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Bali Travel Tips and Advice


Bali stands out as a top-notch and stunning destination worldwide, drawing millions of tourists annually. Whether you seek a tranquil beach vacation, a chance to soak up the local culture, an adventurous escape, or a blend of all these, Bali caters to everyone’s desires. Nonetheless, before you start packing and catch your flight, there are some crucial facts you should be aware of to ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey. In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and recommendations for your Bali trip, covering various aspects like health and safety, visas and SIM cards, weather and seasons, customs and etiquette, transportation and lodging, finances and budgeting, cuisine and beverages, activities and attractions, and more. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know before traveling to Bali.  

Bali Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran Bay in Bali, a picturesque beach area

Health and Safety Tips for a Bali Trip

Here are some tips to help you enjoy your Bali trip safely and healthily:

  • Water Safety:Avoid drinking the tap water in Bali because it hasn’t been purified and can lead to stomach issues like diarrhea or vomiting. Instead, opt for bottled water or use a portable water purifier for drinking, brushing your teeth, and washing fruits and veggies.
  • Mosquito Protection:Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved clothing, applying insect repellent, and sleeping either under a mosquito net or in a room with air conditioning. Mosquitoes in Bali can carry diseases like dengue fever, malaria, and Zika virus.
  • Travel Vaccinations:Before traveling to Bali, make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations. Depending on your travel history and plans, you might need vaccines for diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies, and others. Consult your doctor or a travel clinic at least 4 weeks before your trip.
  • Animal Safety:Be cautious around stray animals like dogs, cats, monkeys, and bats as they may carry rabies or other infections that can be transmitted through bites or scratches. If an animal bites or scratches you, clean the wound with soap and water immediately and seek medical help.
  • Respect Local Laws and Customs:Follow the rules and traditions in Bali. Remember that drugs are illegal and strictly enforced. Avoid smoking in public areas as it’s prohibited and can result in fines or even imprisonment. Show respect for the religious and cultural beliefs of the local Balinese people, and dress modestly when visiting temples or sacred places.
  • Stay Safe:Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings in Bali. It’s best to avoid walking alone at night, especially in isolated spots. Keep your valuable items in a secure place or leave them at home. Be cautious of scams, pickpockets, and thieves. Only use licensed taxis or reputable transportation services.

Transportation and Accommodation Tips

Bali provides various transportation options, including taxis, buses, scooters, and bicycles. However, it’s important to note that traffic, particularly in the southern part of the island, can be quite chaotic and congested. If you’d like to avoid the stress of driving or negotiating fares with drivers, there’s the option to hire a private car along with a driver at a reasonable cost. Additionally, you can make use of mobile apps like Grab or Gojek to easily arrange rides or have food delivered to your location.

When it comes to accommodations, Bali caters to a wide range of preferences and budgets. You can discover lodging options to suit your taste, whether it’s luxurious resorts, charming boutique hotels, private villas, cozy guesthouses, budget-friendly hostels, or authentic homestays. It’s essential to choose your accommodation carefully, considering your interests and requirements. If you’re seeking unique places to stay, you can also explore platforms like Airbnb or similar services.

See also How to travel around Bali & Where to Stay in Bali – 12 Best Areas

Bali Ubud Hotel Accommodation

Culture and etiquette

Bali is primarily a Hindu island known for its vibrant culture. During your visit, you’ll encounter numerous temples, ceremonies, and rituals. It’s essential to show respect for their religious traditions and dress modestly when you visit sacred sites. Ensure your shoulders and knees are covered, and don a sarong when required. Please refrain from walking in front of individuals engaged in prayer and avoid touching their offerings.

Additionally, be mindful of Nyepi, the Balinese New Year, which is observed as a day of silence and contemplation. On Nyepi, Bali comes to a complete standstill, including the airport. Therefore, plan your travel arrangements accordingly to avoid disruptions.

SIM Card in Bali

A SIM card is a tiny chip that you place in your phone to connect to the local network for mobile data, calls, and texts. It’s quite handy for staying connected and using various apps while in Bali. You can purchase one from local providers like Telkomsel, XL Axiata, Indosat Ooredoo, and others. These SIM cards are available at the airport, shops, or street vendors. But be cautious, as some vendors might overcharge or sell outdated or invalid cards. To stay safe, it’s best to buy your SIM card from a reputable source.

There are two alternatives to consider. Firstly, you can order a tourist SIM card or an e-SIM card online before arriving in Bali. This gives you the flexibility to choose from various packages that match your needs and budget. You can even have it delivered to your accommodation or pick it up at the airport, saving you the hassle of buying one locally.

Alternatively, you can use international roaming services from your home provider. However, this option might cost more and be less reliable compared to using a local SIM card.

Helpful Apps in Bali

Here are some handy apps to consider using during your trip to Bali:

Accommodation Booking:

  • Agoda,, and Airbnb: These apps are perfect for finding and booking places to stay in Indonesia. They often offer great deals, especially for last-minute reservations.

Transportation and More:

  • Go-Jek: This app is a must-have in Bali for motorbike rides. It’s not only cost-effective but also fast and convenient. You can even use it to order food, beverages, groceries, or even arrange for a relaxing massage delivered right to your location.
  • Grab: Similar to Uber, GrabTaxi is an Asian ride-sharing service. Many visitors in Bali opt for both Grab and Go-Jek, choosing whichever one has a driver nearby when needed.

