Bali, Indonesia: land of white sandy beaches, glittering temples, cute but evil monkeys, lush green jungles, and active volcanoes. It’s no wonder that Bali tops the bucket lists of everyone who’s ever watched Eat Pray Love (or casually browsed through Instagram for 5 seconds). We were enchanted by the whole island of Bali during our 2 week trip (check out our itinerary)!
Although we tend to be terribly accident prone and make lots of dumb mistakes during our travels, our trip to Bali was nearly disaster-free – I mean, we did crash a motorbike one time, but that’s it. So we’ve got tons of great advice to pass along! In our essential Bali packing list, we’re including everything you need to bring stay cool, comfortable, and healthy (also eco-friendly) whether you’re hostel hopping or staying in beautiful bungalows and villas.
While we will get into the specifics of what to bring and why, we’re not going to tell you how many t-shirts or pairs of underwear to pack; we trust you to figure that out for yourself. Here’s what you’ll find in this post:
Because we know how tricky packing can be, we also created a printable Bali packing list that you can download fo’ free so you can prepare for an amazing trip! Get the guide here:
We also have a Podcast episode all about Bali! Monkey thieves, temples, Jeremy crashing a motorbike into a tree, and coffee made from … er, poop. Lia and Jeremy are talking about the breathtaking island of Bali, including all of the must-dos and please-do-nots.
Listen above or just click here to launch your Podcast app! Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes.
Psst: Looking for more travel tips to help you plan your trip to Bali? Check out some of our other helpful posts!
- The Perfect (Detailed) Bali Itinerary for 2 Incredible Weeks
- 25 Things Nobody Tells You About Backpacking Bali, Indonesia
- How to Visit Bali on a Budget: 8 Money-Saving Tips
Heads up! There’s a great sign-up bonus for our favorite travel credit card right now that’s worth $750 in travel rewards.
We highly recommend picking one up before the holidays to make hitting the minimum spend requirement easier…and, you know, pay yourself back!
Where would you go with $750?? (We have some ideas…) Hurry up and snag one before the offer expires!
Frequently Asked Questions About Bali
These are some of the most common questions that we get asked about Bali. If we missed something you’re wondering about, just drop us a comment at the end of this post!
What’s the best time of year to visit Bali?
Thanks to sitting very close to the equator, Bali is a destination with near-perfect weather year-round. The best time of year to visit is generally considered to be May, June, and July – while much of southeast Asia is either insufferably hot or horrifyingly rainy, Bali is the perfect tropical destination to visit during the summer!
We visited in July and enjoyed sunny weather with temperatures around the mid 80’s – cooler in Ubud near the mountains, hotter on the beach.
If you choose to visit Bali between October and April, you’ll be visiting during Bali’s wet season. Bring some rain gear, but don’t worry – you’ll still get plenty of sun.
Do the temples in Bali have a dress code?
You want to be appropriately modest to visit a Balinese temple: shoulders and knees should be respectfully covered for both men and women.
The most important requirement is a long sarong/scarf tied around your waist. Both men and women are required to wear one. I tried to bring our own and wear that, but it didn’t fly, and I didn’t quite understand why but didn’t want to make a fuss about it like an a**hole. Not to worry, though: we were either provided sarongs or given the ability to rent them inexpensively at the entrance to every temple we visited in Bali.
Once inside the temple, avoid PDA – no kissing or holding hands. And make sure not to step on any offerings!
How expensive is Bali?
The most expensive part of visiting Bali is the flight! Once you arrive, it’s definitely possible to travel on the cheap. We’ve got a whole post full of tips for traveling Bali on a budget.
Where should I go in Bali? I need help with my Bali itinerary.
We’ve got a massive post with complete details from our 2-week Bali itinerary, plus a few alternative spots that we wish we could have visited! Take a look here.
Do you have any other resources to help me plan my trip to Bali?
In addition to our posts about visiting Bali on a budget and our 2-week Bali itinerary, we’ve also got a post about things nobody tells you about backpacking Bali. To help you plan your trip, check out our travel planning guide. And to get you through that miserable 24-hour long flight, read our long haul flight essentials post!
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way let’s dive into what to pack for Bali.
