9 Tips for Travelling for a month long Vacation in Bali (Indonesia)

We landed in Bali on 2nd June. We had some good & not so good experiences that I want to share with you.

#1. Cheap Tickets from India to Bali

#2. Cheap Forex for Bali, Indonesia

#3. Cheap Accommodation in Bali

#4. Visa for more than 30 days in Bali

#5. Taxi from Airport

#6. Groceries, Vegetables, and Fruits in Bali

#7. Local Travel by Uber

#8. Easy way to compare prices in Indian currency

#9. Mobile SIM for internet and emergency calling

This post will guide you through the important points if you are planning a long vacation in Bali.

#1. Cheap Tickets from India to Bali

No, you would not find cheap tickets to Bali.

It’s 10-12 hour flight and costs are in the range of 30,000 to 35,000 INR ($500) per person return. It was costing us more than 100,000 INR for 3 people (including full ticket for 5-year child).

Then I found a discount coupon on HDFC Bank Credit Card – HDFCINT, to get instant 8000 Rs. discount.

I booked tickets from MakeMyTrip.

Bad Experience

I could not book the ticket at the price shown in the snapshot. After taking the snapshot I was trying to find a better deal. Within a few minutes, the price jumped to 96,000 and then 98,000 (after discount).

The travel websites give dynamic prices, means they keep changing prices based on the demand and your past behavior. I checked the price on the different computer and it was same.

By the time I actually booked the tickets, prices were already more than 100,000 after discount. I was feeling like being cheated but the travel website was more smarter than me. I did not take risk for waiting for another day and booked the tickets.

Rs. 8000 discount was really sweet on the credit card. I love using credit cards.

#2. Cheap Forex for Bali, Indonesia

Indonesian currency is not easily available in India. It’s better to convert Indian Rupees into US Dollars in India and then convert to Indonesian Rupiah after landing into Bali.

Currency conversion rate at Airports is very bad. We converted only $100 at the airport to pay the taxi bill, we got 1,290,000 IDR.

You can easily find currency conversion counters near any beach or market. Next day we converted $100 into 1,370,500 IDR. A big difference.

I did some maths

  • Forex charges for converting INR to USD in India were – 1.5% (of the actual currency conversion rate at xe.com)
  • Forex charges for converting USD to IDR in Bali was – 0.7%

In total, you pay 2.2% currency conversion charges in this way.

Most of the credit cards charge 3.5% for currency conversion. I have HDFC Regalia card that charges 2%, after service tax it comes out to same 2.2%.

For simplicity, I use my credit card wherever possible.

#3. Cheap Accommodation in Bali

We don’t book hotels for our long vacations. We found a 1BHK apartment on AirBnb that is costing us Rs. 30,000 per month.

When we book AirBnb, we look for Kitchen, proximity to market & beach and high-speed wifi. We are living close to Sanur beach and I will disclose the name of apartment later.

You can get Rs. 1200 off if you are new to AirBnb.

If you already have an account, then book your Airbnb using this link.

#4. Visa for more than 30 days in Bali

Indonesia is very welcoming for more of the countries. They stamp 30 days Visa free of cost for you. When we landed on the airport, 99% people jumped into the line for the Visa.

The free 30 days visa is not extendable.

 

You have to pay $35 per person to get an extendable visa. They still give you 30 days visa that you have to extend by visiting local immigration office.

#5. Taxi from Airport

There were so many taxi agents were outside when we came out of the Airport. It was a similar situation like in India. We asked from the information center and they also connected us with one of the taxi agents.

They showed us the price card for different places in Bali. We knew that it was costly.

The lady said that the charges for our destination is 350,000 IDR but I bargained to 200,000 IDR. It was still more for the distance of just 10 KM but there were not many options. We were tired and wanted to rest at our place.

#6. Groceries, Vegetables, and Fruits in Bali

Yeah, that’s what we hunt after landing to a foreign land when we go for a long vacation.

We spend the first & second day in exploring the nearby places to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. We carried for Indian groceries but needed a day to day food items.

 

There are so many mini marts around to buy the basic stuff. We found Hardy’s supermarket near Sanur beach.

It’s a big mall where you can find all type of household stuff. It’s similar to Walmart in US and BigBazaar in India.

#7. Local Travel by Uber

Initially, we thought of hiring a motorbike but then we found Uber. It’s very convenient and economical to travel by Uber. They provide the option to book for motorbike or car.

Bad Experience – Uber drivers are not respected by local transport owners. We had difficulty finding Uber cab in the Ubud market. 5 drivers canceled the cab without giving us any reason. We walked out of the market and hired Uber from the main road.

The driver told us that Uber drivers don’t prefer pickups in the dense areas because of the fear of local transports.

Tips to hire Uber in Bali

  • Don’t tell local taxi drivers that you are hiring a Uber. Always say that you are waiting for your driver.
  • Book Uber near the main road or any big resort/hotel. Don’t book near taxi or transport stand.
  • Don’t book Uber in the main market or beach parking.
  • Add your credit card in Uber app and enjoy discounts.

#8. Easy way to compare prices in Indian currency

Indonesian currency is very weak. You get 1.3 million IDR for $100.

Our mind always tries to compare the prices in our own local currency before we buy anything. It may sound difficult to convert but actually, it’s very easy.

You will find all prices in thousands, for example, ice cream at 15,000 and mobile sim at 100,000 IDR.

Ignore the thousand part and multiply rest of the number by 5.

So Ice Cream becomes, 15 * 5 = 75 INR

and mobile sim is, 100 * 5 = 500 INR.

So next time when you go for lunch, the pizza at 50,000 IDR is actually 50*5 = 250 Indian Rupees. Not bad.

#9. Mobile SIM for internet and emergency calling

Don’t buy mobile sim from the airport.

The same connection that they were selling at 450,000 IDR at the airport is actually 100,000 IDR in the town.

We are using two sim

  • Telkom – 6GB internet at 90,000 IDR (+50,000 calling value)
  • Indosat (IM3) – 10GB internet at 75,000 IDR (no calling value)

4G speed comes rarely. 3G works fine in most of the places.

Ask in the comments what you wish to know if you are planning a trip to Bali.

About nehagoyal

Neha Goyal is the face behind the BeingHappyMom. She practicing a conscious and organic lifestyle and believes in the philosophy of spending money on life experiences rather than life gadgets.

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