After more than 10 years, my family was finally able to go on vacation together. Given our limited resources, we decided to go to Indonesia. Our main destinations are Jakarta and Bandung, both on Java Island. Here I would like to share some observations that will hopefully help anyone planning to visit the Republic in the areas of money.
1) Wise luggage selection
We were surprised to find out how much the locals at the airport were willing to help us get our luggage loaded into the van. However, my father quickly pointed to all of us, NOT to allow them to. These helpers come at a price. They are of no help for no reason and will persistently push you to pay after they help you with your luggage and insist that it is not adequate to the weight they lifted.
Therefore, it is recommended that you use your luggage when traveling. They are much more comfortable to wear and eliminate the need for assistance.
2) know the currency conversion factor
First, it is very important that you shop around to get the best conversion rate whenever you get your Rupiah. Personal money in the November 2007 issue highlighted several Currency exchange who offers the best rates and how to get the most out of your money for your check.
Second, now that you have your Rupiah, identify the conversion factor. When we exchanged our RM for Rp, Rp 1 000 000 = RM 364. Therefore, the conversion factor was 1000000/364, which is about 2747.25. Let it round to 2750. So whenever you go shopping and if you need a quick check on how much an item is worth in Malaysia, simply add your calculator and divide X amount of Rupiah by the conversion factor. , which in this case is 2750.
For example, a T-shirt with a price of Rp 18,500. Divide that by 2750 and you’ll know it costs around RM32.55
3) Be kind to your guide and other spending
We traveled in a group of nine, and we had a guide / driver who drives us around and from town to town. I didn’t know what to give his suggestions in the few places we should visit given how familiar my parents were with the republic. It turns out that the agency / travel guide has an agreement with these places.
It turns out that this is how a guide goes for life. He gets or, to be more precise, he can claim some reward at the shops we bought at the restaurants we dined at.
Another type of spending that you need to keep in mind when planning a trip to Indonesia is the unofficial street tolls / vendors you may have to pay. Sometimes, in order to avoid traffic congestion, a driver would take us to villages and locals would be stationed every 30 meters, asking for donations. Pay for the family!
However, when you are in town and stuck in traffic, it is not mandatory to pay for street performers or vendors. Some would be more persistent than others as they calm tourists from afar.
4) Location and price
The prices of things vary from place to place, especially food. The price of Nasi Padang, known for its variety, would vary if you dine right in downtown Jakarta compared to Cengkareng.
So keep that in mind?
5) Shop like no tomorrow
NEVER, NEVER say words so cheap! If so, you are at their mercy. Be stubborn, don’t be afraid to leave if you think the item is too expensive …, two things would happen more often:
a) The seller would finally agree to lower the price to yours.
b) You will find the same product at a nearby store or one of the nearby stores.
Also, if you find a good enough buy, grab it! Don’t expect to get a better deal in Jakarta or any other city where you stopped after. You can’t win all the time. At least reduce your losses. Believe me, when you find out that the same thing costs more or twice in the next city, you will start kicking yourself for that missed opportunity.
6) Money is king
Please note that no stores in Indonesia accept credit cards. There have been numerous stories where tourists, often wealthy and not so big fans of carrying too much money around, went to Indonesia, had a great meal at Puncak (which includes 17 meals or something). Unfortunately, when it comes to paying time, the restaurant then does not receive credit card payments …..
Indonesian companies prefer to pay immediately. This reduces the need to deal with a bank when it comes to paying loans. So unless you are staying at a five star hotel with very little out-of-town traffic, carry enough money for your insight.
Hope these six tips will help.