budget trip indonesia

Explore Indonesia Trip on a Shoestring Budget: 2023 Travel Guide


Indonesia is a fascinating and diverse country that offers travellers an array of unforgettable experiences. From Bali’s stunning beaches to Jakarta’s bustling streets, there is much to see and do in this Southeast Asian paradise. And the best part? You don’t need to break the bank to explore Indonesia! With our 2023 travel guide, you can discover all this wonderful country offers on a shoestring budget.

In this guide, we’ll share tips and insights on how to save money on transportation, accommodation, and food while still enjoying all the fantastic sights and experiences Indonesia has to offer. So whether you’re travelling solo or with a group, a backpacker or a luxury traveller, our guide is the perfect tool to plan your budget-friendly trip on vacation to Indonesia. Let’s get exploring! The importance of travelling on a shoestring budget.

How Much Does a Trip to Indonesia Cost?

budget trip to indonesia
Rupiah Currency, Source: Bady Abbas on Unsplash


The trip cost of flights to visit Indonesia will depend on your departure location, the time of year, and how far in advance you book. On average, round-trip flights from major international cities to Jakarta or Bali can cost around $500 to $1,500. However, promotional deals and sales can sometimes offer lower prices.


Prices in Indonesia offer a wide range of accommodation options catering to various budgets. Budget-friendly accommodations like guesthouses, homestays, or hostels can range from $10 to $30 per night. Mid-range hotels usually cost between $30 and $80 per night, while luxury resorts can exceed $100 per night.


Dining costs can vary depending on your preferences. Eating at local warungs or street food stalls can cost as little as $1 to $5 per meal, while mid-range restaurants may range from $5 to $15 per meal. Fine dining establishments or upscale international restaurants can cost $20 per meal.


Getting around Indonesia can be relatively inexpensive. Local transportation options such as buses, trains, and shared minivans (“angkot”) are affordable, usually costing a few dollars per trip. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are also available in major cities, with prices varying depending on the distance travelled.


Entrance fees for popular attractions and activities can range from a few dollars to around USD 20 per person. However, many natural attractions and temples offer lower entry fees or are even free of charge. Additionally, participating in guided tours or adventure activities like diving or hiking may have additional costs.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Additional costs of living in Indonesia to consider include travel insurance, visa fees (if applicable), local SIM cards for mobile data, souvenirs, and any personal expenses or shopping you may have.

It’s important to note that the above estimates are rough averages and can vary based on individual preferences, the specific locations you visit, the duration of your trip, and any additional activities or luxury services you choose. To get a more accurate estimate, it is recommended to research and plan your itinerary in detail, considering the specific costs associated with your desired destinations and activities.

Saving Money on Transportation

MRT Jakarta Transportation, Source: Zalfa Imani

Since the travel expenses will cost unpredictable and the budget may vary, when it comes to saving money on transportation in Indonesia, here are some tips that can help you stick to your shoestring budget:

Use public transportation

Public transportation in Indonesia, such as buses, trains, and angkot (minibuses), is generally more affordable than private taxis or ride-hailing services. Utilize these options to get around within cities and between destinations. Be sure to research the routes and schedules in advance.

Share rides

If you prefer the convenience of ride-hailing services like Gojek or Grab, consider using the carpooling feature to split the fare with other passengers heading in the same direction. This can significantly reduce your transportation costs.

Rent a scooter or bike.

In many tourist areas of Indonesia, renting a scooter or bicycle is a popular and inexpensive way. It offers flexibility and allows you to explore at your own pace. Just ensure you have the necessary driving skills and appropriate safety precautions.


Exploring on foot saves money and allows you to experience the local ambience and discover hidden gems that may be missed when using other forms of transportation. Walking can be a viable option for short distances in cities or smaller towns.

Negotiate prices

If you hire a private driver or take a taxi, be prepared to negotiate the fare. In some cases, fixed prices may apply, but arranging a lower rate is worth negotiating, especially for longer journeys. Familiarize yourself with typical fare ranges to ensure you get a fair deal.

Consider overnight transportation

For long-distance travel, overnight buses or trains can be a cost-effective option. You save on accommodation costs while reaching your destination. Additionally, booking in advance or opting for less luxurious classes can help reduce ticket prices.

Use travel apps and websites.

Utilize travel apps and websites to compare prices, find the best deals, and access discounts or promotional offers on flights, buses, or trains. Websites like Traveloka, Tiket.com, or apps like Skyscanner can help you find affordable transportation options.

Be flexible with your travel dates.

If your travel dates are flexible, consider travelling during off-peak seasons or weekdays when transportation fares are often lower due to decreased demand. Avoiding holidays and peak tourist seasons can save you money on transportation costs.

