Bali is one of those places that always comes up as a top honeymoon destination, and for good reason. With stunning beaches, world-class resorts and villas, and countless spas, what couple wouldn’t want to spend their honeymoon here? However, many people will write it off as being too expensive before really doing the research. We’re here to prove to you that it’s possible to have an incredible Bali honeymoon on a budget. After all, we did just that!
The Biggest Expense
Unless you’re traveling from Australia or another country in Southeast Asia, your biggest expense will without a doubt be your flight. Those traveling from the US may do a quick search for flights to Bali and immediately give up after seeing the cost. If you can be flexible with your dates and your route, it’s possible to score some great deals. When my mom and sisters came to visit us, they got round-trip flights from Los Angeles for around $600 each. If flights to Bali are turning up with astronomical prices, see what you can find going into other major hubs in the region such as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Hong Kong. You might be able to save money by booking two separate flights, and you can visit another country in the process.
If you’re set on a 5-star resort on the beach or deep in the rice fields, then you can go ahead and forget about the idea of a Bali honeymoon on a budget. Those can cost up to $500 a night – not exactly budget-friendly prices. The good news is that there are tons of amazing villas in Bali listed on sites such as Airbnb. Just check out where we stayed on our Bali honeymoon – a joglo house in the rice fields outside of Ubud with a nice garden and a private pool. Care to guess how much this set us back?
Would you believe me if I told you it was only $50 a night? Because it was. If you’re not already on Airbnb, sign up through our link and get $35 towards your first booking. For those who would rather stay near a beach on their honeymoon, never fear – there are plenty of great listings in Seminyak, Sanur, and on the Bukit peninsula as well. If you’d prefer a hotel, there are lots of options for $100 or less if you poke around.
Main Sights in Town
One of the best parts about traveling in Bali is a number of awesome things you can do there that don’t break the bank. You can always sit on the beach or walk in the rice fields! In Ubud, you can visit the palace and the big market in the middle of town for free. Should you choose to buy some souvenirs there, be sure to bargain.
Another budget-friendly activity is visiting the Monkey Forest for about $3 per person. The primates are used to crowds of people and are happy to pose for photos if you want to feed them. Just be warned – we saw one snatch a girl’s ice cream cone out of her hands a block away from the entrance. These guys get around and they’re hungry!
There are also several art museums in Ubud that are worth a look. If you’re on your honeymoon, why not pick the Blanco Museum? Artist Antonio Blanco married a famous Balinese dancer and was granted land in Ubud by the king to build this home and studio which is now a museum. He was quite the flamboyant and eccentric character and was fascinated by the female form. Enjoy the lush gardens and the erotic artwork inside, and then get your free drink in their lovely restaurant. A trip here will set you back a mere $6 each.
After the museum, take a stroll on the Campuhan Ridge Walk across the street. Get away from the noise of the main road and enjoy the views. A 30-minute or so walk will bring you to Karsa Cafe and Spa, where you can enjoy one of their treatments or just kick back in one of their palapas with a cold beer or fresh young coconut. Coconuts are readily available and cost around $1. A nice, cold Bintang beer usually runs $2-3 for a big bottle. At those prices, go ahead and have a few!
We’ve never gotten a massage there, but they get great reviews so I’m sure it’s worth checking out. Plus, we already had spa plans worked out on our honeymoon…
There are several spas in all of the tourist towns in Bali, and Ubud is no different. Do your research rather than just show up at one and you may score an unbelievable deal. Bali Botanica Day Spa is one of the highest-rated spas in town and is often booked up in advance. During our honeymoon, they just so happened to be running a special promo for couples. For less than $100, we got:
- A Balinese massage
- Exfoliation and flower bath
- Wine tasting with canapés at the famous Bridges Restaurant
They also have an option where you can get a 3-course dinner at Bridges if you want to go all out. The prices are a bit higher now than they were then, but it’s still a fantastic deal. It’s certainly worth it to call around and ask spas if they have special couples or honeymoon packages.
Ubud is definitely one of the yoga capitals of the world these days. Just look at the massive Bali Spirit Festival that takes place there every year. There are quite a few places in town where you can release your inner yogi, including the famous Yoga Barn. You can just drop in and pay for a class or get a discount for buying multiples. There’s more than just yoga here, as you can also try Tibetan bowl meditation or even ecstatic dance. At $8-10 per class, this will help keep it a Bali honeymoon on a budget.
Wine and Dine
Speaking of Yoga Barn, they’ve got a great restaurant on site as well, the Garden Kafe and Juice Bar. Reward yourself after a good class with a fresh juice, a salad, pasta, or one of their tasty “energy balls.”
If you want to keep that healthy kick going, try Alchemy. This Ubud institution has the best salad bar, plus a juice/smoothie bar as well. It’s also a holistic center and health store, so be sure to look around while you’re there.
Salads are great and all, but that’s not all that’s on offer in Ubud. For the carnivores amongst us, a trip to Naughty Nuri’s is in order. This place makes mouth-watering ribs and also has awesome (and strong) martinis.
Eating out in Bali is super affordable, even at the nicer restaurants that cater to tourists. With a drink or two each, you’ll still spend far less than $100 on a really nice dinner.
If you’d like a little bit of entertainment along with your dinner, head to Cafe Lotus. Go all out and order their rijstafel for two – a selection of Balinese and Indonesian delicacies – and get a bottle of wine. It’s your honeymoon, after all!
An evening here is about more than just the delicious Indonesian food, as there’s also a traditional dance performance. You can choose to add a ticket for the show to your meal and take in the show while eating, and then you’re free to walk up and take a seat for a closer look. If you’ve already eaten and just want to catch a show, tickets are usually only $6-$8 each.
An Unforgettable Honeymoon
We love honeymoons so much we actually took three of them. OK, the first one was called our “Hippy Moon” because it was actually before our wedding. We saw the GD50 shows in Chicago and actually stayed in a nice hotel rather than a friend’s couch for a change. After our DIY Asheville wedding, we stuck around for a week of hiking, tubing, micro-breweries, and lots of kickass restaurants. Both were great, but as far as honeymoons go, it’s hard to top our Bali one. Don’t let the cost of a flight deter you from taking your dream honeymoon on the Island of the Gods. With a bit of careful budgeting, clever planning, and resourcefulness, it’s totally possible to have an amazing Bali honeymoon on a budget. Not including flights, we spent less than $1,000 for four nights in that stunning villa full of art, music, nature, food, and booze. Pretty good for a honeymoon in paradise, isn’t it?