Make your holiday runs smoothly with no stumbling blocks! We have summarized bunch of tips to make your family holiday in Bali stress-free and delightful.
Essential Tips for Families Travelling to Bali
Bali has been a family favourite for travellers from Australia and beyond for many decades. Warm weather, white sand beaches, affordability and the family-oriented local culture all contribute to making Bali a kid-friendly destination. There is so much on offer for families with activities, resorts and dining options to suit a wide variety of ages, interests and budgets. These days Bali is more accessible than ever with plenty of flights from around the world, and many different accommodation options and you need not be the most intrepid of travellers- most Western creature comforts have become available in recent years. We want to make it even easier for you to plan & enjoy a seamless Bali holiday with the family, with a few handy tips from us, the experts!
Tip 1: Where to stay in Bali
When in the planning stages of your Bali trip it’s a good idea to give some thought to how you envision your Bali trip for your family. Is it sightseeing and touching base with nature that you are hoping for? Or exploring beaches with your kids, with plenty of sunset bintangs and coconuts? You might envision days spent poolside or is it important for you to be in walking distance to shops and restaurants? To find out which area might be for your family check out our Bali Area Guide. There is truly an area in Bali for everyone, and your children are sure to find each area stimulating and unique- a trip they will remember forever!
After you pick an area, you can start looking at accommodation. From 5-star luxury to boutique hotels to homestays- pick an option with a pool and ideally a restaurant (or you can use GrabFood to order in!) so even on a lay day you can keep the kids happy without leaving your accommodation. We have already done the groundwork and compiled a list of our favourite tried and tested family-friendly resorts for you to check out. There is a variety of family-friendly amenities on offer from kids’ pools, water slides, playgrounds and kids’ clubs. Some even offer comprehensive schedules of kids’ activities like cooking classes and cultural experiences!
*It’s good to note that most kids’ clubs require supervision for kids under 4, this may mean hiring a nanny if you don’t want to stay in the kids club yourselves with the young ones.
Tip 2: A seamless arrival in Bali
Being organised for when you land in Bali with kids can certainly help the family start the holiday off on the right foot. Flights and airports are tiresome, especially for kids.
Things you need to know about arriving in Bali:
- Luckily most areas in Bali are within about two hours of the airport with options such as Grab SuperApp and private transfers to get you directly to your accommodation once you land.
- Of course, traffic can affect your transfer time, but options like Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are your best bets to avoid hitting too much traffic after a long trip from the airport with kids that have already been restrained for hours.
Airside there is a line at immigration for families travelling with children under 5 which can cut your wait times down. If you’ve had particularly long flights, or are arriving at your child’s witching hours, we recommend booking a concierge service so that you can skip all of the lines and have help with your luggage.
Tip 3: What to bring
Bali is coming along in leaps and bounds all the time when it comes to mod cons and accessibility to your favourite products. With Western supermarkets such as Pepito. Grand Lucky or Bintang in most tourist areas, you can generally get everything you need (or anything you’ve forgotten!).
Things you need to consider when packing:
- Baby formula can be bought at most convenience stores and supermarkets.
- You may not be able to find all of the brands that you are used to however so you may want to make sure you bring ample supply from home if you prefer to stick to something special like organic or goat’s milk.
- Some health food stores like Bali Buda stores and Alive in Canggu may have overseas brands.
- Nappies and wet wipes are widely available in convenience stores and supermarkets, but once again you might not find your preferred brands.
- Should you bring a pram? The answer depends on where in Bali you are travelling to. We recommend only bringing a travel-size pram if you do, as the roads are narrow and there isn’t always a footpath in most places. Nusa Dua and Sanur have more walkways so it’s easier to use a pram in these areas. Where possible we recommend using a baby carrier instead.
- Car seats are commonly used or provided in most Bali transport options. It is common for children to sit on your lap or by themselves when travelling. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this you may want to bring a car seat of your own or rent one through a baby equipment rental service such as Bali Baby. If you do want a car seat we recommend hiring a full-time driver during your stay, otherwise, it will get tiresome to put the car seat in and out each time you need to go somewhere.
