Indonesia Travel Tips
Aloha! This past summer I traveled to Indonesia and had the greatest time of my life. In this blog, I just wanted to discuss some helpful travel tips when traveling in Indonesia.
Tip #1 Airfare:
Out of all the automated flight comparison websites that are out there, I have discovered that skyscanner.com is by far the best website to find the cheapest flights worldwide. When looking up flights, there is an option to find the cheapest dates to fly out during the entire year, and Skyscanner will automatically find the cheapest days. I find that setting really helpful for when planning trips on a budget. For example, right now you can fly from Honolulu to Bali for just $438 roundtrip from Nov.15th to Dec. 2nd this year. Also, budget airlines such as Air Asia sometimes have sales on their websites making airfare very cheap.
Tip #2 Transportation:
The cheapest way to get around Indonesia is by renting a motorbike. You can rent a motorbike virtually anywhere in Indonesia. When renting a motorbike, they will often ask for a safety deposit or your passport number…never rent from a place that demands to keep your passport as the safety deposit. Also, typically you should never pay more than 50,000 rupiah a day when renting a motorbike. The more touristy areas may ask for more money, but 50,000 is a fair price and is the most common. That is the equivalent of $3.29. Two people can fit on one motorbike, so you could potentially only be spending around $1.15 a day for transportation, and have no limits as to where you can go. Driving motorbikes is unbelievably fun and was crucial to my experience in Indonesia. Driving around the more populated areas can be kind of hectic, basically a free-for-all on the road, so just be careful and be aware of your surroundings.
For navigating on your motorbike, be sure to download Google Maps to your phone and download the Offline Maps for the area you are driving around in. I downloaded the Offline Map for the whole island of Bali when I was there, and it only took a couple of minutes to download. I found this so helpful, and never got lost using this method. There is often a space where you can put your phone under the handlebars so you can see the phone, and/or can attach headphones to your phone and have one earbud in to listen to directions, while driving.
For traveling to destinations that take more than an hour, I would highly recommend using the phone application “Grab.” It is essentially the “Uber” of Indonesia; It is way cheaper than taxis and the app tells you the cost of the trip upfront before your order the car.
Tip #3 Hostels:
I highly recommend staying in hostels while traveling through Indonesia. It is a great way to save money and meet people from all over the world. I made some really great friends from all over by staying at hostels, and even traveled with them for several weeks after… I made so many awesome memories with them. You can find good hostels on hostelworld.com, and pay as low as $3 a night. A lot of hostels have fun social events and good deals on motorbike rentals and adventure tours.
Tip #4 Cash:
First, download an offline currency converter app, so you know you are not getting ripped off when you buy food or other items. Second, always carry cash on you with a wide variety of bills. Depending on where you go, most places only accept cash, and often “won’t” have change, so it is essential to carry a variety of bills to avoid getting ripped off. Keep in mind, when places do accept card, there is often a minimum.
Tip #5 Food and Water:
The best food I tried in Indonesia was from authentic, locally-owned food establishments. One restaurant I ate at, was filled only with locals and not one foreigner. When I walked in everyone stared at me, at that moment I knew I was exactly in the right place. I ordered Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and it was delicious. It only costed 10,000 rupiah or $0.67. Food this cheap can be hard to find, but is not impossible. Just spend the time to look around, and maybe even ask some locals where to eat. Always make sure the food is fresh and hot, and if you can, watch them cook it in front of you. The absolute cheapest food I found during my whole trip costed 5,000 rupiah or $0.33. That is insane. It was a mix of rice, chicken, noodles, vegetables, and spices wrapped in banana leaves. It was made in a store owned by a small family, who I grew to become great friends with. I bought food from them multiple times and would always sit down with the family and just talk and have a good time. As for beverages, always try to have bottled water and avoid ice at all times. For juice and other drinks, use your judgement and gut feeling about the establishment and you should be fine. I never got food poisoning while in Indonesia although it is common for travelers.
So those are my tips and tricks! Keep in mind a lot of these tips can be applied to other locations in Southeast Asia as well! If you have any questions about Indonesia, traveling, or just about anything that I have going on, feel free to shoot me a DM on Instagram @wrvbrah. If you travel to Indonesia I wish you nothing but a fun, spontaneous, and safe trip! Don't forget to share your adventure with us here at Ranch Bucket and happy travels!