Bali, Indonesia has been a hot spot for a while and let’s face it, it’s not hard to see why! From beautiful surf beaches to hidden waterfalls and stunning rice fields, it’s become a popular tourist destination over the years. After spending a few days in Bali in 2016, I came to see exactly why people are drawn to it and how backpacker friendly it was. Read more of my luxury Bali backpacking itinerary for $50 a day!
Let’s break it down
NOTE: Please keep in mind that all prices vary depending on where in Bali you stay (inside or outside of a city centre, touristy spots etc).
Bali is the perfect place to ball out on cool accommodation, while not coming close to breaking the bank! There are many affordable yet beautiful places to stay throughout the island. Check out my faves below!
- Airbnb – If you’re travelling with a friend, partner or group of people, getting an Airbnb may be your best bet! They’re not like typical Airbnb’s you’d find in first world countries/cities but rather more like a resort for cheap. There’s heaps of really unique and cool spots you can choose such as this birdsnest stay in Ubud for roughly $35 CAD a night (or $17.50 pp). I stayed in two different Airbnb’s while in Bali (Balangan Beach and in Ubud) and had an excellent experience. I also found that most Airbnb’s offered airport pickup for free which was a really convenient factor as well.
- Hostels – Hostels are a better option if you’re travelling alone and looking to meet other people since they foster a more inclusive culture! They’re also a cheaper option if you’re looking to save more on accommodation. You can find dorm rooms in Bali anywhere from 85,000 – 215,000 IDR or $8-20 CAD. If you truly want to get a luxury Bali backpacking experience, you could always splurge a little and get a private room for a few nights of your stay!
Average price per day = $12.85 CAD
Since the tourism in Bali has grown immensely in the past few years, it offers a wide range of foods. From the traditional Indonesian dishes, to the comforts of European, North American and other foods from your home countries, it’s pretty much got it all!
- Inexpensive meal at restaurant – 20,000 IDR ($1.90 CAD)
- 3 course meal at mid-range restaurant – 85,000 IDR ($8 CAD)
Average price per day = 3 meals = around 110,000 IDR ($10 CAD)
Despite everything else being relatively cheap, alcohol is the one thing in Bali that typically isn’t. I personally didn’t touch any alcohol while I was there with a friend but if you plan on drinking here’s what you can expect:
- Beer – between 20,000 – 55,000 IDR ($1.90 – 5.00 CAD)
- Wine – between 175,000 – 240,000 IDR ($16.40 – 22.50 CAD) per 750ml bottle
- Mixed drink at a bar/club – 110,000 IDR ($10.30 CAD)
- Liquor – 275,000 IDR ($25.80 CAD) for 750ml bottle of Smirnoff
When it comes to getting around in Bali, you’ve got a few options. I personally ended up doing a private car when I was there because it was fairly inexpensive and the most efficient way to get around other than a scooter. If you choose to rent a scooter make sure to read about my experience and safety tips here.
- Grab – Grab is the Asian equivalent of Uber and will get you the best rate if you’re after a taxi service. Download the app on your phone and you can load money onto it or pay cash at the end of your ride!
- Scooter rental – If you choose to rent a scooter you can get them for the day at around 110,000 IDR or $10 CAD.
- Private driver – It’s quite easy to find private drivers in Bali. Often Airbnb’s or hostels will have drivers you can ask to use for a day or however long to get around. When used a private driver it cost around 550,000 IDR or $50 CAD. That was for the entire day and was also split between myself and a friend. If you have a larger group, it’s an even better deal!
Average price per day = *depending on activities and length of journey* = 150,000 IDR ($14 CAD)
Luckily for my fellow backpackers, the activities in Bali are about as cheap as they come! Many things you’ll likely want to do will be nature centered and the best thing about Mother Nature is that it’s free (most of the time).
Bali is home to some pretty spectacular waterfalls! Due to their popularity among tourists, they can get fairly busy and there are entrance fees. The entrance fee for Tegenungan Waterfall is 15,000 IDR or about $1.40 CAD.
