Packing for a trip to Bali in Indonesia?

Are you traveling to Bali and not sure what to take with you?  Here are the best ever packing tips to ensure you have an amazing holiday.

I’ve prepared a quick list that will ensure you’ve got something for every occasion.

Get the right Visa

Get the right visaVisa requirements for Indonesia have become less complicated in recent times.  Depending on your passport and citizenship, there are a number of options to choose when coming into Indonesia depending on your purpose of travel.   For the finer details, visit

Be Money Smart

It’s preferable to carry US or AU Dollars and Indonesian Rupiah when you arrive in Bali.  In my experience ATMs in Bali are safe … but as always, be sure to cover your PIN entry when transacting.  Remember to let your bank know where you’re travelling before you leave so they don’t assume identity theft and lock down your card.  If you are using a money changer, watch them carefully and don’t get distracted.  It’s easy to fall for the ‘count back’ scam and end up short a few rupiah – it’s happened to us!   We prefer to take cash in $50’s and change no more than $200 at a time.

Understand the Conversion Rate

Rupiah usually roughly converts: $1AU = 10,000 IDR.  Bargaining in Bali … it’s expected!  Know the value of your money.  Shop owners expect you to challenge their price setting.  There are a few exceptions such as McDonald’s or the big Department stores, but in the smaller shops it is an expected practice.

Travel Light

The thing about Bali is that it’s very hot all year around, which means you don’t have to cater for changing weather situations. Even if it rains, it’s still hot!  You won’t need suitcases of clothes!  Often airlines have super cheap airfares which don’t include checked baggage, but the reality is you can survive a week or two in Indonesia traveling with just a backpack.

Comfortable Clothing

Bali is very casual.  Pack things like comfortable, loose-fitting shorts, singlet-tops, shift-dresses, board shorts, T-shirts and other items you would wear during summer at home.  Be sure to choose lightweight cotton or breathable fabrics.  I always make sure I have a sarong in my bag incase I want to go into a shrine and need to cover up.  The weather in Bali is always hot and sticky, so choose comfort first.


You absolutely won’t need high heels!  Most people get around in their thongs (jandles or flip-flops) or lightweight flat sandals.  If you’re planning to trek into the jungle you will need to pack appropriate closed-in walking shoes.


Pack two swimsuits so one can be drying out while you’re wearing the other one, and don’t forget to take a cover-up or sarong just incase you want to go for a walk.  Bali is a modest culture so it’s important to be respectful.  Most hotels supply towels, so there’s no need to bring one with you.

pack light - family time

Beach Bag

Pack a light tote you can put your beach essentials in, this will make it easier to pack up your towel, hat, sunglasses, book, camera and sunscreen when you head down to the water or go for a walk around town.

Slip Slop & Slap!

Protect yourself from sunburn … bring a hat and sunscreen with high sun protection factor (SPF).  Wear a hat.  Remember, the sun is treacherous … re-apply often to ensure you don’t get burned.  Cover up if you feel yourself burning and don’t think that you won’t burn if there is cloud cover.  UV rays are often most powerful on a cloudy day.

Moisturise Moisturise Moisturise!

Bring your favourite moisturiser with you and treat yourself to a facial and body massage during your stay.   You won’t need make up during the day and if you were to wear it, you’d find it would drip right off!  I sometimes wear a little mascara and a light dash of face powder if we’re going out somewhere special at night but for the rest of the time, it’s au naturale!

Medical Precautions

Risks of coming into contact with contaminated food and water are significantly higher in Asia so be cautious and be prepared.  Check the requirements of your destination and visit a doctor before you leave to take some pre cautionary medicine with you.  Consider carrying some gastro-stop, electrolites and a general dose of antibiotics incase you contract a dose of ‘Bali Belly’.  Ask your doctor if you need to take anti-malarial medication with you and be sure to take a mini first aid kit … just in case.

Insect Repellant

Buy a bottle of good quality insect repellant and use it regularly. This is especially important if you’re visiting places like Lombok and Sumbawa where Malaria is a bigger threat.  Vitamin B12 is a natural mossie repellant, so my advice is to get into some vitamins as a precaution before you travel.

Recharge your Technology

In Bali, you’ll need a power converter to  recharge your camera, phone and other electronics … the one you need has two round prongs. I always carry a battery pack as well so that I can charge my devices on the run.  If you forget to pack your charger you can buy one there.

I use a small toiletries bag to keep all my cables and power connectors so they’re all together in one place.

Plastic bags

Take a couple of large plastic grocery bags and small sandwich bags in your luggage.  They’re handy to store wet or dirty shoes, wet clothes or swimwear or soap or a tube of toothpaste!

Good quality Luggage

Suitcases tend to get thrown around in transit so it’s worth investing in good quality luggage that can withstand some rough treatment and be locked securely when traveling.

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If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Bali before and have some tips to add to this list, please share them in the comments below.  What is your best tip for traveling?