Holidays To Bali, Indonesia: Bali Travel Advice To Know Before You Go

The famous island of Indonesia, Bali, is not all paradise.

f you are planning to go for your holidays to Bali, don’t imagine everything will be as you see on Instagram because it won’t be! In this Bali blog post, you will find the essential Bali travel advice to know before getting there!

And since you are planning to visit Bali, you might be interested in some other travel resources I wrote about the paradise island:

For the past few years, Bali was some sort of divine land in my mind, one that I had to set foot on as soon as possible. I wasn’t even sure what country it was, that’s how famous the island of Bali is.

To be completely frank, I didn’t even want to research too much about it, because I wanted to keep my sanity and not think about it frantically every second of every day. That was until I won a trip to Bali, Indonesia in December 2018.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Expect to see and taste many strange fruits. Warning! Whatever you eat, make sure it’s washed with potable water! For this reason, it is recommended to eat only cooked food. The tap water isn’t safe to drink! Drink only bottled water! And please bring a refillable bottle to spare some plastic.

The internet is flooded with all kinds of information and especially beautiful edited photos from Bali. All digital nomads, travel bloggers and millennials have to spend their holidays in Bali at least once in their lifetime. Some move there for a while, while others might even build a house. But is Bali, Indonesia paradise on Earth?

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
There was crazy traffic and many motorbikes and scooters everywhere. I don’t recommend it if you are not a good driver. Accidents are common.

What is the Bali weather like?

If you have been to South East Asia before (in the wet season), then you will not be so shocked. But if you haven’t, then you will feel like you are out of breath once you get out of the airport! No worries, that’s just the humidity you are feeling, nothing bad is going to happen to you.

If you come in the dry season, the weather is much better. Try May, which is a completely different story.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!

I had been to Thailand and to Malaysia before and had an idea of the weather and the insects. So, expect to sweat a lot, midday is usually a time to rest somewhere where the AC is on, and you cannot go anywhere without sunscreen lotion and mosquito repellent lotion. And if you forget, you can buy those anywhere, really cheap.

During the rainy season (November – March) you can expect heavy rain at any moment and once it starts raining, nobody knows for how long it will last. It can rain for 10 minutes, it can rain for hours. But it’s not all bad. From my experience, it never rained more than a few hours and usually, it was raining during the night and the day was humid and hot.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Let’s learn something from the locals. Cover your head, arms, legs, and you will be fine!

I have no idea if it’s the same during the dry season, that is, in the summer, because I have only visited the tropical area in November and December.

In a nutshell, Bali weather is like showering in your own sweat, especially if you have a lot of visiting that you want to do. You get used to it after a few days.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!

Planning your Bali holidays?

As I said before, Bali is like the garden of heaven and all social media is mad about moving there and the island gets so much attention and tourists that it feels almost like Europe, but with tropical weather.

Welcome to the jungle, but with all the comfort of city life. Sure, you will occasionally see some huge piles of trash waiting to sink into the ground/water, free chicken running on the street, children playing all around, and the traffic is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.

It has been said before that Bali is the island of God, and there is a place for everyone on it.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Get used to seeing lizards, mosquitoes, spiders, ants and all kinds of bugs, everywhere! Put on mosquito repellent.

Is Bali safe? A lot of first-time travellers ask if Bali is safe. From my personal experience, it’s all safe and the locals are very much used to tourists and take very good care of you. Travelling solo or travelling in a group in Bali is no problem.

I recommend hiring a driver with a car (You will love the AC in the car) to take you around for visiting. If there are two of you (or more), this is the best way to go around, comfortable and affordable.

Taxi drivers are waiting for customers on the streets. You will see agencies everywhere, with price offers almost everywhere on the island. The prices may differ a bit from place to place, and most of the time, there is room for bargaining.

Prices and bargaining in Bali

Bargaining is a widespread habit in Bali. It’s happening everywhere, and you have to be firm about what you want and what you don’t.

What you need to understand is that most of the locals live from tourism. They either have an accommodation tourism agency or sell souvenirs. They need tourists to survive. Many Indonesians move from other islands to Bali because here it is easier to get a well-paid job.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!

Usually, if something does not have a written price anywhere (I’m talking about souvenirs, taxi fares, trip fares, all kinds of tickets), then you could bargain.

It was funny to walk into some shops and see signs reading, “Please don’t bargain! We have fixed prices”. That’s how crazy it is.

Other things related to Bali you need to know beforehand

You will love it if you are a nature fan, love to walk a lot and don’t mind sweating every day, and the mosquitos everywhere. Your holidays in Bali will definitely be memorable ones.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Bali has many natural wonders which tourists love. A huge number of waterfalls and temples wait to be discovered, but you will need to drive to get to them. Hire a driver!

