So shall we start ? First lets address some things that you must know before visiting :
1) A visit to these islands is not a day trip from Bali. You will have to stay for at-least a night in Labuan Bajo. Same day arrival and departure as the day of tour is just not possible.
2) Most of the tours start early morning around 6 am. So you must fly in a day before , take the tour and then may be leave by night. Either way , you will have to spend a night or two in Labuan Bajo.
3) You can visit Komodo Islands alone and return, however most of the tours will include a visit to Komodo, Rinca and Padar Island along with an option to stop at pink beach and snorkel at Manta Point.
4) There is no food or restaurant or shop in any of the islands I mentioned above. You must carry your own food. Some of the tour companies provide food as part of tour package , ask in advance. Else you will literally starve.
5) Almost all the tours are group tours. This is the most affordable way of visiting these islands. We were in a time crunch and ended up taking a personal tour and it was indeed very expensive. To give you a comparison a group tour will cost you something between 30$– 50$ per person whereas a private tour is between 180 – 200$ per person.
6) There are many tour companies in the main street of Labuan Bajo , so no need to book in advance. You can reach Labuan Bajo and literally go from shop to shop haggling for the right price.
7) Most importantly , it is our duty to preserve nature the way we found it. Please do not litter and throw plastics in the sea. You will be baffled to sea the amount of plastic in sea water while sailing from Labuan Bajo to these islands.
8) You must carry cash with you . There is no entry fees to Padar island and pink sand beach but you do have to pay entrance plus guide fees of around 21$ at Komodo National Park and it must be paid in cash.
How to Reach :
By Air : The fastest way to reach anywhere near Komodo Islands is by air. The closest airport to these Islands is located in Labuan Bajo. You will have to take a flight from Bali ( or Jakarta ) which will have a flight time of around 1 hr 30 mins and will cost you around 70$ if booked in time. From the airport , you can ask your tour company to pick you up as you cannot got to Komodo Islands without a boat tour. From Labuan Bajo , it will take about 2 hrs by a fast boat to reach the islands.