7 Tips I wish I'd known before traveling to Bali
Welcome back guys! If anyone loves Bali, it's me. Bali is Indonesias most visited island and it's no surprise. The Bali culture, the organised chaos, food, beaches, rain forests and lets not forget the incredible 5 star villas and service for a fraction of the price anywhere else . What more would you want in a holiday destination that Bali doesn't have?
There's just a few things I wish I had known before I traveled to Bali for the first time, things they don't tell you on the travel blogs! Hey, at least I can share them with you so you don't make the same mistakes on your Bali holiday.
1. Don't underestimate the size of Bali
Bali is approximately 5,800 square km. Yeap, that big! All those beautiful Instagram shots from travel bloggers visiting Indonesia aren't just taken here and there with ease. EVERYTHING is far in Bali and if it's not. The traffic will make it a hell of a trip. Totally had no idea and tried to book a car from Seminyak to Ubud two days in a row! If you map it, it'll say 1 hour 30 but I've never done it in that long. The traffic out of Seminyak is insane!! Which takes me to my next tip....
2. Scooters are everything
I know, I know, everyone says to stay away from scooters in Bali, but they're such a lifesaver if you'd rather be spending your holiday at the main tourist attractions in Bali rather than stuck behind an endless stream of cars. For starters they're stupidly cheap, you can refill them with gas in little vodka bottles on the side of the road just about anywhere! Just map where you're going when you leave your hotel you'll have the best time, you can stop off wherever you please, plus the bonus is you'll get a tan on the way. Just watch out for the drunk Aussies! The locals are fine as they're so accustomed to the roads and traffic in Bali. It's the foreigners you need to worry about. Oh! Also keep your phone close to you if you're on the back using google maps, it is a foreign country after all so keep your possessions close and lock your scooter at all times! Helmets are fine, they never get stollen. Why? I have no idea.
3. Buy a SIM card
I would definitely recommend getting a SIM card for your stay in Bali. Even if you're just going to relax in Seminyak. It's so helpful not having to rely on wifi and if you get lost mapping your way it'll re route you back on track. I had such a bad experience mapping a place in Kuta with no data and ended up in a bit of a situation, that's a whole different story. Data is also awesome for finding any last min Instagram Cafes and other super cute spots too! Check into your hotel or Bali villa first and grab a SIM card from a circle K store or coco mart. (Bali's 7 Eleven) I made the crucial mistake of buying one at the airport, although it's still not toooo bad you'll save a decent amount getting one at the local corner store.
4. Be wary of street food and water
The infamous Bali belly, Josh and I have never had it thankfully and have been to Bali 5 or 6 times now so we must be doing something right. Number one tip to avoid getting sick is stay away from the dodgy street food, a lot of people say it's fine. You can usually judge by just looking at it. If it seems as though it's been sitting there for a while in the heat it's probably safer to give it a miss. In saying that, if you see some tasty Bali noodles and they look fresh it should be okay. I just wouldn't risk crapping and spewing my brains out for my entire Bali holiday, but if that's what you're into go ahead. Do not drink the water!! I brushed my teeth with it once and felt a bit off the next morning, so just make sure yo use bottled water from your villa. Ice however is fine in Bali, it's definitely not as bad as Thailand. The majority of places you'll eat and drink will use bought ice anyway! If you're not sure just ask, balinese are such lovely people and most of the time they just show you for peace of mind!
5. Don't buy drugs on the street
Probably seems like a stupid one to be writing about but no one else seems to. Outside circle k's and just about everywhere are people asking if you want Xanax and other prescription drugs, along with cocaine and heavier illegal substances. Just don't. Even if you're a bit tipsy from happy hour it's not a good idea. A lot of those people are actually working under cover, it's really expensive to become a police officer in Bali so they make money for their education and get a massive discount off their course to sell to tourists. Oh, and a lot of them just dob you in to police straight away, I should probably add the death penalty is still a very real thing for drug procession in Bali.
6. Take mozzie repellent
Bali is a tropical Indonesian island, there's going to be mosquitos. I however forgot mine and was okayyyyy in Seminyak. Then my experience in stunning Ubud was phenomenal, minus the huge mozzie welts on my face, back and butt. Didn't look so cute in those luxury Bali villa shots after all.
7. Have an amazing time and barter!
I'm going to finish on a lighter note seeing as it was all doom and gloom above. Despite the tips I've given you to make your stay as great and smooth as possible, Bali is an amazing place. I've been lucky enough to travel to many countries over the past four years and Bali will always be my go to destination. Every place In Bali is so special and so different at the same time. If you're going for longer than a week I would definitely recommend visiting Ubud too. The drive is definitely worth it and theirs so many cool things you can do there that are very different to the Kuta/ Seminyak vibe. Make sure you have fun bartering! Josh is a million times better at it than me, but it's fun either way. You can bater almost anything, including the cost of your scooter so definitely use it to your advantage!
I hope these tips were useful! Have a phenomenal time in Bali, you'll absolutely adore it! Hell, we loved it so much we considered moving there. Let me know in the comments if
you'd like me to do a blog on my favourite things/ the best things to do in Bali. I feel like we're pretty pro at the whole Bali scene now haha.