Welcome to Bali
Bali has long been a favorite vacation destination for a number of reasons. There are ornate temples to see, lush rainforests to explore, and plenty of local dishes to taste. The balmy tropical climate inspires lazy days on gorgeous beaches, with a variety of water sports available to break up the day. What’s more, Indonesia (like much of Southeast Asia) is relatively inexpensive for many travelers, making luxury experiences well within reach.
Where is Bali, Indonesia?
Bali is perhaps the most popular destination within Indonesia, the Southeast Asian archipelago with more than 17,000 islands. Bali itself is concentrated primarily on one of those islands, though a few islands around the island of Bali are also included in the province of Bali.
Bali Quick Facts
- Population: 4,317,404
- Weather: Bali is close enough to the equator that the weather does not vary much from month to month. All year long, it’s quite warm and humid, with the average temperature and humidity both in the mid-80s (Fahrenheit and percent, respectively). The monsoon season (wet season) is typically November through March, with the heaviest rainfall from December–March. The dry season usually lasts from April through October.
- Airport code: The Bali airport code is DPS
- Nearby airports: I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is near Denpasar, the capital of the province of Bali.
- Airlines serving: major airlines such as AirAsia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, KLM, Korean Air, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Australia, and dozens of smaller carriers
- Airline hubs: Garuda Indonesia; focus city for Batik Air, Citilink, Indonesia, AirAsia, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air, Malindo Air, Wings Air
- Serves: International & Domestic
Bali Travel Info
- Low season: November–March
- High season: April–October
- Avg price roundtrip: $12,50-$1,400+ roundtrip
- Avg SCF deal price: $548 roundtrip
- SCF “best time to book”: In 2021, we found the most deals to Bali in May.
Main Cities in Bali
Canggu sits on the southern coast of Bali and is known for its excellent beaches. The atmosphere in Canggu tends to be relaxed, combining beach vibes with numerous yoga studios. Surfing is a popular pastime, whether you’re just learning or more experienced. For a little nightlife excitement, look no further than another popular beach town nearby—Kuta.
Denpasar is the Balinese capital city and largest in the province. It’s the gateway for nearly all Bali-bound visitors (the international airport is located nearby). Denpasar isn’t just about funneling travelers elsewhere in Bali, however. There are fabulous beaches in Denpasar, including a much-loved surfing beach called Serangan Island. There are also historic temples and busy marketplaces to explore. For a more in-depth look at Balinese history, don’t miss a stop at the Bali Museum. The museum’s collection includes some ancient artifacts and artwork, plus a temple complex of its own.’
Ubud is among the most popular tourist destinations in Bali. This inland town has no sandy beaches to draw travelers, but its vibrant arts and culture scene more than makes up for that. Ubud is an excellent place to see performances of traditional Balinese dances and learn more about traditional art. There are a number of beautiful temples to see, too, as Ubud remains an important spiritual center. To bring the flavor of Ubud home with you, take a cooking class to learn how to make some local dishes.
Top 10 Tips for Finding Cheap Flights to Bali
In some ways, finding cheap tickets to Bali involves the same methods you might use to find cheap flights anywhere. Because Bali is so far from North America, however, not all of those tips and tricks will work. Here are a few of our favorite ways of finding cheap flights to Bali.
Try to be flexible with your travel dates.
When you’re looking for airfare, keeping your travel dates flexible gives you a higher chance of finding an airfare bargain. If you’re only looking at specific dates, you could miss a cheap fare a day or two on either side of those dates. Check the cost of tickets over a span of several days (or, better yet, up to a month).
Set an airfare price alert.
One of the easiest ways to stay on top of the ever-changing cost of airline tickets without spending all day hitting the “refresh” button is by setting up an airfare price alert. You’ll be notified via email when the price on a particular route goes up or down, and can even track the cost of tickets over a few months so you’ll be confident that you’re getting a good deal. Keep in mind that if your travel dates are flexible, though, you’ll need to set up multiple fare alerts.
