How to Plan a Trip to Indonesia – A Complete Guide

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Things to Know About Indonesia Travel

Traveling to Indonesia offers an adventure through diverse landscapes and rich cultures. To ensure a smooth trip, check visa requirements and have a valid passport. Bahasa Indonesia is the main language, but English is commonly spoken in tourist areas. The currency is Indonesian Rupiah, and carrying cash is advisable for remote regions.

Things to know about Indonesia travel

Ensure you have necessary vaccinations and travel insurance, and always drink bottled water. Domestic flights, taxis, and ride-sharing apps like Gojek and Grab facilitate transportation. Respect local customs, dress modestly, and be environmentally conscious. Stay connected with an affordable local SIM card, and savor the diverse, flavorful cuisine while practicing good hygiene.

Here are the six things to consider as you plan a trip to Indonesia:

1. Decide the Best Time to Visit Indonesia


Indonesia is a year-round destination, but understanding its climate can help you choose the best time for your trip. The country experiences two main seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March). The dry season is ideal for beach activities, hiking, and exploring the islands. However, if you’re interested in surfing, the wet season brings larger swells, especially in Bali and Sumatra.

2. Choose Your Destinations in Indonesia


When planning a trip to Indonesia, it’s crucial to choose your destinations wisely to make the most of this vast and diverse country. Indonesia offers something for every type of traveler, from pristine beaches and vibrant cities to ancient temples and lush jungles. Here are some of the top destinations to consider:


Bali is Indonesia’s most famous island, renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. In Bali, you can relax on the beaches of Seminyak, surf in Kuta, and explore the cultural heart of Ubud, known for its traditional dance and crafts. Don’t miss the iconic rice terraces, the sacred Monkey Forest, and the beautiful temples such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu.


Java is Indonesia’s most populous island and home to the bustling capital, Jakarta. Jakarta offers a mix of modern attractions and historical sites, including the National Monument and the old town of Kota Tua. Central Java’s Yogyakarta is a cultural hub, close to the magnificent Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and Prambanan, a stunning Hindu temple complex. Mount Bromo in East Java provides an unforgettable sunrise experience, with its dramatic volcanic landscape.


Lombok, often referred to as the quieter sister of Bali, boasts beautiful beaches, excellent surfing spots, and the impressive Mount Rinjani, an active volcano popular with trekkers. The Gili Islands, just off Lombok’s northwest coast, are a trio of small islands known for their crystal-clear waters, vibrant nightlife, and excellent diving opportunities.

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is a diver’s paradise, renowned for having some of the richest marine biodiversity on the planet. Located off the northwest tip of Papua, this remote archipelago offers stunning underwater scenery, pristine beaches, and a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle. The area is perfect for diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.

3. Budgeting and Currency

budgeting indonesia trip

The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the currency used in Indonesia. When you plan an Indonesia trip, it’s essential to budget for accommodation, food, transportation, activities, and souvenirs. Indonesia is generally affordable, but costs can vary significantly depending on the region and your travel style. Bali, for example, can be more expensive than other islands.

4. Travel Documents and Health Precautions

travel and health in indonesia

For most nationalities, a visa is required to enter Indonesia. You can obtain a Visa on Arrival (VOA) at most major airports, which is valid for 30 days. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from your date of entry.

It’s also wise to get travel insurance and check if you need any vaccinations before you go. Common recommendations include vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies.

5. Transportation in Indonesia

Indonesia’s vast size means you’ll likely need to take domestic flights to travel between islands. Airlines like Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and AirAsia offer frequent flights. For shorter distances, ferries and speedboats are common. In cities and on smaller islands, taxis, motorbikes, and ride-sharing apps like Gojek and Grab are convenient options.

6. Accommodation Options

sights in indonesia

From luxury resorts in Bali to budget hostels in Jakarta, Indonesia offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets. When you plan a trip to Indonesia, consider booking in advance during the high season to secure the best rates and availability.

  • For a unique experience, consider staying in a traditional Indonesian guesthouse or eco-lodge, especially in more remote areas.


Best Activities in Indonesia to Plan

stay safe in turkey

Indonesia is a playground for adventurers:

  • Diving and Snorkeling: Raja Ampat, Bali, and the Gili Islands are top spots.
  • Hiking: Explore volcanoes like Mount Bromo and Mount Rinjani.
  • Wildlife: Visit national parks like Ujung Kulon and Tanjung Puting.
  • Cultural Experiences: Attend a traditional dance performance in Bali or visit the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan.

For those interested in solo travel to Indonesia, the country is relatively safe, and locals are known for their hospitality. Always exercise common sense, stay aware of your surroundings, and respect local customs.

Final Tips for Indonesia Travel

  • Packing: Light, breathable clothing is essential, but also bring a rain jacket for the wet season and a sweater if you plan to visit highland areas.
  • Connectivity: SIM cards with data plans are cheap and available at airports and convenience stores.
  • Respect: Always ask permission before taking photos of people, and be mindful of local traditions and beliefs.
  • Food: Indonesian cuisine is rich and varied, with each region offering its own specialties. Don’t miss out on trying nasi goreng (fried rice), satay (grilled skewers), and rendang (spicy beef stew).
  • Street food is abundant and usually safe to eat, but make sure to choose vendors with good hygiene practices.

FAQ about Planning a Trip to Indonesia

How much does trip to Indonesia cost?

The cost of a trip to Indonesia varies widely depending on travel style and destinations. Budget travelers can expect to spend around $30-50 per day, including accommodation, food, and local transportation. Mid-range travelers might spend $70-150 per day, while luxury travelers could spend $200 or more daily. International flights typically range from $600-1200, depending on the season and departure location.

How many days is enough for Indonesia?

To get a good feel for Indonesia, plan for at least 10-14 days. This allows time to explore a few key regions, such as Bali, Java, and Lombok. If you want to include more remote areas like Raja Ampat or Sumatra, consider extending your trip to 3-4 weeks to fully appreciate the diverse landscapes and cultures.

What is the best month to visit Indonesia?

The best months to visit Indonesia are during the dry season, from April to October. These months offer pleasant weather, ideal for beach activities, hiking, and exploring the islands. July and August are peak tourist months, so for fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder months of April, May, September, or October.

Is Bali cheap or expensive?

Bali can be both cheap and expensive, depending on your preferences. Budget travelers can find affordable accommodations, meals, and activities, spending as little as $20-50 per day. However, Bali also offers luxury resorts, fine dining, and exclusive experiences that can significantly increase daily expenses. Overall, Bali caters to a wide range of budgets.

Is Indonesia cheaper than Thailand?

Generally, Indonesia is slightly cheaper than Thailand, particularly in terms of accommodation and food. However, prices can vary depending on the specific locations and tourist areas within each country. Both offer affordable travel experiences, but Indonesia might provide a bit more value for budget-conscious travelers.

Now that you are equipped with all things to know before you plan a trip to Indonesia, it is time to find the best Indonesia itinerary that fits your wishes!

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