Ten Travel Tips From A First-Time Visitor To Bali

My first holiday to Bali opened my eyes to the local culture and how the island is marketed to us here in Australia.

Bali Swing — Ubud
La Plancha
Nyepi New Year preparations
Pura Tirta Empul
Anantara Resort Seminyak

#1 Exchange your local currency on arrival at Bali airport

There was a significant difference in the exchange rate between the money exchange at the airport in Sydney compared to Bali airport — a 20% difference. Thanks to the advice of Shane from the Virgin Transit Lounge, we received considerably more in our pocket after cashing out in Bali airport. Check ahead and watch the exchange rates leading up to your trip to know what’s a good deal.

#2 Buy an umbrella (or poncho) when it’s sunny

It will most likely rain at some stage on your trip to Bali. When is does you will wish you had an umbrella. When it does, umbrellas and ponchos will cost more so you will need to bargain a little harder. Save yourself the hassle and buy protection from the rain as soon as you get there before you need it.

#3 Smile and be nice

After a while walking the streets of the main tourist locations you may soon start to feel a bit put off or annoyed with the constant ‘pestering’ to purchase something from the street shops. After the second day, I had enough of being called “boss” and being followed down the street by street-side shop owners wanting me to buy something. However, it’s easy to forget they are struggling business owners just trying to make a living. Respect this and simply smile and say no thanks and keep walking.

#4 Buy big bottles of water to top up your refillable bottle

In Bali you should not drink water that does not come in a sealed bottle. If you’re like me and drink a couple of litres of water a day, it pays to buy larger 2 litre bottles and just top up your travel bottle. Otherwise, you will be constantly buying water. While water is readily available, it just works out more economical to buy in bulk or larger bottles. Also, don’t wash your drinking bottle with tap water. The ice in Bali is said to be safe as the island’s ice supply is quality-controlled by the local government.

#5 Take a power adapter

Seems obvious but it is something that can be easily overlooked. Throw in a power board multi-adaptor with USB slots to be sure you can charge your gadgets and batteries when you get there. Consider taking a portable power pack also for power on the go.

#6 Separate your cash into small amounts so not to give away how much cash you have

With an exchange rate of about IDR$10,000.00 to AUD$1.00 (at the time of our travels), you will soon find yourself carrying a lot of notes in your pocket. Take some elastic bands and separate your cash into smaller, easier to carry amounts. Take small amounts out of your pocket to pay for items otherwise, you may spend more time in the shop then you planned.

#7 Invest in a driver if you can afford it

Before we set off on our trip we were given the contact details for a driver some friends of ours had used who came highly regarded — Gede Rukiana.

Our driver: Gede Rukiana (pron: G’day)

#8 Take a credit card out with you

Don’t rely on being able to tap— tap your mobile phone, smartwatch or device. Places that accept credit cards do not offer the option to tap (or at least we could not find one), only swipe. This caught me out on our second day. Take a prepaid visa card if your security conscious and carry cash at all times.

#9 Talk to strangers — make friends

I think I am a friendly person, I can talk to pretty much anyone. A trait I think I inherited from my dad. During our trip, I would often ask the person next to me where they’re from and if this was their first time in Bali. It is amazing what can happen by asking such a simple question. We ended up spending time during our trip with people from Greece, Germany and of course, Australia (Sydney and Melbourne). Added a lot of value to our stay.

#10 Day Clubs are the new big thing

There seem to be day clubs shooting up everywhere and they are very popular, particularly with tourists. Depending on the type of experience you’re after and your purpose for visiting Bali, day clubs, while an awesome experience, can be expensive.

Omnia Dayclub

Some Instagram shots of the trip

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Husband › Father › Occasional Photographer. justinroselt.com