What to Pack Your Stuff In
We recommend packing a backpack or small, lightweight carry-on suitcase for Bali, particularly if you’ll be taking your stuff with you on a ferry to the Nusa or Gili islands, which involves porters carrying your bags through waist-deep water. We felt a lot better knowing our backpacks were safe on someone’s back – more than the heavy suitcases stacked on their heads! (That said: nobody’s bags got dropped. We’re just paranoid.)
Anyway, here’s what to pack your stuff in so you stay organized and can easily move from place to place.
- Carry-On Size Travel Backpack: We love the ease of carrying a carry-on size backpack on our travels. I was able to fit everything I needed for a 2-week trip in this backpack. The pack is well constructed, the stomach and chest straps make it comfortable to carry all day long, the back-loaded space is plenty roomy, and the bag is designed to be theft deterrent. This is my go-to backpack for carry-on travel.
- Carry-On Size Suitcase:If you prefer to pack a suitcase, this little carry-on sized bag is my go-to. It’s well constructed, super lightweight, and small enough to fit the carry-on requirements of even the most picky and restrictive budget airlines. It’s a great dupe for the smallest Away suitcase, which is a little more pricey.
- Packing Cubes: We LOVE packing cubes. Nothing makes unpacking your stuff and putting it into a hostel locker or closet easier than packing cubes. Not to mention it keeps you organized and sane. We pack ours by rolling our clothing rather than folding it, which saves us space and also helps prevent wrinkles. Win-win!
- Laundry Bag, Toiletry Bag, & Shoe Bag: When you’re backpacking, anything inside your backpack is gonna get all over everything else. So we keep them separate using different bags. Our laundry goes in a laundry bag so it doesn’t get moldy or smell up our clean clothes (note: both suitcases have guilt-in laundry bags). The shoes we aren’t wearing fit into a little re-usable shoe bag so we don’t get whatever we’re walking through all over our stuff (gross). And the toiletry bag keeps our belongings protected from leaks, spills, or moisture.
- Lightweight Packable Day Bag: We each carry a day bag. This lightweight, packable backpack is perfect for some snacks, a water bottle, our phones, and whatever we need for the day. Since we’re always toting around camera gear too (cuz ya know … blogging), Jeremy wears this backpack.
What to Wear in Bali
Clothing is one of the hardest things to pack for travel. On the one hand, you don’t want to look like a hot mess (or an obvious tourist). On the other hand, you don’t want to be totally unprepared and end up hiking in a sweaty pair of jeans.
For reference, we visited in July, and the weather was hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 80’s. Here’s the best clothing to pack for your trip (for men and women, and everyone in between)!
Note: We didn’t list out everything here, so make sure you have plenty of basics, like… you know, underwear and stuff.
- Lightweight Dresses & Rompers: One of my favorite things to wear when it’s hot out is a breezy dress or romper! I look for fabrics that will be travel-friendly and breathable in hot weather, such as cotton, linen, viscose or rayon (both are made from bamboo) and lyocell (which is biodegradable and made from Eucalyptus trees). And because I’ve got big ol’ thighs, I also make sure to wear a pair of comfy, stretchy bike shorts underneath to keep my thighs from getting irritating, uncomfortable chub-rub (anti-chafe sticks help too). My favorite rompers are this linen romper from Old Navy, and this cute eco-friendly plant-print romper.
- Hemp Clothing: Hemp is a fantastic travel textile that feels almost exactly like soft linen. It’s also temperature regulating, meaning it’s cool to the touch and keeps you cool when it’s hot out – but also insulates you when it’s cold out. It’s also naturally anti-bacterial, so you won’t get that stinky “I’ve been sweating in this for a week straight” smell. And as a huge bonus, hemp is more sustainable than most other textiles, requiring little water and almost no pesticides to thrive and grow. Hemp is even able to clean up polluted soil, making it a tool for actually fighting against climate change. Hell yeah! We’re still working on finding more amazing hemp clothing, but here are a few pieces we love:
- Wool Clothing: Much like hemp, merino wool is a travel miracle fabric. It keeps you cool when it’s hot AND keeps you warm when it’s cold. When it gets wet, you’ll stay comfortable while your clothing dries. It naturally resists the growth of fungus and bacteria, so it never stinks – a must-have for travel. It’s even flame retardant. What more could you ask for? Performance wool isn’t like the itchy wool of the past – it’s thin, stretchy, and and super soft to the touch. Honestly, much of the clothing we bring on trips is wool. Here’s what we brought to Bali:
- Quick Drying Shorts (His & Hers): Jeremy picked up a pair of these shorts to double as both his warm weather daily clothing item and his swimsuit. They’re a 2-for-1, which is super convenient for travel, and they work great! They dry quickly, making them perfect for hopping in and out of waterfalls, rivers, water temples, and the ocean and then resuming your normal travel activities. They never get dirty or wrinkly and always look fashionable. There’s also the women’s version, made out of the same stretchy quick drying material as my hiking pants.
