WHAT TO PACK FOR BALI: FROM BOARD SHORTS TO SURF WAX
So, you've decided to travel to the Isle of the Gods? Great choice! We at LBW have been touring and exploring this jewel of the Indonesian islands for years now. We always have a blast. Between the fascinating fire dances of Uluwatu and the majestic cliff-backed beaches of Bingin, the misty jungles that shroud Ubud and the mighty volcanic domes of the north, there's oodles and oodles to do. But what about that all-important packing list? We've lined up some tips below. See you on the sands of Kuta folks…
Okay, so you can come to Bali and laze around for the whole time if you want. You can kick-back on the beaches of Kuta and sip bucket cocktails, whiling away your days watching the surfers on the swells. Or, you can pull on the walking boots and head out to the wild, wild backcountry of the island for an altogether different sort of adventure. We're on about scaling muddy rice paddies, seeking out elusive animals in the forests, or even conquering the top of Mount Batur or soaring Agung (that's a mega 3,000 meters up!).
Laptop (for the location independents)
There are plenty of reasons why Bali has become such a loved destination amongst digital nomads (people who live and work on the road). For one, it's got happy locals and great cuisine. It’s also affordable and packed with awesome things to see and do (think weekend surfing trips or volcano hikes to the summits of towering mountains). It's also laden with co-working spaces and great spots to set up the laptop for a little location-free work. So, if that's you, be sure not to leave the toolkit behind!
Board shorts are a must for any gentlemen heading to Bali this year. Comfy, airy, easy to clean and perfect for both beach lazing and swimming, these spacious pants are great for traveling around the Isle of the Gods. You can wear them to splash in the waters of Kuta Beach, or even enjoy the warming swells of the Indian Ocean as you surf without a wet suit for once. Nice.
Two of the main joys of Bali are its handsome looks and the people watching opportunities that abound here. Whether you want to kick-back and wonder as the best local wave riders carve over the swells or just glower upwards at the smoking tips of volcanos in the distance, it will certainly help to have a decent set of sunnies on hand. Trust us!
Yogi pants are quintessential backpacker wear if there ever was such a thing. Baggy, comfortable and patterned with everything from hand-drawn elephants to mystical religious symbols, they are available for purchase all over Southeast Asia. And while that means you might be better off just waiting until you arrive to bag you new favourite lazies, doing that will mean having to go a whole long-haul flight without them!
Whether it's the cascading rice paddies that dominate the hillsides around Ubud or the fascinating fire dances of Uluwatu, the echoing Monkey Jungle or the smoke-topped volcanos of the northern regencies, Bali promises one truly photo-worthy array of sights. You'll need to have the best camera you can get your hands on at the ready if you plan on snapping top shots, compete with the wispy plumes of mist atop the jungles or the outline of the civet cats springing through the woods.
Surf wax (or any other riding extras you might need)
If you – like so many others every year – are coming to Bali to hit the waves and ride the swells of the Indian Ocean, then you might need to consider bringing along all the little extras you'll need to make that ride the best it can be. Whether you hit the roaring left-to-righters that curl and drop by the cliffs of Uluwatu or the light beach swells of Kuta, that could mean packing anything from surf wax to your very own boards.
The importance of packing a sun cream for that trip to Bali can't be overstated. Just as if you were holidaying in the Sunshine State or southern Europe, fending off the scorching heat of the sun is super important in these parts. Get a factor that's nice and high, and be ready to lather it on several times a day (you'll need to do it after every time you jump in the Indian Ocean for a dip, after all).
DEET insect repellent
Yep, it might be paradise, but there's still mozzies in these parts. Carrying the odd tropical disease and uber-annoying to boot, these little critters will buzz and bite mainly in the morning and dusk. So, if you're planning on heading out a lot and don't want to cover up completely, be sure to bag yourself a powerful insect repellent. Most people opt for DEET sprays, which are particularly potent when it comes to keeping the fliers off, while others will prefer citronella and herbal remedies.
Mozzie bite fixer
No one wants to spend those sunny Bali days itching and itching away at mosquito bites. That's why taking a fixer for those inevitable nibbles is a great idea, especially if you know you're prone to a bit of bug trouble when in the tropics. You can buy this on arrival, but expect the locals to crank up prices – ain't nothing going to stop that itching once it starts!
There's nothing quite like a trusty tube of aloe vera for healing those sunburns. Of course, you'll ideally avoid being scorched by the Balinese sun altogether (hence why sun cream takes precedent on this list), but with long hours of dry and bright weather dominating between March and October each year, it's best to come prepared. Aloe also grows wild across the islands here, so you might just be able to find some sprouting from the ground as you go too!
Of course, this list of things to pack for Bali is hardly exhaustive! There's loads more stuff that should go in the backpack for that holiday to the Isle of the Gods. If you can think of anything to add, we'd love to hear about it in the comments below. You can also find more information on all of the tours LBW offers in Indonesia HERE!