Memos from Asia

Your Ultimate Packing List for Bali, Indonesia

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A destination for weddings, honeymoons, group tours, budget, and solo travels, Bali has quite the versatile personality that attracts enthusiastic travelers in the thousands from across the globe.

As one of the top beach escapes, Bali offers its visitors a chance to enjoy great water activities and travel inland to appreciate the island people’s exotic culture and traditions.

Below we share the ultimate packing list for Bali to help you plan a memorable holiday to this wonderous Indonesian island. It covers everything from what clothes to take and necessary medications to what you should not pack for your Balinese vacation.

Clothes

A Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia

Your packing list for Bali needs to have three distinct categories of clothing. There is beachwear, which includes bikinis, sarongs, and a top to cover up if it gets a little chilly on the beach.

During the day, when you are exploring Kuta, Ubud, Jimbaran, or Denpasar, dress up in airy and comfortable clothing. Long flowy dresses, linen pants, short-sleeve tops, boxer shorts, skirts are all excellent choices.

It is pertinent to remember that you need to be conservatively dressed if planning on entering any Bali temples. You may wrap around a sarong over your shorts or else come prepared by wearing a long dress or pants. Similarly, you can cover your shoulders with a scarf.

Also, pack a light jacket as evenings in Bali tend to be a little cold, and it does occasionally rain.

As soon as you arrive in Bali, you’ll realize that there are plenty of places on the island to have a fun evening out. You can always spend time at a beachside restaurant or else dance the night away at one of several clubs in Bali. For such an occasion, it is worth adding a little black dress to your luggage.

Footwear

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Sadly, while you can save up on space by packing fewer clothes for your Bali trip, you will need four different pairs of shoes if spending more than a couple of days on the island.

Flipflops are unquestionably the one thing you need to put in your luggage, even though Balinese beaches have soft sand and are a delight to walk on barefoot. If you plan to go snorkeling or want to take a plunge under hidden waterfalls, you’ll need water shoes to avoid getting cuts and scratches.

Walking shoes are equally important because of Bali’s uneven terrain. They are even more necessary for people interested in hiking and exploring the villages of the island. If that is not on your itinerary, you can possibly replace shoes with sandals. In an ideal situation, you should get both.

Typically, no one will recommend that you take dress shoes or heels to an island getaway. But Bali is much more than that. It is also among Asia’s best places to party, and thus you will need at least one fancy pair of footwear to match that little black dress or evening suit.

Medication

It doesn’t matter if you are piercing through the sea on a speedboat or winding through the inland roads to witness the spectacle of Balinese rice paddies; motion sickness can crop up at any time. So, whether it is wrist bands or tablets to counteract this annoying problem, keep something with you handy as you traverse around the island.

Balinese food is delicious and a must-have. However, as is the case with eating out when traveling, local delicacies can sometimes rumple up a storm in the stomach. To prepare yourself for such an issue, charcoal tablets are an excellent option. Also, bring along Paracetamol for light fever and general cough-cold medicines that typically work for you the best.

With the beautiful lushness of Bali comes the problem of mosquitoes. So, if you are prone to be bitten by these flying pests, or even otherwise, it’s sensible to carry multiple forms of mosquito repellents. From bracelets and creams to sprays, keep something or the other in your backpack and room.

Carry-ons & Accessories

Batur, Bali, Indonesia.

Adding a backpack to your Bali packing list is one of the best decisions you will make. Not only does it free your hand, but it is conducive as you can carry small knick-knacks in it throughout the day. It’s an absolute must for hiking, but equally convenient when walking around the villages and towns.

Although Bali is very safe, there are cases of pickpocketing. Therefore, a passport and money holder that you can wear around your neck is advisable.

On the other hand, a beach bag is perfect for time spent at the hotel’s swimming pool or beach when you don’t have to carry any valuables.

Packing a few accessories from home can save you from shopping for them upon arrival, and in some cases is the cheaper alternative.

Whether you are visiting Bali for its beaches or to explore its countryside, you are likely to be in the sun for hours during the day. Therefore, a hat, sunglasses, and high SPF environmentally-friendly sunscreen are three essentials you need to tick in your Bali packing list. Bali’s sun can be deceptively hot, so remember to use sunscreen even if you are inland.

As responsible tourists, it is now almost mandatory for everyone to carry their own water bottles and reusable straws. This is truer when spending time at a beach destination where both land and water species are significantly affected by excessive plastic waste. While you should not drink tap water in Bali without boiling it, you can refill your water bottler at the hotel before leaving for the day.

Considering the present state of the world and that COVID-related precautions need to be taken, do bring along hand sanitizer, disinfecting wet wipes, and masks.

If visiting during the peak summer season, days in Bali tend to be hot and humid and can play havoc on your hair. While toiletries are commonly supplied in hotels, it’s worth packing any specific shampoo and conditioner you prefer to use.

While it is possible to rent water sports equipment from hotels or beachside shacks throughout Bali, look into getting your own snorkel gear from home. You will save money this way and can explore the lagoons near the beach without paying extra for excursions.

Electronics

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Spectacular landscapes are an inherent part of Bali, and you never know when one might pop up during your travel. Thus, you need to be with a camera at all times. Whether it is a fancy DSLR that captures the majestic beauty of the island in RAW or a smartphone camera that is handy to use, never leave your room without one.

Moreover, for adventure enthusiasts that like to spend as much time in the water as they do on land, a waterproof action camera is advisable. It allows you to capture the vibrant marine life that lives in the sea around Bali.

Sun-worshipers spending copious amounts of time on the beach should also think about bringing an eBook reader and an iPod to keep themselves busy while taking in the views and soaking up the rays.

If you wish to work in Bali, remember that Indonesia has internet censorship laws, which means you might not have access to some websites. To go around this problem, invest in a VPN before arriving in the country.

Electricity supply in Bali works at 220V/50Hz, the same as in Australia, Asia, and most European countries. They have two round-pin sockets, and thus, you may or may not need a travel adaptor based on your country of origin. A USB plug extension and a power bank are also good ideas if you are traveling with several electronics that need regular charging.

What Not to Bring to Bali

The ideal way to enjoy Bali is to travel light, especially when it comes to jewelry. You are likely to be out and about and in the water most of the time. As a result, avoid wearing expensive accessories.

Indonesia as a whole is extremely strict about illegal drugs, and you can get into serious trouble if found bringing even a minuscule quantity. Bags are regularly checked at the airport.

In fact, if you take any prescription medications, it is best to carry a doctor’s note and also check beforehand if that particular medication is not banned in the country.

Lastly, it is worth having cash with you at all times, particularly the local currency Indonesian rupiah and some US Dollars. However, there is no need to carry too much money for safety reasons and also because there are ATMs everywhere on the island. Furthermore, restaurants and hotels readily accept credit cards.

Travel Tip

Be it a business or a leisure traveler, everyone nowadays takes up an insurance policy against flight delays and cancelations. However, now you must check that your travel policy includes COVID related ailments. In addition to that, if you will be renting a car or a scooter in Bali, remember to take a full-coverage vehicle insurance policy. You can get this from home or buy one from the agency leasing you the car.

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