Cost of living in Bali as compared to other locations we’ve visited…

Due to a poor WiFi signal, we are unable to post any photos today. Gede has contacted the service provider who’s explained that some of the routers on the tower between the house aren’t working. They’ve promised to make a service call from Java within 24 hours to make the repairs. However, as always, “island time” takes presence over all else.  We’ll see how this rolls out. We were able to acquire a signal strong enough to post the text only. We’ll keep trying throughout the day attempting to upload the photos. Thanks for your patience and we’ll be back with an update tomorrow.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

With only 20 days until our departure from this wonderful property in Sumbersari in west Bali, we’ve had an ample opportunity for a comprehensive take on the cost of living here in a vacation home.

Keeping in mind, living in a vacation home is a whole lot different and less expensive than staying in a resort or hotel. Also, flying to this island can be costly and time-consuming for those living long distances away such as Europe and the US.

A round trip, for example, from Minneapolis to Denpasar would cost approximately IDR 26,676,000, US $2,000, or more for the shortest economy class flights taking no less than 17 hours with some cheaper flights over 30 hours. Most working travelers don’t have (or want) two or three extra days spent traveling.

For us, it’s worked well since we were already in the South Pacific getting as close as Singapore by a much desired and enjoyed cruise. For travelers in Australia and New Zealand, Bali can be a good choice for an
extended holiday when it doesn’t take long to fly here and the cost is reasonable under US $350, AU 475.

Then the costs include accommodations, transportation, meals, entertainment, recreation, and tips.  Many travelers enjoy shopping in the capital city of Denpasar where prices for clothing and trinkets are low compared
to other destinations.  We heard several cruise passengers mention they bring an empty piece of luggage to contain the items they’ll purchase when they come to Bali.

We realize our perspective in definitely unrealistic and impractical for many tourists that want an all-encompassing travel experience including all of the above expenditures and amenities.

In today’s world of the fast-growing retiree population, others travelers are like us in many ways…desiring to spend less and, get the most out of the experience not necessarily staying in a busy, more populated and
subsequently, more expensive areas where “all the action is.”

Those days for us passed a long time ago, long before we began this journey. We don’t need discos and noisy dining establishments to entertain us at night nor are we interested in shop after shop of similar looking items.  These facts alonechanges everything.

A wonderful aspect to Bali is the affordable household help, including cooks, also included in the rental cost of many vacation properties. We couldn’t get better meals at a restaurant than we’re experiencing here, served hot and fresh daily at a cost that is unbelievable.

Again, we’re different than the average traveler, dining only once a day when most would enjoy three meals a day and perhaps a beautiful fruit plate as an afternoon snack.

Even so, in this villa two people could dine three times a day keeping the cost under US $25, IDR 334,000, a far cry from what they’d spend dining in restaurants plus transportation. For our one meal per day, we’re spending less than we’ve ever spent for food anywhere in our travels.  At the upcoming end of our stay, 20 days from today, we’ll post our total expenses, as we always do.

We haven’t dined out once since our arrival on April 30th. There aren’t any suitable restaurants within a two hour drive of this area. For the average traveler, the comprehensive menu for the villa could easily satisfy
one’s desire for great food for even an extended stay.

Sure, its fun to get out, have a few drinks and enjoy an evening out. We always find great pleasure in doing so. Although my restrictive way of eating makes it difficult in some parts of the world especially when a lot of starch and sugar is used in traditional spices used in local and regional food prep.

Also, for us, using the services of the villa’s drivers has made a lot of sense. Never once, have we wished we had a rental car, especially considering “google maps” wouldn’t be much help in this part of the world. Of course, one could use a “paper” map if they so choose.

The cost of most drivers for a full day in Bali is under IDR 1,000,000, US $75. One could easily spend at least half that much per day for a rental car sitting in the driveway when its not in use.

Another factor we highly considered when we booked this location is the quality of this fabulous vacation home, at a reasonable price for which we would have paid three or four times as much in a busier and considered “more convenient” location. Check out the link for the excellent prices for this property.

It all boils down to what’s important to you as travelers.  Here they can snorkel, scuba dive, fish, visit rainforests, temples and much more. Mainly, its a lively nightlife lacking for those desiring action in the evenings.

Overall, our time in Bali may prove to be one of our less expensive vacation homes to date offering an abundance of features we’ve thoroughly enjoyed. The WiFi? Not so much. The rest? Heavenly.

Please mark your calendars to check back on June 27th (the 26th for those on the opposite side of the International Dateline) when we’ll share the total expenses for our almost two months in Bali. You may be pleasantly surprised as we make the final tally!

May your day provide YOU with a pleasant surprise or two!

Photo from one year ago today, June 7, 2015:

The pilot boat. A pilot boards the ship to assist in getting the ship away from the pier, a common occurrence in most ports. For more photos, please click here.

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