Updated: Sep 17, 2020
You can do so much with so little!
Here is a guide to what it will really cost you to go to Bali!
Bali was my first solo trip. I was 20 years old, and thought I could conquer the world on my own. I saved up money from a serving job for 4 months, and left for 10 days.
This guide is from my personal experience in 2018. Things may be slightly different now, but this will give you a great idea of what to expect.
Conversion rate: $1 USD = 15,444 IDR (as of April 19, 2020)
What to buy before you get there:
Airfare: ~$1,300 USD
This is the most expensive part of the trip. I found a travel agent to plan my flights for me. DON'T USE A TRAVEL AGENT! You can do it yourself. My favorite app to use is google flights. They show all of the airlines available to your destination, how many stops you'll have, and if baggage is included. I recommend buying tickets straight from the airlines website and not 3rd parties. The number above will change depending on the time of year you want to go. Keep in mind high, low, dry, and rainy seasons (use this site to help you).
For my specific trip, I flew with Delta and their partners. I flew from Atlanta (3 hours to NYC), had an 8 hour layover in New York City (22 hours to China), and a 12 hour layover in Guangzhou, China (6 hours to Bali). (If you fly with China Southern you get a free hotel if your layover is 8+ hours).
Make sure you account for food and whatever else you may want on your layovers. How much you need depends on the country you are in.
Accommodations: $2-15 USD/per night
I used Airbnb to plan all of my stays. It is super easy to book and cancel stays on this app. Hostels will cost closer to $2/night for a shared room with bunks, entire places will cost closer to $15/night. If you want a huge villa that will cost you a bit more, but if you split the cost with everyone it'll be cheap. Figure out where in Bali you want to visit, and plan those stays. If you are feeling spontaneous, just plan your first few nights, then get the other stays once you get there based on what your feeling. Check out my Instagram Guide to Bali.
What to buy when you get there:
I spent about $400 on the island between taxis, speed boat rides, food & drink, snorkeling excursions, temple entrance fees, and souvenirs.
Taxis: ~$100/per 10 days
This really depends on where you are trying to go and what kind of taxi you take. I spent probably about $100 on taxi rides within 10 days. Read my post about the Do's and Don't's of Bali to be safe on the island and not get taken advantage of.
Again depends on what you eat, where, and how much. Breakfast was always included with my stays. For lunch I usually only had a smoothie. For dinner I got real food! The first few days I was really trying to save money on food, but then I realized how cheap it was and splurged a little more.
Speed Boat to Nusa islands: 550,000 IDR
If you travel to Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, or Penida (I highly recommend this), get your speed boat tickets when you get there. The company we found on the beach was 550,000 IDR including drop-off & pick-up from our hotel on the islands, and taxi service to our new location in Bali when we got back.
Motor Bike Rentals: ~70,000 IDR/day
This is a great deal! Most hotels & inns will have some you can rent. Make sure you drive on the Left side of the road!