Everyone has seen photos of Bali. Whether intentional or not, we’ve all been there: Scrolling endlessly through Instagram and then BAM, there it is. The 20-something-year-old model posing on an inflatable unicorn in a jungle infinity pool. I was the type to torture myself by following these girls, thinking “why can’t that be me?” Well first and foremost, i’m not a model, but I also thought there was no way I could afford a place like Bali. Bali is the type of destination people go to honeymoon and have photoshoots in villas. But as it turns out, Bali isn’t as expensive as it appears, and I spent 10 days in 4 different locations for under $180. That included transportation within Bali, accommodation (including a luxurious Airbnb), food, and all activities.
So how did I do it? For starters, I stayed in hostels for 9/10 nights. I can’t say enough good things about hostels if you’re traveling in your 20’s. I also used Uber to get from town to town, often times sharing the cost with other people I met at my hostel. If you’re comfortable on a motorbike, then that will save you even more money since you can rent them for just a few dollars per day - and gas is just as cheap! Food can be inexpensive depending on how you do it. For me, I had to survive on ramen noodles for a good portion of my trip due to credit card problems, but a meal in Bali can only cost you a couple dollars if you go for the local food rather than high-end restaurants. If you have the chance to go to a night market then I highly recommend going - you'll get to try the most unique foods that are prepared and cooked right in front of you, and you'll only spend a few bucks maximum.
For activities like temples, rice terraces, and the Monkey Forest in Ubud, you pay a maximum of a few dollars upon entry, but most places don’t even charge you. Some request a donation, but that's completely up to you whether you want to throw a some money in. The only other activity I paid for during my time in Bali was snorkeling (about $3 to rent fins and a snorkel). And as for airfare, it wasn’t mind-blowingly expensive as I was traveling from Australia. I booked my TigerAir flight through Webjet and paid only $170 from Adelaide to Bali, and then just over $100 from Bali to Krabi, Thailand. Not a bad deal for going to one of the most luxurious places in Southeast Asia!