. You also might need to spend some time comparing deals on Hipmunk, Kayak, Momondo or Skyscanner to find the best airfares.
If you’re backpacking, there are loads of super affordable inns, guesthouses, and rooms available all over Bali, but if you’re traveling with family, chances are you’ll want somewhere comfortable and modern to stay. For a resort like family fave The Padma in Legian you’ll need to start saving because a family room will set you back anywhere from AUD$300 – $500 a night! For cheaper alternatives check out these posts: 8 Family Friendly Legian Hotels Under $50 10 Affordable Villas in Seminyak Under $200
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Villas are often a great option for families as a weekly rate is usually lower than resorts. You’ll save money on food if you can make snacks in the villa and have plenty of space and privacy. You can also get great deals on sites like Groupon. Recently they offered a stay at the Hard Rock Kuta for 71% cheaper than the normal rate!
All-In Vacation Packages
One of the best ways to make the most out of your money is to opt for vacation packages offered by local travel agencies. Most vacation packages are inclusive of hotel transfers, accommodations, airfare and sometimes even insurance. Depending on the type of package you chose, some also include city tours, island hopping and other activities. Check out websites like Virgin Australia Holidays, Expedia, Yatra, Orbitz.
Travel insurance is not usually a huge expense, but if you’re doing a complete budget, and it’s not included in your vacation package, you’ll want to add it on. Some people travel without insurance, but to be honest, when it’s so reasonable, why take the risk?
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Bali is now visa free for Australians and many other nationalities, so this saves a good deal of money for visiting families. However, if you are planning to stay for more than 30 days, you will have to buy a VOA to be able to extend past the 30 days. Find a complete list of visa exempt countries here.
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Getting around Bali is easy. You can either rent a car and drive yourself around for around AUD$25 a day or hire a driver for about AUD$50 a day.
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To save up on transportation costs, choose a hotel or villa that offers free airport and town centre shuttles. There are also air-conditioned buses in Bali that are very comfortable and extremely cheap at less than 50 cents per person! Or you can opt for the tourist friendly mini-bus services like Kura-Kura bus that are much cheaper than a private driver. These public options might take a bit more planning, but will save you hundreds of dollars!
Checking the Sights
If you are working on a limited budget, luxurious restaurants and shopping might be out of the question, but the good news is there are tons of attractions on to discover without spending a dime. There are loads of public beaches, temples, walks, waterfalls, markets and sunset spots that are totally free.
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For cheap options for things you can’t get totally free, check out Scoopon, Groupon and Living Social for discounts on theme parks like Waterbom, Bali Safari and Bali Bird Park and also adventures like rafting and atv tours. There are also attractions like the Monkey Forests in Ubud and Sangeh, and the Botanical Gardens that cost very little and are great days out.
Even Bali’s most popular spots have a lot of budget-friendly options. If fancy dinners in upscale hotels or even dining in your hotel every day is out question, you can always check out local eats that offer exotic, flavorful Javanese, Indonesian and Balinese fare. One of the best places to score affordable meals is one of the thousands of warungs around the island.
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A warung is a small restaurant that offers local and sometimes western dishes. Warungs are often operated by families and make hearty meals using heirloom recipes. Think of warungs as diners. Most warungs are small but the food’s good and the ambiance is relaxed and cozy. You can easily eat for AUD$10 per person (or less) when you eat at most warungs. For those who love to explore the local cuisine, we suggest waiting for the night markets. Night markets present a lot of affordable dining options including nasi goreng, babi guling, noodles, satay, grilled chicken and plenty of sticky sweets. We know not everyone, especially kids, wants to dig into local cuisine though. Thankfully, there are great ‘western’ options too. Check out our blogs on cheaper eats in tourist areas. Budget around AUD$10-15 per person if you’re eating and drinking at cheaper restaurant options. 10 Affordable Nusa Dua Restaurants
Budgeting for Your Bali Vacation is Important
Budgeting for your Bali Holiday may take some time and effort, but it’s really worth it to plan exactly how much you have to spend. Eating in resorts and hiring a private driver can be the biggest expenses, so try some cheaper options to save serious bucks.