Don’t you hate when you read a title or headline of a blog or article telling you how they did this amazing thing for just a little bit of money? And so you go on to read the article or blog expecting to learn all of these fabulous tips about how you too can have this fabulous experience for a only one dollar and you find that the author has used ridiculous or unrealistic (for you) ways to have said fabulous experience. Well, I hate that too. And with that being said, I’m going to tell you upfront that had I started this journey from the United States instead of China, the title would probably read “3 countries, 2 weeks, 2 people, less than 4k total.” Now, if there are two people splitting the cost that’s still pretty darn good, but when it’s a single parent footing the bill, less is best. So, I’m going to do something I don’t usually do and be completely transparent about the amount of money I spent to have this fabulous, yet budget friendly experience with my mini me. First, the countries we went to were Thailand, Kuala Lumpur and Bali. Why? Well, because I used the ideology, “Chase the deal, not the destination.” When I first started researching where we would go for the break, I wanted Vietnam, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Bali. However, when I plugged in dates and calculated flights it was far too expensive, inefficient and time consuming trying to navigate from each of those places to our final destination of Bali. Bali was always going to be the final stop on the holiday tour. So I started with the city and country that was cheapest to get to from my departure airport – Guangzhou (CAN) and that was Bangkok, Thailand. Even though we had already visited Bangkok, neither of us had issue with going back because we absolutely love Bangkok. Also, once you’ve gone to a place, the repeat experience is even better because you’ve already worked out the kinks and it’s easier and cheaper to navigate. We also stayed in the absolute cutest place EVER. Red Planet Asoke totally fell in my lap as I was determined to keep the accommodations under $200 for our four nights in Bangkok and I also wanted to stay near the BTS to eliminate the need for a taxi. The total for accommodations was $151.25. For location and cuteness factor alone, that was damn good.
From Bangkok we went to Kuala Lumpur because, again, it was cheap and easy to do so and there was no visa required. There I found an AirBnb for three nights for $116.38. Again, cute, conveniently located and cheap. While this location didn’t have restaurants and street food right outside the property like our adorable place in Bangkok, the view from the balcony, the pool and the soothing sound of the call to prayer more than made up for that.
And then finally, Bali. So ok, Bali wasn’t a random destination. My desire was to spend NYE in Bali and so I based the other destinations on places that would easily and cheaply get us to our final destination so that I could sit my tail on the beach on NYE and watch the sunset and fireworks and lanterns. Yeah. So for Bali, I had a hard time trying to pen down the exact location to stay in. Of course, as with any location, the closer you stay to the “action” the more you’ll pay. I used Priceline so that we could stay in the heart of Kuta and so that I could name my price. Our hotel was The Loft Legian and the total ended up being $227.70. The wifi is free and they have adapters for use at no extra charge, but they do charge for printing out boarding passes if you need to. And in the spirit of keeping with being totally transparent, I must admit that I would probably never stay in Kuta again, at least not for an entire week. Two days, tops, is more than enough time in Kuta. Places outside of Kuta are cheaper and more scenic. The hustle is real all throughout Bali, but especially in Kuta.
Here’s the breakdown:
Flights (All flights were on AirAsia which I will review later):
To Bangkok (DMS)- $106.55
To Kuala Lumpur (KUL)- $116.38
To Bali (DPS) $170.15
To Guangzhou $459.07 (*Note- Didn’t purchase until two weeks before departure and missed a sale promotion.)
Total = $852.15
Bangkok for four nights- $151.25
KL for three nights $114.00
Bali for six nights $227.70
* Food and Miscellaneous – Here I spent a total of $600 US dollars on food, souvenirs, a 2 and a half hour spa package in Bali (one person), one tour in Bangkok (one person), hop on hop off bus in KL (two pp), a cooking class in Bali (two pp) and airport transfers. Luckily, in each of the countries we visited the US dollar and Chinese yuan are strong. And that made a huge difference in how far my money could go. Now, don’t think this amount relegated us to street food or kept us from enjoying ourselves. We had an absolute blast, ate extraordinarily well and kept ourselves busy in each country we visited.