Bali has built up a reputation for being one of the best places to surf. But once you combine travel, accommodation, and surf gear, the costs can easily start piling up. 

Don’t worry too much about it, though, as there is a way to surf in Bali without breaking the bank. From affordable accommodation to gear rentals and picking the right time of month to visit, you can stretch your budget a little further. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how off-peak surfing can save you money in Bali.

Quick Tips for Saving Money While Surfing in Bali

Ride the Bali Low Season Waves

The rainy season in Bali lasts from November to March and is considered the lower season. But don’t let the term “rainy season” deter you. Factors like the El Nino weather phenomenon have meant less rainfall and better waves, meaning this period promises more favorable conditions for surfing than ever before. 

Then there’s the perks, like cheaper flights, fewer tourists, quieter surfing experiences, less crowded waves. 

So, not only do you get to enjoy Bali’s world-famous surfing spots at their calmest, but the chances are that you’ll save some cash while doing it. 

Embrace the Wet Season

Traveling to Bali in the wet season? Here’s what you can expect:

Sure, there’s a shower or two, and it can get a bit more humid, but the temperature’s are still hot. And with lower demands, hotel prices decrease, with surfing spots like Uluwatu and Padang Padang less crowded. That means more waves to yourself and more money in your pocket. 

Surf Camp Deals During Monsoon

The monsoon season offers another layer of perks—Bali surf camps like Rapture Surf Camps roll out special deals during the monsoon season, giving you the chance to learn surfing for less while enjoying additional perks in the form of yoga studios and eateries. 

Why stay at a surf camp?

Surf camps foster a social vibe with communal areas and activities where you can swap stories with fellow surf enthusiasts between sessions. It’s an immersive way to embrace the full surf lifestyle on a budget while learning a few tricks to take to the waves. 

Plus, you can also explore the beauty of Bali during your island vacation without burning a hole in your pocket. 

Budget Accommodations Near the Beach

A budget surf trip wouldn’t be complete without finding cheap ways to get a roof over your head. In Bali, you’re spoiled for choice. We still think surf camps are the best choice, especially if your reason for visiting Bali is because of the waves. But other options are available for every type of traveler, from guesthouses with local families to hotels that often include amenities. 

Many of these places also cater to the needs of digital nomads and long-term visitors by providing conveniences such as kitchens and workspaces. While these are cheap ways to stay close to the beach, we still wouldn’t recommend drinking Bali’s tap water due to the risk of waterborne diseases and contaminants. Instead, opt for bottled or filtered water, which is widely available and inexpensive.

If you do want to push your budget to its limit and are looking for something unique and peaceful, why not opt for a night at a luxury resort? Many resorts are hidden away from tourist hotspots, offering a serene experience that’s hard to match, making them one of the best vacation options for surfing lovers.

Canggu’s Cost-Effective Stays

Considering Canggu? It’s one of the best Bali vacation hotspots for surfers, and the accommodation is affordable. For instance, beds at Kos One Hostel start at a cost-effective $25 USD per night. Other low-cost lodgings include the Jangkar Canggu Guesthouse with private rooms, Shortcut Breeze Guest House with its garden views and a pool, and El Barrio Boutique Hotel close to the beach. 

These hotels and guesthouses also provide social platforms such as guest terraces, pools, and free bicycle access—perfect for mingling with like-minded travelers at mid-range hotels. They might not be the Four Seasons, but they’re an enticing budget travel option.

Ubud’s Peaceful Retreats

If you’re seeking tranquility and cultural immersion, Ubud provides a serene experience and is one of the most popular areas in Bali. Consider the ‘no walls, no doors’ concept of the Banyan Tree’s Escape hotel in Ubud’s Buahan community, located not far from the famous Ubud Monkey Forest. And if that doesn’t quite do it for you, there are plenty of hotels and hostels in and around the area offering cheap accommodation. 

Savor Local Flavors While Saving Money

An image of Mie goreng otherwise known as Bakmi goreng or Mi goreng is an Indonesian stir-fried noodle dish
Mie goreng

No trip to Bali would be complete without sampling its local cuisine. And the best part? You don’t have to break the bank to do so. Warungs—small family-owned businesses—offer a taste of local life with dishes like:

These options are popular and affordable, allowing you to experience the flavors of Bali without spending a fortune.

