With stunning waterfalls, pristine beaches, amazing food, and luxury accommodations for budget-prices, it’s no wonder that Bali continues to be one of the most sought-after tropical destinations in the world. But in my opinion, a week is simply not enough time to experience life in Bali and explore all that it has to offer. Instead, take advantage of Indonesia’s free 30-day tourist visa, and plant yourself on the island for long-term vacation. Here’s why Bali is the perfect destination for your extended holiday!
Often the biggest deterrent of a long-term holiday is limited vacation time at work. However, in today’s day and age, more and more jobs can actually be performed remotely, so long as you have a reliable internet connection.
Bali is one of the most popular destinations for remote workers, because it’s easy to find reliable, high-speed WiFi in cafes, restaurants, or co-working spaces. Most likely, if you’re staying in one of the tourist or expat neighborhoods in Bali (like Canggu, Seminyak, or Ubud), you’ll be able to find a co-working space or cozy cafe just a few minutes away.
Talk with your employer about remote work options, including potential stipends for co-working spaces, and be sure to have proof that you can accomplish all your daily tasks from the other side of the world. Having a good track-record of independence, reliability, and efficiency is certainlyhelpful. For more tips on negotiating a remote working agreement, I recommend reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Here are some great co-working spaces in Bali’s top tourist destinations:Canggu:Dojo Outpost Canggu Seminyak:Blinq Bali Ubud:Hubud Outpost Ubud
Bali is filled with other travelers and expats, many who stay for weeks or months at a time and are eager to connect with new friends. The island vibes are social, friendly, and trustworthy, which means it won’t be uncommon for a stranger to strike up a conversation at a cafe or while atthe beach and ask to exchange WhatsApp numbers (and it won’t be strange to others if you do this). Generally, people have the most luck making friends at co-working spaces and gyms, but there are also Facebook groups that connect people based on interests, like entrepreneurship events, yoga group, or neighborhood women’s meet-ups.
Airbnb is probably the best way to find available long-term accommodation during the dates of your stay in Bali. Many hosts also include weekly or monthly rates on the listings at a discounted rate, or you can send a message to the host asking if they’d offer a discount for a longer-termstay. Sign up for Airbnb here for 40 USD off your first booking!
Another option is joining one of the many neighborhood housing Facebook groups, like Canggu Community Housing or Ubud Bali House Rentals, where people post about available rooms or villas. You can post in the groups about the dates of your upcoming trip and your accommodation needs/budget, and you ’ll probably get a lot of responses about available rooms or guesthouses, or even other travelers that might want to share a multi-bedroom villa with you. Be sure to check the Facebook groups regularly to see if anyone has posted something new, because rooms and villas become available daily and generally only a week or so before they’re available!
It’s true that Bali traffic is notoriously awful. With hundreds of ceremonies a year, roads can often be blocked without notice and for hours at a time, plus there are simply too many cars and not enough roads on the island. However, transportation doesn’t need to be a stressor, especially if you’re sticking around for a while. Ride-sharing apps like Grab and Go-Jek are becoming incredibly prevalent around Bali and will allow you to book a taxi for insanely cheap prices, and a taxi-scooter for even less. They’ll sometime even be willing to take you on long-distance trips, such as from Seminyak to Ubud; expect them to try to text and negotiate rates with you, which is against Grab and Go-Jek policies but is, unfortunately, very common. However, even paying a bit of a surcharge on the “set” app prices will still be an affordable way to get around.
But most expats and long-term travelers drive their own motorbikes around the island, so if you don’t want to rely on ride-sharing apps (which are banned in certain neighborhoods in Bali), you can rent a motorbike. Scooter rentals have really affordable long-term rates, ranging from 500,000-750,000 IDR (35-55 USD) per month. Petrol costs almost nothing, so you’ll just be paying that monthly rate plus the cost of a helmet (please, please buy yourself a helmet and never get on a bike, especially in Bali, without one).
As much as we all love that “holiday” excuse to eat all the junk food and splurge on a fancy meal, this isn’t really conducive for long-term holidays. Thankfully, with the many new Western cafes and restaurants that have sprung up around the island in recent years, you won’t need tosacrifice your health or your wallet to eat out.
In my opinion, Bali cafes and restaurants have some of the best food in the world, made with freshest fruits, veggies, and seafood. You won’t struggle to find delicious vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free options at the Westernized eateries, and won’t struggle to enjoy these dishes even if you eat meat, gluten, and dairy. Plus, the cafes are beautifully decorated and usually have pretty good WiFi, so you can plant yourself there for a couple of hours to get some work done if necessary. Not only will you probably eat healthier than you do at home, but you’ll also find that you can find fresh, beautiful, delicious meals for around 3-5 USD per dish. It’s no wonder so many Bali expats never choose to cook at home!
You could spend a lifetime in Bali and never see everything the island has to offer. The island is filled with nearly endless untouched jungles to explore, culture to experience, waterfalls to chase, restaurants to try, people to meet, and beaches to enjoy. Whether you’re into cooking classes, spirituality, surfing, hiking, fitness, shopping, or photography, it’s impossible to run out of things to do in Bali.
Plus, you have tons of nearby islands that you can visit in just a couple of hours, with ferry rides or short flights costing as little as 20 USD. Each island has a different feel, different culture, and different activities, such as diving with giant manta rays in Nusa Penida, beach nightlife on Gili Trawangan, or surfing on the shores of Lombok.
But the best part is that you don’t need to leave your
neighborhood to feel like you’re getting that relaxing, tropical, world-famous
Bali experience. Canggu, Seminyak both have outstanding restaurants and
stunning beaches, and Ubud has those exotic jungle vibes with world-class spas.
Honestly, part of the “Bali experience” is to simply relax and enjoy exactly
where you are, without any added stress to go see or do more!
Whether you’re working remotely, connecting with other like-minded travelers or expats, or simply enjoying daily life in Asia’s tropical paradise, Bali is the perfect place to spend a long-term holiday this year. With its friendly communities, stellar co-working spaces, and endless accommodation options, you’ll feel right at home and won’t break the bank on daily expenses like food and transportation. Who knows, you may never leave!