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Heading to the majestic and beautiful island of Bali soon but not sure what to pack? In addition to a plethora of swimsuits and a beach bumming attitude, make sure to remember these 10 essential things to pack for Bali, Indonesia!

10 Essential Things to Pack for Bali, Indonesia • The Wanderful Me

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When preparing to head to Bali, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind — what to pack, where to stay, and what places to visit.

But most importantly, before you hop on the plane (P.S. find out how to book business class flights for economy prices here!), there are some essentials you need to have!

Because there’s absolutely nothing worse than getting to the island and realizing you’ve forgotten that one item that’ll change your entire experience!

Like a towel. Or protective (chemical-free, reef-safe) sunscreen to keep away those nasty sunburns!

So instead of stressing out, chill out and read up on this list of what to pack for Bali to make your incredible.


1. $35 US in Cash

When wondering what to pack for Bali, make sure to remember $35 USD!

US dollars go a long way in Bali, especially if you’re planning to buy a 30-day extendable visa when you arrive.

Unlike the free 30-day visa, which is not extendable whatsoever (meaning you are required to leave after 30 days), the $35 visa can be extended by another 30 days.

Additionally, having some US dollars on you can be a means of backup in some situations.

For example, sometimes businesses will prefer to be paid in US dollars (even though they’re not legally allowed to). Overall, having some crisp and clean US dollars on you is handy in Bali!

Check out the current exchange for USD to IDR here

Calling all ladies! I NEED you to check out this post on the one essential item I never travel without as a female!

2. Outlet Adapter

Bali Temple • 10 Essential Things to Pack for Bali, Indonesia | The Wanderful Me

There’s nothing worse than landing on the beautiful island of Bali, getting to your hotel or hostel with an almost dead phone, taking out your phone charger, and realizing you can’t plug it into the outlet because it’s the wrong size. 

So, instead of having a little heart attack after coming to the conclusion that you can’t charge any of your electronics, do yourself a big favor and bring along an adapter! You won’t regret it.

This’ll also come in handy if you’re traveling to other countries, such as Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia (essential places to visit in Southeast Asia!).

Get a fantastic, all-in-one worldwide outlet adapter here for $13 (with 2 USB ports and a safety switch design!).

Not sure what to do in Bali? Check out these popular tours with GetYourGuide!

3. Light Cardigan or Shawl

An essential thing to pack for Bali is a light shawl or cardigan to cover your shoulders.

There are hundreds of temples to visit on the island, so in addition to all the other things on your Bali packing list, make sure you remember a light cardigan or shawl to cover your shoulders!

If you’re a woman and you don’t have either a t-shirt or shawl to cover your shoulders, you most likely won’t be let into the temple, as it is offensive to the Balinese culture.

So instead of being turned away from seeing a beautiful temple, carry along something that’ll cover you up!

Not to mention the sun is blazing on this beautiful island!

So, if you’re like me and you have very sensitive Scandinavian skin, this also comes in handy when you need to protect your shoulders from the strong sun rays.

Check out this cute kimono to cover your shoulders (coming in a variety of colors!). 

4. Protective Sunscreen

A local working in a rice field in the popular neighborhood of Canggu; he's staying safe by wearing long sleeves!

Beforeyou arrive on the island, make sure to purchase some protective sunscreen. Throughout Bali (and Indonesia – but especially Bali), the locals know tourists need sunscreen for the brutal sun rays, so sunscreen is extremely expensive. 

Additionally, to protect the ocean and what lies within it, make sure to buy ocean-safe sunscreen. In many places around the world, sunscreen with harmful chemicals, like oxybenzone, is banned.

The best sunscreen for Bali is chemical-free, reef-safe sunscreen that doesn’t harm the marine life! Perfect for you and perfect for the beautiful oceans many animals and lifeforms call home.

Because who else wants to protect their skin and save the animals and ocean at the same time?!

You can click HERE to open a new tab to my blog post on the best chemical-free, zero waste sunscreen for Bali! It’s packed with awesome info and my fav brands. 

5. Comfortable (and Cute!) Sandals

Blue waters and an island in the distance; a regular view while exploring Indonesia and Bali.

Whilst walking around the island of Bali, exploring the beautiful temples of Ubud and strolling along the relaxing beaches of Seminyak, you’re going to want some sandals that are both cute and comfortable.

