Packing for Bali or any other far-away place can be a bit of a struggle. What will they have there, and what do you need to bring? How is the weather? Will there be that one item you spent the whole trip wishing you had packed, or will you come home with an over-packed bag, pissed you didn’t need half of all that you brought?
If Bali is your next trip, I got you covered! Here is my list of essentials to pack for Bali: everything from clothes to toiletries.
Let’s start with clothes…
Think Light: I lived in easy dresses while we were in Bali. I also brought a pair of boardshorts that came in handy for more active activities. The climate is warm and at most places, you will be in and out of the water. I brought a few bathing suits, some shorts, and several light, easy dresses. I had packed two nicer dresses and managed to wear them both, but I would have been fine in my knit tank dresses, too. I brought one really light sweater and barley wore it (but a light sweater is always good to have, especially for the plane!). Bali is big on “indoor/outdoor,” so it’s rare you will be in a restaurant where the A/C is cranked.
Bring Extra: While I didn’t have this problem as bad as Micah did, I think it is important to point out! The climate in Bali is very tropical, so pack some extra shirts if you get sweaty easily. We had to find a laundromat to get some of Micah’s shirts washed. Another thing to keep in mind: the travel time is about 23 hours to get to Bali from LA, and after 23 hours in the same clothes, you won’t want to put those back on. I would definitely recommend bringing a set of clothes just for the journey home.
Sensible shoes: We went to Bali for our honeymoon, so I thought I should pack at least one pair of heels. I went with wedges and they were the biggest waste of space! Pack flip-flops and tennis shoes. If you want fancier shoes, you are fine with “fancier flip-flops.” Even at the high-end places, sandals are perfectly acceptable. Tennis shoes are great if you plan on doing any hiking. Bali has lots of great hikes and you will want some good shoes. I also packed a little pair of water shoes and they came in handy when we went rafting in Ubud. They are really compact and easy to squeeze into your bag.
Now other goodies:
Medicine: “Bali Belly” is a real thing. It’s basically the same thing as “Moctezuma’s revenge” in Mexico, when you drink bad water and get the runs–pretty much the worst thing that could happen during a vacation. Micah and I lucked out and neither of us got it, but we have a few friends who did. So I was prepared for the worst! Pack some Pepto-Bismol and Imodium just in case! I am prone to getting sick with colds when I travel, so I also brought some Vitamin C. It’s always better to have the medications you are used to than having to buy some, especially when the instructions are printed in another language.
Wipes: If you do get that “Bali Belly,” I am sure you would prefer to have wipes over thin hotel TP… While it’s important to note that Bali doesn’t have as advanced plumbing as the U.S. and some places run off of septic tanks (so you can’t flush wipes), you can throw them in the trash. Grab a travel-sized pack of Cottonelle wipes and keep them handy. When we were out shopping, there were a lot of restrooms with no toilet paper at all. Not a fun situation to be in–better to be prepared.
Sunscreen: I can’t stress this one enough! Bali is very close to the equator and the sun is strong! Bring maximum-strength sunscreen and remember to reapply often. Packing a bottle of aloe is also not a bad idea. We brought sunscreen, put some on, and then fell asleep on the upper deck of the boat we took to Gili T, and we both got burnt. Once we got to our resort, we were forced to by the overpriced bottle of aloe from the gift shop.
Overall, when packing for Bali, think more about the necessities and less about the outfit changes. It’s not a fashion-forward place–it’s a surf, hippie, beachy place. You will be happier that you packed the sneakers and the Pepto than the four pairs of high heels.
If you want to know more about Bali, check out our Two Week Bali Itinerary!
Or, if you are looking for some great eats in Bali, we got you covered, too!
Please reach out if you have any other questions on traveling to Bali. We are happy to share our experiences.