Headed to Bali? Make sure you read this guide before leaving home! Most of this list will be helpful to both guys and girls but some of these items were mentioned specifically for the ladies in mind, especially those who want to take their Instagram to the next level. This list is pretty applicable to all trips, especially ones in hot climates.
I moved to Bali 1.5 years ago so rest assured, this is definitely a no-BS guide!! Not only will you learn exactly what you need to make the most out of your precious vacation time but I also share tons of sustainability tips and time saving tricks as well.
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For the Everyday
- Packing Cubes
- Use them to make the most of your suitcase space. They will help you stay organized during your trip.
- For ultimate optimization, take it one step further and use one cube per outfit. Label the bag so you can quickly find which bag has what you need. This way you don’t have to unpack your entire suitcase or rummage through when you need something.
- Hanging Toiletry Bag
- Super helpful for keeping organized and saving space at your hotel. You can hang this on a towel rack and see everything all in one glance instead of digging through your suitcase or covering up your entire bathroom counter, risking getting your items wet.
- Reusable Tote
- Plastic bags are banned from Bali! If you plan on picking anything up from the convenience/grocery store (like drinking water or souveniers), you’ll need to provide your own bag because they no longer have plastic bags.
- I actually take collapsible lightweight totes with me everywhere whenever I am traveling. If I go a little overboard with the shopping, I can pull out the tote to use as a carryon or check it as a separate bag if my suitcase is overweight.
- Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle
- On the subject of water and resuable products, I highly recommend investing in a stainless steel water bottle if you haven’t already!
- They come in a variety of sizes and are capable of keeping drinks cold for 24H which is a HUGE gamechanger for traveling in Bali–especially on beach and adventure days!! Bonus: they come in adorable designs!!
- Universal Adapter
- Bali has two prong outlets but universal adapters are also good to have for quick charges at other airports that may require a different converter.
- Perfect for day trips, car and plane rides. It’s worth the extra dough to invest in a high quality, reputable brand.
- Wet Wipes
- Not the most environmentally friendly approach to the heat but sometimes you just really need to freshen up! These are such a game changer after a midday hike. The one I’ve linked actually
- Intense Bug Spray
- Bali is a tropical island! Mosquitos are very savage–especially during the rainy season! General bug spray is available here but if you plan on heading to more remote places (forests, waterfalls, etc), I’d recommend packing a stronger one. The one I’ve linked is only 4oz so it’s perfect for throwing into your bag to reapply later or between dips.
- Anti-Nausea Meds
- No one really talks about this but most of Bali is made up of windy single lane roads which paired with aggressive drivers is the ultimate success formula for car sickness. Between stock availability and the language barrier, anti-nausea meds haven’t always been the easiest to find on the island. Plus the only one they do carry in Bali causes drowsiness.
- A nice homeopathic alternative is Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum.
- If you already have one, make sure to pack extra batteries and memory cards! Esepcially because electronics are very pricey here and not widely available. I promise you Bali is one of those places that you will want to photograph every corner of.
- If you don’t already have a professional camera, your iPhone will suffice for sure. But with prices constantly going down due to technological advancements and demand, there really is no better time to invest in one!
- I’ve linked a mirrorless camera that I have had my eyes on. The price is not too bad for its quality and its portability which makes such a huge different when traveling to a hot and sweaty climate!!
For your Wardrobe
- Save your brand name pair for home! The last thing you want is to be upset that you left them at a cafe or they got lost at the beach. Also, even though Bali is one of the safest places ever, wearing flashy brands makes you more likely to be a target of theft.
- Sun Hat
- Not extremely necessary if you don’t like wearing hats but they always look nice in summery photos in my opinion, especially from the back!
- Lightweight & Light Colored Clothes
- Light colored clothing isn’t a must but it doesn’t attract as much heat as dark clothes and I find that it matches the Bali vibe more.
- And lightweight fabrics for obvious reasons: linen is your friend!
- Avoid wearing yellow or green when you are visiting Ubud because you might blend in too much with the forest scenery!
- Bright Flowy Dresses
- This is a must for those epic looking shots, especially when wind will be involved! Opt for bright, vibrant colors to pop out even more.
For your Body
- You probably weren’t expecting this one but it’s actually impossible to find tampons in Bali. Always opt for organic cotton and plant based applicators to reduce your plastic consumption!
- Stick Deodorant
- They have this here obviously but their version is liquid rollerball based instead of solid stick based which I find to be inferior!
- Toiletries in Refillable Bottles
- Traveling can be an incredibly wasteful hobby. One of the ways to control your waste is by packing your own toiletries in refillable bottles. That way you don’t have to use the single use products provided at hotels and thereby reducing your plastic waste.
