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Home Travel Guide Bali Travel Guide How to Plan a Trip to Bali: A Complete Guide

How to Plan a Trip to Bali?

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Bali, a global hotspot, captivates millions of visitors annually. This enchanting island presents an array of attractions, activities, and experiences tailored to diverse tastes. But how do you plan a trip to Bali that meets your expectations and budget? In this article, we will guide you through the steps of planning a trip to Bali, from choosing the best time to visit, and how to travel around Bali, to deciding what to do and see, and what to pack for your travel. By following these steps, you will be able to enjoy your Bali trip without any hassle or stress. You can also find some essential travel tips for the Bali trip.

Bali's Travel Policy and Restrictions

Here are some of the main points about travel policy and restrictions you need to be aware of before planning your Bali trip.

1. Visa Options:

  • Starting December 1, 2022, 86 countries enjoy visa-on-arrival (VOA) privileges, granting 30 days’ entry without prior visa applications. Check eligibility.
  • Consider the Electronic Visa on Arrival (eVOA) for online convenience, costing $35 USD, payable by credit card.

See also Indonesia Visa Application and Requirements

2. Extended Stays:

  • If your country isn’t VOA/eVOA eligible or you plan to stay longer, apply for a B211A Visit Visa at the nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate.
  • This visa offers up to 60 days and can be extended four times, each for 30 days, suitable for tourism, business, or social visits.

3. COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • Starting June 9, 2023, the Indonesian Government no longer demands proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests.
  • Adhere to local health protocols, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding crowded areas.

4. Electronic Health Alert Card (e-HAC):

  • Prior to your Indonesia arrival, complete the e-HAC, available via smartphone app or online.
  • Generate a QR code to present at immigration.

5. Entry Requirements:

  • A return ticket isn’t mandatory, but ensure a valid passport with at least six months’ validity and two blank pages.
  • Declare any sums exceeding $10,000 USD or equivalent in other currencies.

6. Driving in Bali:

  • To rent a scooter or motorbike, secure an International Driving License (IDL) valid in Indonesia.
  • Apply online or obtain one from your home country before departing.

Best Time to Visit Bali

When planning your trip to Bali, it’s essential to consider your preferences and budget. The timing of your visit can greatly impact your experience on this beautiful island. Let’s delve into the factors that can help you choose the ideal time for your Bali getaway.

Weather:

Bali boasts a tropical climate, marked by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the wet season. The dry season spans from April to September, while the wet season takes place from October to March. If you’re into outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, diving, or soaking up the sun, the dry season is your best bet.

On the other hand, the wet season is more humid and rainy, but it does come with some perks, including lower prices, fewer tourists, and excellent surf conditions on the east coast. While Bali maintains a fairly consistent temperature range of 28°C to 32°C (82°F to 90°F) year-round, the mountainous regions may offer cooler temperatures.

Festivals and Events:

Bali hosts various cultural and religious festivals, such as Nyepi (Balinese New Year), Galungan (celebrating good over evil), Kuningan (marking Galungan’s end), and the Bali Arts Festival (showcasing local arts). These events showcase Balinese traditions but may lead to traffic jams, road closures, and limited accommodations.

Cost Considerations:

While Bali is generally affordable compared to other Southeast Asian destinations, prices fluctuate with the season. Peak season (July-August, December-January) sees higher costs for flights, hotels, and activities. The low season (February-March, October-November) offers a quieter experience with better travel deals and discounts.

See also Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Bali

Indonesia Bali Tegalalang Ceking Rice Terrace
Tegalalang Ceking Rice Terrace in Wet Season

Top Places to Visit in Bali

Bali boasts three distinct regions: southern, northern/eastern, and central.

Southern Bali

The southern part of Bali reigns as the island’s bustling epicenter, replete with tourist hotspots, beaches, resorts, and vibrant nightlife. Among the renowned locales in this region are Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Uluwatu, Sanur, and Denpasar, Bali’s largest city.

Northern and Eastern Bali

Bali’s northern/eastern region offers a serene contrast, featuring rural landscapes, mountains, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, and temples. Lovina, Singaraja, Amed, Tulamben, Candidasa, and Besakih are some noteworthy destinations. Notably, Mount Agung, Bali’s tallest and holiest peak, erupted in 1963 and again in 2017.

