Bali is without any doubt, one of the most popular travel destinations, offering travelers endless adventure opportunities and some of the world’s most stunning landscapes. Since you got to this article, I suppose you’ll be visiting this divine island soon and are wondering what to pack for Bali. Well, after reading this ultimate Bali packing list, you will be ready for every situation that you might come across during your trip. The biggest variable when traveling to Bali is the time of the year in which you’re visiting. That’s why you should…
Be prepared for the different seasons
The dry season is on between the months of May and September. During this time of the year, you can see nothing but sunny skies and humid weather, with rain nowhere to be found. If you like to sunbathe at the beach all day and have the option to choose, I would advise you to visit during the dry season.
However, Bali is equally appealing even in the rainy season, which covers most of the year (October to April). Don’t let this discourage you, all-day downpours aren’t that often. The mornings are sunny more often than not. The rain usually comes in the afternoon but it clears up by sunset. Another advantage of visiting Bali during this time of the year is the fact that there will be fewer tourists around compared to the dry season.
Before we move on to the actual Bali packing list, I would like to cover a few…
Cultural aspects you should have in mind while packing
With a large Hindu population, the local Balinese culture is a bit different than the rest of Indonesia. And even despite the influx of foreign tourists, the local culture is conservative. You won’t find a lot of locals wearing western clothes and you’ll notice that their shoulders and knees are usually covered. Of course, locals don’t expect foreign visitors to be dressed in the same way but you should be aware of this, especially if you’re planning to visit some temples. That’s why you should have a sarong with you ( I suggest you buy it in Bali) because if you don’t, you can get it in every temple but you will be charged for it.
With that being said, let’s cut to the chase. We’ll start with some…
Clothes you’ll want to take with you
Shorts– this is what you’ll be wearing most of the time in Bali.
Light shirts to go along with those shorts. They are also great for protecting against mosquitos in the evening hours.
Flip flops – the third and final piece of the ultimate Bali outfit.
Other tops (for the girls)- as many as you think you need.
Sandals – I use and love Birkenstocks vegan sandals.
Dresses – to go along with the tropical weather. Perfect for your Instagram photos 😊
Bathing suit– a very obvious choice…
Exercise clothes – in case you want to do some yoga or go for a hike.
If you ‘re hiking, you’ll obviously need some hiking shoes as well.
Bali is filled with water-related adventures and you never know when you might come across a sleeper surface. Just to stay on the safe side, consider packing a pair of water shoes.
You’ll still need most of these things in the rainy season too, plus you’ll also want to take….
A Rain Jacket or a Poncho – always carry a poncho in your backpack in case it starts raining while you’re out. However, if you’re planning to hike or trek in rainy conditions, definitely take a rain jacket. It’s also necessary if you’re planning to explore by motorbike.
Closed Shoes – unless you don’t mind your feet getting wet.
What about medicines and other essentials?
You’ll probably be coming from somewhere far away and that means you probably have to take a long flight. This oftentimes means you’ll have to face jetlag. Personally, jetlag never happens to me but if you struggle with it, consider taking some melatonin gummies.
Another medication that will probably come in handy is activated charcoal to prevent the “Bali belly” from occurring.
Even the most seasoned travelers are not immune to seasickness and this might happen if you’re planning to visit one of the neighboring islands. I don’t like medical patches or chews and I usually recommend everyone to use motion-sickness wrist bands instead. They apply light pressure to certain points on your wrists, helping your body stabilize. The best part is that they can be reused again and again.
Another thing you might want to take with you is a mosquito repellent bracelet. It’s great because you don’t have to spray anything or apply it to your body or plug it in your room. You’ll be protected from annoying mosquitos as long as you wear it and they last for an incredibly long period of time.
Finally, don’t forget sunscreen, even in the rainy season! UV rays can permeate cloud cover and your skin might burn even when it appears to be cloudy.
With that being said, let’s get to the next point…
Accessories you need to pack for Bali
High-Quality Sunglasses – to protect you from the intense Balinese sun. Also consider…
Head torch – especially if you’re going for a sunrise hike.
A waterproof day backpack– the number of people damaging their phones or cameras due to water damage is still surprisingly high. This is the case probably because a lot of people still underestimate the importance of a waterproof backpack in which you can store all of your valuables while exploring around.
Quick Dry Towel– I guess you’re starting to see the pattern here. The weather in Bali is very humid and you’ll want to take a lot of waterproof/quick-dry things. A quick-dry towel is a great choice if you want to dry off quickly after a surf or a swim and head to the next destination.
Life-straw or a water bottle with a built-in filter– the tap water in Bali isn’t safe to drink and will likely upset your stomach. Bottled water is available everywhere but consuming it also means creating more waste of plastic. With the increased number of tourists, this has been a big problem on the island. If you want to be a responsible traveler and help the environment, bring along this nifty little device that turns non-drinkable water to drinkable.
Travel clothesline– drying your clothes in Bali can be a struggle due to the humid weather if you don’t come across a drying machine. With this simple device that takes up a minimal amount of space, you can dry your clothes anywhere, including your room.
Finally, if you’re staying in a hostel, you’ll want to pack an eye mask and earplugs for obvious reasons.
Electronics you need to pack for Bali
The first and most important thing is the power adapter. The most common power outlet in Indonesia is the two-pronged CEE7 that works on a voltage of 230 volts. If you’re coming from Europe, you don’t need an adapter. However, if you come from the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Malaysia or Singapore, you might want to take a small universal adapter for your devices.
Indonesia is one of the countries with “partial” internet censorship. More than 800,000 websites are censored and If you want to keep up with your favorite websites, you might want to equip yourself with a reliable VPN.
Also, keep in mind that Bali can be a bit difficult to get around especially if you get off the beaten track. This means that probably you’ll need to use your phone’s maps to navigate around and we all know how much batter can that consume. In order to make sure your battery doesn’t die while you’re trying to find your way, also bring a reliable power bank. Another reason to bring a power bank is the unpredictable power cuts, which aren’t that frequent as other parts of Southeast Asia but still do occur.
What not to pack for Bali
If you’re thinking to pack some of the following items, don’t do it. They aren’t that necessary and even if you need them, you can buy them in Bali for a fraction of the price it would cost in your country.
- Snorkel gear-Why buy when you can rent it?
- Expensive jewelry or other accessories: you should be aware that you’ll have to bargain when buying a lot of things in Bali. And if you wear flashy jewelry or accessories, the starting price will always be higher for you.
- Umbrella- why let the umbrella take a lot of space in your bag when you can buy it in Bali for less than $1?
- Don’t take a lot of clothes- even if you run out of clothes, you can always buy a couple of new pieces for a very cheap price.
Finally, I would like to mention a few more things you should know before packing for Bali and address a few issues you should be aware of. Don’t forget that you’re a guest in Bali and that you should…
Be a responsible traveler
I mentioned above that one of the island’s worst problem is plastic waste. That’s why, while on the island, you should try to decrease the waste you’re leaving behind as much as you can. Here are a few ways in which you can do that.
When in a restaurant, always ask your server NOT to bring you plastic straws. If possible, carry a metal straw in your backpack. If you’re taking an order to go, try using your own Tupperware, rather than the single plastic boxes most restaurants will give you. Also, get a reusable cup, which is great for coffee and other takeaway drinks. Have a reusable tote bag when you go for grocery shopping or anything and try to avoid plastic bags at all costs. Finally, encourage other people you meet to do the same. We all need to contribute if we want to preserve this heaven on Earth in the condition it is.
Have you ever been to Bali? Do you think I didn’t mention some must-pack items? Let me know in the comments.