Bali is an Indonesian island known for its temples, beaches, and perfect surfing waves. Its laid back island vibe attracts tourists and expats alike to visit for a holiday or obtain long-term residence. As with many frequented tourist destinations, it has its ups and downs which come along with the territory.
Bali has been popping up on my radar for almost a decade since Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray, Love was adapted to the big screen in 2010. Since then, the picturesque beaches and lush rice paddies have flooded my Instagram feed in greater frequency than ever. I knew that my long-term travels wouldn’t be complete if I did not incorporate this island into my itinerary. Due to the huge amount of amazing choices I have created the Bali Travel Guide so you can confidently choose where to stay, what to eat and what to do.
After spending a little over a month on this beautiful island, I have discovered tips to learn before traveling to Bali. For those considering a retreat to this dreamlike destination, here is my take on the island’s ups and downs.
- Affordable Accommodation & Food. While the cost of a plane ticket from the States to Bali may be higher than a trip to the Bahamas, expenses are offset in a number of ways. The going rate for accommodation in Bali is relatively inexpensive. I’ve seen 5-star hotels cost between US$80 – US$90 per night and have personally stayed in resorts that felt like 4-star hotels for $30 per night. Similarly, food is quite inexpensive and delicious! The fun begins when taste-testing exotic fruits, beverages and dishes. Trust me, it’s good.
- No Visa fees. Researching a country’s visa requirements is crucial to building your holiday budget. While most countries will welcome you at no cost, some countries require an entry fee. Overlooking this important element of travel may land you in a compromising position if you’re not prepared ahead of time. Depending on your passport, Bali has no visa requirements for many tourists holidaying for 30 days or less.
- Vaccines are not required. Although Bali does not require specific vaccinations for entry, when traveling to developing countries be sure to update your immunizations to any destination. As a safety precaution, visit your doctor, ideally 4-6 weeks, before your trip to receive the vaccines or medicines you may need.The Downside
- Taxi Cab Haggling. Getting around Bali can be a bit tricky. From the moment you land, as a traveler you need to be prepared to bargain. If that’s not your thing, expect to pay the quoted taxi rate which is typically higher. Whatever you do, be sure to request the meter before stepping into a cab.
- Travel Distance. Are we there yet? Depending on where you call home, Bali may seem just as far as an alternative universe in a Marvel Comic book. It’s imperative that you build in travel time into your itinerary. This will allow you enough time to adjust to the time difference upon arrival and departure. Neglecting to allot additional time may put a dampener on your itinerary, giving you less time than you anticipated.
- Bottled water is your BFF. Don’t drink the tap water. Repeat after me, “I will not drink the tap water”. Like most countries in South East Asia, consuming tap water is rare among travelers and locals. If your trip to Bali is brief, I recommend using bottled water to brush your teeth to avoid becoming sick. Restaurants and hotels generally serve filtered or bottled water to guests but beware of the ice that may be used in your drinks. Commonly, the ice is boiled tap water which has been purified. If you’re not comfortable with the idea, simply request a cold drink from the refrigerator and avoid the ice.
Is Bali on your bucket list?!
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