Central Bali

The central part of Bali holds the island’s cultural core, replete with historical sites, artistic villages, mesmerizing rice terraces, and lush forests. Ubud, Gianyar, Klungkung, Bedugul, and Kintamani are prominent locales. This region also hosts numerous festivals and ceremonies, offering a glimpse into Balinese Hinduism and traditions.

See also Top 15 Tourist Attractions in Bali

Indonesia Bali Sanur Beach
Sanur Beach

How to Travel around Bali?

Taxi:

For swift and convenient travel in South Bali, where attractions abound, taxis are your go-to. Flag one down on the street or use apps like Grab or Gojek for easy bookings. Look out for the reliable Bluebird taxis, easily recognizable by their blue color and metered fares. If you’re planning a day of exploration, consider renting a taxi. The average cost per kilometer is approximately 6,600 IDR.

Bus:

Travel economically and environmentally friendly by hopping on Bali’s public buses, known as “bemos.” They follow set routes and charge modest fares. Another option is the tourist-friendly Kura-Kura bus service, covering 12 routes across South Bali and Ubud. Tickets can be purchased online or on the bus, with the added convenience of tracking bus locations via an app. Opt for a seven-day pass, providing unlimited travel on all lines, priced at around 250,000 IDR.

Car Rental:

Gain flexibility and comfort by renting a car, allowing you to explore Bali at your own pace. Choose between self-driving or hiring a driver, depending on your confidence in navigating Bali’s roads. Ensure you possess an international driving license and a valid passport to secure a rental. Typically, renting a car in Bali costs approximately 300,000 IDR per day, excluding fuel.

Motorbike Rental:

Embrace adventure and freedom with motorbike or scooter rentals, especially ideal for solo travelers or couples. Numerous shops and hotels in Bali offer this option. To rent a motorbike, you’ll need an international driving license and, of course, a helmet. Prices for motorbike rentals average around 50,000 IDR per day, excluding fuel.

See also How to travel around Bali

Is Bali Safe to Visit? Safety Guide for 2023/2024

Bali is generally considered a safe destination.But before planning your trip to Bali, it’s essential to be aware of some important safety considerations. Here are key points to keep in mind:

1. Natural Disasters:

Bali is susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. These events can disrupt transportation, infrastructure, sanitation, and healthcare services. Stay updated with the latest information from the U.S. Department of State and local authorities. Additionally, have a contingency plan in case of emergencies and follow official instructions.

2. Terrorism Risk:

While the risk of terrorism in Bali is low, it’s crucial to remain vigilant. Avoid potential targets such as police stations, places of worship, hotels, bars, nightclubs, markets, and restaurants. Report any suspicious activities or packages to local authorities promptly.

3. Crime Precautions:

Bali experiences a moderate level of crime, primarily involving petty theft and fraud. To protect yourself, keep your valuables secure and lock them up in your accommodation. Be cautious when using ATMs, taxis, or scooters, as some scams target tourists. Always opt for reputable service providers and negotiate prices in advance.

4. Health and Well-being:

Bali has a well-functioning healthcare system, but taking precautions is vital to avoid illness or injury. Ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical expenses and evacuation. Get vaccinated for common diseases like hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies. Avoid drinking tap water and consuming raw or undercooked food. When riding a motorbike, always wear a helmet. Additionally, use sunscreen and insect repellent when outdoors.

By following these safety tips and staying informed, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience during your trip to Bali.

What Should I Pack for a Trip to Bali?

When preparing for your Bali adventure, consider these packing essentials:

  • Lightweight Summer Attire: Pack breathable, casual clothing to stay comfortable in the tropical climate.
  • Evening Chic: Include some smart casual outfits for night outings and dining.
  • Cover-Up: A light long-sleeve top or jacket can be handy for cooler evenings or temple visits.
  • Swimwear: Bali’s stunning beaches and pools await; don’t forget your swimsuits.
  • Modesty Wear: For temple and cultural site visits, bring modest clothing out of respect.
  • Weather Preparations: Be ready for sudden rain with a poncho, rain jacket, or a compact umbrella.
  • Footwear Choices: Pack sandals or flip-flops for beach days and comfortable shoes for exploring.
  • Eye Protection: Sunglasses and a hat are essential to shield yourself from the tropical sun.
  • Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: Protect your skin and keep bugs at bay.
  • First Aid: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids and pain relievers.
  • Travel Insurance: Ensure you’re covered for unexpected events during your trip.
  • Travel Documents: Don’t forget your passport (with at least six months validity and two blank pages), Visa on Arrival (VOA) or Electronic Visa on Arrival (eVOA) if needed, and the electronic health alert card (e-HAC).
  • International Driving License: If you plan to rent a car or motorbike, an international driving license is a must.