*** HOT TIP – Bali Baby not only hires all kinds of baby equipment & provides pool fencing, but they can also plan all of your holiday activities and transport with car seat included too! ***
- Most accommodations have a porta cot available on request but confirm this before your stay.
- If you forget things like dummies or bottles, these are all widely available at convenience stores and supermarkets.
- Baby and child-friendly sunscreens may be harder to come by in Bali (and sunscreen is super expensive on the Island) so you may want to bring some from home.
- Taking some basics like paracetamol is advisable. These are widely available but may be different brands and flavours to what you have at home.
- Don’t forget sun shirts, hats and swimmer nappies, a Bali holiday is generally filled with a lot of swimming and time outdoors!
Tip 4: Staying safe and healthy in Bali
First of all, you should always travel with comprehensive health insurance for you and your family as accidents or illness can happen at any destination. It’s good to know that Bali has some great International Standard Hospitals. The main players are Siloam Hospital on Sunset Road, BMIC in Nusa Dua and Ubud and in Sanur, our own personal GP has an excellent practice that we highly recommend as your first stop if the kids or yourself get sick – Bali Travellers & Expat Health Clinic. There are also plenty of other clinics scattered around tourist areas, although some are better than others.
Things to keep the kids healthy during your stay:
- Although Bali is coming in leaps and bounds, there are some safety considerations to take into account. Mosquitos are abundant and dengue fever, a mosquito-borne infection is a risk. Always spray yourself and your children with mosquito repellent daily and at night, especially when near gardens and rice fields. You might even consider long sleeves and pants for your kids in the evening. Sleeping bags with legs and arms enclosed are also a good option for protecting babies against mosquitos at night.
- Food and drink have become safer over the years but Bali Belly can still hit at the most inconvenient times, like before your flight home! Most Western Standard restaurants and resorts are relatively safe, but you should exercise caution when dining at a more local-style restaurant or warung on the beach as hygiene practices may not be up to scratch. Sanitising your hands as often as possible also helps.
- Brush teeth with bottled water always and keep an eye on your kids in the pool and shower to make sure water is not going in their mouths.
- Bali is not as regulated with pool safety so you will notice most of the pools do not come with pool fences.
Expert Tip: for families with young kids we would recommend asking for hotel rooms that are a little farther away from the swimming pool. If you are staying in a villa with a pool, you can rent temporary pool fences also. They will deliver and fit the fence for you.
- On the streets, you will find open drains that can be trip hazards; some are big enough for children to fall into. Make sure you always keep your kids close and hold their hands. You might want to take a Grab Car where you can to avoid the stress of pounding the pavement with multiple small children in tow. Trust us it can be stressful!
- The Bali Dogs and cats are super cute and your kids may want to meet them, but it’s best to be cautious as there are cases of rabies in Indonesia. You can let them know it’s best to say hi from a distance.
- At attractions like the Monkey Forest in Ubud or the Uluwatu Temple, there are a lot of monkeys which are super fun and entertaining for your kids. Believe it or not- some of the monkeys are trained to play tricks on you like stealing sunglasses, phones and even shoes so that their trainers can give them back to you for a ransom! The monkeys are very used to humans and can come quite close or even jump on you, which may give young children a fright. If staying at a hotel or villa in the Ubud or Uluwatu areas, the monkeys may seek out food left outside so much like when you are camping make sure you put all food inside and keep doors closed!
Tip 5: Enjoying Bali beaches safely
Bali has many fabulous beaches, but it is known for world-class surf, and with that comes some wild conditions. Whenever you head to a Bali beach keep an eye on the forecast as strong winds, big swells and even full moons can influence dangerous surf.
Things to know about Bali beaches:
- Many of the beaches on the Uluwatu peninsula are accessible only by a steep track which might be tricky for young kids. Dreamland is the most accessible by car, as well as Jimbaran in this part of Bali.
- Generally, Sanur and Nusa Dua beaches are known to be the calmest on the island, with picturesque white sand and walking paths.
- Canggu beaches are more accessible but are not always calm enough for swimming.
