Your Ultimate Guide to Backpacking in Indonesia

Cheapskates and adventure souls alike find their type of travel in backpacking. It’s way easier than carrying a couple of luggage and checking in on an upscale hotel. Backpacking in Indonesia is a good option if your priority is to immerse yourself in the culture. However, it’s not for everyone but backpacking can still be a fun way of exploring the country.

Asia is a top destination for backpackers and Indonesia is one of the top picks. Besides, who wouldn’t be lured in such a massive archipelago with 17,000 islands? There are many surprises waiting for both luxurious wanderers and travelers on a budget. Here are some backpacking tips that you may want to keep in mind.

Learn the famous routes for backpackers

The islands of Bali and Java are so far the top favorites for backpackers. The reason is that this is where most of the commercialized tourist services are available. However, the capital Jakarta can get a little chaotic in case you’re looking for a city respite. After landing on their airport in Jakarta, get out of the city and head to Yogyakarta if you want to stay in the island.

If you want to take the road most traveled, join the tropical goodness in Bali. Kuta Beach is a good place to stay at as you’re near the beach. But if you’re a bit tired from the touristy vibe, go head to hidden spots like Nusa Lembongan.

Get insured

Backpacking in Indonesia is an exciting experience. Still, you’ll never know when accidents may happen. Before you fly to Indonesia, get your activities and itinerary insured. The World Nomads is a good option as they specialize in insurance for backpackers and young travelers. They are also known for their experience in providing services for different travels in Indonesia.

backpacking in Indonesia

Aside from medical issues, you might want to include theft to the coverage of your insurance. It’s a common problem in Indonesia (and I guess in almost every country). Make sure that you set the records straight for the value of your gadgets as insurance companies usually pay for depreciated value instead of replacement value.

Download ride-sharing apps

Here’s one common problem in Asia: overpricing taxi drivers. These locals (though not all) tend to increase the rates when they have a tourist passenger. It’s best that you download ride-sharing applications like Grab, Uber, or Gojek. You can get a ride through this without being ripped off as you can see the price before you take the trip.

So if you can’t avoid riding taxis, make sure that you hail one with a fixed meter. Clarify the price first before proceeding with the ride and stick to it no matter what. If the driver insists on a higher rate than what’s on the meter, don’t hesitate to report it to authorities. This will keep you safe while backpacking in Indonesia.

Don’t ask the cost of the fare

Here’s the trick to avoiding the drivers from having the idea of overcharging. Never ask how much the fare cost is. Always know the rates before riding any public mode of transportation. If you are caught unprepared, you can ask someone near you (who doesn’t have any possible reason to lie to you) about the fare cost. A street merchant or a policeman would be the best people to ask.

To look like you know the ways, pay your fare in exact amount or ask for the change if there is any. You can pay halfway the destination or before you get off.

Eat in warungs

In case your backpacking budget is a bit tight, your tummy savior is warungs. Warungs are small huts or stalls where you can buy affordable meals like goreng and gado-gado. Prices usually don’t go more than $1 which is good for those on a budget. Sometimes the best foods can be found in warungs instead of the pricey restaurants. The reason? They are homemade and bears the authentic taste of the Indonesian cuisines.

backpacking in Indonesia

If you’re really low in dough while backpacking in Indonesia, you can stick to a packet of noodles and hot water. However, it’s not wise to keep this diet as it will take its toll on your kidney. Warungs would surely have something to offer.

Book stuff directly

Going to agencies means higher prices for accommodations and tours. Of course, they have to make a cut for their service. So if you want to save some bucks, book directly to the hotel you’re intending to stay at.

Book straight to tour companies as well as they don’t need too much effort to market their services unlike agencies with lots of competitors. Doing this will also save you from scams and bogus bookings.

Visit tourist sites in the morning

If you plan to stay on the Java Island, you have to prepare yourself for the crowd of both domestic and international tourists during peak season. It’s best to go to public attractions early in the morning where there is still fewer people around. You surely wouldn’t want to be followed by giggly teenagers or have some locals disturb you to practice their English skills.

Anyway, it’s your choice to engage with the locals but if you want some peace, just smile and politely say that you’re going somewhere.

Plan well when visiting Bali

Okay, Bali isn’t cheap. The resorts here are luxurious but that doesn’t mean you can’t go backpacking on a budget. You just have to plan well and come up with an itinerary that won’t drain your pocket money. If you want some tips, here’s how you can travel Bali with just $25 on your wallet. The trick? Put your money on the cheapest (but decent room) because you won’t be spending much time there, right?

Heading to a backpacking in Indonesia trip isn’t something you should fret about. It’s an exciting adventure that you can enjoy with a large bag on your back and itchy feet to take you to places. Do you have something to add? Let us know below!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Backpacking in Indonesia

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