I've recently had the opportunity to travel to Bali, Indonesia this past spring! It was everything I imagined it to be and more. All of this was possible due to discipline and having a well thought out plan. Bali has been on my bucket list for a very long time and I've been blessed to have been able to cross it off my list. The initial planning started 8 months before my actual departure. I will say this a million times, PLAN PLAN PLAN! Taking big trips across the world deserve to be detailed oriented and inexpensive to experience. I didn't go the traditional route of hiring a travel agent. I decided to take this task on myself. I feel like I'm pretty solid in finding the right steals and deals to get the most bang for my buck. When I thought of Bali, I instantly thought the beach, a flower bath, the infamous swing and the mere fact that I NEEDED TO BE THERE ASAP!
One of my close girlfriends came up with the idea of planning an all girls trip to Bali to commemorate her graduation. We started with 10 people and it soon ended up being her and I. Due to the number of people declining along the way drastically, it made it easier to plan out the entire trip. Don't get me wrong group trips are everything. I've learned over time, the smaller the better. When it came to flights, we researched everything from Delta to Kayak.
(Hopper App. Can be downloaded in iTunes App Store and Google Play)
We decided to try the Hopper app. I heard great things about the app finding travelers great deals flying overseas. The app allows you to choose the itinerary of your choice and gives you the predicted prices for the time you wish to travel. Back in September of 2018 flights leaving from Cincinnati to Denspar (Bali) airport were roughly around $1500. That particular price didn't include taxes or luggage fees. The app notified us when the expected price drop would happen and it was going to be around March 2019. Now that was exactly two months before we were set to leave. We were definitely on a time crunch and acting on faith. So we waited. Lo and behold we were able to find round-trip tickets leaving from Atlanta to Denspar with checked luggage for $960. Mind you, the trip was for a duration 10 days including the flight time. That was a pretty solid deal! We made the choice to drive to Atlanta. There's nothing wrong with a little road trip. Luckily I have so much family there, I was able to leave my parked car at an aunts house for over a week saving us over $150. Due to me having a gas saving car we spent less than $60 combined on gas traveling from home to the airport. Planning where to stay was simple in our situation. My girlfriend was able to find us a room at the Courtyard Marriott in Seminyak at a discounted rate. (Become reward members everywhere with hotels and car rental services, if possible. It can save you hundreds in the long run.) This hotel had the exact feel of a resort or villa with it's beautiful amenities. The bonus of this place was that it was less than a 7 minute walk from the nearest beach. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to the beach as well. The architecture assimilated the Balinese culture and had high-end modern fixtures inside the entire building. I would personally stay in a busy area such as Seminyak so that you're close to restaurants, shopping centers, the beach and local markets.
(Deluxe King Room with a resort view and balcony.)
(Bathroom with walk-in shower)
You definitely want to budget out how much you're willing to spend on food, hotel accommodations, shopping etc. The currency is Rupiah (Rp). For every USD ($1) it equals $14,141.50 Rp. I must say everything is reasonably cheap in Bali. Fulfilling meals at nice restaurants averaged around $12 USD. The meals were a decent size that was able to feed two people. Since you're near the ocean, they offer a wide variety of seafood and just fresh food over all. I had the chance to taste true Balinese food and learn the history behind various dishes.
(Potato Head Beach Club, Bali)
(KYND Community: Seminyak, Bali)
When it comes to shopping the options are endless. You have plenty of markets full of locals that bargain, high-end boutiques and shopping centers. You'll definitely want to ensure you have a calculator in handy to do your math conversions for pricing. I suggest using the My Currency Converter & Rates app by JRustonApps B.V., which you can find in the app store. A fun fact I learned while traveling there is that Australians see Bali as a hot spot travel location. As you shop around in the mall and in the Seminyak Square you will notice the Australian influence heavily. Like I said previously, the beaches are super close and everything is accessible from the food all the way to the transportation. I would highly recommend using the Blue Bird service to get around the city. You will see plenty of taxis and locals on scooters offering a ride to your next destination. Not knowing this before arriving to Bali cost us hundreds of dollars in transportation. Again, use BLUE BIRD. The app is set up like Lyft/Uber so its pretty easy to navigate. Overall the trip was amazing and I cant wait to return. The views are unreal. The locals are more than kind and the food is superb. I feel blessed to have witnessed this beautiful country and scratch it off of my bucket list. If you haven't already be sure to follow and subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch footage of my Bali Vlog.
(Local Market in Seminyak, Bali)