Ahh Bali! My heart has been set on this beautiful island ever since. The idea of cycling in the rice fields, the crystal blue water of its beaches, being greeted by the warm-hearted Balinese people, and the possibility of me too finding love in Bali, made me yearn to go to this mesmerising island.
An eight-day trip and some 600 dollars to spend. I planned the Bali trip on my own. No external help, no agents. And my Bali trip was a hit. At least in my own eyes. I had a blast in minimal money to spend and managed to see the most of Bali.
So, how did I do it?
- Backpacking in Southeast Asia
- Southeast Asia travel route and itineraries
- Travel budget for Southeast Asia
I decided on a budget
This is the first thing I did as soon as I decided to go to Bali. I told myself I would not be spending more than 600 dollars on this trip. The air tickets itself cost me some $370. So, I left the rest of £230 for my accommodation and food.
Bali is a little cheap in the sense that the value of its currency is very low. 1 dollar is 13,841 Indonesian Rupiah. A lot, right?
Not to ignore the fact that the denomination of their currency notes is very high. They have a 100,000 rupiah note too. But yes, Bali is cheap. So sticking to your budget is not tough.
I travelled light
I packed very little stuff for my trip. Your fun gets spoiled if you take too much luggage with you. You end up packing and lifting weight most of the time.
So, I kept 2 party dresses, 2 beach dresses, 2 pairs of shorts and tees, my Danner tactical boots and a couple of flip flops for my footwear and clothing quota. That’s all!
This also allowed me to travel and commute between cities and destinations on a scooter. And, you don’t have to worry much about your stuff getting lost or stolen.
I decided to do the bookings on my own
I didn’t hire an agent to make the bookings for me. First, they charge you a lot. Second, they make reservations for expensive and unnecessarily hyped places, which I absolutely didn’t want.
Doing the bookings over the counter or look them up online and with a little research about the best and cheapest option available saves you a lot of money.
So, I decided to do all the bookings myself, from air tickets to accommodation to tours. I booked other packages like a cycling tour, fast boat, and water sports while being in Bali.
I assure you it is not tough. Just a little bit of research on the internet and talking to friends who have been to Bali.
I booked only homestays and guest houses
Personally, I’m not too fond of hotels. They are sometimes too expensive and commercialised and ended up having no personal touch or essence of that place. This is the reason I prefer homestays over hotels.
This helps me to stay close with the locals, observe their daily routine, and eat the local cuisine. I also get to feel the true essence of that place, and it is always so lovely to get a chance to speak to the local people and get to know them.
I rented a scooter
The first thing I did after checking in my homestay was to ask for places I could get a scooter on rent. Riding one in Bali is way cheaper than booking taxis. You can rent a scooter for as little as 4 dollars a day, and the fuel doesn’t cost you much.
Plus, ‘Scooter is Bali’s lifeline’, everyone is riding a scooter in Bali. It’s so much fun!
I avoided crowded places
I didn’t go to crowded beaches and restaurants. I absolutely hate waiting for tables or in queues or going to littered or overcrowded beaches. Also, you end up not enjoying the sport because of the presence of too many people around. And, quite often, there is too much noise even to feel the place.
There are some beaches in Bali, like Pandawa Beach, which do not see many tourists. Do visit these. And, avoid beaches like Kuta Beach in Kuta, which are crowded and dirty.
So, by avoiding crowded places, not only did I have fun, I saved time too.
I didn’t drink inside the pubs
If you like to party hard, you know how much it hurts when the party expense burns a hole in the pocket. So, I decided to do this!
Girls entry is generally free inside the pubs, but the alcohol very expensive, so I always had a beer outside the pubs, and then went inside for parties. This allowed me to have fun in the famous pubs without having to spend a lot of alcohol.
Guys, Bali is gorgeous and serene. You leave a piece of yourself here, and something stays with you forever. YOU ARE HEALED! I am sure I am convincing enough to make you long to go to Bali too.
Just make sure not to do anything that hurts their sentiments or poses a threat to the environment. Be a responsible tourist! Considering they are experiencing a water crisis in Bali.
So, this is how I planned a fantastic trip to Bali, all by myself. And, proudly so!