Combining these strategies can significantly reduce transportation expenses while exploring Indonesia on a low budget. Remember to plan your routes, research options, and prioritize your safety and comfort.

Cheap Flights

Flight prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year and day of the week. If your travel dates are flexible, try adjusting them to find the cheapest fares. Generally, flights during weekdays and off-peak seasons tend to be more affordable.

Several budget airlines operate in and around Indonesia, offering cheaper fares than full-service carriers. Examples include AirAsia, Lion Air, Citilink, and Batik Air. Be aware that budgets often charge extra for additional services and amenities, so factor in any additional costs when comparing prices.

Affordable Accommodation Options for Indonesia Trip Budget

hotels in indonesia
Unique Homestay in Bali, Source: Liubov Novikova


Indonesia offers a range of affordable hostels to stay in Indonesia that cater to budget travellers. Here are a few popular options across different destinations in the country:

  1. Jakarta:
    • Wonderloft Hostel: Located in the heart of Jakarta, it offers dormitory-style rooms and private rooms with shared bathrooms. It has a communal kitchen, a common lounge, and free Wi-Fi.
    • Six Degrees Backpackers Hostel: Situated in the lively Kemang neighbourhood, this hostel features dormitory rooms, private rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a cosy common area.
  2. Bali:
    • The Farm Hostel: Located in Canggu, this eco-friendly hostel offers a dormitory and private rooms with shared bathrooms. It has a swimming pool, a communal kitchen, and a garden.
    • Lay Day Surf Hostel: Situated in Kuta, this hostel is ideal for surfers and beach lovers. It provides dormitory-style accommodation, a pool, a bar, and a rooftop terrace.
  3. Yogyakarta:
    • EDU Hostel: Located near the famous Malioboro Street, this hostel offers dormitory rooms and private rooms with shared bathrooms. It has a communal kitchen and lounge area and offers bicycle rentals.
    • Ostic House: Situated in the heart of Yogyakarta, this hostel features dormitory rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a common area and organizes regular cultural activities.
  4. Lombok:
    • Gili Castle: Located in Gili Trawangan, this hostel offers dormitory rooms, a swimming pool, a bar, and a social lounge. It organizes events and activities for guests.
    • La Boheme Lombok Hostel: Situated in Kuta, Lombok, this hostel provides dormitory-style rooms, a swimming pool, a garden, and a shared kitchen.
  5. Bandung:
    • Buton Backpacker Lodge: Located in the Dago area, this hostel offers dormitory rooms, a communal kitchen, a garden, and a terrace. It has a cosy common area for socializing.
    • Summerbird Bed and Brasserie: Situated in the city centre, this hostel features dormitory-style accommodation, a café, a communal lounge, and a shared kitchen.


Indonesia offers a variety of affordable homestays, which are an excellent option for budget travellers looking for a more authentic and immersive experience. Here are some examples of cheap homestays in different destinations across Indonesia:

  1. Ubud, Bali:
    • Swarapadi Villa Homestay: Located in a peaceful area near the centre of Ubud, this homestay offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, a garden, and a shared kitchen.
    • Joglo House Bali Homestay: Situated on the outskirts of Ubud, this homestay features traditional Javanese-style rooms, a communal terrace, a garden, and breakfast included.
  2. Yogyakarta:
    • Omah Garuda Homestay: Located in the Prawirotaman area, this homestay offers clean and cosy rooms with private bathrooms, a communal kitchen, a garden, and bicycle rentals.
    • Pondok Pujokusuman Homestay: Situated near the Keraton (Sultan’s Palace), this homestay provides comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, a communal living area, and a garden.
  3. Gili Islands:
    • Gili Nyepi Homestay: Located on Gili Air, this homestay offers simple and affordable rooms with private bathrooms, a garden, a terrace, and bike rentals available.
    • Mango Tree Homestay: Situated on Gili Trawangan, this homestay features budget-friendly rooms with private bathrooms, a garden, a shared kitchen, and a communal lounge.
  4. Malang, East Java:
    • Kampung Tourist Homestay: Located near the city centre, this homestay offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, a communal terrace, a garden, and a complimentary breakfast.
    • Omah Kayu Homestay: Situated in a quiet neighbourhood, this homestay provides cosy rooms with private bathrooms, a shared kitchen, a garden, and a patio.
  5. Medan, North Sumatra:
    • Rahayu Homestay Medan: Located in the city centre, this homestay offers affordable rooms with private bathrooms, a shared kitchen, and a common lounge area.
    • Garuda Homestay: Situated in a residential area, this homestay features comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, a communal terrace, a garden, and a shared kitchen.

