How to Plan the Perfect Bali Honeymoon (on any Budget)
Choosing a place to spend your honeymoon isn’t always easy. It all depends on what you want to do and whether you’re looking to relax or get out and see some sights. A Bali honeymoon can be either of those things, both of those things or anything in-between. It has amazing beaches which you can relax on all day, classy resorts which you’ll never need to leave and activities to suit all levels of adventure. The landscapes are special (towering volcanoes, emerald rice terraces, stunning beaches and exotic waterfalls) and there are so many romantic hotels, restaurants and bars to hang out in. Basically, Bali has something for everyone and it’s that variety which makes it one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations.
When to go
Chances are, if you’re planning a Bali honeymoon you won’t want to spend all your time indoors because it’s raining. Your best bet is to go during the dry season, which is roughly April to October. We went in April, which is kind of shoulder season (high season is July and August) and the weather was perfect. It was sunny pretty much every day and the crowds weren’t as extreme as they’d be in high season. If you go slightly outside of high season you’ll also get better deals on hotels and resorts, which is great if you’re trying to keep the costs down.
Where to go on your Bali Honeymoon
Where to go on your Bali honeymoon depends greatly on how long you have and what you like doing. If you only have a few days, it’s probably best to go to one place (Ubud if you’re after nature / culture or a beach resort if that sounds more like you) and maybe do a few day trips from there. You could have a great few days in Ubud – there are lots of romantic restaurants and cafes to hang out in and there is heaps to see close to town, including waterfalls, rice terraces and temples. If you want a bit more adventure you could do a hike up Mount Batur for sunrise (it’s pretty romantic after the initial uphill slog in the dark).
If you have longer, I’d suggest staying in a couple of different places during your Bali honeymoon. You could spend a few days at the beach (maybe Seminyak if you want some nightlife / good eating and shopping options) and then a few days in Ubud and or Munduk. Munduk is far quieter than Ubud and there are some cool things to see nearby (more temples, waterfalls and rice terraces basically).
In my opinion, the best thing about choosing Bali as your honeymoon destination is the amount of other islands nearby – you definitely don’t need to stay on the island of Bali itself. We had two weeks for our Bali honeymoon and spent more than half of it on other islands. Your best bet for that exotic tropical island getaway is a trip to the Gili Islands. The beaches are far better than the ones in Bali itself and it’s such a laid back place. There are no motorised vehicles on any of the three islands and the pace of life is very slow. We spent our days walking around the islands, eating great food and relaxing on beautiful white sand beaches. It was the highlight of our Bali honeymoon and I highly suggest you spend at least a couple of days on one of the islands. You can reach the Gili Islands by fast boat from Bali in a couple of hours.
Other nearby islands that would be great to visit on a honeymoon include Lombok, Flores and the Komodo Islands. Flights from Bali to these places are cheap and fast and they offer up far different experiences to just staying in Bali. A far easier (and cheaper) option is to do a day trip to one of the islands closer to Bali. Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan are full of great beaches and interesting natural sights. You could have a full day exploring one of the islands and be back in your Bali hotel by dinner time!
How to Choose Your Hotels
A key component to any honeymoon is where you choose to stay. You could easily stay in one place the whole time and do day trips, or you could move around a bit and sample more of what Bali has to offer. Luckily there are accommodation options to suit every budget in almost every part of Bali. We use Booking.com to pick our places to stay when travelling and it’s always worked out well. I assume most people on their Bali honeymoon will be splashing out a bit, and if you’re willing to pay $80 – $150 a night you’ll have your pick of some special accommodation. We stayed at a luxurious place surrounded by rice fields in Ubud, a cute little villa style hotel on Gili Trawanagan, an awesome beach-side resort on Gili Meno, a top-end resort in Kuta, Lombok and a stylish hotel with a very photogenic pool area / restaurant in Seminyak.
We couldn’t have planned our accommodation any better! Of course, being a travel blogger, we were lucky in that we were hosted by hotels for most of our trip. If you’re on a slightly lower budget, you’ll still find some nice places to stay in all of those places. For $20-$30 you’re usually getting a very decent room with a private bathroom, flat-screen TV and air-conditioning. Some of these places will also have relaxing outdoor areas and serve nice breakfasts. You definitely don’t need to splash out to have a romantic Bali honeymoon.
Bali isn’t the most convenient place to get around as there isn’t much of a public transport system. Unless you’re a hardened backpacker you’ll probably end up hiring private drivers to get around. You can rent one for a day for around 500,000 IDR (around $35), which is a pretty good deal considering all the things you can see in a day. We did this in Ubud and saw the Tegalalang Rice Terraces (highly recommended) and a few temples and waterfalls. You can also do group tours or rent scooters and head off on your own (be careful though – Bali isn’t the best place to ride around a scooter if you’re inexperienced).
Eating, Drinking and Shopping
One of the joys of a honeymoon in Bali is the wide variety of food on offer. You can find pretty much any cuisine in the popular spots and most of it seems to be well cooked. You’ll obviously want to try the local food as well – I’ve found that some of the best local food in Bali (and Asia in general) is found at small, cheap restaurants (called warung in Bali / Indonesia). Some of these restaurants have great views over beaches, mountains or rice terraces. There are plenty of drinking options too. From cheap beer by the beach to hip bars and clubs, you’ll find your ideal place to hang out. Beware of drinking spirits in Bali though – people have died due to being served cheap, locally made alcohol masquerading as the proper stuff. I’d steer clear of super cheap cocktails to be safe (I’m more of a beer drinker anyway).
Bali is a shopper’s paradise and you’ll probably want to bring a few souvenirs home with you. Popular things to buy in Bali include wood carvings, jewellery and clothes. There are some great deals to be had but you’d better bargain as people will often try to overcharge you.
A sample Bali Honeymoon Itinerary
We had our honeymoon in Bali in April 2018 and it couldn’t have been better. We were really happy with how we chose to spend our time and where we chose to stay. So, if you’re looking for a sample itinerary, check ours out and maybe it’ll suit you too!
- Day 1: Arrive in Seminyak
- Day 2: Relax in Seminyak, do some shopping, hang out at the beach
- Day 3: Flight to Lombok, hang out at a beach resort in Kuta
- Day 4: Relax by the beach
- Day 5: A day trip to the beaches near Kuta
- Day 6: Travel to Gili Meno, relax by the beach
- Day 7: Relax on Gili Meno, walk around the island
- Day 8: Travel to Gili Trawangan, walk around the island and relax by the beach
- Day 9: A day trip to Gili Air (walk around the island, eat and drink by the beach)
- Day 10: Travel to Sanur (Bali) and organise a day trip to Nusa Penida
- Day 11: Day trip to Nusa Penida, travelling to Ubud afterwards
- Day 12: Hang out in Ubud, see the Monkey Forest
- Day 13: A day trip to Tegallalang Rice Terraces + waterfalls and temples
- Day 14: Fly home (well Gia did, I stayed in Bali for another couple of weeks).
As you can see, we covered quite a lot of ground but still had plenty of time to relax. If you have less time I’d suggest skipping Lombok and heading straight for the Gili Islands. We like to get out and explore places when we travel rather than just hang out at the pool or a beach all day, so if you’re anything like us this kind of itinerary might suit you. If you’re after the quintessential relaxing beach honeymoon though I’d suggest heading straight for the Gili Islands and spending most of your time there. It really is paradise!
Are you planning a Bali Honeymoon? Is this post helpful? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!