In nearly a decade of globe-trotting 47 countries I can safely say Bali is one of – if not the – best travel experiences I’ve ever been fortunate to have.
We’ve been twice over the years and we’ve done almost everything in Bali, including: exploring breathtaking waterfalls, trekking to the peak of a volcano, wandering enormous rice paddies, soaking in natural hot springs, swimming with manta rays, trying (and failing) at surfing, sunbathing on gorgeous beaches, and visiting the markets of Canggu.
So you may be wondering what to pack for Bali?
In this guide I have you covered on all the essentials you need to bring for any Bali itinerary, plus recommended travel items and my favourite gear that I trust, based on my travel experiences over the years.
Near the end of the post I’ve also included what NOT to pack for Bali, and a section about dress code in Bali, especially Balinese temples with their strict guidelines.
PS: Don’t forget to download your FREE Bali Travel Checklist PDF near the end of this post!
Scroll on to read: The Complete Packing List for Bali (+ FREE Travel Checklist)
Table of Contents
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The Complete Packing List for Bali (+ FREE Travel Checklist)
Firstly, here are all the important travel documents you can’t leave home without, plus important banking apps and cards. Bali is one of the few Asian countries that doesn’t charge hefty ATM withdrawal fees, so you don’t need to bring much cash. Plus, petty theft is common in Bali so its best to heed caution.
1. Passport and Itineraries
2. Travel Debit Cards
3. Driver License
4. Travel Insurance
For added security and peace of mind, don’t leave home without good travel insurance by World Nomads. Take it from me – what’s the worst that could happen? Well, I once got electrocuted in a Mexican hostel – I flicked a light switch in a dark bathroom and felt a sharp burn travel from my finger all the way up my arm, as if it caught fire (you can read about that in this post).
Travel Gadgets & Electronics
Now onto more travel essentials that ensure you’re connected to power and have access to the internet during your trip, plus gadgets to keep you entertained on long journeys – you won’t want to leave home without these:
1. Pre-paid SIM Card
2. Multi Plug Outlet / Universal Travel Plug
4. External Battery (Power Bank)
5. Wireless Noise-canceling Earbuds
6. Trtl Travel Neck Pillow
7. Windproof Travel Umbrella
8. Bendy Tripod Phone Holder
9. Compact Digital Camera
10. VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Bali Travel Safety Items
A question many people ask is: How safe is it to travel in Bali? The answer to that is, Bali is no more dangerous than most other places, in fact, your main concern when traveling in Bali is pickpockets and theft of valuable belongings. The following list has everything you need to ensure you don’t encounter those situations:
1. Travel Money Belt
This is super handy when you’re walking around tourist hotspots with cash and other small valuables – I recommend keeping these either stashed away in your hotel/airbnb, or stored securely on your body in a money belt.
2. Anti-Theft Book Bag
3. Anti-Theft Travel Purse
If you’re after the ultimate theft-proof purse, I highly recommend the Anti-Theft Travel Purse – it consists of five measures of theft prevention including:
- Slash-resistant straps: straps with stainless steel wire inside, protects against grab-and-go thieves
- Slash resistant fabric: the whole bag is made with a slash-resistant mesh barrier inside for extra layers of protection
- Lockdown straps: the strap lock secures bag to a stationary object, protecting against grab-and-go thieves
- Locking compartments: locking zipper pulls that prevent pickpockets from getting into your bag
- RFID blocking pockets: protects against electronic identity theft with RFID blocking card slots and pockets
6. Security Travel Scarf
Eco-Friendly Travel Packing Essentials
These days most of us try to do our bit for the world around us, and with air travel, we become more conscious of our carbon footprint. So with the items below, you’ll be making a difference in protecting wildlife, nature and the environment.
1. Lifestraw Filter Waterbottle
2. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
3. Eco-friendly Bug Spray
There’s loads of bugs in Bali, so you’ll also definitely want to cover up this eco-friendly REPEL Insect Repellent, and not only ‘cause it’s environmentally friendly, but avoid getting a blown-up arm from a Mexican mosquito infection, which actually happened to me in Mexico. The bug spray is plant-based, DEET free, and smells of lemon and eucalyptus.
4. Anti-Mosquito Bracelet
5. Reusable Shopping Bag
Toiletries & Medicines
This list features essential toiletries to take to Bali. Something I get asked often is: do I need medicine for Bali? Well, there are lots of bugs and in particular mosquitos (especially during the Oct-Mar rainy season). You’ll also want to avoid the dreaded ‘Bali belly’.
1. Dry Shampoo
2. Dry Conditioner
3. Hand Sanitizer & Pouch
4. Small Pack of Tissues
5. Facial Oil Blotting Rice Paper
6. Hangover Cure Tablets
8. Massaging Shoe Gel Inserts
Bali Beach Packing Accessories
Now for a list of items specifically for the beach, but also useful for water sports activities like snorkeling with manta rays, and other outdoor tours/excursions:
1. Beach Bag
2. Waterproof Phone Case
3. Microfiber Towel
5. Underwater Camera
6. Beach Coverup
7. Other Beach Accessories
Clothing / Attire for Bali
For the image conscious and those looking to save packing space, it’s well worth having a capsule wardrobe for your Bali vacation so you can interchange and mix up items of clothing, in order to don a different look each day.
1. Flip Flops
3. Sarong Cover up
4. Light Jacket
5. Rain Jacket
7. Hiking Boots
Luggage/Baggage and Packing Items for Bali
Finally, here’s a list of the packing items and baggage that I use to encase and carry all my stuff when I go on vacation. A question I get asked often is: Suitcase or backpack for Bali? Personally I prefer a backpack as it suits my Bali itinerary – involving a lot of moving around between regions and staying at many different places.
