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Planning to travel to Bali soon? Here’s a short guide + Experience.. Hope you find it useful.

Travelling alone may cost more

In Bali, to visit the highlands or even other coastal areas such as the Uluwatu Temple, Lovina beach, you will have to take at least an hour ride to reach. I founded a Private travelling family company which will cost you about 700,000 Rupiah per day (2013 price). As we spent about 4 days there, spending 700,000 Rupiah per day alone for transportation may be too much.

As I travelled with my friends, our costs are divided by 3, and more affordable for our whole trip. A lot of westerners may take in consideration of local small tour companies which are almost everywhere in Kuta town. But, for me, I would like things to be scheduled nicely and to not have too much spontaneous plans.

If not wrong, some of these tour companies will only offer you the budget package if there are enough people to fit in the car. Although it may seem budget, but it will cost you more time and effort to go around and compare the prices. For Bali 3 star hotels above, it is much more budget to stay with 2-3 persons per room and they rarely offer single room.

 

Double check and get confirmation from the hotel you are staying

This may seem obvious, but it happened to us there are some communication errors between us and the hotel. As we are spending 4 nights in the same hotel, turns out, they only took in 2 nights in. We were shocked about it as we did not planned to change hotels during our stay in Bali. Ended up, we walked down the streets and did some research. We found another hotel with a Mediteranean style swimming pool which offer us a little bit more than the previous hotel.

Seeing Bali as a tourist hub, hotels do get competitive in giving you the best rates or promotion. Always ask for one if you are hotel hopping during your stay in Bali. After this Bali incident, we always make sure to double check our bookings with the hotel especially the dates and the room types. But not to worry, there are always ample places to stay around Kuta, but just avoid cheap rest houses which may be widely used for prostitutions. Hotels which are family friendly are usually better.

No need to say “Yes” for everything

Bali may be a tourist haven, but also a haven for touting and haggling. As a 18 year old, I found myself being into a lot of situations which “require” me to be friendly and say yes, but I didn’t. When I was strolling down Kuta Beach, I found an empty beach chair and took a rest to sit there. I did not know there were people selling and renting out these seats. A guy came over and planned to talk me into renting one of the seats for USD 5-10. I was reluctant to say yes and it was quite a difficult situation to talk out of it. Ended up, I just walked away.

Another situation was after dolphin watching and we are on our back to the beach, we came across a reef site. The boats were asking us whether to go for a snorkeling session and they are preparing to give us the equipment. My friends were not interested and I certainly did not wanted to go in the water at these wee hours in the morning. Furthermore, the corals are brownish in color and does not seem a great place for snorkeling.

Several boats came over circling us as they continue pester us about snorkeling. As a young traveler, I am starting to feel scared but we continue to decline the offer. Seeing that we did not have further intention, they finally stop and send us back to the beach.

Saying Yes may be friendly and nice, but sometimes to say No is more important when travelling. You do not need to buy everything you are being offered in the trip.

 

Stay close to your budget and keep some remaining ( Our Dolphin cruise was certainly worth our budget!!!)

For our Bali trip, maybe our driver can get some commissions from the restaurants, he keep on bringing us to restaurants which are of high quality and are on the expensive side. We certainly did not expect that. Each dish costs about RM20-30 and to us, it started to add up after a few meals. At the end, we requested the driver to bring us to some famous local food courts to eat and also invited him to eat together with us.

Despite staying low at our budget, we found ourselves splurging again when we are in the surf shops and the souvenir duty free shops. Again, we are spent a little bit to too much until we don’t have much Rupiah left. When the time comes and we are in the airport to go back, we found out we have to pay an amount of duty taxes which is fixed for every tourists.

One of my friends is already out of Indonesian Rupiah and do not want to change currency in the airport again. We had to count how much money we left and barely paid the tax bills. In the airport, there was a delay in our flights and we had not enough money to buy for each one of us a proper meal. Certainly an incident to remember.

Lesson learnt. Stay put in your budget and don’t splurge, unless is a great deal. Reserves are called reserves for a reason.

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