One of the most common questions we get from people who are thinking about going to Bali is… Is Bali Safe? After spending so much time in many different parts of Bali, we can honestly say that we have always felt safe. But I don’t think you can say a destination is ‘safe’. It’s almost like saying you can guarantee nothing will ever happen. But the truth is, I think everywhere has a element of risk, including where you live. The most important thing you can do is come prepared and aware. So how to stay safe in Bali? Here are our top tips…
How To Stay Safe In Bali | Before You Go
Is Bali safe? There are so many things you can do before you go to reduce your risks for any trip. Here’s what we do…
Always Purchase Travel Insurance
In our opinion, Travel Insurance is absolutely essential for every trip. You never know what can go wrong, from delayed flights to lost luggage to medical concerns. Holidays aren’t meant to be stressful, and by having travel insurance, you have less to worry about and have somewhere to turn if things go wrong. We’ve been using Good2Go Travel Insurance for a few years now, as it came well reviewed, is recommended by CHOICE and suited our needs. It’s always hard to fully review travel insurance until you have made a claim, and now we can say, after 4 incidents travelling last year and multiple claims, that we’re happy with Good2Go Travel Insurance.
Even if you don’t think anything will go wrong, even if you’re careful, trust me, things can still happen. When we were in Bali last year I managed to cut my head quite deeply and needed 5 stitches. Ouch! How did this happen, you might be wondering? Oh, you know, one morning, relaxing in our beautiful hotel room in the middle of the jungle, the doorbell rang, and somehow before I had time to get to the door, I ran into the corner of the in-room safe door, and lets just say a lot of blood and pain later, I found out I needed stitches. All this from the hotel room?!?!
Make sure to go to your doctor well before your trip, as some vaccinations require a few doses over a period of time. We are not doctors and can’t tell you what you will need, but vaccinations that we have had specifically for this region include Typhoid and Rabies. Other vaccinations which we have required for general travel/life or you may have had as a child include Hep A, Hep B and Tetanus.
Rabies is a vaccination that the doctor may discuss with you and generally let you decide what you think. For years we didn’t get the Rabies vaccinations, but after a little more research and discussing with our doctor, we decided it would be best for our situation. Make sure you discuss the full details of the Rabies vaccination with your doctor to make an informed decision.
Take a soft copy of your important documents
We always scan/take a photo of our important documents like passport, cards and travel insurance policy so we can access them overseas if anything gets lost.
Smartraveller is an Australian government website where you can get the latest safety advice. You can even register your travels so you or your family can be contacted in an emergency.
Different Ways To Access Money
We always make sure we have at least 2 different ways to access money when travelling to Bali, and keep them separately. We usually have two different debit cards and two different credit cards, in case one gets stolen or skimmed. In Europe, we’ve had a credit card skimmed and it’s so handy to have another credit card, or even a supplementary card so you can still access that account.
How To Stay Safe In Bali | During Your Holiday
Riding a motorbike in Bali looks like an awesome idea, but the truth is if you don’t have experience and the proper licence it’s just not worth it. The roads in Bali are super congested in a lot of areas and driving conditions will be completely different to what you’re use to. Accidents are also pretty common. If you don’t have the proper licence, helmet and travel insurance policy, your travel insurance probably won’t cover you. You may also get fined by the local police. I will admit that on the smaller islands like Nusa Lembongan, a moped is pretty much the only way to get around, and here, we have ridden mopeds so we can fully explore. The main difference is that there is very little traffic on the roads, but that still doesn’t mean accidents won’t happen. It’s basically at your own risk.
In Bali, we generally use taxi’s or private drivers to get around. Taxis are great to get from A to B (we use bluebird taxi’s). For day trips we us private drivers so we can explore more of Bali.
Watch Your Drinks
Drink spiking and methanol poisoning has occurred in Bali. It’s so important to watch your drinks and buy your drinks from reputable venues or pre-packaged bottles of brands you know.
Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes
Dengue Fever and Zika Virus are both mosquito born and have occurred in Bali. So it’s important to protect yourself from mosquitoes. We use mosquito repellent with DEET, stay in accommodation with air-conditioning, and wear light long clothing where possible.
Drink Bottled Water
You can’t drink the tap water in Bali, so remember to always buy bottled water and have some in your hotel room. Most hotels will provide bottled water.
Be Aware Of Footpaths
Some footpaths in Bali aren’t in good condition and may have holes/drops so always be aware when you’re walking.
Beaches And Swimming
Some of Bali’s beaches can have really strong currents. Try to swim at patrolled beaches in between the flags.
Indonesia has very strict drug laws. It’s important to avoid drugs completely without exception.
Keep Valuables Safe
Keep your valuables in the in-room safe in your hotel. When out and about, keep your valuables close to you, especially when using your phone. Motorbikes have been known to grab phones off people walking and using their phone.
So Is Bali Safe?
So is Bali safe? We have had the most amazing experiences in Bali and Balinese people are extremely friendly and welcoming. At no point have we felt unsafe in Bali. Of course, we also have a responsibility to treat Bali with respect and to be prepared and aware so we can enjoy Bali to it’s fullest. And of course there are no guarantees no matter where you go, including just at home doing your normal daily routine. So go and enjoy beautiful Bali ;)
This post is in collaboration with Good2Go Travel Insurance, whom we personally have used for the last few years :)