- Hiking & Adventure Travel Pants (His & Hers): You’re going to need a pair of pants that serve multiple purposes and are up for adventure anywhere: beach, jungle, mountains, and city. These awesome quick-dry prAna hiking pants are designed with travel and hiking in mind and were up to every challenge we threw at them. Pick up a pair on Amazon or from REI.
- Travel Shoes: We have strong opinions on travel shoes – we have full posts about our favorite women’s travel shoes & men’s travel shoes. For Bali, we both brought leather Teva Sandals (his & hers). They’re super durable, lightweight, cute, and double as water shoes. We wore them pretty much every single day during our trip! We also each brought a pair of Allbirds Tree Skippers (his, hers), which are lightweight and breathable, and perfect for hot days with lots of walking. Plus, they’re eco-friendly!
- Ultra-Light Rain Jackets (His & Hers): If you’re visiting Bali between October and April, you’re visiting during the wet season and you should prepare for some rain. Our favorite rain jackets are some of the best rain jackets for travel. They’re ultralight and pack down into nothing so they’re easy to carry around just in case, and they’re incredibly water repellant.
Laundry, Toiletries, Makeup, etc
Here are our tips for doing your laundry on the go, staying fresh down there, and everything else you’ll need to not look like a hot mess during your trip to Bali.
- Toiletry Bag: We each put all of our toiletries in one of these bags and it’s SO convenient for travel! The bag hangs up in the bathroom so it never gets wet, and keeps you nice and organized so you can easily access everything you need. We upgraded to this from a big zippered pouch and MAN, what a difference it’s made!
- Travel Clothesline: This is a super handy tiny little clothesline that is easy to hang up almost anywhere. We bought it initially for laundry purposes, but it’s also really handy for wet bathing suits or towels that need to be strung up and dried. It weighs nearly nothing but is strong enough to hold a ton of wet clothing!
- Laundry Soap: We mostly stayed in vacation rentals and bungalows in Bali, not hostels or hotels, which meant that we had no access to laundry. That’s … not great for a 2-week trip. Luckily, we brought our travel laundry supplies with us! You don’t really need special soap to do your laundry on the go; regular strong castile soap works great. We like Dr. Bronner’s or biodegradable laundry wash. Just soap your stuff up in the sink or in the shower and hang it in the sun to dry.
- Mineral Sunscreen: This is least harmful type of sunscreen, according to science. Mineral sunscreens use two natural minerals—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—as active ingredients. They basically simply sit on top of your skin and protect it by physically reflecting away UV rays, like tiny little mirrors. Meanwhile, regular chemical sunscreen soaks into your skin and ends up in your bloodstream (and breast milk, according to this study) which squicks me out – and it’s terrible for the environment. Mineral sunscreens do not soak into your skin (according to this study) and are less harmful to the environment. So even though mineral sunscreens can feel a bit heavier than chemical sunscreens, I prefer to use them anyway! I use this one for my body, and for my face I use this lightweight mineral face sunscreen.
- Shampoo, Conditioner, Etc: Most of the hostels we stay in don’t have those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner that you’d get at a nice hotel. And don’t count on finding anything decent at the store, either – plus, whatever brand you usually use is probably INSANELY expensive to buy abroad. Definitely bring your own to save money and protect your hair. We love using solid shampoo and conditioner bars – they’re super travel friendly, good for the environment (no plastic waste!) and won’t ever spill all over your stuff. You can pick some up at a Lush store or buy handmade on Etsy, like these shampoo bars and conditioner bars.
