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Airfare to Bali is still fairly cheap through Christmas

airplane-from-belowI’ve been spending a lot of time looking at airfare pricing trends lately, partly because so many “experts” predict fares will begin climbing again soon. More recently some people have come out and said they think 2010 will be at least as good for fare sales as 2009, but no one really knows for sure.

One thing that seems to be true is that flights to warm weather destinations tend to go up quite a bit just before Christmas and they stay that way at least through mid January. There’s no reason to think that specific trend won’t happen again this year, but after that it’s anyone’s guess. In other words, starting around Christmas, Bali flights are more expensive, so you might want to think about coming sooner.

Current airfare bargains from various cities to Bali

When I’m looking only a couple months into the future for airfare trends I like to use this database that I have access to, which shows me the currently absolute lowest round-trip fare between any two cities. So below you can see the results for mid October:

  • Bangkok – US$455
  • London – £470
  • Los Angeles – US$787
  • Melbourne – AU$806
  • New York – US$857
  • Sydney – AUS$877

It’s interesting that flights from Sydney and Melbourne are so expensive considering the distance, but this is the time of year that people there begin traveling even more than normal. I think from a currency-adjusted price per flight mile, New York is the best bargain, but that’s what happens when a flight goes halfway around the earth.

Even if fares look high, your whole trip can be cheap anyway

I’m always telling friends that they should go to Bali at some point, and I think some of them check these airfares and then assume they can’t afford the trip. Until you’ve actually been here that’s easy to understand, especially if you aren’t familiar with how prices for things in Asia can be shockingly low compared to everywhere else.

Here’s the thing. You could fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii for about $300 cheaper than from LA to Bali, but once you get to Hawaii it’s pretty much impossible to live on anything less than US$100 per day, including accommodation, and that’s not including even doing the very things you came on vacation to do. On the other hand, you can check into one of the Bali hotels for well under US$30 for two people, and easily eat well for under US$10 per day.

Hell, you could literally hire a driver and a car or van for under US$50 per day, including fuel, and see temples and rice terraces and other gorgeous scenery all day long. Spending a week on under US$400 per person is extremely easy and will even entitle you to some exotic luxuries. So if you compare apples to apples, instead of just looking at prices for flights, Bali remains a great bargain.