Must-see Destinations in Indonesia on Indonesia Trip Budget

Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple, Source: Alea Film on Unsplash

Indonesia Travel is a vast and diverse country with numerous must-see destinations and activities in Indonesia. Here are some low-budget must-see destinations in Indonesia:


Known as the cultural hub of Java, Yogyakarta offers a rich blend of history, art, and architecture. Visit the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, explore the Sultan’s Palace (Kraton) underground tunnels, and wander through the vibrant markets of Malioboro Street.


This neighbouring island to Bali offers stunning beaches, pristine landscapes, and a more laid-back atmosphere. Explore the beautiful beaches of Kuta and Tanjung Aan, hike to the top of Mount Rinjani, and visit the traditional Sasak villages to glimpse local culture.

Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

Located in East Java, this national park is home to the iconic Mount Bromo. Witness the sunrise over the otherworldly volcanic landscapes, hike to the crater rim, and explore the vast sand sea surrounding the volcano.

Lake Toba

Situated in North Sumatra, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. Enjoy the lake’s serene beauty, visit traditional Batak villages, and take a ferry to Samosir Island for cultural experiences and scenic views.

Raja Ampat

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Raja Ampat in West Papua is a must-visit. This archipelago is renowned for its breathtaking marine biodiversity, pristine coral reefs, and crystal-clear waters. Snorkel, dive and explore the vibrant underwater world.

Komodo National Park

Home to the famous Komodo dragons, Komodo National Park encompasses several islands in eastern Indonesia. Take a boat trip to Komodo Island or Rinca Island to observe these impressive creatures in their natural habitat. The park also offers stunning landscapes and excellent snorkelling opportunities.

Tana Toraja

Located in the highlands of South Sulawesi, Tana Toraja is famous for its unique funeral ceremonies and traditional culture. Visit the traditional Torajan villages, witness the elaborate funeral rituals, and explore the stunning landscapes of rice terraces and limestone cliffs.

Belitung Island

This hidden gem in the Bangka-Belitung Province boasts pristine white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and unique rock formations. Explore the beautiful beaches of Tanjung Tinggi and Tanjung Kelayang, go island hopping to nearby islands, and indulge in fresh seafood.

Remember, while these destinations offer affordable options, budgeting for accommodation, transportation, meals, and any entrance fees or activities is still essential. It’s also advisable to check the latest travel advisories and plan your trip accordingly.

Free Activities to Enjoy on Indonesia Trip Budget

Snorkelling Activity, Source: Nazarizal Mohammad

Indonesia Travel cost of travel offers several free activities that allow you to explore its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant atmosphere without spending money. Here are some free activities to enjoy in Indonesia:

Temple Exploration

Many temples and cultural sites in Indonesia do not charge an entrance fee. Explore iconic temples such as Borobudur and Prambanan in Yogyakarta, the temples of Bali like Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, or the temples in Baliem Valley, Papua.

Beaches and Sunsets Bumming

Indonesia is known for its stunning beaches and breathtaking sunsets. Spend a day relaxing on the white sands of Kuta Beach in Bali, take a leisurely walk along the shores of Pangandaran Beach in Java, or witness the magical sunset at Gili Trawangan in Lombok.

Explore National Parks and Nature Reserves

Indonesia has numerous national parks and nature reserves that offer free or low-cost entry. Discover the diverse flora and fauna of places like Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Komodo National Park, and Gunung Leuser National Park.

Take in Cultural Performances

In many cities, free cultural performances showcase traditional music, dance, and theatre. Watch for free concerts or festivals in public spaces, temples, or cultural centres.

Wander Through Local Markets

Explore traditional markets like Pasar Beringharjo in Yogyakarta or Pasar Badung in Denpasar, Bali. These bustling markets offer a vibrant atmosphere and a chance to observe local life, taste local food, and browse through handicrafts.

Attend Religious Ceremonies

Indonesia is a diverse country with a rich tapestry of religious traditions on islands in Indonesia. For free, you can observe religious ceremonies and rituals, such as Balinese temple ceremonies, Javanese gamelan performances, or Islamic celebrations at mosques.

Hike or Trek in Nature

Indonesia is blessed with stunning landscapes and mountains. Many hiking trails are free to access, although some may require permits. Backpacking in Indonesia and Exploring places like Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta and Mount Bromo in East Java, or trek through the rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali.

Enjoy City Walks and Architecture

Stroll through the streets of Indonesia’s vibrant cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, or Surabaya. Admire the mix of colonial and traditional architecture, visit public parks, and soak in the lively atmosphere to travel around.

