There is so much to see and do in Bali, from lounging off the beaches in Seminyak, to trekking the rain forests of Ubud, to snorkeling in Lovina. As you maximize your Bali experiences, you may be feeling the weight in your suitcase. So what should you bring and what should you leave home?
Check out these practical tips for your next trip to Bali or other island destinations!
Surrounded by the Bali Sea to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south, there is a lot you can do on the waters in Bali. If you love snorkeling, like we do, we suggest you bring your mask and leave the bulky, awkward flippers at home! Your captain will have a pair to lend you, it is their business anyways, right?
Our favorite snorkeling mask that gives you the best viewing, anit-fog and easiest breathing is a full face mask. We love this mask from Ocean Reef
BUG BITES, NO WAY!
Bali is a tropical forest with lush plants and trees that make the island so beautiful. But this comes at a minor cost, which is insects. Come prepared with two types of bug sprays. Any good quality hotel will include these sprays in your room amenities, but it’s also good to have a set on-hand as you explore the scenes at night or walking the forests during the day. I suggest you bring with you a 12 hour timed release insect repellent, but leave the room spray at home. If you hotel doesn’t have a room spray, then pick one up at the local pharmacy or market.
I love the durability and lasting effect of the 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion. After the application, it is non-greasy and has no bugsy-spray like perfumes. It’s only 2 ounces, so it takes up very little space in your suitcase and bag.
KEEP THE DIRT OUT!
If you plan to go on any trekking excursions or mountain biking adventures, then you are likely to pack your hiking boots. When you are packing your boots in your suitcase, you want to make sure that any dirt or debris doesn’t get on your clean clothes. Keep your suitcase fresh and organized by using a Shoe Storage Bag. I found this shoe bag which is designed for larger, ankle-type shoes. It is also waterproof, so if you get caught in one of the nearly daily rain showers – which can be very intense – a waterproof nylon bag is a great choice to keep the dampness of your shoes from building a mildew on your belongings!
WE WINE A LOT!
When it comes to enjoying a nice evening out, Bali is sure to please any romantic. The sunsets are simply delicious from gold to orange glows against the brilliant blue sky. The restaurants in Bali are so chic and every night you can dine with a view of the sunset that leads to a night under the stars.
We find ourselves tempted to share a nice bottle of wine. As avid travelers, we also know that wine can be very expensive when dining out and can add-up to a hefty check at the end of your vacation. We often pack our wine with us – using this handy luggage case which when fully loaded will weigh less than 50 lbs.
But when coming to Bali, leave your wine at home and open your pocketbook instead. Why? When entering Indonesia and being greeted by Immigration and Customs, you are only permitted to bring 1.5 liters of alcohol. Anything more than 1.5 liters will be confiscated. On our first trip to Bali, three bottles of our wine were confiscated.
KITCHEN SINK STAYS HOME!
Now, let’s get to business about how many clothes we pack. It’s always too many! Should I bring a sweater in case it gets cold? I need to pack beach clothes, day clothes and night clothes, plus pajamas. That is four outfits on one day, possibly. Too much? No.
You can pack all these things, no problem. In Bali, you will find just outside your hotel many places to take your laundry. Simply drop off your bag in the morning and pick it up the next morning – waa laa – all your clothes are clean and can be worn again. The prices are by piece at about $0.10 – $0.30 cents per item – far, far less than using laundry service at your hotel.
The great thing about having your laundry done on vacation is that you return home with a clean suitcase. It makes unpacking your bags much, much easier!
Jewelry is a target for so many problems. It’s a clue to your wealth for the Robbers and Stealers in every tourist destination. And it’s also very small and can easily slip from your hands to be lost forever. Why attract un-necessary attention and why add stress to a blissful vacation? This means leave your wedding rings and bands at home. Leave your gems, gold and other precious jewelry at home. Leave keepsake jewelry at home.
This amounts to bringing your cheaper jewelry on your travels. I pack two pairs of earrings – one dangling type and one petite sized. I pack two necklaces. I always wear my watch – but no need to bring an expensive luxury brand watch – if anything the watch is what the robbers have their eyes on most. And I pack a bracelet. That’s it. To keep your jewelry from getting loose in your suitcase, I found this cool, compact, magnetized jewelry zippered clutch.
Bali is a special place with some many hand-crafted wood carvings, bronze statues and loads of Eastern-style souvenirs. On top of these beautiful temptations, the deal is sealed when you calculate the currency exchange. You can pick up many high-quality Bali items for a fraction of the price if you paid for something similar at home.
But one thing is not a deal in Bali and that is buying a suitcase to bring all your treasures home. We had a blast in Ubud shopping on the Main Street and the outlying wholesale stores. We bought more stuff than the essentials we packed for our trip. So how did we pack everything to come home?
We are always prepared for these unexpected shopping sprees by packing a foldable duffel bag, perfectly named as “Tote-A-Ton”! At the end of our trip, we throw all of our neatly packed bags of clean laundry and anything else we can fit in there, like the snorkel masks, bath amenities and such. This leaves our hard case suitcases free to pack all the good things we purchased for a protected trip back home.
When you add up all these packing tips, the weight of your suitcase flies off your shoulders and on the way you go to your blissful Bali vacation! Enjoy!
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