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My top tips and travel hacks for Bali, Indonesia

Having visited Bali on 3 separate occasions now, I feel I have a well-rounded idea of this tropical island and how to act, play and adventure accordingly within it, certainly well enough to pass on any travel tips I have for this beautiful island.

It comes as no surprise that the word has quickly caught on about this luscious, tropical haven and Bali, particularly in recent years, has seen a massive increase in tourism as a result. Some go as far to say that Bali has been ‘ruined’ but I disagree.

Bali is one of the most spiritual lands on the earth and it still offers an abundance of stunning beaches, sunset spots and cultural experiences for those seeking adventure. Of course, there are spots now that are a little too touristy for most people’s liking but there’s still so much untouched…

A Complete Guide to Bali, Indonesia | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up from my travels in Bali that might help you with your preparations…

1. The plug adapter you’ll need is the European 2-pole rounded pin plug.

As you can see on my world adapter. Shop the best value world adapters here.

2. They use a lot of sugar syrups in Indonesia.

If you are wanting a healthy shake or juice, be sure to ask for no sugar when ordering. Some don’t list it on the ingredients but will put it in anyway, unless you say otherwise.

Top Tips And Travel Hacks For Bali Indonesia | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

3. It’s time to get your barter on!

Bar the obviously western chains and shops here in Bali, you will be getting your barter on. There is usually a {pretty big} margin to play with when purchasing goods from stalls and markets. When you first arrive in Bali, it is a good idea to shop around before buying anything and speak to people to get an idea of the actual prices. In a lot of cases you can get the item for 40% of the original price offer. Bartering can get slightly irritating and it definitely made me appreciate set prices after a while. Saying that, bartering can also get you a really good bargain and can be a lot of fun too!

4. Carry cash with you!

A lot of restaurants, stalls, markets and travel agencies will be cash only so it’s a good idea to have money on you. Obviously you don’t want to be carrying a LOT of cash around but just be wary of having enough on you. ATM’s aren’t common in Indonesia, particularly if you venture off to one of the neighbouring islands.

5. Dress respectably.

When entering temples be sure to cover your knees with a long skirt / sarong and your shoulders too, where possible. Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country and I would always advise to respect the views and religion through which you are travelling.

Top tip: If you’re riding a scooter, make sure you wear sunnies to keep your vision clear. Roads and traffic pollution can cause debris / blurry vision if not prepared.

6. Example transport costs:

  • Hiring a driver for the day in Bali costs about 700,000 IDR.

For £36 you can fill a car with friends and travel all over the island with a private chauffeur!

  • Renting a scooter for the day costs around 65,000 IDR

7. Warung translates to ‘snack hut’ and is where you will find local food / businesses.

8. Homestays are the cheapest way to travel.

Homestays usually involve staying in a family run property in a basic, but usually clean room. Prices are around 200,000 IDR for this type of accomodation and can often include breakfast too.

The perks of homestays are similar to that of Airbnb. You save major pennies, you experience the local way of living and you get tips and tricks from the locals themselves. A lot of the homestays aren’t searchable online as they don’t have the marketing or budget available. You will just need to turn up and find them. They aren’t at all hard to find though, trust me.

Browse my favourite Bali Airbnbs here.

9. Be careful of ‘Bali belly’!

Our stomachs aren’t as resistant to bacteria as the locals and so eating / drinking the same as them can cause issues. Bring some imodium, be mindful and stay hydrated. {Bali’s version of Gatorade – Pocari Sweat – is a great way to hydrate in the tropical weather}.

10. Watch the local water.

Drink bottled water wherever and whenever you can. I did all but one night when I had a few cocktails that I believed contained ice made of the local water. I was ill with stomach cramps for about 3 days and was very sick! You don’t want to be spending half of your vacation in bed. Water is super cheap too at 5-15,000 IDR so stick to it. No brainer!

If you find yourself with Bali Belly… Drink coconut water, grab some activated charcoal tablets or consider called out The Dose (a IV drip service in Bali that will fill you up with all the right vitamins and minerals to get you back out of bed and off the toilet).

11. Download the ‘Refill Bali’ app.

Having said the above, people in Bali (and all around the world) are becoming much more mindful of the plastic they are using, so one of my best travel tips for Bali is to get this app. It will direct you to places that are willing to refill your reusable bottle with drinking water, often for free!

12. Prepare for the humidity.

The humidity is usually high in Bali so you’ll never need as many clothes as you think! Bikinis and sarongs are the one. Quick dry items and a variety of coverage is a great call too.

13. You need mosquito plugs.

Before you leave or when you get to Bali, buy a mosquito plug to reduce the damage done by the buggers! They are inexpensive to buy here and a great additional precaution.

14. Buy a local mozzie spray.

Here in Bali they have many natural lotions with less chemicals in and ones that are more effective to the local mosquito.

Top Tips And Travel Hacks For Bali Indonesia | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog
Top Tips And Travel Hacks For Bali Indonesia | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

15. Bokashi Rub

My best travel tip for Bali: buy some Bokashi rub in Bali to treat your mosquito bites! This was an absolute god send {literally stops all itching} and is something you can get it in the pharmacies in Bali. Bokashi Rub is an oily yellow substance, a bit like tiger balm, but I actually preferred this stuff.

16. Bali etiquette

In a lot of shops it is etiquette to take your shoes off before you enter.

17. GoJek is great.

This food delivery service and app allows you to order any cuisine or takeaway and get it delivered to you for pennies… literally. Food or alcohol – GoJek pick it up and delver it to your door.

18. Pre-purchase your checked baggage!

When flying in Indonesia check your baggage allowance beforehand and purchase any additional kg’s  you need online. This will save a fair few pennies as the prices considerably hike at the airport.

19. Sim cards are super cheap.

Sim cards can be picked up in most street vendors or if you’re super keen… right outside departures when you land at the airport. WIFI is available everywhere but if you’re looking for more frequent communication with the outside world then get a sim. I have never had one in Bali but I’ve heard Telkomsel Flash 4G is a good one to get.

20. Make sure you try the local food!

Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur and Mie Goreng are up there with the best. Don’t be afraid to eat from a local vendor; eating in Western establishments just isn’t the same. Eating local is also the cheapest way to eat in Bali so you’re saving the pennies and digging into their yummy culture!

Want to know more before heading to Bali? Check out my complete guide to Bali here.


Have you been to Bali?

What are your top travel tips? I’d love to know!

Love as always + happy adventuring,


My top tips and travel hacks for Bali, Indonesia




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