Trying to figure out how much to budget for a holiday can be tricky, particularly if it’s somewhere you’ve never been before. Add to that the fact that budgets are relative (for example one person’s “dirt cheap” might be another person’s mid-range) and budgeting for a holiday becomes even more confusing. And let’s face it, asking someone exactly what their entire holiday cost isn’t really the done thing. So I thought, you know what? I’ll start telling you! If you’ve wanted to ask me “hey, how much does a Bali family holiday cost?” keep reading, ‘cos I’ve got you, boo.
Below is a total cost breakdown for our most recent trip to Bali. I’m not saying this is cheap or expensive, it’s just what we spent. If you wanted a more luxe holiday you could spend more, and if you wanted to do it on a smaller budget that is totally possible. We really sit in the middle – we like creature comforts and we eat a lot, but we also like a good deal.
There were some complications in working out the below pricings thanks to the fact this trip was cancelled more than once due to COVID. But I’ve tried to go through everything and explain it all as clearly as possible.
As we’re Australian, all prices are listed in Australian dollars.
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We flew Adelaide to Denpasar return with Jetstar. This is a direct flight that takes about five hours. You need to pay extra for luggage with Jetstar. We purchased two lots of luggage – Mr. Winter checked in one suitcase and I checked in the other, and the kids had nothing on their tickets. One suitcase held the grown-ups’ stuff, the other was for the children. Travelling to a warm destination means you can pack light! (And the kids’ clothes are much smaller!)
When we first booked, our total cost for flights with Jetstar return from Adelaide were $960 for the four of us (yes, really!). These flights were an absolute steal as we were booked on one of the first flights out after Australia opened its international borders. This price includes luggage and also Club Jetstar membership. We used a bunch of credit we’d accrued for previous COVID-related cancellations of a Bali trip and two Western Australia trips as well.
BUT. Our littlest returned a positive COVID PCR 48 hours prior to departure, and we had to cancel. (Yes, there were tears from all of us)
When we rebooked, somewhat last minute, our flights were now $2,400! (Insert crying emoji). We claimed the difference on travel insurance.
Total Cost: $2,400 (about $1400 claimed on travel insurance)
Our original policy with CoverMore set us back $306 for 8 days with a $250 excess. We got Comprehensive+ cover, which included any related COVID coverage (this was necessary at the time for travel to Indonesia). Boy, are we glad we got this as we ended up having to cancel due to COVID!
When we rebooked, our policy cost us $409 (we rebooked for a longer trip and also increased the cancellation cover). Again, we chose Comprehensive+ cover. By this stage, it was no longer an official requirement to have COVID cover but it was a risk we didn’t want to take.
I have to say, I’ve almost always travelled on CoverMore insurance but this was the first time I’d ever had to claim. The process was super easy. There was a bit of a delay because of COVID, but every single business was experiencing the same thing, so we certainly don’t hold that against them. When we said “hey we really need this money because we’re due to depart” they pushed the claim through for us.
Total cost: $409
PCRs for International Travel
At the time we were originally booked in May, it was a requirement to take a pre-departure PCR. Because they were for international travel, the PCRs weren’t covered by Medicare (for non-Australians this is our universal health system).
These tests cost us $140 per person – and yep, one came back positive. Additionally, because these tests were a government requirement, they couldn’t be claimed on insurance.
Our poor five-year-old wasn’t even symptomatic, so having to tell the kids we weren’t going to Bali because one had COVID was NOT fun.
However, by the time we headed off on our make up trip, Indonesia had scrapped the PCR requirement. Hooray!
Total cost: $560
Visa on Arrival
Visa requirements for Indonesia depend on the passport you’re travelling on. Generally (though always do your own research) ASEAN passport holders can enter visa-free for 30 days. Some countries (generally the usual suspects when it comes to “less powerful” passports) will need to apply for a visa before arrival. Australia is one of a list of countries, however, which need a visa but these are purchased on arrival.
It used to be that the visa on arrival was built into the airfare cost. However, these days there’s a visa on arrival queue upon disembarking. After entering the airport, we had some quick official health checks, then lined up for our visas which were about $50 each. After we had purchased these, we entered the immigration line (which was the slowest part of the process).
Total cost: $202
We stayed in two divine locations.
Firstly, we had four nights on Nusa Lembongan at Villa Agung, which cost us $1,002. This was a gorgeous two-bedroom villa on the beach in an excellent location. For $250 per night, we had a fully-functioning home with a beautiful view and our own pool. The Nomad Holiday Rentals team was also on hand to make sure we had everything we needed at a moment’s notice.
