If you follow me on social media you will already know that in a couple of weeks time, I’m going to be heading to Bali on my biggest trip yet. I’M SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED.
In the past I had mainly stuck to city breaks (except my short stint in California) because I have always thought that they were cheaper in comparison. Instead, I have been pleasantly surprised when it has come to booking our Bali trip as well, it’s so much cheaper than I thought.
I’m not just talking flights and accommodation either, with a bit of hard work and LOTS of googling, we have also managed to book some excursions, gorgeous spas and the best pools all for incredibly low prices.
So, for my flights and accommodation I spent a grand total of £600. The flights were £470 with Air Malaysia and our four different hotels came to a total of £130 for 10 nights, I STILL can’t quite believe it.
£13 A NIGHT.
As so many of you have asked me to write this post, I thought I’d put it all into one big ‘How to Book a Cheap Trip to Bali’ post, rather than booking cheap activities in a separate post. That way you can get a good idea of the overall price your Bali break will cost you.
To do that I am going to break it down into tips for booking flights, accommodation and activities.
Booking Cheap Flights to Bali
When it comes to booking your flights there is not A LOT you can do to reduce the price, but I thought I’d share some of my top tips for booking cheap airfare.
✈️ Book as far in advance as you can – seats on a plane are priced in classes, which are priced based on how soon they are booked. So, to book the first class and cheapest seats you need to book your tickets 11 months in advance.
✈️ Use sites like Skyscanner and Kayak – using a site that searches for the best deals will mean that you will be able to see a variety of different offers from different airlines, allowing you to pick the best choice for you. For us, we picked our flights best on the times they took off and landed, making sure we didn’t have to leave super early or land too late we’d lose a whole day.
✈️ Be flexible on dates – I know not everyone can do this, however if you have a little room to breathe there are options to search for the cheapest flight based on the month you go. As long as you don’t book flights to go during their monsoon season, this may be the cheapest way to decide when you visit.
✈️ Sign up to newsletters like Jack’s Flight Club – there are lots of different newsletters for travellers that publish cheap or error fares as soon as they are found. Not ideal if you need to plan really far in advance, but if you can go on a whim this is a great way to get flights more than 50% cheaper than you normally would.
✈️ Consider flights that are non direct – our flights have a layover in Kuala Lumpur making it a VERY long 17 hours, but it meant that we saved quite a lot of money in comparison to direct flights (around £200-300 difference in total).
✈️ Try booking separately, rather than a package deal – I know this would mean you’d have to pay for transfers separately, but if you want to get the best possible deal it’s always worth pricing it up separately first. For us it was the best option as we wanted to travel around the island, rather than stay in one hotel/resort.
Finding Cheap Hotels/Villas in Bali
Find our hotels what a little bit more difficult than the flights, however once we decided on the different areas we wanted to stay I had SO MUCH FUN searching through all the different options. It was a great way to get myself excited for the trip at the same time as making sure we got the best possible deal.
I’m not going to lie, I took the task very seriously and even made a spreadsheet with all our different options, the price and the area that they were in. The girls then let me know their favourites and those are the ones we booked.
Shoulda been a travel agent ?
? Make sure you know the areas you want to stay in before you book – if you know the different areas you want to stay in (whether it’s one, or four) then you can easily search the different options and make sure their are no overlaps. I found that a lot of the time the hotels in Seminyak would also say Kuta on them, so we made sure to pick two that were a fair distance apart.
? Know what you want in a hotel/villa before you book – we knew that we were not looking for OVERLY fancy hotels or villas whilst we were there as we would hardly ever be in them with such a packed itinerary. We wanted places that had air-con and WiFi as well as being clean and comfortable. We also wanted them to be Instagramable, which when it came to our budget wasn’t actually an issue as apparently EVERYWHERE IN BALI IS PRETTY.
? Make a spreadsheet – this definitely helped us as it meant we were able to see all the options in one place, rather than have a million and one different tabs open. We were able to see the hotels in comparison to the costs, helping is narrow it down much easier.
? Book on booking.com – using booking.com was an absolutely life saver for us as it meant we were able to reserve our rooms without having to pay until we get to the property. This meant that in the four months between booking our rooms and actually going to Bali, we had room to change our mind if we needed to. We actually ended up adding an extra night and going to Gili Islands, as well as keeping one of our other rooms to leave our bags in.
? Use deal sites like Groupon – I BLOODY LOVE GROUPON. The travel section on Groupon is incredible as you’ll be surprised what you can find. There are often deals for places like Bali and the Maldives, so whether you’re looking for just the accommodation or a package deal, there is a chance you may find it on there at a much cheaper price than you would elsewhere. After all, you can find pretty much anything on Groupon including massages, makeup and even mattresses!
? Look for hotels with breakfast included – If you want to save even more money, finding hotels that have breakfast included is always helpful. Personally we have choose to eat breakfast out most days as there are SO MANY places we want to try, but if you’re happy having a hotel breakfast each morning this could save you loads!#
Cheap Activities and Tours in Bali
We have booked quite a few of our activities in Bali in advance, as we wanted to plan ahead what were doing when, we wanted to make sure we could get into specific places before they got too busy and because we wanted to know how much roughly we needed to spend when we got there.
Here are some tips I’ve picked up from booking our day-to-day activities in Bali…
? Do your research before you go – searching the places you go (based around your hotel choices) is a great way to see what is nearby and what won’t be going too far out (wasting time travelling and costing you much more).
? PLAN PLAN PLAN – I’m a big planner and I have had the BEST time planning this trip. With everyone’s ones must see things in a list, I have managed to put together a full plan for the 10 days we are there, making sure we do them when they are closest to the each hotel we are saying in. This has also meant we have been able to book things in advance, knowing where we will be each day.
? Join Facebook groups and use Instagram for inspo – We have found A LOT of the places we want to go from Facebook groups (Mainly Girls Love Travel – our favourite and all the popular bali hashtags #balilife #balibaby #visitbali etc). This had meant we had a good idea of the best places to go, but we have also found some absolute gems – including Karsa Spa where we have booked a massage, treatment and flower bath for a total of £18.
? Hire a driver – although the tours are great, you don’t need to book one for every day. Drivers cost around £30 a day for 10 hours and they will go where ever you want the to, then wait for you to move on to the next spot. This option is a little cheaper than the tours on Viator and Trip Advisor, and gives you the chance to make a custom day to day itinerary.
? Check for cheaper alternatives – one of the things we wanted to do for certain while we were in Bali was snorkeling. The tours were pretty expensive so instead we looked for alternatives and when hiring the right equipment, you can actually go to the hot spots yourself (just off the beach) and snorkel there. It’s going to cost us a 10th of the price for the same experience.
Okay, that was much longer than I expected and I could have probably gone on for hours and hours. So, who is booking a trip to Bali then?