- Menstrual Cup: Pads and tampons are hard to come by when you’re traveling – we didn’t see a single grocery store or 7-11 during our entire trip to Bali, so I’m not even sure where I could have purchased them if I needed them. Plus they’re not environmentally friendly! So I’ve given up entirely on pads and tampons and fully embraced cup life. And it’s fantastic! No more leakage, which means less laundry in the bathroom sink. I can leave the cup in for a full day or more without having to worry about toxic shock syndrome or whatever. And keeping your cup clean is easy: just wash the cup with gentle soap (like your laundry soap) and water. I spritz it with a little apple cider vinegar as well, and some ladies boil theirs every few months. I keep mine in a little drawstring bag – no fuss, no mess, no environmentally harmful waste. Oh, and don’t worry, they’re actually really easy to put in. If you’re considering making the switch, do it!
Swimming & Snorkeling Essentials
Whether you’re going snorkeling, scuba diving, or swimming in Bali, you’ll need some gear to keep yourself – and your underwater friends – safe and happy. Here’s what you need to enjoy your time while swimming or snorkeling.
- Cute Bathing Suit: I literally have this suit in 3 different colors. It’s amazing. It’s perfect. It’s a freakin’ steal! Pick one up in every color from Amazon! If it’s not your style, check out my guide to the best swimsuits for curvy girls.
- Reef Safe Sunscreen. Going into the ocean? You need to wear reef-safe sunscreen. You know, unless you hate coral, fish, and also all of human life. Reef-safe sunscreen is designed to biodegrade and not harm ocean life. Regular sunscreen bleaches coral and ensures humanity’s swift death from climate change. So please, for the love of society’s inevitable collapse, wear reef-safe sunscreen if you’re going into the ocean!Although reef-safe sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen, not all mineral sunscreens are reef-safe – look for “Non-Nano Zinc Oxide” (more details here). This is my favorite reef-safe sunscreen, and I use this lightweight sunscreen from Sephora on my face.
- Rash Guard or Swim Shirt: I’m gonna be honest with you: applying reef-safe sunscreen can be a little unpleasant. It’s thick and doesn’t soak in easily. But like, I love animals and the environment. So my solution is actually to cover up my skin as much as possible so I don’t HAVE to wear sunscreen. Win/win! When swimming or snorkeling, especially in cold water (like in the Galapagos) I always wear a long-sleeved rash guard. They help to protect my skin from the sun and provide a little bit of added warmth (though not as much as a wetsuit). Another alternative I’ve done is wearing lightweight merino wool shirts (his & hers). The thin layer of wool protects my skin from the sun and insulates me, keeping me warm even when it’s freezing! Another good option is a white button-down quick-dry shirt.
- Swim Leggings: My butt is always the first thing to burn when I’m snorkeling, and I’m getting up close and personal with marine life which means I need to be extra cautious about sunscreen. Swim leggings let you move underwater without restriction while providing sun protection, and like a bathing suit, they dry quickly and stay comfortable once you’re out of the water. I love my swim leggings (and matching top) made by Waterlust, an ethical and sustainable conservation-focused apparel company. Their marine-life themed leggings are 100% chlorine, sun, saltwater and sunscreen resistant and made from recycled materials, and they have POCKETS! Sizes go up to 3XL.
- Snorkel Mask & Fins: We attempted to go snorkeling a few times in Bali, but it’s more of a scuba diving destination – which meant that even though there was plenty to see down below in the water, the provided snorkel gear was not great. I tagged along to snorkel while Jeremy was diving in Nusa Lembongan and attempted to use the free provided snorkel gear from my bungalow host in Amed, and both times I was constantly irritated by loose, broken, foggy, or just plain crappy snorkel gear. We’ve since made it a point to bring our own whenever we can. At the very least, bring a mask – this one is excellent and you won’t get a similar style on any tour!
- Anti-Fog Spray: Even if you don’t bring your own snorkel gear, at least bring your own anti-fog solution. Every time we rent snorkel gear, we end up surfacing to furiously spit in our masks every 10 minutes. So annoying! A little bottle of this will save you a LOT of irritation.
- Water Shoes: For every minute that you’re not wearing flippers, you’ll want to be wearing water shoes. Some of the beaches we visited, such as in Amed, were black rock sand rather than soft white sand, making it painful and difficult to wade into the water. Bring water shoes and your un-cut feet will thank me later. I swear by my trusty leather Tevas, and Jeremy likes classic close-toed water shoes. A reader recently suggested these nifty water shoes that look like cute tennis shoes and can be worn in and out of the water, and we’re excited to try them out!
