How Much Does Indonesia Really Cost? $41 Per Day!


How Much is our finance series, meant to tell you how much you should—and shouldn't—spend on the road."

No longer the dirt cheap destination it once was, Indonesia still has plenty to offer when it comes to beaches, volcanoes, and culture. Some travelers never get beyond Bali, getting sucked into the surfing life in Uluwatu and the yoga in Ubud. I can't say I blame them, but the rest of the Indonesia does offer much to be explored and plenty of opportunity to get off the beaten track.

beach north of Senggigi

Just don't go expecting Laos prices or a hassle-free trip. Indonesians are salespeople through and through, so getting some peace and quiet amid the "Hey Misters" might be a challenge. Any island hopping will cost you, as public transportation is both slim and pricey compared to other Asian countries. And if you venture too far like we did, you may have to hop on a flight back before your 30 day visa runs out! (The good news is that you can get your Indonesia visa on arrival and it only costs US$25.)

Oh, one more thing. Indonesia is primarily Muslim, which means beer is expensive. If you're planning on partying, your budget will soar.

my perfect value pack! a beer and sunblock

That said, there's still plenty to be discovered on a midrange budget. Here's just a taste of what you can experience for $41 a day in Indonesia:

  • Surfing in Bali--even if you can't do it yourself, watching the people who can is as good a way as any to while away a beach day
  • Delicious Balinese food for around US$3
    babi guling!
  • Volcanos, volcanos, and volcanos--whether you go for Rinjani(our recommendation), Kelimutu or Bromo, there are more volcanos than you'll know what to do with
    The crater is so lush with vegetation
  • Beautiful waterfalls
    the water was quite cold!
  • Amazing natural hot springs that put all other ones to shame
    Mengeruda hot springs
  • Komodo dragons and manta rays--in one day!
    look at that Komodo dragon tongue and those claws!
  • An insane number of high fives as you drive by on your motorbike
  • Beautiful hotel rooms in Bali for US$25 a night--and that includes breakfast!
    The pool at our ($35/night) guest house in Ubud
  • The ability to show your friends this photo and have them try to guess where it was taken
    awaiting customers... scenic horse
  • Ubud--where even the rundown houses seem like intricate temples

Interested in reading more about traveling cheap in Indonesia? Check out our destination pages, Indonesia itinerary, and top tips for budget travel in Indonesia.

If you have any tips for backpacking Indonesia, leave a comment!


If you read our About Us page, you know that we're not your typical backpackers. Leaving our beautiful San Francisco loft and Lina's designer shoe collection behind didn't mean we'd revert to the way we traveled (or lived) when we were 17. So even if our trip looks cheap, know that you could spend a lot less. Most backpackers do!