Bali – Indonesia – GRANDPAcking Costs

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AUGUST 2015:


My costs start and end in Kuta, Bali and are spread over 43 nights. They include:

  • Transport from the Airport to my Kuta Hotel
  • 2 nights in Kuta on arrival (to sort out getting to Padang Bai)
  • Transport to Padang Bai; 8 nights in Padang Bai
  • Scooter rental in Padang Bai for 3 days
  • Transport from Padang Bai to Gili Air; 23 nights in Gili Air
  • Transport from Gili Air to Nusa Lembongan; 8 nights in Nusa Lembongan
  • Scooter rental in Nusa Lembongan for 7 days
  • Transport from Nusa Lembongan back to Kuta; 2 nights in Kuta
  • Transport from the Kuta Hotel to the Airport
  • Over 12Gb of Mobile Data (over the 43 nights)
  • Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in a local cafe / hawker
  • Doctor and medicine bills

N.B. I was in Padang Bai and Nusa Lembongan in High Season so I was paying ‘top dollar’ for everything. I was, also, in Gili Air over the Christmas / New Year period (which is a bit like being there for High Season). Although this may have made some difference to my costs, given the costs that I negotiated and what I did, I don’t think that those differences ended up being significant.


For more information, read my posts on Kuta, Padang Bai, Nusa Lembongan, and Gili Air.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.



Please Note: I have pieced together 2 trips to Bali as if they were 1 big trip. I have done this so that I can give GRANDPAckers an idea of how much it would cost to spend 2 months in Bali combining the 3 target locations that I have suggested: Padang Bai, Gili Air, and Nusa Lembongan.

Accommodation: My accommodation was a GRANDPAcking Double. In Kuta, this was in a budget hotel. In Padang Bai, this was a hotel room with balcony and sea views 5m from the beach. In Gili Air, this was a beach hut with verandah 20m from the beach. In Nusa Lembongan, this was a guesthouse set around a central garden 200m from the beach.

Transport: I rented a scooter in Padang Bai for 3 days to tour the area and take a day trip up to Amed. I rented a scooter in Nusa Lembongan for 7 of my 8 days; I toured the island every day and took a day trip across to Nusa Ceningan.

Communications & Fees: WiFi in Kuta is, usually, acceptable and usable. However, outside of Kuta, I needed my own Mobile Data Plan.

Food: I averaged about IDR136k / day but (especially on Gili Air) I lived above the GRANDPAcking ‘standard’. Gili Air was my first stop out from NZ and I not yet fully established my modus operandi.

My GRANDPAcking ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was IDR454k / NZ$54 / US$35 / €32 / £23.

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were IDR220k / NZ$26 / US$17 / €16 / £11 (i.e. 33% of my daily GRANDPAcking budget).

LIVING Costs: As usual, most of my LIVING Costs went on beer. I tended to have a drink in the evenings in Happy Hour on the beachfront and / or with my evening meal. I averaged 3-4 large Bintangs per night.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at IDR625k / NZ$74 / US$48 / €45 / £31 per day (i.e. 93% of my daily GRANDPAcking budget).


Please Note: I have used my actual figures to forecast what it should cost 2 GRANDPAckers to spend 2 months in Bali with that time spread across the 3 target locations.

Accommodation: Get online and find discounted budget accommodation in Kuta; you are only there for 2 nights so that you have have 1 day to organise your trip to Padang Bai. Don’t pre-book Padang Bai; just turn up and hit the waterfront to find a hotel that will give you a discount rate for a 2 week stay. One can sit and look after the luggage whilst the other goes looking. Just turn up in Gili Air and do the same. Likewise with Nusa Lembongan. If you turn up without booking, make sure that you get there as early as possible so that you have plenty of time to find what you need (but not too early, as some places won’t be able to start showing you their rooms until after their mid-day check out time).

Transport: In Padang Bai and Nusa Lembongan you have your standard budget for 1 scooter trip per week. Your major costs will be the fastboats between Padang Bai, Gili Air, Nusa Lembongan, and Kuta. Book these fastboats once you are in the departure location – you do not need to book them in advance. Once in the departure location, you will have plenty of time to find out what you should pay and bargain hard.

Food: You have been given a standard GRANDPAcking Food & Beverages budget based on the actual prices in those locations. Eating better comes out of your LIVING allowance.

The ‘Costs Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about IDR449k / NZ$53 / US$35 / €32 / £22 per day.

This is about IDR225k per day to LIVE on (i.e. 33% of your GRANDPAcking budget).

With that money you could:

  • Upgrade your Dinner for 2 and eat in one of the best Restaurants and still have money left
  • Go out on the town in Happy Hour and drink 4 ‘local’ Cocktails or 8 large Beers
  • Go on 2 snorkeling day trips in a boat (IDR100k each)
  • On Gili Air: Rent 2 bicycles and 2 sets of snorkeling gear and spend a day snorkeling around the island (IDR70k each) and still have money left
  • Have 15Kgs of your clothes laundered
  • Buy lots of personal ‘luxuries’ in the village store
  • Save up for 4 days and both go on a Fun SCUBA Dive (IDR360k each)

Having such funds available day after day means that every day is a good day.


I DO NOT recommend staying in Kuta. However, Padang Bai, Gili Air, and Nusa Lembongan go together nicely and could easily become one of the Retirement Locations in your Retirement Location ‘suite’.

It is now easy to get a 1 month Visa On Arrival and to get help from the locals to get a 1 month extension whilst you are there (IDR400k each). As you must have a ‘return’ ticket to get past Indonesian Immigration (and, sometimes, on the flight to Indonesia in the first place), just make sure that your return flight is adjustable with minimal penalties.

Because of this, it may be best to organise your >1 month Visa in advance… why not make it 3 months? Or 4? … there are many other places around Bali to be discovered on a GRANDPAcking trip. Why not try and find them yourselves?

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