How Long to Stay in Bali?

The ideal length of your Bali stay hinges on your preferences, budget, and travel agenda.

For a well-rounded experience, most travelers spending from 10 days to 2 weeks on the island. This time frame enables you to delve into Bali’s prime attractions, including its mesmerizing beaches, temples, waterfalls, rice terraces, volcanoes, and vibrant markets. Plus, you can venture to nearby gems like the Gili Islands and Nusa Penida, offering splendid opportunities for snorkeling, diving, surfing, and serene relaxation.

Yet, if your schedule allows for less or more time, fret not; Bali has something for everyone. Some opt for a brief escape, dedicating just a few days to explore specific areas like Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud, or Uluwatu—ideal for quick getaways from neighboring countries such as Singapore or Malaysia.

On the flip side, those with more time to spare may choose Bali as a base for remote work or further exploration within Indonesia. In this scenario, you can savor the local culture, cuisine, and lifestyle at a leisurely pace, fully immersing yourself in Bali’s captivating charm.

Travel Costs for a Bali Trip

Bali offers a variety of attractions and activities for travelers of all budgets. The cost of a trip to Bali depends on several factors, such as the duration, season, accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment. Based on the average prices of former travelers to Bali, a trip to Bali for one week for one person can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 on average. However, you can also spend less or more depending on your travel style and choices.

Here are some average prices and tips to help you plan your Bali trip.

Flights to Bali:

The cost of your international flight to Bali can vary based on where you’re flying from, the date of your travel, and your choice of airline. On average, flights from the US to Bali typically cost around $1,120 per person.

Accommodation in Bali:

In Bali, you’ll find a wide range of lodging options, from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to luxurious resorts and private villas. The average price for a couple staying in a Bali hotel is approximately Rp1,339,645 (about $88) per night. However, you can find more budget-friendly choices starting at Rp200,000 ($14) per night or opt for high-end accommodations exceeding Rp5,000,000 ($350) per night.

See also Where to Stay in Bali – 12 Best Areas

Dining and Drinking:

The cost of eating and drinking in Bali largely depends on your dining preferences and choices. You can savor local street food and enjoy meals at warungs (small restaurants) for as low as Rp20,000 ($1.40) per meal. Alternatively, you can indulge in fine dining and international cuisine, which may cost over Rp500,000 ($35) per meal. On average, expect to spend about Rp330,629 ($22) per person per day on food and drinks in Bali.

See also Balinese Food: 10 Foods You Must Try in Bali

Transportation in Bali:

Getting around Bali offers various options, including taxis, buses, scooters, bicycles, and private drivers. The average cost for local transportation in Bali is roughly Rp145,557 ($9.51) per person per day. If you prefer flexibility, you can rent a scooter for approximately Rp50,000 ($3.50) per day or hire a private driver for about Rp600,000 ($42) per day.

Attractions and Activities:

Exploring Bali’s attractions can be either budget-friendly or more expensive, depending on your interests. You can appreciate the island’s natural beauty, including beaches, temples, waterfalls, rice terraces, and volcanoes, either for free or by paying a small entrance fee. Additionally, Bali offers a wide range of tours and experiences, such as snorkeling, diving, surfing, rafting, cooking classes, yoga, and spa treatments. On average, budget around Rp271,196 ($18) per person per day for entertainment in Bali, but remember that costs can vary based on your choices. (see also 10 Amazing Things to Do in Bali)

See also How Much Does a Bali Trip Cost?

Travel Bali with Us

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with our team and discover the enchanting beauty of Bali like never before. Our experienced team is here to make your journey extraordinary. From pristine beaches to awe-inspiring temples and thrilling water sports, we’ve curated a diverse itinerary to ensure you experience the very best of Bali. Join us for a journey filled with unforgettable memories, new friendships, and the enchantment of Bali’s rich culture and natural wonders.

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