What to do and what not to do in Bali, Indonesia, plus tips and tricks for traveling to Bali and making it the easiest, best trip ever! Important Bali Dos and Don’ts
Bali is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Being there was healing, inspiring, mesmerizing, and so much more. I honestly felt so at home there that I often forgot I was on the other side of the world in another continent.
That being said, before I left, I was definitely apprehensive about what I needed to bring and pack and about what I needed to know before going. I did a lot of research and talked to friends and family who had been there before me. After all of that and actually traveling there myself, I decided to share my list of Bali Dos and Don’ts as well as a full on Bali Guide.
This is something I wish I had before I left, so I’m hoping it will help anyone else going there!
If you are traveling to Bali, you should also check out my Bali Guide that has information on places to stay, things to do, and tons of food recs in the Seminyak, Ubud, and Canggu areas.
Bali Dos and Don’ts
Let’s start with the Don’ts:
- DON’T drink Bali tap water. Only drink bottled water to avoid getting sick. I was fine brushing my teeth with tap water but did not swallow any of it and would rinse my mouth with bottled.
- DON’T exchange money at locations with suspiciously good exchange rates. If the rate looks too good to be true, it probably is and people often get back fake money. Only exchange your money at places that say “PT. Authorized.”
- DON’T pack clothes just because. I am the queen of over-packing and I definitely did this in Bali. I packed pretty much every swimsuit, cover-up, and beachy dress I had and it was totally unnecessary. There are so many cute things to buy there for pennies on the dollar; save the space in your suitcase for souveneirs.
- DON’T buy a phone plan for data. It is best to keep your phone on airplane mode the whole time and use WiFi when you need to get in get connected/online/social media. There is WiFi almost everywhere and people are happy to share the password. Having LTE is really not necessary, plus, Bali is the type of place where you should disconnect as much as you can, anyway.
- DON’T buy at the tourist price. Most street vendors will initially try to sell you things for a much higher price than they are willing to sell for. Be smart and confident about negotiating and they will most definitely give you a better deal, especially if you’re buying more than 1 item!
And now for the Dos:
- DO hire a driver for your time there if you can. Your hotel may be able to put you in touch with a reputable one. This makes getting around much easier than calling a cab. We LOVED our driver; he was like a personal tour guide all week and became a dear family friend for life.
- DO bring your own sunscreen. Most things in Bali are amazingly cheap, but sunscreen for some reason, is not.
- DO bring activated charcoal. This is just a precaution in case you do eat something that upsets your stomach. It can be found at any CVS/Walgreens/Etc. and is available in the pharmacies there, as well, but is good to keep on hand.
- DO get massages at local places. While in Bali, I booked a really nice spa day at a 5 star spa and also got massages at places on the street for a fraction of the price and honestly, those massages were just as good, if not better. You can definitely pay more if you are looking for luxury and pampering, but if you just need a good massage, the local, “cheap” places are more worth it.
- DO plan for driving time. The roads and traffic in Bali are crazy! It takes awhile to drive anywhere so just keep that in mind and consider walking if its close enough because its often faster!