Not only can a few nasty blisters ruin your holiday but they can also mess up your feet! Not fun.

I absolutely love Teva sandals! They have raving reviews and a ridiculously loyal fanbase. Get yourself a pair here!

6. Azithromycin (or Imodium)

Whilst eating your way through Bali, you’re likely going to get a few stomach or digestion issues. With all the questionable things that may touch your food, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

With Azithromycin, which is widely available purchase around the island, or Imodium, you can make sure you’re ready with whatever life throws at you!

This is definitely one of my essential things I always remember when packing for Bali! Cause having the shitty squirts is never fun, right?

(I can now fully attest that this is most definitely an absolute packing must-have for Bali, as Dan and I experienced awful, horrendous, nightmarish food poisoning — aka “Bali Belly” — while traveling here!)

You know what’s also not fun? Missing out on some delicious food in Canggu — the vegan capital of Bali! Take a look at my mouthwatering vegan guide to Canggu.

A mouthwatering "fried chicken" salad from the Kynd Community cafe in Canggu! An awesome vegan cafe you must visit when in traveling Bali.
A mouthwatering “fried chicken” salad from the Kynd Community cafe!

7. Hand Sanitizer

Komodo dragons are known for carrying around diseases. Hand sanitizer or a disinfectant should definitely be on your essentials list when packing for Bali!

Bali is packed with hundreds of thousands of tourists every year (not to mention strange animals!) and you can bet they spread a lot of bacteria, which could definitely include some near-deadly diseases and illnesses.

(One girl I was traveling with contracted some awful sickness that left her bedridden for days!)

The island is also filled with beautiful wildlife and off the beaten track adventures, so coming across an infection isn’t uncommon.

Even though hand-washing is best, carrying around a small container of hand sanitizer could be quick fix to kill some bacteria.

My personal favorite is this hand sanitizer in a glass bottle (yay for recycling!). Or you can just get this multi-pack organic hand sanitizer

8. Protective Sunglasses

With the strong sun rays and glittering waters, protective sun glasses are a must-have for any Bali vacation.

What’s your favorite type of sunglasses: big, bug-looking ones, aviators, or maybe some hippie-ish round ones?

With the crazy strong sun rays and the sparkling ocean waters, you’re going to need something to protect your precious eyes! Sunglasses should definitely be on your list of essential things to pack for Bali.

Bonus: protective sunglasses can also double up as a fashionable accessory to any outfit!

So, whether you need them to cover up your hangover eyes (Hey, no judgement here! I’ve been there.) or to highlight your awesome new top or swimsuit, sunglasses are a must-have for any trip to Bali.

Traveling around Bali is easy with a guided tour! Check out these tours with raving reviews:

9. Lightweight Towel

Beach bumming in Bali is a common occurrence, which is why when packing for Bali, you shouldn't forget a lightweight towel!

For all the beach bumming and ocean swimming you’re going to be doing while in Bali, you’re definitely going to need a towel! Especially if you’re planning to stay at various hostels around the island like I did.

They don’t provide complimentary towels like most fancy hotels do and no one wants to be carrying around a heavy weight in their bag, aka a cotton towel.

So, before you go, find a lightweight, quick-drying towel you can take around with you!

10. Tiger Balm

I’ve talked about Tiger Balm before in my 10 odd essentials I’ll never travel without post and I’ll talk about it here again because it’s just such an amazing item to carry along! Tiger Balm is literally my go-to item for any body issue.

Headache? Rub some Tiger Balm on the temples. Itchy bug bite? Slather on some cooling Tiger Balm to take away the annoying itch. Sore muscles? Massage some on to relieve the pain.

But that’s not all it’s good for. One of my absolute favorite ways to use it is by putting it all over to keep prevent mosquitoes from biting me! And it works like a charm.

The menthol in the Tiger Balm dissuades them from bothering me. It’s fantastic.

Tiger Balm is widely available throughout Bali and Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand, but if you’d like to get it before you leave, check it out here.

Nonetheless, if you’re questioning what to bring to Bali, tiger balm is most definitely an essential for any island getaway!

So, there you have it. My list of 10 essential things to pack for Bali, Indonesia! 

Have you ever traveled to Bali? What were some essential items you packed? Have anything I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Sophie xx

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