Bali is still great value even with the AU$ falling

Cheap massages, Blue Bird taxis, bargaining with locals, sunset Bintang’s on the beach, yummy nasi gorengs; Bali is a cheap as chips & we love it!

The Aussie dollar against the Rupiah is about $1 = Rp 10,000 so you get lots of bang for your buck.

With the falling value of the Australian dollar, many Australians are choosing to holiday at home rather than spending their holidays overseas in places like Bali. But, let me reassure you folk out there worrying about how far their Aussie dollar will take them; Bali is still great value and is still a very cheap holiday.

In fact, spending a week or two in Bali is going to be a lot cheaper than holidaying in Australia. Just think about how expensive it is back home and how much you have to pay for everything. Bali, let me tell you is still cheap and offers those holidaymakers incredible value for money. Forget about going to the USA or Europe where the dollar is really taking a battering, the exchange rate for the AUD against the Rupiah is still around the Rp 10, 000 mark, which means you get loads of bang for your buck. ( this is based on the currency @ 30/03/20 )

travelling to bali

The AUD is still fairly strong against the Rupiah. Photo Credit: Google @ 30 March 2020

Following are some reasons why Bali is still a great value travel destination with the falling AU currency.

Food in Bali is really cheap

OK, let’s be real about this. If you are going to go to fancy 5 start hotels and dine there, or eat in some of the hot spot restaurants in Seminyak then this is not the case. But, for the rest of us, Bali is dotted with a serious amount of great value restaurants and warungs that are really cheap and are also family-friendly, which is great if you travel with kids.

Compared to what you would be paying here in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth for a family meal, Bali is much cheaper. There are restaurants in Legian / Seminyak where a family of 4 can have a 3-course dinner for under $50. I am not talking street food here, I am talking about a really nice, clean place where the food (both local and Western is fabulous). Have a look at the video below and you will see where you can go for a really good meal in Seminyak that’s also good value.

Accommodation in Bali is cheap

For those on a really tight budget, you can get a basic room for $10 a night. You can justify this by saying how much time do you spend in your room? The local losmens are really geared towards the young backpackers. But, for those groups or families wanting a bit of luxury, you can rent a Villa in Bali for the family for under $300 per night. These would be 3, 4 bedroom Bali villas that have all the modern-day conveniences such as air-conditioning, Wifi, TV, in house staff, security, perhaps even breakfasts thrown in as well for you. This is seriously good value for a family or group that want to experience what it’s like staying in a villa. Imagine 2 couples splitting the cost of a villa and seeing the good value I am talking about. If you are thinking about the villa option make sure you look at the villa section of our website to see the choices available for all types of holiday budgets. Our prices are in Australian dollars so you do not have to worry about and currency fluctuations.

Taxis & Go-Jek are so inexpensive

Think about how much you have to pay for a cab ride in Sydney or Melbourne. Halve it and then halve it again and this is the kind of pricing you will pay in Bali. Getting around is super easy (as there is just so many taxies circling the tourist areas), very cheap and great value. You can also download the Go-Jek app ( Indonesia’s version of Uber ) which is cheap as anything. Just tap the app when you need a car or scooter and they will be there very quickly to take you to most places.

Indonesia has just cancelled the arrival visa tax so this is a saving

For a family of 4, this would have come to over AUD $100 – so there are some additional savings.

Following are 10 of our top picks of free things to do in Bali

  • Wondering the streets
  • Browsing the shops
  • Walking on the beach
  • Going for a cycle and if you’re in Ubud  you can cycle among the rice fields – you only have to rent the bike which is really cheap
  • Playing football on the beach with the locals at sunset in Legian, Seminyak or Kuta – there are dozens of games going on all the time
  • Looking at a village ceremony and soaking up the culture
  • Chatting with friendly locals
  • Explore the local markets in Ubud
  • Watch an artist paint in the many local galleries and see how they carve wood
  • Walk the Campuhan Ridge and see the gorgeous rice fields in Ubud or take a look at the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
  • Go for a surf – if you don’t have a board you can always rent one for an hour or two

These activities are all free and are enough to keep you entertained. The place has so much culture, so much natural beauty that you don’t have to waste money on going to the movies, sea world or any of those types of theme parks.

Other cheap things to do in Bali

What can I say about the surf except that if you are a surfer you will know what I mean? World’s best and it’s all free. Yes, you have to pay for the surf villa accommodation and yes you have to pay for the standard holiday expenses BUT the surf is free and it’s really good.

Massages in Bali are less than $10 for an hour. If you think about how much an hour massage is in Australia you would be looking at roughly $80. If you’re into daily pampering on holiday then this is really good value. I have known people to get 2 massages in a day.

Renting a motorbike to get around is really cheap. It’s about $5 per day, depending on your bargaining skills. Imagine how much you would have to pay for car or bike hire back in Australia? This makes transportation in Bali really easy. A word of warning here; be really careful on a motorbike. There are too many accidents not to be super cautious. If you want to hire a guide who will provide a car for the day, this is also really cheap. Expect to pay around $30 for both the car and the driver – how good is that?

Also read: Hiring a motorbike in Bali, 10 must-read tips

Go for a walk on the beach. There are some great beaches in Southern Bali where you can go for long walks. Go to Seminyak, Echo, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Pererenan, Kuta, Legian and Berawa beaches for some exercise with the family. Make sure you go in the afternoon so you can watch the sunset.

Visit local temples. The Balinese have ceremonies all the time and if you are lucky enough you will pass a Bali ceremony where you can watch this for free. Most temples are free but they might ask for a small contribution.

Local products are really cheap. T-shirts, shorts, sarongs, wood carvings, fake watches are all really good value so stock up big time on all those things you can’t get back home unless you are prepared to part with some big dollars.

Although the Aust dollar is going down against the US dollar, this does not mean it has fallen too much against the Indonesian Rupiah. In fact, the fluctuations are really quite small. If you change $100, you will get about Rp1 million which will make you feel like a millionaire and should last you a while.

Also read: Changing Money In Bali, You Have Been WARNED

Holidaying in Bali is still relatively cheap. Compared to other countries like the USA or the UK, it does not even rate. If you have travelled in the States recently you would have noticed the effects of the falling  AUD  and how everything, when you convert it back, is really expensive. This just does not happen in Bali. Your dollar goes a long way.

So rather than going to Europe or the US and freaking out about the price of everything or holidaying at home where prices are out of control, go to Bali and enjoy serious luxury, fun and culture all at prices that will put your mind at ease.

steven waldberg founder of Bali villa escapesThis article was written and updated by Steven one of the marketing team of Bali Villa Escapes who knows all the places where families can go for a cheap meal, bargain or a lovely holiday villa. He’s been doing this for years, so if you have any questions about your upcoming trip to Bali; just shoot him an email: