(All prices are quoted in Australia Dollars)
I am a full-time teacher so I travel in the school holidays. Unfortunately for us though travel is more expensive during theses peak times. However, if you use a few strategies mentioned below you will be able to spend ten luxurious nights in Bali & Lombok for under $720 per person.
Bali, it is a right of passage for most Australians. It is close in proximity; it is beautiful, and it is cheap. What most people don’t know is how cheap it actually can be. Most people settle with paying Australian prices to explore the likes of Bali and its surrounds. Australian prices will certainly get you luxury but doing some research and searching some deals can get you luxury for even less.
Ok, so I can’t help but also mention the island of Lombok, just next door to Bali. It is teeming with cheap luxurious options for places to stay and is one of the reasons why I prefer Lombok to Bali when trying to keep prices down.
So how did I stay for ten days and spend very little? Well, it is fair to say I used some travelling secrets.
1) Frequent Flyer Points – (Australia Residents Only)
I have been travelling for years, and it wasn’t until recently I signed up for a frequent flyer program. To this day I am still kicking myself on why I didn’t sign up sooner. There are tonnes of cards out there linked to Australia’s biggest frequent flyer programs, one being Velocity and the other Qantas. The differences between the two are the airlines affiliated. Qantas, is obviously Qantas and Velocity is Virgin Australia, but their respective alliance airlines are linked as well so do your research on which is best for you, if not both. Here is a quick list of SOME of the airlines affiliated (subject to change and benefits can be different for each airline):
- Air New Zealand
- Etihad Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin America
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Samoa
- American Airlines
- Air Vanuatu
- British Airways
- Cathy Pacific
- Malaysia Airlines
Once you know which program is a better fit, it is all about finding the card that works for you. NOTE: Don’t get excited and sign up right away, be patient and wait for a huge promotion, which includes massive bonus points. This is key because from the word go you will have a healthy amount of points to start using for travel.
Many banks offer cards linked to frequent flyer programs, as do other big players like American Express. I opted for an American Express card when I signed up due to a massive promotion they were having for 100,000 Velocity points. For this reason, I got return Virgin flights from Adelaide via Sydney to Bali for a whopping $181.11 using less than 50,000 points. I actually could have used more points and therefore had an even cheaper flight, but I wanted to keep some points up my sleeve.
2) Daily Deals Websites
Why pay full price for a luxurious hotel/villa when you can get them at a fraction of the cost when purchasing on a deals websites?! These daily deal sites have everything from local specials, shopping and travel. For this reason, you really would be stupid not to use them. I have never encountered any issue when using these companies and have saved myself thousands over the years. If you need any tips or tricks when navigating these companies check out my tips and trick for using Scoopon Travel.
While in Lombok, I stayed in a luxurious 3-bedroom villa for a massive $500 for five nights. This piece of paradise came with its own private pool, three large separate rooms with adjoining bathrooms and incredible views looking over the island of Bali. Considering I was travelling with five other people, this then equated to $100 for the five nights or $20 per person per night including breakfast. BARGAIN!
3) Travel With Other People
As mentioned above sharing the cost of the villa in Lombok kept the costs down. For this reason don’t overestimate the power of travelling with friends, family or strangers. As well as keeping costs down, sharing the experience and creating amazing memories are priceless opportunities not to be missed.
To finish the trip, we decided to try out a luxurious villa in the Canggu area of Bali. Without a doubt, this was the most expensive part of our holiday. Again, though because I was travelling with others and sharing the experience of travel we spent three nights in the epitome of luxury for only $270 per person. Again, this three-bedroom, three-bathroom villa had its own pool, a pool table, and gardens within a gated community. To be honest, this for me is still a little expensive but hey if you want to live it up in luxury for relaxation purposes you can still do so at prices less than you would pay in Australia.
4) Do Your Research
I have a passion for travel, OBVIOUSLY. That means I get a serious kick out of finding a great deal online. For this reason, I will spend copious amounts of time trying to pinpoint what I believe is the best deal. Now you don’t need to go overboard with this but spend some time comparing sites for flights and accommodation. You will be amazed what you can pick up, especially when it comes to places like Bali. While you’re at it check out this article on best hotels in Bali.
For this one reason alone I also managed to find a nights accommodation in Kuta, Bali before flying to Lombok, for next to nothing. We stayed at a hotel in the heart of Kuta for a whopping $34 per person including breakfast. Even better we were all upgraded to their junior suites and for a nights accommodation, I could not complain. The rooms were spacious, clean and ideally located for a morning of exploring before heading to the airport.
5) Be Flexible With Dates
Finally, be flexible with dates but within reason of course. Being teachers, we are constrained to a two-week period but during this time we can still be flexible. Therefore when researching flights always select the ‘flexible with dates’ option to scope out the best time to fly. I did this with not only our Virgin flights but with our friend’s flights and our return flights from Bali to Lombok all, which helped, keep costs down.
FUN FACT: did you know the flight from Bali to Lombok is only 28 minutes long and depending on the airline they will still feed you, that is a WIN if you ask me.
Return Flights (Adelaide via Sydney – Bali): $180.11
Return Flights (Bali – Lombok): $91.40
One nights accommodation Bali: $34
Five nights in a luxury villa, Lombok: $100
Three nights in a luxury villa, Bali: $270
Travel Insurance: $40.36
Total: $715.87 per person
So there you have it, it is possible! One final note I must mention if you don’t have enough money for travel insurance you don’t have enough money to travel! So save your money elsewhere using the tips above but ensure you have yourself covered, just in case!
Check out this post to learn all about travel insurance (including who has the best travel insurance for Australians).
About The Authors – Lauren And Jarrad
It all starts with a couple from Aus,
Writing a travel blog simply because.
A year or two ago it seemed only dream,
For both Lauren and Jarrad distant they seemed.
As time past they called each other mate,
A relationship beckoned it must have been fate.
Now the trip of a lifetime is booked,
South America, Antarctica we hope to have you hooked.
Our initials ljo & jlo symbolise who we are,
Therefore #ljojlo was born as we travel afar.
In case you didn’t know we are off overseas,
Where we will write about our experiences in order to please.
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