Holidaying in Bali – Getting There and what to Pack

This blog comes at the request of some of our lovely Joy ladies. So I sat down and thought about all the information I could give you on this fabulous destination and as there is so much I have decided to split it into a series of blogs. So keep an eye out for upcoming blogs that will be jam packed with information, tips and plenty of ideas.

First up let’s look at getting there. Virgin and Jetstar both now offer direct flights out of Brisbane direct to Denpasar. The flight is just under 6 hrs. You can always keep an eye for Jetstar’s Friday Fare Frenzy which is on every Friday Between 4pm-8pm which gives all their latest specials.

You have booked your flights and now are wondering are there any essentials that I need to pack and arrange. We have found a few things over the years that we find helpful.

The first thing to do after you have booked your flights is to arrange some travel insurance. We have used Southern Cross Travel Insurance which we have found to be the best value insurance. Also, if you book your holiday with your credit card you may have complimentary travel insurance included so that is always worth checking first.

I always have a supply of immodium and coloxyl in case of Bali Belly. The coloxyl comes in handy just in case the immodium causes a few problems. However from my personal experience we have never had to use any of these. The food hygiene in Bali has come a long way in the last 10 years but it is always better to be prepared. Maxolon is handy to have but you will need a prescription from your Gp for this but it is very handy for nausea. I also always take a prescription for a broad spectrum antibiotic for the kids in case of ear infections etc, but I ask the pharmacist not to make it up. You can take it as a powder and that way you just need to add water to it if it is required.

We always take sunscreen as it is really expensive to buy in Bali. Make sure you don’t take it in your carry on luggage as it will get confiscated at the airport for being over 100 ml. We don’t bother with aerogard it is really cheap to buy and most villa’s will provide it for you.

Then as for clothing, anything goes in Bali, you definitely won’t need jeans, pants or jumpers. You can dress up or dress down. We normally take a pair of thongs, joggers and a couple of sets of clothes. You don’t need much as your laundry is done everyday and lets face it what you don’t have you can buy. We have in the past taken one bag and come home with extra’s. As long as you book extra luggage for the home journey and bags are really cheap to buy over there.

On arrival in Denpasar you will need to have cash available to pay for your visa. Once upon a time it had to be in US dollars but you can also pay in aussie dollars as well. The price as of February 2015 is $35 USD. (Visa Prices) or just click on the visa prices link.

After you have cleared customs, immigration and collected your baggage you are ready for your adventure to begin. Most places provide transfers from the airport, you will just need to check you have return transfers, but don’t panic if you don’t as a cab fare to the airport is about $15. Alternatively just about every villa/hotel/resort will have some form of transport they can arrange for you which is equally as cheap as a cab. Just check with the staff where you are staying.

Now once you arrive at whatever fabulous accommodation you are staying at you can either unpack, sit by the pool and relax or if you are like us we are always keen to unpack and get out and hit the road. We usually arrange motorbikes before we leave so they are waiting for us when we get there, but on our most recent trip in February we decided to wait and arrange the bikes when we got there and in true Bali fashion the staff at our hotel took care of everything in a flash, which is pretty normal for anywhere in Bali they can not do enough to help. You will find they are the most delightful, helpful, happy and most of all grateful people you will ever meet.

If you are keen to ride bikes, which are scooters and very easy to ride you have a couple of options. Technically, to legally ride a scooter in Bali you either need to have a licence to ride a motorbike in Australia paired with an international drivers licence (which you can get from RACQ before you leave and all you need is a passport photo and it costs around $25 and is valid for one year.)

Or, as we did one year, arrange for a local to take you to the Denpasar police station to get a tourist licence which is valid for 1 month. The cost for that is about $40 and they even help you with the test (Allow at least half a day as they are very busy and this is Bali). Having the local licence makes things a lot easier and also means you should be covered on your insurance policy in the unlikely event you do have an accident. The last option is probably the one most often used and that is just hire a scooter and go for it. If you do choose this option BEWARE, you will not be covered by your travel insurance if you have an accident and the local police will be happier to see you as the fine negotiation is now firmly in their favour. Traffic in Bali can be chaotic and when you first see it you won’t believe that there aren’t 100’s of accidents every day but that doesn’t happen as it just seems to work. Everybody goes with the flow, let’s people merge and if you just go slowly out into an intersection everyone just seems to go around you.

Bikes are inexpensive to hire and generally cost between $7 a day with better rates available the longer you hire them and fuel is about 75 cents per litre. If you get your bikes and you are not happy with them be sure to let them know as they will quite happily exchange them for you. You will be provided with adult helmets but it is hard to find ones for the kids so we always take bike helmets for the them from home.

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If bikes aren’t your thing don’t worry it is very easy to get around, there are always plenty of cabs but always make sure you get into a cab that has a meter. We always use the bluebird taxi group. Most cab fares cost only a few dollars. If you want to spend the day travelling around you can always arrange a driver for the day which is around $50 which will give you a minivan and the price covers as many people as you can get in. Your driver will take you wherever you want to go and make as many stops as you want. The staff where you are staying can arrange this or there are always plenty of people on the streets offering transport.

I think that is probably enough info for you all to take in for this blog. Oh almost forgot, it is not a big deal if you don’t have local currency on you when you arrive we always just take Australian dollars with us and the villa where we normally stays exchanges it for us with no fees, there is also a reputable money exchange (BMC) that we always use as well that has very good rates and charges no fees and are extremely reliable. There is one located in Seminyak just near the Bintang Supermarket and you will always see plenty of people there changing money. Be very careful of money exchangers in side streets and back alleys, if the rate looks too good it probably is!!!!!

A really helpful link you might also like to check out is the Bali Survival Guide, 

This one is also great for checking out the weather at different times of year so you don’t end up going in the rainy season 🙂 Bali Weather

So I now have you cashed up and in Bali, so next blog I will chat about accommodation.

Blessings the Joy Girls xx

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