Obviously, you’ll need to pack your suitcase before you head out to Bali properly. There are a number of essentials that you’ll have to bring, including clothing and electronics, and just as many things that can be left at home. Before you start packing your bags, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind. After all, you need to be prepared for your trip, but not to the point of over-preparation.
1) What you’ll be doing there.
It’s always good to pack for the occasion. Bali is not the place to bring fancy designer clothing and expensive jewelry. You’ll probably spend most of your trip relaxing, and there’s little need to get dressed up – as in a suit and tie or a dress and heels. You should bring some nice clothing, including a pair of dress pants or khakis, as well as a few shirts and blouses. You might end up at a restaurant or another place that requires you to look a few degrees short of formal. However, if you plan on spending the entire trip at the beach or by the pool in your resort, then you can probably skip that rule and just stick to swimsuits and sandals. It’s all about what you have planned, so pack accordingly.
2) Don’t forget the electronics.
It goes without saying that your smartphone and a charging cord will end up in your carryon bag. You should also bring a tablet computer or e-reader device. You definitely don’t want to forget the camera, and if you have a waterproof covering for your phone or camera, bring that along as well. You might find yourself on a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion, and you don’t want to damage your electronics on the trip. Other electronics to bring are a waterproof camera (for said excursions) and a power adapter and surge protector. Bali uses a 230 volt and 50-hertz system. This is the equivalent of the power sockets used in Europe and much of the world. If you’re traveling from the United States, you’ll need a power adapter in order to charge your electronics. The surge protector will keep your devices safe in case of a power surge. These are common in many countries, including Bali.
3) Safety matters, so be prepared.
You’ll want to pack a small first aid kit – one with plenty of bandages, alcohol wipes, antibacterial ointment, and more. Although most resorts have their own first aid kits, you should have your own, just in case you need it in a hurry. Also, since the tap water in Bali isn’t potable, you need to bring along a Lifestraw. This is a simple filtering device that fits into a cup or bottle. You should be able to find bottled water no matter where you go, but just to be on the safe side, bring along the Lifestraw. On top of this, put a bottle of activated charcoal in your bag. You might eat something that doesn’t agree with you on your trip, and it’s better to have a treatment handy, lest this mess up your vacation.
4) Don’t carry a lot of cash.
It goes without saying that if you carry a lot of cash, you’re asking to be robbed. This is true in Bali and in a number of other countries – pretty much anywhere, really. It’s always better to use things like Traveler’s checks or your debit card. Yes, you can use your standard debit card (as long as it has the Mastercard or Visa logo on it) anywhere, even Bali. You might be charged a foreign currency transaction fee by your bank, but that beats losing hundreds of dollars to a burglar.
5) Be cautious when packing your toiletries.
You might be tempted to bring the usual toiletries that you use when you’re at home. While you don’t want to tote along the full sizes, you might want to consider leaving your makeup behind. Why worry about applying it when you’re on vacation in a tropical locale? Also, you need to bring a reef-safe sunscreen. Bali is a very sunny destination, and you don’t want to deal with sunburn. The standard varieties aren’t eco-friendly and may hurt the ecosystem, so make sure that the one you add to your bag is reef-safe.
6) Bring a cheap pair of flip-flops.
Sandals are the standardly accepted shoe of Bali. After all, the weather is tropical, so who wants to wear regular shoes? Keep in mind that you’ll have to take your shoes off when entering some of the temples in the country. Since carrying them with you is considered rude (shoes are normally left at the door), make sure that yours are inexpensive, just in case there’s a mix-up, and someone accidentally takes yours.