My recent trip to Bali was quite the learning experience. Having lived in Indonesia for a little less than half my life, I took a few things for granted but travelling with my boyfriend Matt gave me a taste of independence as well as what it’s like to be a tourist in Bali. On this blog, I will be sharing some travel tips that I hope may help or inspire you on your travel.
Looking back, there were admittedly a few regrets regarding things that I forgot to pack but it still made for a pretty amazing holiday. Here are a few things you should know.
What you MUST bring to Bali:Sunscreen and Aloe Vera: I kid you not, it is a life saver and you will need it. On most days while on holiday in Bali, you will find yourself transforming into an aquatic creature. Spending 72% of your day in the water and 28% of in very close proximity of the water, unless you’re at the bar (which is usually in a pool) or stuck in traffic. You will need the sunscreen, not only to be sun-smart and protect yourself against skin cancer but also to save yourself the gut-wrenching pain of handing over 21AUD for a SMALL bottle of banana boat Aloe Vera. Which reminds me, bring your own aloe vera.
Indonesian Power Adaptor and a power board: For all you savvy travellers, you probably know the pain of forgetting power adaptors! In some of the newer hotels like the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, they have installed the walls with convertible power adaptors so all you really need is to bring a power board to charge all your devices. However, it is still a good idea to bring a power adaptor suited for Indonesia just in case. The 2 round pins power plug is the one you’re after.
Charcoal Tablets: I understand that not everyone will agree with this but it is common practice in my family to have charcoal tablets at hand to handle… how to put this delicately… The Bali Belly. There are no food safety regulation in Indonesia. It’s all eat at your own risk. While in most of the hotels food are quite safe, those continental buffets are not what you came to Bali for. Take the risk for food, trust me, it’s worth the pain after. Be smart and scope out the place, probably avoid food from the side of the road that’s on carts (even though they’re usually pretty delicious).
Other medications: If there is one thing that I would recommend you pack first, it is your usual medication, especially if it’s your blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes medication. The indonesian pharmaceutical companies work a little differently than those found in Australia and unsurprisingly, they carry different ranges of medication than what we do here. People are able to get antibiotics, without prescription, no questions asked. So to me, the effectiveness of the medication is questionable. Could they really trust people to self medicate? Especially since some of these medication have major side-effects and may not work well with other medication. It might work, but unlike food, medication is not something I would take my chances on.
Money: Bringing cash overseas is in my opinion the best way to go. On my last trip, I easily got by with 350AUD. That is, 7 days, food, shopping, massages and so much more. The exchange rate over there is better and there are numerous money changer lining the streets, competing with one another. Cards are also accepted in most established shops. However, you need to be aware of the international transaction fee when purchasing using your credit cards as well as when withdrawing money from the ATM.