After Lembongan, we stayed at Cross Bali Breakers in Jimbaran. For a two-bedroom pool villa we paid $1,333 for seven nights. (We actually stayed six nights but flew out at midnight on the seventh night, so having the room booked this night meant we didn’t have to check out at 10am and wait around all day. Instead, we had a nap, a shower, and free use of all hotel amenities.)
To be honest, our Cross Bali Breakers rate was an absolute steal and I’m not sure whether it could be repeated (but it’s worth a try!). Essentially, when we booked it was before tourism was up and running again and so prices were very low. When we changed dates due to our cancellation, the quoted rate had doubled. However, the hotel kindly matched the original rate. We honestly couldn’t believe they did this for us, and we were so grateful.
However, even if you did decide to book Cross Bali Breakers and the price was more expensive than this, it’s still an awesome place to stay. Make sure you read our Cross Bali Breakers review.
Lembongan ferry and transfers
We booked our transfers and Lembongan ferry tickets as a package. This meant that as well as our ferry tickets, the ferry company picked us up from the airport, took us to Sanur to catch our ferry, took us to our villa in Lembongan, picked us up from there on the way back, and then dropped us down in Jimbaran at our next hotel.
As a total package, we paid 450,000 Rupiah per adult and 350,000 Rupiah per child.
Doing it this way made life so easy for us – we never had to worry about missed connections. We went with D’Camel ferries as they had the most appropriate ferry times for us but all the operators offer the same package.
Total cost: $172
Activities and transport
Coconut Hut, Lembongan: technically this is a bar and restaurant, but I’ve put it under activities as the big draw card is the mini golf course. We spent an afternoon here playing mini golf with friends and the kids, eating delicious bar food, and drinking (you guessed it) beers and milkshakes. We spent approximately $60AUD for the whole afternoon.
A Lembongan tour was on our list – we hired a driver for the day who took us to several major sites. This cost us $40AUD for the whole day, plus $15AUD for a mangrove tour.
A day at Waterbom Park was probably our biggest expense. It was worth it though – we all had a fantastic time. The day set us back a total of $467 (which seems like a lot for one day!). But when I’m thinking back on it, this included entry for all four of us, lunch, drinks, ice creams, beers for mum and dad while the kids played on the splash pad, extra tickets on the kids bungee, and a souvenir photo. Book your Waterbom Park tickets here.
Bali Reptile Park: This was a really great day out for the kids (and us!) and we learned so much. Entry was $50AUD for the four of us (book your Bali Reptile Park tickets here). We spent an additional $50 on transport as we were staying down south. Our driver also took us to lunch and shopping in Kuta.
Most places in Lembongan have free transfers, and if not, drivers are very cheap (the odd $AUD5 here and there). In Jimbaran/Uluwatu, we caught Gojek rides where possible, which were $10-15AUD per ride. Our hotel also had a free shuttle to Balangan Beach.
Total cost: $700 (a rounded-up approximation)
Meals, drinks, and beach clubs
Soooo… This is probably where we completely blew any budget we might have had! That’s not to say eating is expensive in Bali. It really doesn’t have to be. However, we went to some fancy beach clubs and also had some big meals which added to the cost. We also ate at the resort a few times, which is always more expensive than going out. (But honestly, we made a bunch of friends at the resort, so hanging out by the pool eating and drinking was so nice, and worth the resort tax! A couple of nights we were just tired from exploring as well, which is why resorts have restaurants in the first place.)
I won’t go into detail on everywhere we ate (though check out my Nusa Lembongan post for some recommendations!) However, I added up all my receipts (ew, I know) so I can give you a total. I think there will be the odd meal not included because I paid in cash at a local warung, but I think this gives you a good ballpark figure.
Total: $1,100 (thereabouts)
We’re not big shoppers on holiday, but sometimes you find you need something, or the opportunity arises.
In Lembongan, I popped into the Rip Curl store as I was in desperate need of some loose beach dresses. We also bought the kids a cute t-shirt each. Prices were on par with those you’d find in an Australian Rip Curl store ($35 for a t-shirt, $80 for a dress).
In Kuta, we stopped past a factory outlet mall. We bought the kids a pair of genuine DC skate shoes for about $15 each (I’m not kidding!). We also bought them a Rip Curl rash vest each for about $20 each. While I didn’t buy anything, I had a good look around and there were hundreds of gorgeous name-brand bikinis for about $10-$15 each.
The place we went to has several shops in one. The address is Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai No.11.
Grand Total: $8178
Well there you go! About $2,000 per person for ten days in Bali. And we didn’t scrimp.
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