Bali is one of the most popular holiday destinations for travellers from New Zealand. Whether you’re going alone or with your family, for your first time or your tenth time, it’s an appealing destination.
To help with your planning process, we’ve come up with a few ways that you can save money while also helping you think about where to stay and what to do while you’re away.
The best time to book flights to Bali
Typically, flights and accommodation are cheaper in the off season, especially outside school holidays. However, if you have to travel at Easter because of family or job commitments, there are still ways to save money on your trip.
One way is to book your flights in the sweet spot. From New Zealand, we’ve found that the best time to book flights to Bali and the rest of Indonesia is 19 weeks before you intend to fly. By booking then, you can save 10% on your fare (on average).
Where should you stay in Bali?
Knowing where to book your accommodation can be difficult. The island has a multitude of hotspots, with different holidays available depending on where you get your hotel.
For many, Kuta and Bali are synonymous but it’s not to everyone’s liking. Kuta is popular for two main reasons: its incredible waves and its non-stop nightlife. From budget hostels to upmarket beachside resorts, there’s somewhere for everyone to stay.
Families and those looking for a relaxing break should probably look elsewhere, but with cheap Bintang and more bars than you could ever hope to visit, it’s loved by those planning stag and hen nights.
On the opposite coast to Kuta, Sanur (nicknamed ‘Snore’ by some people for its laid back attitude) has a completely different vibe. With no waves to speak of, it’s not a surfing destination by any means. It tends to be favoured by European holidaymakers rather than New Zealand and Australian ones.
Sanur is particularly popular among honeymooners, older travellers and those looking for a relaxing break. Hotels tend to be a bit pricier than in Kuta, but when you look at the quality you’ll soon see it’s worth it.
Further up the coast from Kuta is Seminyak, a more upscale spot that is popular with families and slightly (but not much) older travellers. As well as five-star resorts, private villas are popular for tourists to rent.
Seminyak’s attractions match its clientele’s wishes, with fine dining, boutique shopping and a quiet(er) beach to enjoy.
Although Bali and beaches go hand-in-hand, the inland Ubud remains one of the most popular holiday spots. Rather than the coast, Ubud is set in the central highlands, among rainforest and rice terraces. It’s become a spiritual centre with yoga retreats and wellness centres chief among the accommodation options.
There are plenty of other attractions in Ubud, including world-class art galleries, some of the island’s best restaurants and the cleverly named Sacred Monkey Forest.
Where to visit in Bali
If you’re staying in one of the major tourist spots, there’s plenty of places that are within a short drive that you should consider visiting. While it is possible to book a day tour or hire a car, renting a car gives you more flexibility in your planning.
Translating as ‘Elephant Cave’, Goa Gajah is found on the outskirts of Ubud. This sacred spot dates back to the 11th century. Originally a haven for meditation, today it’s seen more as an artistic attraction thanks to the hundreds of carvings in, on and around the cave.
Towards the northern coast of Bali is Mount Batur, an active volcano that welcomes climbers while it’s quiet. Guided expeditions are available in the early hours of the morning, with a stunning sunrise welcoming people to the peak. Depending on who you book with, you may be treated to breakfast at the summit. The standard fare being eggs cooked by steam released from the volcano’s heart.
On the very southern tip of the island is Uluwatu, a town loved by surfers for its world-class waves. The top attraction thouhg is the ancient Hindu temple that sits high on the cliffs, giving panoramic views over the ocean.
It’s impossible to do Bali justice in one article. We hope that this piece gives you some inspiration and helps kick along your plans for an Easter getaway.