This is probably the first international trip (not counting Australia) wherein I didn’t make a travel budget prior to leaving. After last year’s trips, I now have a pretty good idea of how much damage I can do to my wallet when I travel. Also, I got too busy and lazy to thoroughly research everything, much less create a spreadsheet. True enough, the amount was as I projected.
The cost of traveling in Indonesia is pretty much the same as other Southeast Asian countries — not as expensive as Singapore, though not as cheap as Vietnam. It’s not a dirt cheap trip — it wasn’t meant to be. It was a vacation, and I don’t want to scrimp. A lot of people have done the same trip far cheaper than I have, but they’re them and I’m me.
I also decided to give CouchSurfing another try so I CouchSurfed with Zuky in Jakarta. Actually, I had intended look for accommodation when I get to Jakarta, but I couldn’t stand the thought of arriving without any accommodation. I tried to find a good, cheap place in Jakarta but the ones that had decent reviews are either already fully booked or are too expensive. I turned to CouchSurfing when I ran out of options, and luckily, Zuky welcomes last minute requests. I requested to CouchSurf with her the night before I had to fly to Jakarta, since the host I initially contacted canceled at the last minute. I had two tickets out of Yogyakarta actually, and I was already considering taking the August 25th flight instead of the 24th in case I can’t find a place. Thankfully, Zuky replied quickly, so I made my way to Jakarta and had a very positive CouchSurfing experience.
Of the three cities in Indonesia, Bali is the most expensive (and has the most touts), but it’s also the most interesting. Admittedly, I am partial to beaches, but it wasn’t the beaches of Bali that endeared me to the place. It was the Balinese culture that’s making me want to go back and explore the island.