When vacationing in Indonesia, remember to respect local customs, follow regulations or guidelines, and maintain cleanliness when participating in free activities. Before visiting specific sites or attending events, it’s always a good idea to check the latest information, including opening hours and local customs.

Tips for Traveling on a Shoestring Budget on Indonesia Trip Budget

Travelling on a shoestring budget and the cost to travel and living in Indonesia requires careful planning and smart choices to make the most of your money. Here are some tips to help you travel on a budget:

Set a Realistic Budget

Determine how much you can spend on your trip and set a daily or overall budget. Consider expenses like accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and additional costs like visas or travel insurance.

Plan Your Trip in Advance

Planning allows you to take advantage of early discounts, cheaper flights, and better deals on accommodation. Research your destination, create an itinerary, and list free or low-cost activities you can enjoy.

Travel During Off-Peak Seasons

Prices for flights, accommodation, and attractions tend to be lower during off-peak seasons. Consider travelling during shoulder seasons or avoiding popular holiday periods to save money.

Use Budget Airlines or Alternative Transportation

Look for budget or alternative transportation options, such as buses or trains, to save on transportation costs. Be flexible with your travel dates and compare prices from different providers to find the best deals.

Opt for Affordable Accommodation

Consider staying much to budget accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or homestays. These options are often cheaper than hotels and can provide a more authentic experience. Look for reviews, compare prices, and book in advance to secure the best deals.

Eat Local and Cook Your Meals

Explore local markets and affordable eateries to experience local cuisine at lower prices. Eating like a local can be both delicious and budget-friendly. Additionally, consider cooking some of your meals if you can access a kitchen or communal cooking facility.

Be Mindful of Your Daily Expenses

Keep track of your daily expenses and avoid unnecessary splurges. Look for free activities, take advantage of happy hours or discounted entry fees, and use public transportation or walk instead of taxis or private transport.

Embrace Slow Travel

Instead of rushing through multiple destinations, consider staying longer in one place. Slow travel allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture, build connections, and save on transportation costs.

Take Advantage of Free Activities and Attractions

Many destinations offer free attractions, museums with free entry days, walking tours, or cultural performances. Research these options in advance to make the most of your budget.

Travel Light and Pack Smart

Pack light to avoid extra baggage fees and be prepared for different weather conditions. Consider bringing essential items such as a reusable water bottle, a travel towel, and a universal power adapter to save on purchasing or renting them during your trip.

Travelling on a shoestring budget may present challenges like language barriers, transportation logistics, or unexpected situations. However, overcoming these challenges builds resilience, problem-solving skills, and the ability to adapt to new environments. These qualities can be transformative and positively impact other areas of your life.

Remember, travel is about the journey, not just the destination. Travelling on a shoestring budget encourages you to embrace spontaneity, step out of your comfort zone, and create your unique adventure. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the simple pleasures, forge meaningful connections, and discover the true essence of a place. So embrace the challenge, and embark on your budget-friendly adventure with an open mind and a spirit of exploration!

Explore Indonesia Trip on a Shoestring Budget: 2023 Travel Guide (FAQ)

1. What are some tips for travelling to Indonesia on a budget?

If you travel to Indonesia on a budget (Indonesia trip budget), a few tips can help you save money. First, consider travelling during the off-peak season when prices for accommodation and flights are lower. Second, book your tickets and accommodation in advance to get better deals. Third, use public transportation such as local buses in Indonesia and ferries instead of hiring private cars. Fourth, eat at food stalls and indulge, which is delicious and cost-effective.

2. How much does a trip to Indonesia cost on average?

The average price of a trip to Indonesia (Indonesia trip budget) depends on several factors, such as the duration of your stay, the places you wish to visit, your travel budget, and the type of accommodation when travelling in Indonesia, you choose. However, on a shoestring budget, you can expect to spend around $25-$35 per person per day, including food in Indonesia and accommodation.

3. What are some of the cheapest places to visit in Indonesia?

Indonesia is a tourist paradise with many travellers and affordable places time to visit. Some of the cheapest places to visit in Indonesia are Sumatra, Java, and Bali. You can also explore many volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and cultural sites that are cheap and equally rewarding.

4. What is the best way to travel in Indonesia?

The best way to travel in Indonesia (Indonesia trip budget) depends on your budget (how much does it cost), time, and preferences. You can take domestic flights to save time and cover more distance quickly. Alternatively, you can opt for buses and ferries if you are in no rush and looking to explore Indonesia more slowly. Another popular option is to rent a motorbike and explore the local sites at your own pace.

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