After spending 2 weeks in total on 3 different islands of Indonesia (out of 17000 islands) I can tell you will not get bored. And every corner and island and experience is beautiful and unexpected. Indonesia deserves to be visited and cared for because it is a heavenly land on Earth.

Planning a cheap holiday to Bali?

Getting to Bali

Ok, this is gonna be tricky. Bali is far away (assuming you’re not from Asia) and getting there takes forever and it’s expensive. The flight from Romania took 23 hours to go and 17 hours to come back. I had one stop in Doha, for both flights. The first journey took so much because of the 8-hour layover in Doha. The bright side of that was the 10 Eur Doha city tour offered by Qatar Airways, which took around 3 hours and was pretty nice.

What others do is to try and manage their own connection flights. For instance, try to fly from a big city in Europe (London, Paris or Istanbul) to Singapore and separately search for low-cost flights between your origin and that big airport.

For me, it could be a good idea to search for a low-cost such as Ryanair from Bucharest to London, then take a long flight to Singapore and then another Asian low-cost to Bali. It takes longer, but it could be half the price.

Bali volcano, Mount Agung, can be seen from the plane before landing.

So, Bali is far, which means a holiday in Bali isn’t cheap. But!!! Watch out for airline promotions or set price alerts on your flights’ search engine. I came to the conclusion that flights don’t get much more expensive as the departure day is getting closer, but buying your ticket four months ahead is the cheapest price you will get, and it’s about 100 Eur less.

Of course, low-cost airlines could help, but they only operate within a continent, and you still need a way to get to Asia first. Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Singapore are good stops on your way to Bali. From there, look for Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, or Air Asia.

Also, I heard bad things about some Indonesian airlines, so I recommend Garuda Indonesia to fly around to other islands if you wish to do that. It’s a bit more pricey than others, but it’s not a low cost (and still has a price of a low cost).

And since you made it to Bali, why not explore one of the nearby islands? I recommend spending 3 days in Lombok or the Gili islands.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Indonesian money. 100 000 IDR = 6 Eur

Don’t forget, safety comes first, and when travelling on a budget you should, in faraway lands, have safety on your mind when booking transportation or accommodation.

Accommodation in Bali

Talking about cheap holidays, you will find Bali affordable and mostly cheap. In most touristic places, prices will vary from cheap to moderate, considering Western standards.

Because Bali is so touristy, locals and Westerners who build restaurants and hotels for Westerners charge more for their services. But there are still many options to choose from.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Most hotels have a swimming pool. And if you don’t have one, you can pay to spend the day at a pool. Very affordable. This was in Lombok, and it cost 100k IDR (~6 euros). Beach, pool for the entire day. Check out the Novotel resort from Lombok

As one Australian from Lombok said, “Bali is like Disneyland, and here is the real Indonesia.” Indeed, Bali is crowded with nice hotels and Airbnb, with prices ranging from very cheap to expensive.

Five-star hotels are easy to find, but lucky many homestays still exist. I stayed with both. The hotels can be amazing, and you will not pay more than 100 Eur per night for a double room, in a 5* hotel. And it’s pretty amazing especially if you are the comfortable type.

But homestays have come a long way. For 25 Eur I got a double room, private bath, AC, and an amazing breakfast. Central location, a beautiful pool at the location and friendly and helpful owners. In Europe, you would get a bunk bed in a hostel, and that’s about it for the same amount.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Check out my accommodation in Ubud.

As always, travelling on a budget is up to each one of us, but for sure it is easier to do in Asia. My advice would be to save for the flight and watch out for airline promotions, at least to somewhere near Indonesia, and be ready for last-minute deals.

Perks: Balinese Massage and Beer

I have to mention a few other things related to Bali. The Balinese massage is amazing and it’s a must. I bargained even for that, but I have never seen it cost more than 7 Eur. I paid 4.5 Eur for 1 hour and it was amazing. I am just sorry I didn’t go for more massages in Ubud.

Holidays to Bali, Indonesia? Here is some Bali travel advice to know beforehand!
Here are 4 oils to choose from for your massage. This was a fancier place, but all places have very nice oils and masseuse. A Complimentary drink is a common practice in Indonesia.

Bintang is the local beer, and it’s fairly easy to find.

Alcohol is not exactly tied to local culture, but Bali is more liberal than the rest of Indonesia as it’s the only non-Muslim island. The prices vary from affordable in the supermarket to a bit pricey in hotels and bars. Compared to local prices for food and other items, alcohol is expensive, but it’s still affordable if you are coming from a developed country.

And I have great news if you are still interested in Bali. You can go backpacking in Bali.

Planning your holidays to Bali soon?

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog,

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