We love visiting Indonesia. Besides being a fun country to visit, Indonesia is also very budget friendly. Overall, an Indonesia trip cost for a family is pretty affordable, considering the cost of family travel in general. Essentially, you can get a lot for your dollar if you travel with kids in Indonesia!
Despite the many educational benefits of travel, I often hear people say, “Oh I wish I could travel like you with my family, but …” and then they give a list of reasons why they can’t travel. The costs of travel is usually on the top of the list. And I have to say that I can relate. We definitely have to budget well to make travel possible for our family.
But that’s the thing. Despite the costs, family travel is possible. And you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg in order to travel.
This post was updated on March 29, 2020.
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The cost of travel in Indonesia for a family
By now, many of our friends and family know that taking adventurous trips is sort of our schtick. We don’t own a lot of fancy things, and we certainly don’t have extremely high-paying jobs. Yet somehow we manage to take a big family trip every year.
In 2015, we took a family trip to Indonesia. Although it was not cheap, it wasn’t obscenely expensive either. Through a combination of great deals, careful budgeting, and meticulous tracking of expenses, we managed to spend a total of just under $12,000 for our family of five to travel for three weeks in Indonesia. That’s the same as what you would pay for a 4-day cruise for a family of four.
And in 2019, we spent five months in Indonesia, exploring Indonesian culture and visiting its many islands. Our average monthly Indonesia trip cost (without airfare) was roughly $3,500. And with airfare, which totaled around $4,000 for travel into and out of Indonesia, our estimated cost of travel in Indonesia for one month was $7,500.
Curious how to make travel with kids less expensive overall? Read here for my tips on affordable world travel for families.
Budgeting each Indonesia trip cost for a family
All this is to say that with some creative budgeting, a trip to Indonesia won’t need to be super expensive. You can keep your Indonesia travel cost low and still have a lot of fun. An Indonesia guide book can provide you with some estimates for lodging and food. And you can also look at cost of living calculators for researching some of your Indonesia travel cost.
Here are some good guide books that you can buy:
We love doing these kinds of trips, and we think that other families can do it too! Here’s a breakdown of our Indonesia trip cost to help you plan for your own Indonesia vacation.
For more tips on how to budget for travel in general, take a look at my posts on money and budgeting.
The biggest Indonesia trip cost for our family is of course the airfare. Normally, flights to Indonesia average around $1,200 to $1,700 round trip. For our 2015 trip, we managed to score round trip tickets from Seattle to Denpasar for under $1,000 through Eva Air. Additionally, we bought most of our in-country flights via small regional airlines like Air Asia and Garuda Airlines. Doing that saved us a lot of money.
During our 2019 trip to Indonesia, we did a similar tactic, and spent about $500 per person for a flight into Indonesia via Turkish Air. We also spent around $500 per person for our flight out of Indonesia via Singapore Air.
When booking airfare, use flight search engines to find cheap family flights, but book through the actual airline’s website. That way, if an emergency happens (whether it’s a natural disaster or a global health outbreak), you can work directly with the airline to reschedule or cancel.
Also, be strategic about when you do your travel days. Weekend flights tend to be expensive, while weekday flights tend to be cheaper. There are some variation among travel websites about what day is the cheapest, but most will mention that Tuesdays and Thursdays are cheap days to fly.
Besides airfare, our biggest expense was lodging. Our family trip in Indonesia in 2015 lasted a total of 20 nights, with lodging in five different cities on three different islands. We stayed in a combination of accommodations, from fancy hotels, ranging from $160-$290 a night, to locally-owned guest houses for as little as $30 a night. Overall, we averaged about $133 per day.
When we were in Indonesia in 2019, we stayed mainly in Airbnbs. We kept costs low by doing longer term stays, taking advantage of the weekly and monthly discounts on Airbnb. We even stayed at a Bali eco stay while we were visiting the city of Padang Bai. Compared to our trip in 2015, our Indonesia trip cost for lodging in 2019 came to an average of $36 per day.
When planning for lodging for your family, it’s important to consider what will be comfortable for you and your kids. With that said, you’ll find as you travel that you actually don’t really need a lot to have a great visit.
We definitely enjoy having a swimming pool available to us. In places like Kuta, Ubud, and even Jakarta, a swimming pool is a great way to pass the time and keep cool. But we also enjoy lounging on a balcony at a guest house in Sumatra, or relaxing in a hammock in Lombok. What ever your preference for accommodations, try to find a balance of cost and comfort.
Save money on lodging and travel more sustainably by slowing down and staying longer at a destination. Here’s why slow travel is the most sustainable way to travel.
Food in Indonesia is pretty cheap. And during both our trips to Indonesia, we really tried to eat at locally run places, rather than at international chains. Eating locally really helps you save a lot of money on food!
