This Bali packing list was submitted by Mandy Nicholls.
Bali feels like my second home. Living in Australia, we are lucky that Bali is so close: I have no excuse not to keep going back. I immediately fell in love with the serenity, beauty and charm of Bali. The friendliness of the locals, the laid back lifestyle- when I go to Bali, I immediately feel relaxed. Now I feel like I’ve got Bali figured out, but that wasn’t always the way.
The first time I went to Bali, I packed both carry-on and checked bags.
I look back now and think, “Why?!”
Bali is blessed with having warm temperatures all year round, which means you can forget about ever needing your bulky coats and winter gear. In Bali, winter literally doesn’t exist. It’s also fairly laid-back and this reflects in the beach style of clothing commonly worn.
The last time I went to Bali, I went carry-on only and probably still over-packed. I learned the hard way what you really need to pack for Bali, but you don’t have to. Here is a list of everything we think you need, what to get there and a few handy tips to take the stress out of packing.
Casual/beach dresses x 2
Night dress x 1– a nicer dress for dinners/drinks
T-shirts/sleeved tops x 4
Tank tops/singlet tops x 2
Shorts/skirt x 3 – keep in mind shorts can be more versatile then skirts
Maxi skirt/long light pants x 1 – If you intend to go anywhere religious it is respectful and required to cover up. Having one item, whether it’s light long pants or a maxi skirt will be your saviour for those days.
Scarf – A scarf can double as a sarong to cover your legs if you get caught out somewhere you need to be covered (e.g. temples), it can also work well as beach wear during the day, or if it gets chilly at night time it can replace a jacket.
Swimmers/swimsuit x 2 – Bali is an island. Chances are you will either be swimming at the beach or swimming in a pool, and if you intend to do this daily, pack two swimsuits. Otherwise one is fine because it will dry pretty quickly.
Socks x 2 – this depends how active you are, but obviously adjust for your needs
Instead of a sarong or a beach towel, the Turkish towel can be a more effective item on your packing list. Absorbent, lightweight, and versatile.
Flip Flops/Thongs – Perfect for the beach
Sandals/nice flats – these will be fine for dinner/drinks or short walks
Walking shoes/joggers – these are what you’ll wear most days if you intend to be out an about. Obviously if you are intending on being really active, joggers are best.
Either pack travel size toiletries that you can dispose off before your flight home, or buy certain items once you get there.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Aloe Vera Gel Spray – in case you get too much sun, this is heaven, but you can also just buy it there
Hairbrush and hair ties
Cleanser and Moisturiser
Imodium or other diarrhoea treatment
Sea sickness tablets – if going on a boat
Mini first aid kit
Camera (and memory card) – Bali has so many interesting and contrasting sights
Phone – if you do take a phone make sure it’s unlocked so you can buy cheap sim cards when you arrive, or leave your phone at home to have a tech break.
Chargers for all items – sometimes you can use the same connections/chargers for multiple items so check this out before you go packing everything
Book – I love a real book in the flesh. It’s my one thing that I don’t mind if it takes up space.
Notebook and pen – you just never know when it will come in handy and it takes up minimal space
Pocket tissues – great for the plane and also if you get caught out somewhere where there is no toilet paper
Small day bag – take something like a small backpack or handbag (cross-body) for keeping camera swimmers, water and other things during the day
Forget the beach towel – Unless your staying in a hostel and this will double as your bath towel, I’d leave the beach towel at home and get something over there to save lots of space in your bag.
Having trouble packing light? The easiest thing you can do to pack a little lighter is take one item out of each category (e.g. take out 1 top, 1 shorts, 1 x shoes etc).
Umbrella for the wet season – If you travel to Bali in the wet season, it will definitely rain, although it usually doesn’t last long. Either pack a small umbrella or buy a cheap one over there.
So that’s a snapshot of what I pack for Bali. I’m already dreaming about my next trip. Bali holds a place in my heart, and maybe one day it will for you too.
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About the Author: Mandy Nicholls is a co-founder of the blog Almost Landing. Mandy writes with her boyfriend, Chris Downes about their travels, and they often choose a destination just because there is something they want to eat there! Mandy started Almost Landing to inspire people to travel and make it easier for people to travel well. Visit her website or get in touch with Mandy on Facebook or Twitter.
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