- Dry Bag: Don’t set foot on a boat without putting your stuff in a dry bag, just in case. You never know when a wave is going to splash your sh*t. It’s also super handy for carrying around wet bathing suits and towels.
- Travel Towel: Towels are not typically provided on tours and hotel towels are forever too small for me, so we always bring our own full-sized, lightweight, quicky-drying travel towel.
What to Pack to Stay Healthy
We want you to have an amazing time in this once-in-a-lifetime destination, so here are the essentials to pack to keep you feeling clean, healthy, and happy!
Re-Usable Water Bottle: Although tap water isn’t safe to drink in Bali, bottled water isn’t expensive. However, buying bottled water every day means you’re wasting a TON of plastic, and Bali isn’t exactly up on its recycling game. You’ll often see (and smell) giant piles of plastic trash burning on the side of the road. So, please don’t contribute to the plastic choking Bali’s beautiful coral reefs and littering its beaches, and bring a re-usable water bottle! We actually had no trouble finding potable water: it was available for free in just about every restaurant, coffee shop, and hotel we visited. We were able to fill up our water bottle throughout our trip and rarely needed to resort to purifying our tap water.
- Water Purification: In addition to our reusable water bottle, we also brought along a Steri-Pen, a travel-friendly tool that uses LED lights to purify tap water. Just to be on the safe side – especially if you’re particularly susceptible to stomach sickness abroad – we’d recommend bringing a LifeStraw water bottle, which is basically just a regular water bottle with a powerful water filter attached to the mouthpiece.
- Permethrin Spray: When we found out that there was a bug repellent which adheres only to fabrics, leaves no smell or residue on clothes, and doesn’t harm human skin, we bought a few bottles and sprayed all of our clothing, paying special attention to hems, cuffs, and socks. As a result, we barely got bitten by any bugs during our trip to Bali! Permethrin spray lasts for up to 6 machine washes.
- Important Note: Permethrin is something to buy and use BEFORE you leave for your trip. Set a day or 2 aside for spraying all of your clothes – and make sure you spray outdoors.
- Insect Repellant Lotion: Most insect repellents are not worth that unpleasant oily feeling you get after applying them, the icky hacking cough you develop after spraying them, or that skin-burning feeling you get after applying strong chemicals to your skin. There is, however, one insect repellant that avoids these pitfalls, and it’s this amazing lightweight Picaridin lotion. You rub it into your skin and it absorbs crazy fast with no oily residue. It lasts all day. The coverage is amazing. It doesn’t smell disgusting and it’s never made my skin burn. I love it, and we take it with us on every trip. This is one of our tried and tested travel essentials and we’ve noticed that we tend to get a LOT fewer bites than our travel companions!
- Dramamine: Dramamine was our lifeline on every boat trip – to and from the Nusa islands, on scuba diving trips, etc. It also came in handy on long day trips through winding roads (we didn’t see a single highway in all of Bali). Even if you’re not usually prone to motion sickness, it’s best to bring a few along just in case!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: I know, this isn’t a typical travel item. But hear me out. ACV is an incredible multi-tasking travel problem solver that we used several times during our trip to Bali. We filled up a little travel spray bottle (we prefer glass for environmental reasons) with ACV from our pantry to bring with us, and here’s why. First of all: ACV helps soothe and heal sunburns. If you get a sunburn, mist a little ACV on a towel or directly on your skin to draw out the heat and jump-start healing. You’ll go from “I can’t put on clothes, it hurts too bad” to “itchy but doing OK” overnight – it’s insane. Secondly: ACV heals rashes. You know those awful bumps you get when you sit in your wet swimsuit for 2 hours on a boat ride back from a long day of snorkeling? Look, you know the kind of rash I’m talking about here. Well, ACV cures it! Sure, it hurts like hell when you spray it on, but the next day your rash is all gone and you’re ready to … sit for another hour in a wet swimsuit on a boat. Whee!
- Anti-Diarrhea Pill & Vaccinations: Here’s the good news: you won’t need anti-Malaria pills or altitude pills in Bali. Here’s the less-good news: even if you’re super careful about sterilizing your water, traveler’s diarrhea is still very common. Imodium and DiaResQ are fantastic to have on hand, but if you can, get a prescription antibiotic from your doctor to take with you just in case. You’ll also need to get your typical travel vaccinations before you go. Here’s the full list of recommended vaccinations for Indonesia from the CDC. We got all of them and stayed in good health during our trip.
