How Cheap is Indonesia? An In-Depth Budget Travel Guide for 2023

Hey there, fellow travelers! Are you considering a trip to Indonesia in 2023 but wondering how cheap this Southeast Asian paradise is? Or perhaps, are you even thinking of settling down in this diverse and vibrant country? Look no further! In this in-depth budget travel guide, we will uncover the true cost of living and traveling in Indonesia.

We'll explore topics ranging from accommodations, food, transportation, and plenty more. So, buckle up, and let's dive into the land of beautiful islands, lush landscapes, and friendly locals! 🌴✈️

1. Cost of Living in Indonesia

The first thing you should be aware of when exploring Indonesia is the overall cost of living. Knowing how affordable (or not) day-to-day life can be will help you plan a trip or relocation that makes sense for your wallet. In this section, we'll dive into how cheap Indonesia is compared to Western countries, discuss the expense breakdown, and explore the differences in cost between rural and urban areas.

Comparison to Western Countries

Indonesia is often considered one of the most budget-friendly countries, particularly when compared to some Western countries. In fact, the cost of living in Indonesia is about 58.5% lower than in the United States, and renting a place is about 80.1% cheaper! That's a massive difference, which means more money to spend on fun stuff—or maybe a longer trip than you initially thought!

To give you a more concrete idea of how cheap Indonesia can be, let's break down some average costs. A single person's estimated monthly expenses (excluding rent) are around $457 (6,873,882.5 Rp). Of course, actual costs will depend on factors such as your lifestyle, preferences, and location, but this estimate is a solid starting point for understanding the country's affordability.

Rent, Food, and Utilities Costs

Now that we've compared Indonesia to Western countries, let's take a closer look at various living expenses within the country itself. A major component of your budget will be housing, so knowing what to expect in terms of rental prices is essential.

Here's a summary of Indonesia's rent prices:

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center might cost around $183 (2,762,644.8 Rp) per month, while a similar apartment outside the city center would only be about $133 (2,010,046.3 Rp).
  • A three-bedroom apartment in the city center averages at approximately $425 (6,410,733.8 Rp) per month, while the same size apartment outside the city center is closer to $275 (4,146,623.7 Rp).

As for food, you can expect to find mouthwatering local dishes at very low prices. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant may cost around $1.68 (25,311.1 Rp), and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant would likely be about $16.83 (253,111.1 Rp). When shopping for groceries, you'll discover that local produce and food products are typically quite cheap, especially at local markets.

Utilities also tend to be reasonably priced. A monthly bundle of basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) for a 915 sq ft. apartment is approximately $60.13 (905,788.9 Rp). Internet services may vary depending on the provider and connection speed, but on average, a 60 Mbps or faster internet connection costs around $34.48 (519,577.8 Rp) per month.

Cost Variations between Rural and Urban Areas

It's important to note that costs in Indonesia will vary depending on your location. Much like other countries, living in urban areas, especially in major cities such as Jakarta or Bali, tends to be more expensive compared to living in rural regions. Apartment rents, meal prices, and several other costs can be substantially higher in urban settings.

Jakarta, being the country's capital and largest city, naturally has a higher cost of living compared to smaller cities or rural areas. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Jakarta might cost about $300 (4,520,340 Rp) per month, while outside of the city center, you could snag one for roughly $160 (2,408,181.6 Rp).

In contrast, settling in smaller regions like Yogyakarta will significantly cut down your expenses. This city is known for its strong cultural heritage and lower cost of living. There, you can rent a one-bedroom city center apartment for about a crazy affordable $105 (1,582,102.8 Rp) per month^.

So, the question of 'how cheap is Indonesia?' can have different answers based on whether you're fancying rural tranquility or craving the city's hustle and bustle. On the bright side, this gives you the flexibility to choose a place that best suits your budget and lifestyle!

2. Cost of Traveling in Indonesia

Planning to hop on a plane and explore Indonesia as a tourist rather than an expat? No worries, we've got you covered. In this section, we'll discuss what you can anticipate spending as a tourist. Let's talk accommodation, food, transportation, activities, and how all of this stacks up against other Southeast Asian destinations. Spoiler - you're in for some good news!

Estimated Daily Budget for Tourists

Visiting Indonesia can be as affordable or expensive as you want, depending on your travel style. However, even a budget-conscious traveler can have a fantastic time exploring the archipelago's diverse scenery, history, and culture.

On average, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $30 (451,322.7 Rp) per day and this includes accommodation, meals, public transportation, and budget-friendly activities. If you're a mid-range traveler preferring private rooms, eating out more often, and doing more paid activities, then a daily budget of about $50 - $60 (753,204.5 Rp - 903,845.4 Rp) might be more suitable.

Comparison to Other Destinations in Southeast Asia

When compared to other popular Southeast Asian destinations such as Thailand or the Philippines, Indonesia generally comes off as cheaper. Even the tourist hub of Bali, which is often considered more expensive than other Indonesian locations, is still a bargain when compared to cities like Bangkok or Manila.

While these countries all offer affordable travel experiences, Indonesia consistently ranks as one of the cheapest. This makes it an absolute dream destination for budget travelers hoping to get the most out of their Southeast Asian adventure.

Tips for Traveling on a Budget

Looking to make your Indonesian escapade even cheaper? Here are a couple of savvy tips to help you stretch that budget:

  • Cheap Accommodations: Indonesia caters to all types of travelers, with accommodations ranging from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Stay at guesthouses or homestays for a more authentic experience at an affordable price.
  • Eating Local: Indulge your taste buds with delicious local cuisines that are usually way cheaper (and tastier 😋) than Western dishes.
  • Public Transportation: While taxis and ride-hailing services are easily accessible in Indonesia, public transport is the cheapest way to get around. Just remember to be patient—you're on Indonesian time now!

So, there you have it! The low down on what it might cost to live or travel in Indonesia. With this guide handy, you're more than equipped to plan your Indonesian budget, whether you're donning the tourist hat or considering a more permanent move.

Stay tuned to our following sections, where we dive deeper into exploring affordable destinations in Indonesia (yes, it's not all about Bali!) and top tips to make living in the country a seamless transition. Safe travels, and let Indonesia's magic unfold!