With such a variety, you can expect to spend as little as $5 a day on food and drink if you’re being thrifty. And since tipping isn’t customary in Indonesia, you can enjoy dining out without worrying about additional costs.

Street Food Adventures

A trip to Bali isn’t complete without sampling its lively street food scene. Once you’re out of the waters and have finished your surf for the day, enjoy a variety of dishes for extremely affordable prices. 

For a taste of Bali’s street food scene, explore renowned spots like:

You’ll be surprised at the diversity and affordability of the dishes on offer.

Avoiding Westernized Restaurant Traps

While it’s tempting to stick to the familiar, choosing traditional Indonesian street foods is the way to enjoy a genuine cultural experience while also preserving your travel budget. Areas like Jalan Batu Bolong in Canggu offer an excellent variety of Indonesian street food at reasonable prices, helping you avoid the premium costs of Western-style meals.

And in areas frequented by tourists, it’s wise to venture beyond the main strips and tourist attractions to discover spots where locals eat. This way, you can find authentic local food and better prices, giving you more bang for your buck.

Transportation Tricks: Save and Surf

An image of a white moped in Indonesia with an open faced helmet on the handlebars

Getting around Bali doesn’t have to be a hassle or a drain on your budget. Renting a scooter or motorbike is an affordable way to explore the island that gives you the freedom to visit various surfing spots and places of interest at your own pace. 

But if you’re not comfortable on two wheels, don’t fret. Bali has two popular ridesharing apps—Gojek and Grab—that offer convenient transportation options.

Let’s take a look at your travel options around Bali in more detail. 

Scooter Rentals: Freedom on Two Wheels

Imagine having the freedom to explore various surfing spots along Bali’s stunning west and east coasts at your own pace. Renting a motorbike gives you just that. The mobility of a scooter allows you to chase the best waves of the day without being tied down to one location. And by choosing a reputable rental business, you can have peace of mind while navigating Bali’s roads.

Sure, it might cost a bit more. But the enhanced safety and better service and support during your rental period are worth it. This is a top way to explore this amazing place and visit all of the popular destinations that have made Indonesia such a well-loved place.

Buddy Up for Rides

Traveling with friends? Here’s a tip: buddy up for rides. Sharing transportation costs with fellow travelers can make longer journeys more affordable. So if you’re arranging a surf vacation with friends, you can split costs such as transport fees, gear hire, and meals.

And if you’re staying somewhere like Rapturecamps, you can use scooters, participate in shuttle services, and get to almost anywhere using a ride-hailing app. This not only saves you cash but also fosters a fun, social environment.

Surf Gear Savings: Rent or Bring Your Own?

Gear is an essential part of any surf trip, but it doesn’t have to be a financial burden. You can save money on gear by borrowing from friends or taking advantage of online sales, where discounts can go up to 50%. And if you don’t have access to gear, don’t worry.

Many surf camps provide a selection of quality surfboards for guest use. So, whether you bring or rent, you’re most likely covered and can hit the waves without spending an arm and a leg on equipment.

Rental Deals in Off-Peak Times

If you’re considering renting gear, the off-peak season is the perfect time to do so. During this time, surf shops in Bali often offer discounted rental rates for surf gear. Not only do you get to surf Bali’s legendary waves without the crowd, but you also get to do so with top-notch gear at a fraction of the usual cost. From wetsuits to boards, you’ll have plenty of options. 

Packing Tips for Surf Travelers

When packing for your surf trip, consider both the essentials and the extras. Here are some you should think about bringing:

Finally, pack several blocks of tropical surf wax, a necessity that may be more expensive or not readily available in Bali. With these packing tips, you’re all set for your budget surf trip.

