How to use GRAB to make your Bali holiday easier… and cheaper!
Times they are a changin’ and just as we’ve seen rapid growth in app-based services in the Western world, the same is true for Bali. Our app of choice in Bali is GRAB – a company that was started in Singapore and has seen a rapid expansion across Asia in recent years. GRAB has been available in Bali since 2017 and is used extensively by locals and expats alike… but there is no reason that as a tourist you shouldn’t be using it also! Quite honestly, we couldn’t manage our daily lives in Bali without the GRAB app now, it has become our way to get from A to B, courier and food delivery services all in one.
To get started on GRAB is easy. Simply download the GRAB app to your phone, sign up using your phone number (Important: you don’t need an Indonesian number BUT you will need to be able to receive a text to get your confirmation code so bear this in mind and be sure you have international roaming on) and you’re ready to go! If you’re using PlayStore you can download the app in your home country, if you are using AppStore you’ll need to wait until you’re in Bali to download it. There is no need to attach a credit card if you don’t wish, it’s fine to pay for all of GRAB’s services using cash.
GRAB is the official app-based transport company for Bali airport and has a lounge and pickup point just outside the arrival area. If you don’t already have an airport pickup arranged on your arrival, head to the GRAB lounge at arrivals. Here you’ll find space to take a seat in the airconditioned lounge, charge your phone and log into the free wifi to order your GRAB pickup… which will arrive quickly right outside the lounge. The price* is set so there is no negotiating or wondering if you’re paying too much! Hurrah – hassle free transfer! Better still it’s no problem to pay in cash on arrival to your accommodation.
Gone are the days of having to haggle for transport or deal with taxis with tampered metres (a historic tourist trap) , getting around in Bali has become a breeze in Bali with GRAB car. When you want to go from A to B simply book your ride on GRAB app by using the GRAB Car option. You will see the set price* when you book your ride, you can see how far away your driver is and his name and plate number (a lot like Uber). There is also a messaging option if you need to contact your driver or if you’re driver wants to contact you. Additionally, all of these rides are logged on your account, so if you happen to forget something in the car you can contact GRAB and let them know which ride it was and they will get in touch with the driver and help you locate your goods… this HAS happened to us (more than once) and we’ve been able to locate our misplaced goods!
If you have multiple stops or want to go to areas outside the main areas it’s better to order GRAB Rent – you can choose from renting a driver and car for 4,6,8 or 10 hours and creating your own itinerary. This gives you the flexibility of having the same driver the whole time and knowing they are close by. A truly invaluable option when wanting to pack in all of the sites and hot spots of Bali. There are also some areas of Bali where is can be tricky to get picked up by “online drivers” due to tensions with the local transport drivers in the area (I’m sure you all remembered when Uber first came to Australia!) so when visiting these areas taking a GRAB rent can be a better option to avoid this. Currently being picked up (Important: being dropped off is no problem in any area) from areas in central or popular areas in Canggu, Ubud and Uluwatu (depending how visible you are on the street) can be tricky as the locals ban pickups from these areas by online transport.
We know it’s oh so tempting to choose to ride a bike while you are in Bali, hey we do it ourselves. It saves time in traffic and is the easiest way to get around the Island. The fact of the matter is though that many people are not properly licensed to do this (you need a full motorcycle license from your home country AND an international license) and often ride wearing no helmet and/or under the influence of alcohol. All of these factors mean that you won’t be covered by your travel insurance should you find yourself in an accident. A great alternative to riding a bike yourself is to order your bike ride through the GRAB app using GRAB bike. You still get to where you need to go quickly, still get the thrill of travelling the streets of Bali on a bike and you can do it safely! For us this is a no brainer. GRAB riders will always provide you with a helmet to wear and it’s much safer than taking a motorcycle ride with a random person on the street… not to mention, it is super cheap and you don’t have to find a parking spot for your bike!
Days in Bali are long and hot and when on holidays even though you may imagine yourself being out and about all day and night, the reality is often come nightfall after a day of exploring you are ready for dinner and bed. When staying in a villa you don’t always have access to a cook or room service, and when staying in a resort you don’t always want to pay resort prices for food… or you might just have a good old fashioned craving for your favourite Bali restaurant (or even some comforts from home….think Maccas or Grill’d). GRAB food is your absolute “go to” to have your dining desires delivered to your door! No more taking hangry, tired kids out to dinner….everyone can order what they want and enjoy it together in comfort.
Even more GRAB
For those of us who live in Bali, GRAB is the app we use for delivery services, paying our bills, buying tickets and giftcards and more… As I said, we’d find it hard to live in Bali without it now. It’s truly and everyday essential. The services we’ve listed above however are services that will make your time in Bali so much easier and cheaper*!
* NOTE – any parking, toll, or entrance fees incurred on your trips are extra on top of the set price for the ride.