Congratulations, you’ve packed your bags and booked your tickets. You’re just about to step out the door, wave goodbye and embark on your Bali travel. But are you ready? Before you set off on your backpacking trip, make sure you’ve completed the following tasks on this last minute checklist.
Be Prepared: The better prepared you are, the safer and more enjoyable your travel will be. If you’re travelling in an organised group, find out what arrangements have been made for you and what arrangements you need to make for yourself. Do some research on your destination and prepare the necessary documentation.
Travel Insurance: This is very important. You are strongly advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance. Is it too expensive? Can’t afford it? If you’ve said yes to these two questions, you cannot afford to travel. Accidents happen. You should not base your decision to take out insurance on the assumption that “it will not happen to me”.
Passport and Visa: Make sure these are valid and up to date.
Who are backpackers? According to the dictionary, a backpacker is a person who hikes with a backpack. To most people, backpackers are independent travellers on a tight budget. Seeing that backpackers have a tight budget to keep, here are five tips for backpacking in Bali.
Top Five Tips for Backpacking in Bali
Sleep Cheap: There is no lack of cheap accommodation in Bali. These affordable yet comfortable hostels and motels dot the coastline and can be found in the city as well. You can sleep in a private room and one with a view no less for as little as $4! With such a good range of hostels, you can forget about the expensive international chain of hotels.
Eat Local: As tempting as they may be, try not to fall for “big Aussie breakfasts” in Bali. They may remind you of home but they can cost as much as your accommodation – $4! Eat at local food stalls instead. It is worth taking the time to venture out to the back roads to look for local warungs. These are “semi-restaurants” that serve dishes you would find in restaurants at a fraction of the price. The names of these places usually begin with “warung”.
Take a Walk: The best way to get around Bali is on foot. If your next destination is not within walking distance, take a public bus or minivan. These options are way cheaper than the transportation offered by travel agencies. The most reliable bus company with the widest network is Perama. Another option is the ojek. This is an informal type of transport where local bikers ferry you to your destination on their motorcycles. It is a cheap, fast and fun way of getting around.
One for the Road: Travellers buy souvenirs. It is what they do. Just remember that when you are in Bali, don’t buy souvenirs in Kuta or any other tourist area. Head to the central market in Denpensar on the Pasar Sukowati instead. Here, arts and crafts, clothes, paintings and souvenirs are cheaper.
Haggle Your Heart Out: Bear in mind that whatever vendors ask for their authentic, mass-produced Balinese paraphernalia, it is the price they hope you’ll pay for it. The rule of thumb is to pay what you think it’s worth to you. Yes you should haggle but try not to go overboard. These sellers are also trying to make a living.