Free and Affordable Activities to Connect With the Culture

An image of Ulun Danu Beratan, a Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia
Ulun Danu Beratan

There’s more to Bali than just the surf. The island is rich in culture, offering a wide range of free and affordable activities. From visiting temples like Pura Taman Saraswati to participating in local community events, there are many ways to immerse yourself in Balinese culture. And the best part? You don’t have to shell out a fortune to do so.

Explore Lesser-visited Spots

If you want to avoid the tourist traps and truly experience Bali, it’s worth exploring quieter spots. Take Sidemen Valley, for example. Here, you’ll find lush landscapes, local warungs, and a genuinely less developed atmosphere reminiscent of Ubud from twenty years prior.

Or visit Tenganan Village, where you can immerse yourself in ancient Balinese traditions at no cost. And let’s not forget local markets like Pasar Seni Sukawati and Kereneng Traditional Market, where you can experience Balinese culture through the sights and sounds of daily commerce.

Join Community Events

One of the best ways to get lost in Bali’s rich culture is by participating in its festivals and community events. Bali hosts a variety of festivals all year round, such as:

Or, you could visit Taro village to participate in community-based tourism initiatives, experiencing native culture and sustainable practices firsthand, often at little to no cost. We’re sure you’ll love Bali as much as we do, and that you’ll have a run, relaxing time no matter what!

Maximize Your Stay: Longer Term Discounts

Did you know that you can maximize your stay in Bali by negotiating a discount for longer periods of time? This not only turns a short holiday into a prolonged, immersive experience, but it also saves you money. Places like Rapturecamps even encourage surfers to stay longer by providing special offers and discounts for extended visits, so it’s worth getting in touch beforehand to see what your options are. And some rental platforms offer cheap monthly rates for long-term holiday rentals, providing a simplified and more affordable option for those planning an extended stay.

So, why not stay a bit longer and immerse yourself in the Bali surf lifestyle?

Negotiation Tactics for Longer Stays

If you’re considering an extended stay, it pays to master the art of negotiation. In Indonesia, it’s common to negotiate a discount for longer stays. So, don’t be afraid to haggle a bit. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save.

Plus, a longer stay means more time to surf, explore, and immerse yourself in Bali’s rich culture. 

Benefits of Slow Travel in Bali

Ever heard of slow travel? It’s all about taking your time to explore a place. In Bali, this approach has a fair few benefits. Slow travel allows for a more relaxed pace, helping prevent the feeling of tourist burnout. It also offers a more authentic and fulfilling travel experience.

By interacting closely with local residents, you’ll gain insights into Bali’s unique culture and traditions, fostering meaningful connections that are not usually achieved through fast-paced tourism. So, why not stay a little longer and save on costs while slowing down and truly experiencing Bali?

More Money, More Surf

Traveling to Bali for a surf trip during the off-peak season offers you an affordable, unique, and enriching experience. From quieter surf spots and less crowded waves to budget-friendly accommodations and local cuisine, there’s a wealth of opportunities to enjoy Bali on a budget. 

Throw in some free cultural activities, cheap transportation options, and the freedom to explore at your own pace, and you’ve got the recipe for an unforgettable surf trip. So, why not embrace the off-peak wave and ride the tide to an affordable Bali surf adventure?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to rent scooters or motorbikes for getting around Bali? 

While renting scooters is affordable and convenient, exercise caution as roads can be hectic. Use reputable rental companies, always wear a helmet, and avoid riding at night when possible. Consider taking a motorcycle safety course if you’re an inexperienced rider.

Are there any affordable surf camps or schools that provide lessons for beginners? 

Rapture Surf Camps offer lesson packages during the monsoon season, making it an ideal time for beginners to learn in smaller crowds. 

What are some good spots for beginner surfers in Bali? 

Head to the beach breaks around Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. The sandy bottoms provide a safer environment for learning compared to reef breaks. There’s also Green Bowl, which is one of the most sought-after spots for surfing in Bali. Ask locals for the most beginner-friendly spots based on current conditions.

How can I avoid common tourist scams or overpaying in Bali? 

Research common scams beforehand, only use legitimate transportation services, avoid anyone aggressively trying to “help” you, and negotiate prices firmly but politely for purchases. Getting a feel for typical costs can prevent you from being ripped off.