Also, it’s well worth investing in a trusted brand to ensure you have reliable gear that will last you years of travel.
2. Hardside Suitcase (if not the backpack)
4. Travel Laundry Bag
5. Space Saver Packing Cubes
Another must-have packing essential, these packing cubes are a smart way of keeping your clothes well organized in your backpack whilst also saving tons of space, and giving you peace of mind. The Space Save Packing Cubes come in three different sizes, so you can put your pants in one, and shirts in another etc. The double zipper design ensures the pack shrinks down as small as possible when filled, leaving you with plenty more bag space for all your Bali souvenirs and new clothing.
6. Hanging Toiletry Bag
7. Travel Medicine Kit
What NOT to pack for Bali
What can’t you bring to Bali? Below are the 4 main things you absolute need to leave at the door before you depart for Bali:
1. Don’t bring expensive jewelry and designer label clothing
Wearing flashy jewelry and branded clothing will make you stand out like a sore thumb for thieves, and even if you don’t get robbed, you’ll get quoted unreasonably high prices on everything from scooter rental, accommodation, day tours and so on.
2. Don’t pack too many clothes
Bali’s climate is very warm and pleasant with predictable weather, so you really don’t need to bring a lot of clothes. Besides, there are lots of cheap clothing readily avail able in Bali’s markets if you really need something.
3. Don’t bring wads of cash
Bali is one of the few Asian countries that doesn’t charge hefty ATM withdrawal fees, so you don’t need to bring much cash. Plus, petty theft is common in Bali so it’s best to heed caution. Use a travel credit/debit card like Wise, Revolut, or Starling (my favourite).
4. Don’t bring illegal narcotics (drugs)
Bali dress code: What to wear/not to wear
What should you not wear in Bali?
Remember to bring clothing that falls to below the knees – whether it be lounge pants, capris, midi or maxi skirts. That said, you are fine to wear shorts (above the knee), bikinis etc on the beaches and at resorts.
What shoes should I take to Bali?
Just like with most of Southeast Asia, the default footwear in Bali is simply a pair of sandals or reliable flip flops. Most (if not all) temples and some bars, restaurants and shops will require you to take your shoes off before you enter. Flip flops are easier to quickly slide on and off than sandals with straps.
Should I take jeans to Bali?
Denim is ok in Bali, but pants are better suited for Bali’s humid and hot climate. In fact, pants are a versatile, must-have clothing item. You can wear loose cotton pants to the beach, on a trek, or even at a temple.
What to wear in Bali temples?
You will likely visit a temple or two in Bali and since these are sacred places of worship and spiritual wonder on the island, there are strict rules and customs you must adhere to when entering the grounds of a Balinese Temple. I will go through these below.
Everyone must wear a sarong that covers the legs down to the ankles, as well as a top that covers the shoulders and upper part of the arms. Flip flops are acceptable, though remember to dress and act modestly.
Here are the main guidelines for visitors to Balinese temples:
- Do not point at things, especially statues.
- Do not point the soles of your feet towards the altar.
- Do wear appropriate attire – you must wear a long sarong that coves your legs and shoulders.
- Do not be loud or disruptive.
- Do not stand higher than the priest.
- Do not have an exposed wound.
- Do not be visibly pregnant.
For a detailed article on Bali customs and etiquette, head over to my post: What Not to Do in Bali:
So that’s it – my complete travel packing list for Bali Indonesia.
Take it from my 9+ years of travel around 47 countries, this list was created from trial and error, discovering the most reliable and trustworthy items that have served me well on my travels, as well as thousands of positive reviews that makes them reputable.
- Going abroad soon? Check out my post: How To Plan For A Vacation (and download my FREE printable travel checklist)
- Read up on my Top 10 Ways To Save Money For Travel to learn how I saved over $1K in one month
Thanks for reading my post: The Complete Packing List for Bali (+ FREE Travel Checklist)
Commonly Asked Questions
Bali has a tropical climate with warm weather and high humidity. You’ll mostly need just a swimsuit (or two), sundress and flip flops/sandals, though if you’re traveling inland or trekking the volcanoes, you’ll need a light jacket, pants, and some hiking shoes. Generally speaking, you won’t need to overpack for a trip like Bali.
After food, contaminated water is the most common cause of Bali Belly. To reduce your risks of ingesting contaminated water, avoid:
- Eating foods washed in tap water.
- Ice in your drinks
- Wet plates, cutlery items, and glasses
- Brusing your teeth from the tap
- Getting shower water in your mouth and eyes
Narcotics (cocaine, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy etc.) are forbidden. Indonesia has very strict drugs laws and the country routinely heavily prosecutes (and even executes!) foreign visitors for bringing drugs into the country. Even just small quantities for personal use will result in your spending years in an Indonesian jail.
Bali uses 230v plugs with round pins, the same as EU countries. I recommend bringing this versatile All-In-One Universal Travel Adapter Plug. It also comes with USB ports providing plenty of space to charge all your gadgets at once.
There are strict rules and customs you must adhere to when entering the grounds of a Balinese Temple. Everyone must wear a sarong that covers the legs down to the ankles, as well as a top that covers the shoulders and upper part of the arms. Flip flops are acceptable, though remember to dress and act modestly.
Book Your Trip to Bali: Budget Tips & Tricks
SIM cards: DrimSim is a universal SIM card that isn’t tied to an operator and works in any country/region.
Travel Insurance: Stay protected from theft, injury, illness, and cancellations. A safety net in case anything goes wrong, I never leave without it. World Nomads is my favourite agent for total peace of mind.
Need to store your luggage in a locker? Use Radical Storage to store your stuff in a locker in any city for just $5 per day.
Head over to my Travel Tools page for all my best travel tips & advice and everything you need for your trip.