- Stomach Enzymes: I have an easily upset stomach. My body doesn’t like dairy …or gluten …or corn… or anything processed … or anything delicious…. FML. But it’s really difficult to control what’s in your food while traveling, and sometimes the only thing that’s available is something that my stomach won’t like. So I brought my trusty stomach enzymes. They contain the things my stomach seems to lack to help it break down the elements in various foods and digest them. Since taking stomach enzymes I’ve greatly reduced instances of heartburn or indigestion, and seen a huge increase in my health from the more readily available nutrients that my stomach is now able to unpack and utilize! These are a lifesaver for me while traveling.
What to Pack to Stay Safe
We felt generally safe during our trip to Bali. That said, no matter where you travel, you’ll want to take some basic precautions to keep yourself safe, ESPECIALLY in big cities. We’re incredibly accident-prone, so we’re extra careful to keep ourselves safe and prevent theft – we’ve got a whole post about the safety precautions we always take when traveling: read it here.
- Travel Insurance: Traveler’s insurance is a must-have for travel safety! It protects you in case of a medical emergency, theft, and even covers the cost of your trip if you have to cancel it or end it early for a covered reason, like a death in your immediate family or sudden illness.We recommend World Nomads travel insurance, which includes extreme sports (including snorkelling. Why is snorkelling an extreme sport according to every travel insurance company? I have no idea, but I’m glad I read the fine print). We’ve had to file multiple claims with World Nomads and recommend them based on our experience. We also recommend SafetyWing for digital nomads or long-term travelers. Be sure to read all details to make sure you understand exactly what you’re paying for and how to use it in the case of an emergency (usually there’s a number to call or an email address to contact if you need help). For more details about what travel insurance covers and whether you need it, take a look at our travel insurance guide!
- Travel Credit Card: We book all of our trips on our favorite travel credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Not only do we earn cash back that we can spend on more travel, but the card also offers fantastic travel perks, like no foreign transaction fees, trip delay and cancellation coverage, lost baggage reimbursement, and rental car coverage, all of which helps protect us on our travels. We’ve filed several claims and the card has saved our butt many times! We’ve got a full review of the card. (Psst: shopping for your upcoming trip? You can put your purchases on the card to help you meet the sign-up bonus minimum spend!)
- Lightweight Combination Locks: It’s a good idea to keep locks on your day-packs and on your backpack, especially when you’re in transit. These little locks are more of a deterrent than anything heavy-duty. But most casual thieves are looking for an easy mark: a pocket to slip their hands into quickly, a bag left unlocked on a bus, etc. We lock every zipper on all of our bags with these little locks no matter where we travel, and we’ve never had anything stolen. Important side note: TSA-friendly travel locks are great for checked baggage, but for our day bags and non-checked luggage we actually prefer locks that AREN’T TSA friendly, because it’s super easy to manufacture the key that opens EVERY TSA lock. Ahhh!
- Travel Safe Wallet: It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if you’re a traveler, there’s a bit of a target on your back. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while traveling is carrying a wallet, especially in your back pocket. For any savvy pickpocket, that’s the first place they’re going to look. Some people say put your wallet in your front pocket, but why risk it? Instead, we opt to wear two different kinds of travel safe wallets: a money belt for Jeremy and a bra pocket (AKA Brocket) for Lia. We also have a zippered passport pocket that can hold a phone too, which we only really needed on travel days. And we’ve each got an emergency stash of cash and cards that stays buried in our backpacks safe and sound in our hotel or hostel, in case we’re robbed while out and about.
We actually spent quite a bit of time working in coffee shops in Bali, especially in digital-nomad friendly Ubud. But if you’re not the kind of loser who flies across the world just to work, you don’t really need expensive or heavy tech gear with you in Bali! Here are our favorite travel-friendly electronics.
- External Battery: I use my phone constantly while traveling: as a translator (using Google Translate) or currency converter, for maps, as a camera, to take notes, to pull up my itinerary and trip planning doc, and to check in back home whenever I’m on WiFi. Without my phone, I feel fairly helpless while traveling! So I always bring along this external battery stuffed in my day pack. It holds about 2-3 full charges and charges my phone FAST!