Navigation and Traffic Info:

  • Waze: When combined with Google Maps, you’ll have top-notch navigation. Waze provides local business listings, up-to-date road options, police alerts, and reliable traffic updates.

Flight Booking:

  • Traveloka: If you’re planning to explore more of Indonesia, this app is a valuable resource. It helps you discover the best flights, connecting routes, and competitive prices.


  • WhatsApp: WhatsApp is widely used for instant messaging in Indonesia. It’s a reliable way to stay connected with friends and locals during your trip.

Currency in Bali

The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR), and it’s divided into 100 sen. When you’re exchanging money for your Bali trip, keep an eye out for the currency code IDR. In Bali, you’ll see prices marked with the symbol Rp. Indonesian banknotes come in various denominations: 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, and 100000, and there are also coins valued at 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 rupiah.

Indonesia Bali Currency
Indonesia Currency

Here are some money-handling tips for your Bali visit:

  • Credit and Debit Cards: Credit and debit cards are widely accepted across Bali. You can use them at hotels, spas, restaurants, and shops.
  • Cash is Important: While cards work for larger expenses like hotels and tours, it’s wise to carry local rupiah for smaller purchases. Cash is commonly used in Bali.
  • ATMs: ATMs are readily available in popular tourist spots in Bali. For safety, it’s best to use ATMs located in well-lit bank branches.
  • Currency Exchange: Avoid exchanging currency at airports or hotels, as they often offer less favorable exchange rates and may tack on hidden fees.
  • Tipping: Tipping is not obligatory in Bali, but it’s greatly appreciated by locals who often depend on tips to supplement their income.

See also How Much Does a Bali Trip Cost? (Cost for 2023/2024)

Restrooms in Bali

Restrooms in Bali are a topic that often interests travelers looking to enjoy the island’s beauty and culture. Bali offers a range of restroom facilities, from traditional squat toilets to modern Western-style ones. In some restrooms, you might not find toilet paper, but instead, there will be a hose or a bucket of water for cleaning. Here are some helpful tips and information to guide you in locating and using restrooms in Bali:

  • Public Restrooms: Look for public restrooms in malls, stores, eateries, or hotels. Some places may charge a small fee or expect you to buy something. Ask locals for directions using “kamar kecil” or simply “WC.”
  • Private Accommodation Restrooms:Hotels and villas usually have Western-style restrooms with toilet paper. Some advise not to flush paper due to Bali’s septic systems. Follow your accommodation’s instructions.
  • Squat Toilets: In rural or older areas, squat toilets are common. Squat over the hole and use water for cleaning. You might find a water bucket or hose nearby. Bring your own toilet paper or tissues as they may not be provided.

Weather Tips for a Bali Trip

Bali’s weather can fluctuate based on the season, location, and month. Here are some practical weather tips to help plan your Bali trip and make the most of your vacation:

  • Best Time to Visit: April to October is Bali’s prime season with warm, dry weather, but expect higher prices due to crowds, especially in July and August. For a quieter and budget-friendly trip, consider April to May or September.
  • Rainy Season: Bali’s rainy season lasts from November to March, increasing humidity and rain. While there are breaks of sunshine, it’s not ideal for beach activities. On the upside, you’ll find lower prices, fewer tourists, lush landscapes, and cooler temperatures. Explore cultural attractions like temples and festivals during this time.
  • Weather Variations: Bali’s climate varies by region. Southern and central areas are warmer and drier, while coastal spots are cooler with a breeze. Mountainous places like Ubud and Kintamani have lower temperatures and more rain. Pack accordingly based on where you plan to visit in Bali.

Essential Packing List for a Bali Trip

Bali is a fantastic place to savor nature, culture, and activities. Yet, packing for Bali can be tricky, considering the weather, dress code, and plans. Here’s a condensed list of must-haves for Bali, based on my research:

  • Travel Essentials: Passport, return ticket, credit/debit cards, cash, COVID vaccination proof, and travel insurance. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months. You might need an international driving license for renting vehicles.
  • Light and Breathable Clothes: Given Bali’s tropical climate, opt for comfy, lightweight cotton attire to stay cool. Forget heavy jeans and synthetic fabrics. Bring shorts, tank tops, dresses, skirts, and mix-and-match shirts. A light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings or highlands is handy.
  • Beach Gear: Pack swimsuits, beachwear, a sarong, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection. Water shoes or sandals are great for water activities like surfing and snorkeling.
  • Footwear: Flip flops are the go-to footwear for Bali, but consider sturdier shoes for hiking and exploration. Some clubs have dress codes against flip flops.
  • Modest Clothing: Respect Bali’s predominantly Hindu culture by covering knees and shoulders when visiting temples and villages. Bring a scarf, shawl, long skirt, or sarong to cover up when needed.
  • Toiletries and Health:While you can buy toiletries locally, bring your preferred items if you have specific needs. Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, insect repellent, and any necessary medications.
  • Photography Gear: Bali’s beauty begs for good photos. Ensure your camera is equipped with spare batteries, memory cards, charger, and converter. Consider waterproof gear for water shots.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Since tap water isn’t safe, save money and reduce waste by bringing a reusable water bottle you can refill at your accommodation or water stations.
  • Daypack: A small backpack or daypack is practical for carrying essentials when exploring Bali. Keep your water bottle, camera, sunscreen, wallet, phone, and other necessities in it.
  • Yoga Gear: If you’re a yoga enthusiast, consider packing your yoga mat and appropriate attire for practicing amidst Bali’s scenic beauty. You can also join classes or retreats in popular spots like Ubud and Canggu.

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