I’ve been asked numerous times if it’s possible to travel on a budget for one month in Bali. As an Indonesian, my answer is yes! Here are the step by step on how to live in Bali for a month.
“Traveling with local knowledge in your hand is the best way to travel better and longer – Shabrina Koeswologito”
Check Which Area You Want To Go To
Bali is divided into South, Central, West, North, East, and Southeastern Islands. South Bali is the most visited part of the island by far. There are Kuta, Uluwatu, Canggu, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Seminyak, and Tanah Lot. South Bali also where the famous Kuta Beach located and trendy Seminyak is. In summary:
- Kuta: Bali’s world-renowned party scene. Stroll Legian street, stop by Kuta Beach for sunset and get international fast food chain here.
- Seminyak: Great for sunset, beach front restaurants, nightlife, and culinary scene
- Nusa Dua: You can find luxury hotels, watersport activities, and Mangrove site
- Jimbaran: Famous for its seafood dining by the beach. Visit the famous Rock Bar
And don’t forget to always, always make sure you cover all logistics before coming to live in Bali!
Before traveling or moving to the hippie lifestyle of Bali, you need to make sure you have the proper visa to stay in Indonesia long-term. The most common visa for Bali is a tourist single-entry Visa on Arrival (VOA) which cost $35 and lasts for 30 days. Long-term expats often opt for the social-cultural (sosial-budaya) visa, which lasts for 60 days and can be extended for 30 days up to four times. A visa is needed in order to live in Bali.
Cash is king in Bali and throughout Indonesia. Wherever you go you will need it, whether to pay for parking, entrance to museums, tips, or taxi rides, you will need to have low denominations of cash. If you’re bringing a credit or debit card check with your bank if they provide ATM withdrawals without fees.
Indonesians dress conservatively even though we wear Western fashion. For women, exposed stomach or chest area is rare in Jakarta, but not so much in Bali. Balinese are more accustomed to the Western culture and more revealing clothing. Having a Sarong or scarf wherever you go will never hurt.
The Best Month To Visit Bali
Bali has a tropical climate. In general, you can expect warm weather in Bali. Bali seasons are the wet season (rainy season) and dry season. Dry season is the high season which falls between April and September. Bali receives the most visitors during July & August.
Research Which Airport You’re Going To Fly Into
Before getting to Bali, most travellers will first arrive in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city international airport, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, and then take a connecting flight to Bali, Ngurah Rai International Airport. The journey from Jakarta to Bali is approximately one hour plane ride. I suggest booking your flight to Bali from Jakarta via a local online travel agent such as traveloka.com
Pick Your Transportation! Motorcycle or Car?
Getting around Bali is mostly done via car or motorcycle. We do have public transportation, but it’s so unreliable that locals just use their vehicles everywhere. Renting a car is very affordable in Bali, but keep in mind that you have to spend extra traveling time in case of traffic. As a result, Balinese and tourists avoid traffic by using motorcycle.
How To Rent A Motorcycle Or Car
The rental cost really depends on how long you want to rent. Obviously, the longer the rental period, the cheaper it will be. Also, the rent price is excludes fuel cost. You have to fill up your tank! Check these website to rent your motorbike or car, bali4ride.com or balibikerental.com.
Choose Your Accommodation! Villa or Hotel?
Bali has without a doubt, the most diverse accommodation in Indonesia. With a vast variety of all travellers, it has some of the best luxury villas anywhere in the world, to some of the most affordable, value for money hotels as well.
If you are planning to live in Bali, you can try to get a villa instead of a hotel room. There are Facebook communities dedicated for that, such as:
- Ubud Rentals
- SOUTH Bali Housing & Accommodation & Land Rentals & Sales
- Bali Villa Rental & Sale
For a sharing one bedroom the price varies between $250 per month to $700 per month. If you choose to splurge on a Villa with a view of rice fields and swimming pool, then the price is about $1000 and above. I suggest you secure a hotel first before looking for a Villa, so then you can bargain for your place.
Phone Sim Card & Internet
Staying longer requires you to have your own internet and phone number. Traveling in Bali is best done by yourself with a bike or car. Hence, you will need the help of Google Map. Balinese can speak English but make sure you can access information online.
Where & Which Sim Card Should I Get?
You can find sim cards almost anywhere. Buying a sim card at the airport won’t get you the best price nor any internet data with it. Try to at local store, malls, or any type of “Warung” street stall. The starting price is Rp 25,000 ($2.5) and getting pricier depending on the number combination. For someone who travels in Bali for less than a year you’re better off using prepayment scheme (‘prabayar’) rather than the monthly subscription plans. The Prabayar let you to buy ‘pulsa’ whenever you run out of credits. Pulsa is sold in two forms: vouchers and ‘elektrik’ (electronic). If buying a voucher card, which has a silver covering over a recharge code (usually 16 digits), check first on the back of the card that it has not expired. You can “top up” your Pulsa via ATMs, online (traveloka.com), and at many 24-hour convenience stores without any mark-up. Pulsa is sold in amounts from Rp 5,000 to Rp 100,000. Additionally, when you buy a new number usually the vendor will ask how much data you need. The range price for both new number and about 10GB data is around Rp75,000 – Rp200,000 ($7 – $15).
Not every place has good internet, even when they claimed Wi-Fi available. Most of the time either the network is down, or the bandwidth is too low that it cannot support everybody. Another place than your hotel that has good Wi-Fi is Coworking Space. If you’re a digital nomad and needs that internet to work, try signing up with locals coworking space. There are several of them such as: Hubud, Dojo, Lineup, and Outpost.
Enjoy your time in beautiful Bali! To live in Bali (even for just a month) is a dream come true.