Consider our beloved “Greek Islands Trick.”
This is one of our favorite travel hacks. The idea is that if you can find a great deal on airfare into the general region you want to visit, you may find an equally great deal on a budget carrier from that airport to the place you actually want to end up. In the case of Bali, that means first hunting for low fares from your home airport into major hubs in Southeast Asia—think Bangkok or Singapore. The other half of the equation is finding a cheap ticket on a relatively short-hop flight to Bali on a regional airline. If you can find both of those, you may save yourself a packet of money.
There are some caveats to be aware of when using this trick, so read up before you start hitting the “buy” button. Here’s our short explanation of the Greek Islands Trick, a detailed how-to about how to find cheap international flights, and a rundown on the budget airlines in Asia.
Look at alternate departure airports.
Even if you live near a major international airport, it doesn’t hurt to check the fares from other airports that are reasonably nearby. Milwaukee residents, for instance, should look at the cost of flights to Bali from Chicago, while Portlanders should check out the fares to Bali from Seattle.
It may even be worth flying to that other city. For example, if you find a cheap flight from San Francisco or LA to Bali, you can then find a separate cheap flight from your hometown to that international departure city.
Book airline tickets 2-8 months in advance.
The timeframe for snagging the best deals on international tickets is, as you’d expect, longer than the one for domestic fares. With international flights, we recommend booking your flight 2-8 months before your trip. Remember that if your travel dates aren’t flexible or you’re traveling during the high season, you may need to book even further ahead.
While many tickets on long-haul international flights include one checked bag in the ticket price, there are plenty that do not. Cheaper fares (like “basic” economy tickets) sometimes charge extra for things like checked bags and seat selection, even if the flight is an international one, so traveling with only a carry-on suitcase can save you money. Plus, if you’re using the Greek Islands Trick we discussed earlier, you’re even more likely to have to pay extra for a checked bag on a regional budget airline.
Consider an off-season visit.
Bali’s best weather is its dry season, for obvious reasons, but that also means that airfare is going to be at its peak. If you don’t mind the potential for rain, consider traveling at the edges of Bali’s wet season (for instance, October-November or March-April). And if the certainty of rain doesn’t even bother you, you could score super-cheap fares from December-February.
Use the best flight search sites.
Contrary to how it might appear on the surface, not all OTAs are created equally. There are several that we use regularly when hunting down the deals we send to members, and we think the stand-outs on that list are Google Flights and Momondo. With Google Flights, you’re able to look at fares both to and from multiple airports, while Momondo lets you quickly verify that you’re getting the absolute best deal on a ticket.
Become a member of Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Let us do the fare searches for you. We’ll send you the best deals via email every single day, which allows you to keep an eye on the cost of flights to Bali and then be ready to book your ticket when the perfect deal lands in your inbox.
How to Get to Bali
Main US Departure Points to Bali
LAX to Bali
- Average travel time: 20-28 hours (including layovers)
- Direct flights? No. Most itineraries involve at least one layover in Asia, such as Singapore, Tokyo, Manila, or Hong Kong, or even in Australia. Some require two layovers.
- Airlines offering this route: Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines
- Best SCF deal: $440 roundtrip
New York City to Bali
- Average travel time: 25-31 hours (including layovers)
- Direct flights? No. Many itineraries include two layovers en route to Bali from NYC in places such as Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Doha, Dubai, and Istanbul.
- Airlines offering this route: Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines
- Best SCF deal: $486 roundtrip
Chicago to Bali
- Average travel time: 26-35 hours (including layovers)
- Direct flights? No. Many itineraries include two layovers en route to Bali from Chicago in places like Taipei, Hong Kong, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Singapore.
- Airlines offering this route: JAL, United, Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines
- Best SCF deal: $564 roundtrip
Previous flight deals we've found to Bali
- LAX to Bali for $485 roundtrip
- Austin or Dallas to Bali for $717 roundtrip
- NYC to Bali for $1,253 roundtrip in premium economy
- Boston to Bali for $2,906 roundtrip in business class