Our style of travel seems to be panning out as budget-luxe. Sadly, ‘luxe’ with a lowercase L, not upper! We seem to mix it up quite a bit and our expenses (mainly food) vary wildly from one day to the next.
One day we spent 60p on two, yes TWO, delicious bowls of what I can only describe as a spaghetti Bolognese style soup (tasted much nicer than it sounds, honestly) yet other days we’d spend nearly £10 on coffee and cakes and then dinner on top.
Activities: By our standards we did a fair few activities in Indonesia – a cooking class, spa treatment, and a day out with our own driver in Bali. In Java we did sunrise over Mt. Bromo, and visited Prambanan and Borupudur. These came in at just over £200 between us.
Travel: Indonesia is big and we took two internal flights along with our Singapore – Bali – Singapore flight. What we still haven’t got our heads around is the cost of trains. We paid something like £22 for us to travel from Blitar to Malang and then about £3 to travel on from Malang to Surabaya. Almost the same distance again, on the same day and in the same class, on more or less the same line. Odd.
Visa costs: We each paid $35USD for a visa on arrival (in USD) and £10 each (in local currency) when we departed internationally. The two internal flights cost us £4 each, per flight, in departure tax, paid in local currency. All in all, nearly £80 on visas and departure tax.
Accommodation: Our accommodation worked out around £16 per night. Which I’m happy with as we spent a week in a very nice hotel in Blitar and it was worth it just to have good internet, oh and did I mention the afternoon tea? We try to stay at budget places around the £15 – £20 mark, we’re too old for sleeping in dorms and sharing bathrooms (well, I am), but do if we that’s all we can get or afford e.g.: In Singapore and Malacca. To be honest, I’d rather go home a month early than sleep in dorms.
Where we could have saved money: FOOD. FOOD. FOOD. What can I say, we like our food (as this gallery shows), but we do rein it in when we can. In Blitar we were able to have a good breakfast at the hotel and only ate out once a day, and even then only street food. I don’t think we spent more than £2 for two meals – and that would be splashing out. In between we’d have muesli or cereal. We also have a small kettle so make coffee for ourselves in our hotel room. This is what the bulk of the ‘groceries food’ spend is for.
What’s not included: What this does not include is the night I treated us to in the Tugu Malang. If I was to include that, and the food and drinks we had, it would increase in cost by £120.
Summary: The costs below are for the two of us, I use a budget app to record our expenses on the go. I think this is fair for where and how we’ve lived for the month. We could have done it cheaper but it’s very easy to get sucked in to the restaurant scene in Ubud, Bali. It was our downfall. Ideally, we’d like to live for £20 a day each, but I think that’s only possible if you stay in dorms, eat street food, take buses and not flights and do nothing. We’ll see.
Verdict: Budget FAIL, by £6 per day each, but it was worth it. We loved Indonesia and had a great time, we saw loads, did loads and erm…ate loads.