This was our fourth visit to Bali so we had a pretty good idea of what we were up for in regards to costs. The only difference this time being that we weren’t vacationing extravagantly for a week or two… we were backpacking for a year on a budget.
So as promised we have stuck to our word and tracked every dollar spent. This part wasn’t hard at all and took all of 2 minutes each night recalling what we had done, or in the majority of cases eaten, and punching it into a simple spreadsheet.
So how did we fare? Overall we averaged $104 AUD per day, for all four of us, including all our living and travel costs, against our budget of $100 per day. This sneaked up to $114 AUD per day if you include the shopping/other category which I cover off further below. It is important to note that, at times, we really treated this first month like a family vacation rather than the ‘budget backpacker’ trip we set out to do. This was especially true in the more touristy and upmarket towns of Ubud & Seminyak.
- We had oodles of time before we left to whittle down accommodation options online. Victoria took the lead here and managed to score us some great quality places at very reasonable prices. We stayed in a mixture of 3/4 star hotels (3), guest houses (2) & hostels (2) over the month for between $33 – 50 per night averaging out at $38 per night. The quality of accommodation was pretty high for the money paid.
- Activities. There is plenty to do in a place like Bali that costs nothing or very little. We managed to keep ourselves more than entertained, much of the time with snorkelling, swimming, sight seeing on foot, hot springs, waterfalls, visiting library’s & free movie sessions.
- Victoria’s birthday, our wedding anniversary & valentines day all fall within 14 days of each other. I know what you are thinking… poor me! As a result there were some small gifts and more than a few cocktails to celebrate these occasions.
- Food. We have a soft spot for awesome tasting food and cocktails and didn’t skimp here. Whilst in Ubud & Semniyak we were eating out at nice places 2 – 3 times per day, trying every highly recommended place on tripadvisor we possibly could.
- We over packed…. We decided about 3 weeks in that we were lugging stuff around that we hadn’t yet used and may never use. Too many clothes was the main culprit. On our 2nd last day in Bali we posted 5.5kg of stuff back to Australia at a cost of $67 AUD.
So overall our first month cost a touch over what we had planned when including the shopping/gifts but we really are still living like kings and have plenty of room to pull back as the trip goes on if need be, particularly in the food department where our waistlines will probably thank us for this also.
For anyone else out there who likes a good old fashion spreadsheet (I can’t be the only one) and a bit more detail see below….