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.
Underwear – because underpants don’t take up much space, it’s easy enough to pack up to a week’s worth. For bras, 2 is usually sufficient (1 dark, 1 light).
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
Shampoo and conditioner – and soap if you aren’t staying somewhere that has it already
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
Make-up – in Bali I think minimal is best, as it will probably sweat off anyway. Something like BB cream with SPF in it works great.
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
Tablet or laptop – Take your pick or choose neither. Now I take a laptop for work, but if you don’t need it, leave them at home.
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
Zip lock plastic bags – for toiletries, separating swimmers that aren’t dry, or to hold small items, somehow you can always use a zip lock bag
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
Travel clothesline – takes up minimal space and makes it easy to dry your clothes anywhere
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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I was there in Sept for 2 weeks and packed a lot less than this. I didn’t think I would enjoy Bali (went there for a wedding) but I really enjoyed the two places I went to as a holiday. I stayed in Semniyak for the wedding (it was ok) but if I was to go back to Bali, I would skip the south and look at visiting the top west end of Bali.
Hi Tam – Care to share what you packed?
So happy you enjoyed Bali!
The last time we went to Bali we took carry-on bags only, and packed based on this list. Like you, I love the benefits of packing light.
This is an ultimate packing list, and then we have provided tips on how to further personalise or customise this for the individual, because as you have mentioned, no two people pack the same 🙂
This is a great last, but doesn’t indicate how long you stayed. Is this list good for one week, and then you can laundry easily on a weekly basis?
I heard women’s feminine products are difficult to obtain – is that true? Also, are milk products available, such as creamer for coffee or should I pack the powdered kind?
Thanks, in advance, for your help!
We are actually back in Bali now, this time for one month, and probably took even less then whats on this list! We have been doing small loads of washing say once per week. So I would say as long as you’re happy to wash, this list is fine for 1 week and up.
As we are in Bali now, I had a bit of a look for you for the products you mention 🙂
I find some creamer (single sachets) in some convenience stores (circle k or minimart). They also have some larger supermarkets which might have more of a range. I mainly looked in the Seminyak area.
As for the feminine products, pads are plentiful even from you’re minimart. Tampons were a bit harder to find, I only found them once, but this was at a tiny minimart so they must be at other places too!
Hope this helps and have a fantastic time in Bali 🙂
We are heading over in August. We are first time travellers. We are going with a group of 20 mixed adults and children. I’m so nervous of the airport side, and my son is 17 with dreads he his just taking a back pack and I’ll share a suitcase with hubby. Any advice for first timers travellers who like cappuccinos.
Sounds like such fun that 20 of you are going 🙂
Try not to worry about the airport side of things, when you get off your plane you will first go to the Visa on arrival counter and buy one for US $35, and then through the immigration counter and then your bags will get a scan before you head out. You will walk past a taxi counter where you can get a taxi with set fares to your accommodation if you haven’t already organised. Depending what time you get there, it can be a long or short time to get through the airport. Last time we went, we arrived around midnight and it was super fast, but the previous time it took us hours.
Do you know what area you are staying in? If in Seminyak, some great places to get a coffee are Revolver (probably the best coffee in Bali), Corner house (they have revolver coffee), Grocer and grind, Ippolito Speciality Coffee and The Moose Espresso Bar to name a few! Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Have a great time in Bali 🙂
I loved this blog (and this whole website has been extremely helpful)! I’m setting off next month on a solo travelling adventure, I plan to do all of SE Asia and spend a longer length of time in Bali after. I was just wondering if you or anyone reading this knows whether these particular areas have pharmacists that would supply moisturiser to treat eczema?! I know this is a really random question, but as I’ll be backpacking, I’m trying to keep the overall weight to a minimum, but I usually am prescribed a 500g tub of moisturiser to keep my eczema at bay. So my far my trip is going to be at least 6 months, and that tub usually lasts a maximum 3 weeks…so I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get a similar product over there – or maybe someone knows of any natural remedies I could try?! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
I must have missed your comment! Hope you found the answer you needed. I know there are definitely pharmacies in Bali, but I have never specifically looked at for eczema cream, so I’m not sure. I use to have eczema and was told to try tea tree oil, so not sure if that will help?
Anyway, hope you have a great trip 🙂
hi mandy, this is my first time to bali and i am going solo. I have read it is very safe for female travellers and am wondering if you could tell me places to go where i will feel comfortable on my own and i can meet people/ also do u know of any places i can have some shoes made to order?
thanks for your tips! most helpful!
How exciting! There are a lot of solo travellers and the backpackers travelling in Bali, you could meet people where you stay, a hostel or you could sign up to a retreat/surfing camp etc, depending what you are interested in. There are lots of bars in Seminyak, as well as Kuta and Legian (I prefer the ones in Seminyak). There are also lots of tours and day trips which you could meet people at.
If I was going by myself I think Seminyak and Ubud are two great spots.
Hope you have a great time 🙂
this was incredibly helpful!
Thanks so much Christina 🙂
Hi Mandy. This is a great blog.
I’m going to Bali in a few weeks now for only a week. Do you have a suggestion of how much money I would take for 7 days? including alot of shopping, going out, dinners, etc.
Can you tell me roughly how much you pay for a cocktail in bali?
Love this page…… I am off to Bali on my own (first time) in a couple of weeks . Staying 8 days …. splitting my days between Seminyak and Ubud… Thanks for the list of what to take …… this is really helpful….So I will be travelling light….. however I am taking a large suitcase .. because i intend to shop and fill my suitcase …I love art stuff ..carvings … clothing …. jewellery … would i be able to bring these items out of the country when I leave? Is a budget of $100.00 per day New Zealand currency enough .. I have breakfasts (everyday) and i have outings already scheduled and paid for… for all but two days ……. Appreciate hearing from you….
Hi, May I ask the sited you pre booked on for bali.
I am traveling to Bali to meet my son & we are backpacking to different places & staying in hostels for 4 weeks – I-bought lulu lemon exercise skirts & sports bras with tanks (-it is exercise wear) The ones I bought happen to be very brightly colored ( Orange & pink neon -,they are dry fit. I had figured it was hot & humid & I could wash & dry them easily & they would be light weight for carrying- i am now concerned that I will stick out & look inappropriate – help- I don’t mind starting over if I need to – I need to know colors, style, & materials – also help with shoes – I bought Chocos I was told great for walking -they are waterproof & a pair of keen rubber holey sneakers for hiking – but once again bright -I worried when looking at videos thank u
Hi Becky, I’m going to Bali with my boyfriend in a few weeks. I just read your comment and would like to know how your experience went with the colorful clothes? Also I’m worried about dress code, I’m quite tall and I cant seem to get shorts anywhere near my knees lol. Are shorts okay to wear there? I know I should buy a scarf to wrap around myself in temples and places
Hi Mandy this is really helpful, thanks btw do you have any recommendation for choosing hostel ? i am a solo traveler 😉
Hello Mandy~ thank you for your tips!! I am all set to spend 5 weeks in Bali (ubud) very soon, but am close to cancelling my trip after hearing of all the dengue fever outbreaks! An acquaintance of mine who used to live there informed me that almost every one of her friends got it at some point, and th CDC says the numbers are rising. There is no vaccine for this. What precautions did you take? I get mixed reviews about essential oil insect repellent working, but I am so sensitive to chemicals, I won’t be able to use deet 24/7. I have to make a decision soon! I really want to go but I already have symptoms of a compromised immune system and want to be careful. Thank you!
Great info but can I just add….tampons. My daughter got her periods last time we were there, and we couldn’t find them anywhere. Pads yes, tampons no. She was so upset.