- Travel-Friendly Chromebook Laptop: Our beloved little Chromebook is our primary travel laptop. It’s capable of anything you need while on the road – yes, even managing your blog (so long as you don’t need complex stuff like Photoshop)! I actually started and ran our blog on this thing for a full year and a half. It’s super lightweight and incredibly fast. Sure, you need Wi-Fi for most of its capability, but we never had any issues finding Wi-Fi in Bali (GOOD Wi-Fi was more of a challenge). Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive, so you don’t have to be as afraid of it getting broken or stolen – and if it does, all of your stuff is already safely backed up on the Cloud. I once had my Chromebook stolen (in the USA). The thief was so disappointed with it (like … the minute they realized there is no black market for $150 Chromebooks), they actually brought it back to where they’d taken it. How’s that for theft protection?
- Travel Friendly Camera: Although our camera of choice is a hefty, professional-level Sony A7R II, you don’t need all that to get great photos of your vacation. All you need is the travel-friendly pocket-sized Canon Powershot, which appears deceptively cheap and old-fashioned to potential thieves but actually takes AMAZING photos. This is what we used for years before we eventually upgraded to our pricey DSLR. For underwater photos and videos, a GoPro is a great choice. This waterproof action camera is nearly as good as a GoPro but roughly a zillion times more affordable.
What to Bring on the Plane
Flying to Bali … sucks. (Unless you live in Australia, in which case, this section is not for you.) Coming from California – the western-most point of the USA – it still took us 24 hours to fly to and from the Denpasar airport. On the east coast? It’s going to be even longer. Luckily, we’ve gotten pretty good at surviving awful flights!
We’ve got a few tips which will help your long flight to Bali suck a little less. Tip 1: try to fly through Taiwan if you can – the airport is super adorable and has great food. We flew on Eva Air, and the food was amazing AND one leg of the trip was on a Hello Kitty themed plane! Yassss.
Here are a few more tips to minimize your misery – or you can just head to our guide to surviving long haul flights.
- Flight Essentials Kit: On every long trip, I bring a little zippered pouch with some plane essentials. I always include:baby wipes and deodorant to help minimize that gross plane feeling, lip balm and moisturizer because airplanes are horribly dry, cuticle clippers & a nail file because I pick when I’m bored or anxious, plane snacks, a collapsible travel cup to reduce plastic waste, a re-usable water bottle to help me stay hydrated, gum, hair elastics, dramamine, and headphones.
- Travel Pillow & Sleep Mask: I NEED to sleep on long flights. You don’t want t deal with me in a foreign country on 23 hours of no sleep – it’s not fun for anyone. So I bring my favorite travel pillow and a cozy silk sleep mask and block out the world. For loud planes (babies crying, etc) I bring a little pair of foam ear plugs (but I’m dying to try these headphones that are built into a comfy headband) .
- Plane Entertainment: Just in case you can’t sleep and the plane doesn’t have any good movies, pack yourself some back-up entertainment. We usually download a Podcast or 3 on a phone and bring an actual book or Kindle along. I also always keep my laptop handy – not because I’m fancy enough to shell out for expensive in-flight WiFi (that’s for first class business fliers and ballers) but because I can use it to do things like watch downloaded shows and movies, write this blog post (hayyyy) or edit some of the thousands of photos I still haven’t gotten around to looking at.
Printable Bali Packing List
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had all of the stuff we just recommended in one handy dandy printable packing list? Well, dreams DO come true, because we made a printable Bali packing checklist to help you pack for your trip to Bali! And yes, it’s FREE.
Sign up below and we’ll send the printable PDF directly to your inbox, PLUS plenty of helpful tips to help you plan your trip!
Whew, that’s everything! Do you have any questions about what to pack for Bali? Did we miss anything in our Bali packing list? Drop us a comment below!
Psst: Looking for more travel tips to help you plan your trip to Bali? Check out some of our other helpful posts!
- The Perfect (Detailed) Bali Itinerary for 2 Incredible Weeks
- 25 Things Nobody Tells You About Backpacking Bali, Indonesia
- How to Visit Bali on a Budget: 8 Money-Saving Tips
Looking for a way to hit the beach without getting sand in your pants? Check out our Virtual Vacation to the Beach: Take a Tropical (Virtual) Trip from Home
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