In terms of the food portion of our Indonesia trip cost in 2015, we averaged around 300,000-600,000 rupiahs per meal. This translated to $23-$46 a meal for our family of five. We did splurge on several expensive meals, such as fresh seafood on our last night in Kuta, but we also had some pretty cheap meals as well. Our daily food budget averaged $45 per day.
When we were in Indonesia in 2019, we again tried to eat more local food. Although we did eat more Western food when we were meeting up with other traveling families. This time around, we also ate a lot more street food, especially after we sampled street food during our Bali night market tour in Gianyar.
Our average daily cost for food for our 2019 trip was $28. Western style restaurants cost an average of 700,000 rupiah per meal (roughly $49), while meals from a street food vendor cost around 150,000 rupiah (roughly $10.50).
No family trip is complete without a few activities and excursions. Whenever I’m planning my family trip budget, I always allot a portion of the budget towards activities. As a rule, you want to make sure you have enough money for some fun for your family.
When we were in Indonesia in 2015, we did a lot of group activities with my extended family members who were visiting Bali with us. Besides hanging out on the beach, we visited Tanah Lot, toured Uluwatu Temple, watched dance performances, and went snorkeling.
During our 2019 trip, we did plenty of activities as well, including participating in a worldschooling pop-up community in Bali. We also took Indonesian language lessons while we were in Yogyakarta. And of course, we didn’t skimp out on visits to water parks, temples, museums, and even ice-skating at the mall!
In 2015, we spent $833 on activities, which breaks down to $167 a person at roughly $8 a day. For our 2019 trip, we averaged $530 per month. This breaks down to $133 per person, at $4-5 per day.
Don’t forget that activities can be educational for your kids as well! Read here to learn how you can incorporate learning into your travel activities.
I’ve always enjoyed taking public transportation in new cities. But in cities like Jakarta, navigating the public buses can be a nightmare, even for a single person. During our 2015 trip to Indonesia, we ended up renting a car and driver to take us around Jakarta. By the time we visited Jakarta in 2019, the city’s MRT system allowed us to visit all the attractions in Jakarta fairly easily. And we also used GoJek, a local ride-sharing app, to get to places not covered by the MRT.
When we were in Yogyakarta, however, it was much easier to just hop on a becak (the Indonesian version of a pedicab) with our kids and go from one spot to another. We also experienced the trains when we traveled by rail from Yogyakarta to Jakarta. And in Bali and Sumatra, we did a combination of walking around and guided excursions.
In travel, it’s important to maintain flexibility in how you get around. Indonesia has a variety of transportation options between cities and within cities. In Bali and Lombok for instance, you can even rent scooters, as long as you feel comfortable driving one.
In 2015, we spent about $414 on the local transportation portion of our Indonesia trip cost. This translated to about $25 a day during the course of our 20 day stay in country. During our 2019 trip, however, we spent an average of $316 per month on local transportation. This translates to roughly $10 per day.
The rest of the expenses for our family trip to Indonesia included luggage storage, airport tax, travel insurance, random travel supplies, and even souvenirs. We also spent over $400 on necessary vaccines, as well as malaria prophylaxis, since we were traveling to some fairly remote and tropical places in Sumatra.
In 2019, our miscellaneous costs also included dental visits for our family. We also bought new clothes for our kids and for ourselves. And we visited the doctor a few times when we were sick.
As always, I grossly underestimate how much money we need for these kinds of expenses. My main advice for budgeting the miscellaneous portion of your Indonesia trip cost is to double what you think you should budget for. It’s never wise to skimp on your family’s health, especially during travel. In my opinion, vaccinations and travel medications are always a valid expense in my book, even if unplanned.
For our 2015 trip, in terms of miscellaneous expenses, we ended up spending $1,086, which breaks down to $217 a person at roughly $11 a day. In 2019, we averaged $674 per day. Per person, this breaks down to almost $169 per person, at around $6 per day.
Want to know more about traveling to Indonesia? Feel free to explore my posts on Indonesia family travel.
Getting the most bang for your buck for your Indonesia travel cost
Based on our trips to Indonesia in 2015 and 2019, you can expect to pay between $7,500 (family of four) to $12,000 (family of five) for a family trip to Indonesia. While this Indonesia trip cost is certainly not cheap, it is still affordable compared to other destinations.
And compared to guided tours with companies visiting similar destinations, which can run upwards of $3,000 a person before airfare, a self-planned trip to Indonesia can be a bargain! Our 2015 trip came in at under $2,400 a person (including airfare). Broken down to per-person costs per day, that amounts to roughly $109 a day. And for our 2019 trip, we were able to bring the costs down to under $1,900 per person (including airfare).
When it comes to travel I’ve always had a do-it-yourself travel mentality. And my goal is to share that with other families. Now that you have an idea of an Indonesia trip cost, it’s time to get started on planning your own trip!
Have you traveled to Indonesia with your family? What was your Indonesia travel cost like? Share it in the comments!
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