For your Hair
- Dry Shampoo
- Another novelty item that’s impossible to find in Bali. Between all the adventures and the intense heat, this is definitely something the ladies need to pack!
- Hair Sunscreen
- Super vital! Think about it, if you protect your face with sunscreen, what makes your hair any different? This keeps your hair from frying in the sun and getting sun damage which is a real thing!
- Anti-Humidity Hair Spritz
- Bali is a tropical island and the humidity makes my hair get pretty out of control. A hair mist spray is helpful for taming my locks, I think of it as a wellness shot for my strands.
For your Face
- I can’t stress this one enough! Sunscreen is very expensive to pick up on the island so pack it in advance to save some money and time. The rays here are no joke so please invest in some if you want to have a fun and safe trip!
- Better yet, buy a combo pack that comes with aloe vera to cool down your skin that’s been roasting.
- Tinted Moisturizer
- With all the intense heat, it’s hard to prevent makeup from melting off your face. Swap out the foundation for a lightweight tinted moisturizer. Your trip will be so much more enjoyable knowing you don’t have to worry about your makeup.
- Sheet Masks
- Due to the extreme temperatures in Bali, most places you go to will have the AC blasting. I generally have pretty balanced skin but I find that my face gets really dry here. I attribute the drying to all the AC that’s on fspraull blast everywhere doubled with the strong rays!
- Disposable sheet masks are also great for plane rides since the dry air sucks all the moisture out of your face.
For the Beach
- Looks great in beach photos, especially if you had one too many Bintang’s while on vacation, and can be useful for temple visits since you can’t have your legs or shoulders exposed.
- Fun Bathing Suit
- Ok this one was probably a little obvious but I’d like to add to opt for something that isn’t too neutral or blue colored because you will blend in with the scenery in photos.
- Red is almost always a great color to stand out in in photos!
- Flipflops (preferably cheap ones!)
- Save your fancy sandals for dinner. I always take cheap flip flops to the beach so I can take dips without worrying about my shoes going missing. I also like to opt for neutral colored flipflops so they’ll match whatever wild print bathing suit I have.
- My choice of entertainment at the beach by far! You don’t have to worry about your electronic devices overheating or battling the sun to squint at a screen. There’s really no better time for a technology detox. Here’s a list of books that’s a combination of my faves and also current obsessions.
- (Pink) Snorkel
- It’s an extra thing to pack but it beats paying for a rental with questionable sanitary standards. Also, a brightly colored matching mask and snorkel set will make your Instagram shots that much more aesthetically pleasing!
- Lastly, I find that paying for a higher quality snorkel can really pay off since the rentals are usually cheaply made and very beat.
For the Plane
- I’m guessing Bali is pretty far from where you are coming from. It’s a 30 hour trip from my hometown, Boston! Most international flights will have endless flick options but I always like to diversify my screen time with a good read. Checkout my list to see my all time favorite books and current obsessions.
- Neck Pillow
- I’ve actually been obsessed with the scarf style travel pillow ever since I discovered it. It’s more compact than a traditional travel pillow and just suits my sleeping preferences more.
- Reusable Utencils
- Have you ever noticed how much plastic cutlery is given to you during the duration of a flight? You’re always given multiple napkins, a packet of condiments, a spoon, a fork, a knife, and sometimes even chopsticks too when they come around in carts. It is so wasteful especially since we only usually need one utencil!
- This is a great way to reduce spending at overpriced airport shops! It’s also helpful for staying healthy while traveling, especially if you have dietary restrictions. Packing snacks purchased in bulk is awesome for cutting down on single use plastic consumption. I’ve linked one of my favorite trail mixes–by the way, is it just me or do they taste extra good when consumed during a hike/in the wilderness?! 😂😛
During Rainy Season (Nov-Feb)
- The rain here during this time of year is no joke! It can sometimes pour for hours on end so come prepared and don’t let the weather ruin your trip.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring an open mind and positive attitude!! I’ve been to 32 countries and Bali is definitely one of the top three favorite places I’d ever gotten to visit. With that said, it is still a pretty undeveloped island. When you arrive, you’ll notice that it probably is a bit different from what you may have had in mind based on all the Instagram pix! The locals are very religious and have customs and ways that you may not be used to. But they are also genuinely some of the nicest humans I have ever had the privilege to interact with. Always say yes to new experiences, smile when you are confused and I promise you will have an unforgettable time!!
Hope you learned at last a few useful tips–Click here for a shopable link with all of the items above put under one organized roof!