- Kuta, Legian and Seminyak beaches are generally good for swimming and easily accessible, but can also get too rough at times.
- Most of these beaches have lifeguards but they are not always on duty.
Check out Our 13 Favourite Beaches in Bali for more info on what to expect from Bali’s best beaches. If you’re not in the mood to deal with stairs, sand, and unfriendly waves but still want a beach experience, you might want to check out one of Bali’s best Beach Clubs instead!
Tip 6: Keeping the kids entertained in Bali
Where to start? Bali is simply the best for kids! From water parks to creative workshops, cultural experiences, nature-based activities, bowling, trampolining and even a Fairy Village in Ubud! Check out our comprehensive list of things to do with kids in Bali. Your kids are sure to find almost every moment in Bali stimulating, there is always so much action all around, a new culture to explore and beautiful nature.
Tip 7: Hiring a nanny in Bali
Nannies in Bali are heaven sent!
Even if you don’t plan on heading out without the kids, nannies can accompany you on days out as an extra set of eyes and hands. It’s a huge relief and might allow you to steal a few moments to enjoy a drink or even a massage…when travelling with little ones, these moments can be few and far between!
Things to know about hiring a nanny in Bali:
- Most experienced nannies are trained in First Aid and can swim. It’s best to ask them about their experience though before booking them.
- Many of the 5 star resorts offer nanny services and nannies can be booked via the hotel concierge.
- If you take a nanny out and about for the day, it’s customary to offer to pay for their food and drink.
- Spending time with a nanny can be a great way for kids to learn a little about local culture, don’t be afraid to ask your nanny to teach the kids about temples, simple local language and customs.
- Many nannies speak good English and have some knowledge of Western Culture.
- Tipping is not expected but always hugely welcomed.
- If heading out without the kids, you can communicate with your nanny via WhatsApp, be sure to have a local sim card or roaming data on you phone.
- Minyak Telon- all Bali nannies swear by this and may want to use it on young kids as a mosquito repellent. Usually this is a blend of fennel, cajeput and coconut oils.
Tip 8: Getting around Bali with the kids
Grab Cars are a great way to get from A to B and are generally better value than private drivers. You can use the app to book cars when you need them. If you are taking a car seat we recommend booking drivers for the day (you can do this by using the Grab Rent feature) so that you only need to put the car seat in once. If you choose to hire a scooter when you are in Bali, double check your insurance covers this (you’ll need a full motorcycle license AND an International license to be covered by insurance) and it might be worth bringing a kids helmet from home as not all hire places will have a kids helmet available.
- Have some breakfast supplies at your accommodation as ‘hanger’ is not fun and you may have to leave your accommodation to get breakfast (we use the Grab Mart feature on the Grab app to get these things delivered to us)
- Instead of lugging all of your baby equipment with you, take advantage of the baby equipment rental company Bali Baby. You can rent everything you need and have it waiting for you on arrival to your accommodation (this also includes pool fencing for your villa if you need it!).
- Have plenty of sanitiser and sanitiser wipes on hand at all times.
- When going out and about for the day in a car, take plenty of snacks and water for everyone as traffic jams can occur at any time.
- The Balinese LOVE children. It is a good idea to brief your children that people may want to say hi or have a cuddle. Interacting with locals is a great experience for your kids, but it may be confronting for some.
- Toilets at tourist attractions and on the road can be rough so try and do all toileting and nappy changes beforehand if possible.
- Mid-afternoon is the hottest time of day. You may want to reserve this time for the pool.
- Nasi-gorengs and satays are good local food options for kids. It’s good for kids to experience local cuisine and spark some interest in the local culture.
- Pack or purchase charcoal pills such as NORIT (which is widely available in most Bali mini marts, supermarkets and pharmacies). Taking a few of these when Bali Belly hits can really speed up your recovery as they work to draw out toxins from your gut.
- Keep your food options conservative in the 24 hours before your flight to avoid any last minute tummy issues before the flight. Think hot chips and plain pizzas and fruit you buy and wash yourself.
We hope these tips help you to enjoy a stress free family holiday in Bali! Bali is a really fabulous option to enjoy a memorable time with your kids!
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