You’ve bought a dream holiday in Bali at a fabulous resort, perhaps saving hundreds of dollars on a great luxe-for-less deal, but you still want to watch your daily spending budget while there. So what should you do to make sure you don’t get a nasty credit card bill after you get back home? At the top our list of ways to save include not overdoing it when spending on food and drink. Where food is concerned, forget indulging in more expensive western-style food and instead eat what the locals eat. While Bali has many great dining options, including fancy fine dining restaurants and trendy beach clubs, you’ll find that traditional Balinese food served in restaurants and street side cafes is fresh, cheap, safe and tasty. For example, a bowl of Mi Goreng, which makes for a hearty lunch or dinner, is a fraction of the price of what you pay in tourist restaurant; you’ll save money, and have a more cultural experience as well as trying new foods and flavours as part of your Bali experience. Alcohol is expensive in Bali, in particular wine and imported spirits which are heavily taxed. Bring as much duty free with you as is permitted, and stick to drinking a local beer, such as Bintang. You can buy beers from mini marts, which are everywhere, and hit the beach at sunset instead of going Bali’s expensive tourist hotspots, or enjoy them on the balcony of your accommodation at your resort. Also, look out for good value happy hours offered by bars at certain times of the day.
When it comes to getting around, Bali doesn’t have a tourist friendly public transport system. Taxis are relatively cheap, but if you are planning to move around quite a bit during your holiday a better option is to hire a scooter or motorbike; this will also help if you want to get off the beaten track, and will enable you to skip expensive sightseeing tours and just ride around yourself. Free and low cost activities you can also enjoy include visiting the island’s many beaches, driving up into the mountain and rice fields, and visiting temples. Make sure your licence is acceptable to drive a motorbike or scooter in Indonesia, and be aware that the police target tourists for fines. Also check that your travel insurance covers you in case of an accident. Prices in Indonesia are always negotiable so remember to haggle when you are shopping in the markets for groceries or souvenirs. Bali has some amazing spas and retreats, and indulging in a massage or facial is part of the experience of travelling there, however, those at resorts can be pricey. Instead, look out for the ladies who have tables on the beach, where you can get a great massage by a skilled masseuse for a fraction of the price. You will find that at local establishments you can also get your nails done cheaply, also your hair washed and styled. And finally remember that the high season in Bali is between May and October, and over the Christmas and New Year holidays. If you can travel outside these times you can better deals everywhere. Another option is to stay away from popular tourist areas and go off the beaten track.