The Satria Coffee Plantation is surprisingly another lesser known spot with stunning rice fields. Home to the Luwak coffee (coffee made from a cat-like animal’s poop) it’s a pretty neat spot to check out!
Sip on some coffee or tea with a stunning view for free! Samples are given for free but you can choose to buy tea or coffee if you’d life. Most private driver’s will include this as a stop for the day if you’re heading to the Tegalalang rice fields.
Bali is known for some spectacular surf spots so if you’re keen to try it or improve on existing skills, now’s the time! Even if you’re not up for surfing you can always chill out by the beach for the day.
Renting a surf board for the day shouldn’t set you back more than $26 CAD or 278,000 IDR. Popular spots such as Kuta may be more expensive but I’d recommend checking out Balangan Beach. It wasn’t very busy when I went in 2016 and had great waves for beginners.
Hiking Mount Batur
Mount Batur is a popular hike among tourists during a trip to Bali. The volcanic lookout and decently short length (9 km and about 3 hours to the top) is enticing to most. Sadly, I didn’t get around to doing the hike as my time in Bali was limited but here’s what I know …
You can do a guided tour for around 568,000 IDR or $54 CAD orrrr you can simply do the hike on your own/with friends. It’s not recommended and locals will try to sell you a tour but if you’re really trying to save some cash you can rent a scooter for about 90,000 IDR or $9 CAD for the day.
This hike looks stunning and is a great opportunity to see an active volcano so it’s definitely something I’d do in the future next time I’m in Bali!
A trip to Bali wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the stunning rice fields, namely the Tegalalang Rice Terraces near Ubud. You know the one – probably the only one you’ve seen all over Instagram for the past few years. The entrance fee is a mere 15,000 IDR or $1.40 CAD and you can easily navigate the fields on your own!
The only annoying thing I remember that took away from the experience was the number of locals that pester you to pay ‘tolls’ as you’re walking along the different levels of terraces.
Let’s face it, luxury Bali backpacking wouldn’t be complete without a spa day! Luckily you can indulge in a massage for anywhere between 60,000 and 130,000 IDR ($5.60 – $12.00 CAD), although prices range depending on where you go and how boujee you want to be!
If massages aren’t quite your cup of tea like myself, you can pamper yourself with a Balinese flower bath instead. You can get a body scrub and bath combo for 200,000 IDR or $19 CAD (1 hour total) or a 30 minute bath for 120,000 IDR or $11 CAD at Karsa Spa. Of course there are many other affordable places and most Airbnb’s will have these spa services for you as well!
The monkey forest in Ubud is truly beautiful and a cool spot to see! Unfortunately, the prices are a bit outrageous for what is offered at 80,000 IDR for an adult or $7.50 CAD. It’s still a low price in comparison to western countries and you can spend a few hours there so I’d say it’s worth it!
Be warned: the monkeys can be a tad aggressive and will try to steal loose objects so make sure you hold on tight to anything important!
What better way to enjoy a new culture than through food? With a range of cooking classes available, you’re sure to find one that works with your budget!
For example, if you’re staying in or near Seminyak you can enjoy a a few hours of cooking for about 375,000 IDR or $35 CAD. With that particular class you’ll also walk away with a recipe book!
Average price per day = (assuming you do every activity) 210,000 IDR or $20 CAD
No matter what way you slice it, Bali is a cheap and beautiful destination. As you can see, luxury Bali backpacking is quite easy to do on a tight budget! From exploring rice fields to taking a flower bath, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise at any price point. Let’s take a look at the total cost:
Total average price per day = 605,000 IDR ($56.85 CAD) – not including Alcohol
Now that’s not too shabby for a week if you ask me! Of course it’s all dependent on how you choose to travel. You could easily spend less per day and still have an amazing trip!
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have while planning your luxury Bali backpacking getaway. You can also connect with me on Instagram and join my travel tribe for new budget tips & tricks each week!