Bali! Considered one of the hottest and most frequented tourist destinations on the planet, Bali is a sumptuous blend of traditional Balinese culture, wild nightlife, and resort style relaxation. There really is something for everyone in Bali, be it exotic food, bazaar style shopping, or pampering galore with massages, salons, and cosmetics all around. You can even do a spot of surfing or contemplate reality at various temples. Here are some tips for planning your trip to Bali so you can have a safe and fun experience!
Tourist traps – follow the local customs
Despite its “party” destination reputation, Balinese culture is still deeply traditional. While the island itself is majority Hindu, it pays to remember that Indonesia culture is predominantly Muslim. Baring skin, swimming nude, and being visibly intoxicated is not only frowned upon by locals but could land you in hot water. If you are offered drugs – just say no. Indonesia has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs, and it could land you in jail. Don’t drink drive scooters – and especially don’t drink and swim in the beaches! If you are unsure about any area, don’t approach. Your gut will usually know what’s sketchy before your brain does!
Blending in and being discreet
Though as a Westerner you may find it difficult to blend in, but wearing local clothing or elements of it can help you avoid being a target of crimes and theft. Don’t make it obvious that you are a tourist – plan any trip away from prying eyes and only look at your map or phone when absolutely necessary. You may want to do a reconnoitre of the local area first if you are staying a while. Wear money belts and gear to protect your ID and valuables when out and about as well.
Get travel insurance
Many Westerners in Bali often complain of “Bali belly” and other ailments which can be treated with rest in most cases. However, injuries and other major illnesses may occur, requiring hospital treatment. That’s why you should get a comprehensive travel insurance policy that will cover you for any eventuality such as natural disasters, theft, political demonstrations that turn rowdy, travel delays, and personal liability. You should compare cover and see what’s included and excluded so you can rest assured you’re protected while in Bali.
Before you go, you should also be up to date with any necessary vaccinations, as you can catch some nasty bugs in Bali!
Staying in communication
You should consider buying a 4G/5G SIM card for your phone when you arrive in Bali to ensure you maintain connectivity with the outside world, especially loved ones back home. You should register your travel plans with SmartTraveller to ensure the local consulate can locate you in a time of crisis. If possible, you should consider buying a cheaper yet capable smartphone (one that runs the latest apps but is inexpensive to buy) which can be easily replaced if misplaced or stolen.
By following a few simple rules you can have a stress-free time in wonderful Bali!