Bali Packing can be pretty easy! Although, it definitely helps if you have been before, so these Bali packing tips will be paticuarly helpful for travellers making their way to Bali for the first time.
Bali Packing Overview
Think Bali. Think Hot.
Thanks to Bali’s beautiful tropical climate, Bali is warm all year round. You will not need to take up valuable space in your suitcase with jumpers and coats! Nope, all you need here is light clothing (mostly casual and then something a little more dressy for nice dinners/bars), shoes for what you want to do there (i.e. joggers for long walks/hikes, cycling, thongs for beach etc.) and swimmers (two pairs as you will probably be wearing them every day and they may not dry out in between). For temples, you do need to cover up, but this can usually be achieved by a sarong if you don’t have long pants/shirts.
Pack essentials but pack light.
Other things you need are travel documents, medications, and a camera! Most other things you can get there, like toiletries, electric adaptors, etc. But I do prefer to pack them so I don’t need to do a shop (for essentials – just clarifying) when I get there. We aim to pack the least of everything we may need. And it really is so freeing to pack light! When we went to Lombok and Gili islands for 1 week, we only took our carry-on backpack. Not only was it easy and stress-free, but we didn’t even use half the things we had in our backpacks…just goes to show what you can get away with packing! Keep reading for some handy Bali packing tips.
International Flight Packing Guidelines
Depending on where you start your journey, particular countries and airlines have restrictions and guidelines on what you can pack, and what you can take onboard. Click here for Bali packing guidelines on international flights originating in Australia.
Bali Packing Tips
Forget the beach towel.
There should be towels where you are staying, if not you can buy one there really cheap. A beach towel takes up so much room, there is no need to waste all that space and weight in your luggage. If you really want to take one, invest in a small, light beach towel.
I had to grieve over two beach towels before I learnt this one, as my beach towel is the first thing to go when I can’t close my bag at the end of a trip!
Pack less to save more.
If you are only going to Bali for a short period of time, and you think you can manage with carry on only, some airlines offer cheaper airfares for carry on only. Do keep in mind how much you intend to bring back, to see if this option works for you.
What make up?
Make up will either sweat off or wash off. Quickly. Skip it all together and substitute with a tinted moisturiser with suncream (e.g. BB cream) and a waterproof mascara. At least for the day time.
You wont need warm clothing, but take something that you can cover up for temple and other cultural activities. If you have no space, buy a sarong over there (this works for both male and female) to pop over your clothes.
We usually take 2 x debit cards, that are linked via internet banking. Debit card is great so we don’t spend money we don’t have. And two of them means that if we lose one or it gets stolen, we can jump online and transfer money into the other one (if we are quick enough). Always good to have a back up.
We also change some of our money into Indonesian Rupiah before we go, so we can use it at the airport and for taxi’s, and so we don’t have to rush to an ATM as soon as we get there.
Carry on vs Checked
Important things that you can’t replace or that are valuable to you should go in your carry on. For that reason we pack things like medications, travel documents (passport, accomodation booking information, debit card, Indonesian Rupiah etc), and technology items in carry on. It’s also handy to pack a spare set of clothes/underwear in case your checked bag gets lost in transit. And of course anything else you want on board with you… we like to take a pen and notebook, pocket tissues, plane socks (yes, think bed socks you wear on a plane, that we call plane socks) and anything that makes your flight comfortable. We often pack carry-on only, and have found so many benefits.
Technology – less is more.
When we travel we prefer to have a camera and maybe an ipod for music at most. What we love about travel is a feeling of escape. Feeling lost in a good way. There is something exciting yet calming about knowing your phone isn’t about to ring and your not going to waste your day on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong…I love technology and all that it brings, but I love having a break from it just as much!
If you do take your own mobile phone overseas ensure you have international roaming enabled. For a cheaper alternative, take an old phone and buy a sim card in Bali. This will cost you a lot less then international roaming, but you need to make sure the phone you take is not locked to a carrier. If you are going for an extended holiday, just buy a mobile in Bali.
Give photocopies of all your travel documents to a family member or someone you trust who is not going on the holiday. This way you still have a copy of your important documents if you lose yours.
To pack or not to pack?
You can buy a lot of things in Bali, such as clothes and toiletries. I prefer to pack most things so I don’t need to go shopping as soon as I arrive. Packing travel size toiletries helps, so you can throw out the empty bottles in Bali so you have more room for packing any shopping you may have done!
Bali Packing List
Now you have some Bali Packing Information, how about a Bali Packing List to get you on your way? Find your Bali Packing List Here.
HELP!!!… I am going to Bali for a wedding but don’t know what type of dress to wear! So I go with a short dress or is it ok to wear a long dress or will I get too hot?
Hi Amelia! Bali is always hot so I would be leaning towards light, breathable materials, either a short dress or maxi dress. But that will depend on the wedding dress code too :) Enjoy the wedding!
Wonderfully helpful information! Thank you so much ! :)
Thanks Sharleena we appreciate your comment so much :) If you have any Bali questions on your mind, let us know :) Hope you have the best time in Bali!
Hi Mandy and Chris
I will be in Bali this summer.
I’m interested in practicing yoga in Ubud. Any suggestions?
Hi Michelle, In Ubud you will not be short of some great Yoga studios. We loved Bodyworks, but other options include Radiantly Alive, Yoga Barn, Intuitive Flow and Ubud Yoga House. Have a great time in Bali :)
Hi, I’m planning to go to Bali next year 2018 it really help me a lot to plan my trip 🙂 BTW, I really like your luggage 😉😊
PS: I love your site ❤
Hi Marie, so happy it’s helped! Thank you so much, that means a lot :) Have a great time in Bali :)
Excellent info. Cheers guys; much appreciated. ?
Like the previous guy, do you have any recommendations for sights/locations?
Hi Gary, thanks so much :)
There are so many different areas and things to do in Bali, it really depends what you’re interested in. We love exploring the beaches around the Bukit Peninsula (Bingin is a favourite), having a seafood dinner on the beach in Jimbaran and rice terrace walks around Ubud or Sidemen. Here’s another post we wrote with some more suggestions https://almostlanding-bali.com/20-things-to-do-in-bali/
Hope this helps, let us know if you have anymore questions and have a great time in Bali :)
Hi Mandy & Chris,
just about to leave Perth for Bali (3rd – 11th January 2016), I have found your site both informative and straight-forward. Well done on that! We hope to see as much of the local life and culture as possible, so can you suggest some “must see” sights/locations?
Many thanks in advance.
Only just getting to your comment and realised I have missed you :( So sorry, would have loved to give you some suggestions. Hope you had a fantastic time in Bali, and if you come again definitely get in touch :)
Your blog is the most helpful thing I have read so far for my 2 week Bali trip!!
I’m still a bit stuck on currency
Travelling from the UK – some people have suggested taking US$, some people say just cards, some people say change money there but look out for being ripped off
Hard to know what to do! Any further money tips??
Hi Louise, Thanks so much!
This is what we do on our trips. We take $50 US dollars per person, to cover the Visa on arrival at the airport. This is only $35 US dollars per person, but they give you your change in IDR, so it gives you some small notes of local currency.
Other then this we just withdraw money at ATM’s in Bali. There are ATM’s at the airport too.
You can change money over here, you do just need to be mindful of where you get it changed and count your money before you leave. This trip, we have found it easier just to withdraw money as you go.
We also try to make the most of earning frequent flyer points, so we use our credit card as much as possible (but not to withdraw money).
Hope this helps, let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great time in Bali :)