Hey there, I’ve just returned from my first trip to Bali. I decided to go on a whim, curious to see what all the hype was about. Well, I’ve got to say, Bali has this magical vibe that just draws you in. I didn’t expect it to like it so much, but now I’m already thinking about going back for a longer stay next year.
I know there are tons of articles out there about Bali, and you can easily hop on Instagram for inspiration, right? I don’t claim to have a guide here, as there’s still so much for me to explore, but as a first-timer in Bali, I did manage to pick up some Bali travel tips.
So, if you’re getting ready for your first Bali adventure, stick around. These Bali travel tips will help make your trip as awesome as mine was!
First-Timer Tips for Traveling to Bali
1. Welcome Pickups
For stress-free airport transportation in Bali, Welcome Pickups is the way to go. We used them for both our arrival and departure, and it was a breeze. Everything can be done online. The Welcome Pickups app keeps you in the loop with driver details, and, surprise, they even showed up ahead of schedule on both occasions!
2. Getting a SIM Card
Getting a tourist SIM card in Bali is both easy and affordable. They are readily available at numerous locations. We went with Telkomsel and paid around IDR 150,o00 (EUR 9) for a 1-month plan (14 GB).
One thing to note: if you’re in Canggu, that SIM card operator may not offer reliable connectivity at the beach.
3. ATMs in Bali
One of the joys of being in Bali is the hassle-free ATM experience, especially when compared to places like Thailand where fees can quickly add up. In Bali, you’ll find ATMs scattered throughout the island, making it easy to withdraw cash whenever you need it (and without any extra ATM fees!).
The convenience doesn’t stop there; most restaurants also accept card payments, so you have payment flexibility to suit your preference.
4. Tax on Restaurant Bills
If you’re from Europe, you might find it a bit unusual that taxes aren’t included in the menu prices in Bali. Don’t be surprised if you see taxes added to your bill at the end of your meal.
These taxes are typically mentioned at the bottom of the menu, so you can keep track of your expenses more easily. It’s a good practice to calculate them if you’re on a tight budget and the final price matters to you.
5. Food Paradise
Talking about Bali travel tips and restaurants… If you’re a fellow food enthusiast like me, Bali is THE place to be. The island is a culinary wonderland, and it’s a dream come true for those who love to…eat. In Bali, there is everything and anything one can wish for, with an extra focus on healthy foods. Check out my favorite places to eat in Bali.
6. Local Warungs
Don’t miss out on the local culinary gems known as “Warungs.” These cozy, local restaurants offer a taste of authentic Balinese but also international cuisine that’s not only delicious but also budget-friendly.
In this Bali food article, I’ve recommended two of my personal favorites, but don’t worry, there are plenty more to explore. By dining at Warungs, you’re not only treating your taste buds but also supporting the local community!
7. Unique Vibes
When planning your Bali adventure, you’ve probably come across names like Ubud, Canggu, and Uluwatu. What’s essential to know is that each of these places boasts a distinct atmosphere.
Ubud is located inland and exudes a serene, peaceful aura, perfect for those seeking a laid-back, yoga-centric experience. Meanwhile, Canggu offers an energetic ambiance, known for its beach club vibes and upscale dining options. Uluwatu, the crowned jewel of beaches, offers a more relaxed setting, situated a bit farther down the coast.
8. English Everywhere
The great news for Bali travelers is that English is widely spoken on the island. This means you won’t find yourself lost in translation or struggling to communicate during your visit. Bali’s embrace of English makes it even more accessible and welcoming for international tourists.
9. Scooter Caution
Let’s talk scooters – they’re a popular way to get around in Bali. But a word of advice and one of the most important Bali travel tips: if you’re not confident riding one, it’s probably best to avoid it. The traffic can get pretty wild, and I’m not entirely sure everyone on the road passed the same driving test I did!
Seriously, if you’re not a scooter pro, you might want to rely on services like Grab for your travels. Bali’s traffic can be a bit nuts, and accidents happen (often!). And please, do yourself a favor – wear a helmet. It might not always be the most stylish accessory, but it’s way cooler than the alternative: severe injuries or worse!
10. Reserving your Spot at Beach Clubs
A trip to Bali wouldn’t be complete without experiencing at least one of the fantastic beach clubs if you have some free time. They’re truly next-level and ensure you’ll have an amazing day. Whether you prefer a serene vibe or a lively party scene, there’s something for everyone.
But here’s one of the best Bali travel tips: if you’re heading to popular spots like The Lawn or La Brisa, be prepared for lines, even during the low season, if you haven’t made a reservation. The queues usually move relatively quickly, but it’s something worth factoring into your plans.
11. Don’t Miss Bali Sunsets
Do I need to say it? Bali sunsets are simply surreal. It’s the perfect way to end your day – sitting on the beach, taking in the breathtaking view, and watching as everyone gathers to unwind and chill.
12. Avoiding Peak Season
Another of my fav Bali travel tips. Perhaps you’ve already locked in your travel dates, but if you haven’t, consider escaping the high season. We visited at the end of September, and it was quite busy. I can only imagine how crowded it gets during peak times!
Also, don’t attempt the scooter journey from Canggu to Uluwatu; it can get incredibly congested. We did it, and it took ages. Instead, opt for the convenience of booking a Grab or other transportation service. It’s way more convenient, and you can even do other things while sitting in the car.
13. Free Water Refills
You probably already know that drinking tap water in Bali, Thailand or many other parts of Asia isn’t advisable. And continually purchasing bottled water harms the environment .
So, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that many accommodations in Bali provide free water refill stations, making your life so much easier. It’s a win-win, keeping you hydrated without the constant bottle hunt and reducing plastic waste. Cheers to that!
14. Falling for Bali
The biggest “problem” in Bali might be that you won’t want to leave. But honestly, if that’s your biggest problem, then it’s not much of a problem, is it?
Bali is more than a destination; it’s a mood, a vibe, and I genuinely hope you’ll fall for it just as much as I did (or maybe not, so it won’t get too crowded :D).
Bali Travel Tips – To wrap it up
I hope you found these Bali travel tips helpful and that you’ll have an amazing time on your Bali adventure!
If you have other tips for traveling to Bali for the first time, don’t hesitate to share them below. ♥