First time travelling to Bali? So was I! Although it is a cheap travel destination for backpackers here are a few tips and things to always keep in mind.
1. Rent a bike
It's a cheap, easy and convenient way to travel around the island. I recommend wearing a face covering as the dirt from the air will definitely stick to your face from riding all day. If you haven't ridden a bike before, try practicing a bit before and stick to less busy roads.
2. Book an Airbnb in each area of Bali
If I were to do Bali again, I'd stay in a different part of it every few days. Airbnbs are super cheap and you'll get to experience the different lifestyles on each side of the island.
3. Bargain for your life
I can't believe how many different prices I heard everywhere. Even in very touristy places, I was able to find and bargain good deals. It's all part of the fun, so give it a try the next time you're shopping around.
4. Book your adventures on Airbnb
There are some great experiences on Airbnb, the price for what you get is a HUGE steal. Here are some places and experiences that are worth checking out:
White water rafting experience for $30, including transportation and lunch
Surf lesson in Kuta for only $10-15, photos included!
An educational Bali cooking lesson deep in the rice fields, with take-home recipes and leftovers for dinner. It also included transportation and a walk around the local markets.
There are so many more deals and experiences like these, so choose the ones that best fit your trip!
5. Google Maps is your best friend
I cannot count the number of times I got lost in Bali. If you are travelling by yourself, always make sure your phone is charged and that you have the places you need to go pinned on your maps. If you ever find yourself stuck, ask someone for help as Bali can often be confusing.
6. Not everyone loves tourists
Many of the locals are really nice and helpful! The majority of the people I met in Bali were nothing but amazing. But keep in mind (like any other place you travel), it can be dangerous to be a tourist. Always be mindful of your surroundings and research places before you go there.
7. Look out for Bali traffic police.
You may not be doing anything wrong, but all of a sudden you find yourself stopped by the traffic police while riding your bike. Even if you are abiding by the laws, they may try to fine you and threaten to take your bike away. There are a lot of helpful tips and stories out there about what to do if you are stopped. Here is a site I found helpful when I was planning my trip.
8. Stay in the Gili Islands first
If you're planning on also going to the Gili Islands during your trip to Bali, it is recommended to stay in the Gili Islands FIRST. With traffic on the roads and delays with boats, you may end up missing your flight - which is exactly what happened to me. Don't count on anything going exactly according to plan. Try to prepare for all of this by keeping Bali as the last destination on your trip.
9. Find local foods
Bali has some amazing cheap eats and the best ones are in local areas. Try not to get sucked into the touristy restaurants. Do your research and visit the local towns for some of the best meals.
10. Find hidden gems across Bali.
My favourite part of Bali was all the hidden gems waiting to be found. If you're looking to avoid the touristy areas and enjoy a bit more quiet time, definitely do that extra bit of research to find these unique places. I found this refreshing waterfall hidden in the midst of the caves. By far, the best part of my trip.
Visited Bali before? Share your tips and favourite places below!