Most people have a fantasy about Bali. It sounds exotic, pretty far away and, let’s be honest, it does sound very sexy! After spending a few months in Bali I thought I could share my Bali packing list essentials with you so you can make the most of your time in one of the most relaxing places on Earth…and not go crazy that you’ve forgotten all the essentials. Also, don’t forget to check out my Bali weather posts to make sure you bring the right clothes for each season!
Please note that the weather can be different depending on where in Bali you’re planning to stay so this guide is mainly for Canggu!
Weather in Bali
The weather in Bali is pretty warm year round, some months much hotter than others. The dry season is from May to September and this is probably the best tome of the year to visit.
It can get pretty humid and very wet (as in insane rain and thunder storms every single day!) between November and March during the rainy season in Bali. While it doesn’t normally rain all day every day during the wet season, there can be weeks at a time when you won’t see the sunshine which can get very frustrating if you’re on a two week holiday!
Traveling in a warm, exotic destination is always easier when it comes to packing as summer clothes don’t take up too much room and this is a good thing, especially if you’re flying with low-cost airlines such as Air Asia which charge for extra baggage!
Wondering where to stay in Bali? Check out this list of beautiful hotels in Bali!
Bali Packing List – Essentials
Let’s do this! What’s on the PERFECT Bali packing list? Here’s a few of the essentials…
A cute swimsuit
Having your swimwear ready is one of the most important things in Bali! Whether you’re planning on going surfing, jumping in the pool or simply sunbathing, you should definitely bring at least one or two swimsuits with you. Canggu and Seminyak have lots of cute boutiques and swimwear shops so you won’t find any shortage of places to buy cute new bikinis!
You’ll want this for the endless photo shoots on drop dead gorgeous beaches like Suluban Beach in Uluwatu.
A beach or travel towel
Of course, if you’re planning on going to Bali bringing a towel is a brilliant idea, unless your accommodation provides them for you. Most fancy hotels and event Airbnbs will give you a beach towel to use during your stay, but if you’re staying in a hostel or small guest house bringing your own towel is advisable. The best option would be a quick dry one as they don’t take too much room and they dry quickly!
Flip flops are pretty essential in Bali! Whether you’re walking down the beach, around the pool or simply to go the shop, it’s the most comfortable thing you’ll be wearing in the warm chill vibes in Bali. Everyone in Bali lives in Flip Flops and you probably won’t wear much else for the duration of your trip. Pick up a pair of Havaianas online, or buy a comfortable pair in any number of surf shops here in Bali after arrival.
Bringing good walking shoes for hiking days, motorbike trips and sport activities is also be a smart idea! Unless you’re planning on laying down almost constantly, you might want to consider exploring off the beaten path! There are so many cool waterfalls to hike to, volcanos (when there isn’t a volcano erupting!) to trek up and many more off-the-beaten-track adventures around the coast and Ubud that require decent walking shoes or runners.
Bringing a sarong along with you could actually replace your towel in some cases…and can also be used as an eye mask, dress, blanket and pillow for long bus rides! It’s a great option to cover up while you hop on that motorbike on your way to the beach, to visit temples and to lay on while at the beach.
A Rain Jacket
If you’re travelling to Bali the rainy season having a rain jacket for emergencies (or every day use if we’re honest!) is always a great idea! The rain can be pretty heavy and unexpected, and you’ll find that pretty much all locals here carry ponchos inside their motorbikes or backpacks at all times. Remember that the rain jacket needs to be LIGHT as it could still be 30 degrees when it’s raining! Bringing an umbrella could also be a smart idea, but they are also easy to find around Bali.
What To Pack For Bali – Accessories
If you’re planning on going on hikes, adventures and motorbike rides, having a day backpack will surely be a good idea! Most backpackers I know rave about the Cabin Zero backpacks – I don’t own one myself but might invest this year!
You gotta protect these pretty eyes of yours, don’t you? The sun in Bali can be pretty strong during the day and right before the sunset, so you should definitely bring sunglasses.
You can either use your day backpack or a proper beach bag to bring your favorite book or other beach accessories for your daily trips to the beach.
A sun hat
To protect your face against the sun, having a cap or a hat is a smart idea! Plus, it’s always stylish, Instagrammable and useful! Of course, the sun is very strong in Bali and the last thing you want is to become a crab on the beach.
Did I mention how strong the sun is in Bali? Hopefully you got the hint! Bringing a good suntan lotion is very important – don’t buy a brand you don’t know and it’s best to bring some with you as some in the shops here are expired and don’t protect as well from the sun. And while you’re packing these products, you might want to add some Aloe Vera to that bag…especially if you’re Irish and pale skinned, like me!
What to Pack for Bali – Camera Gear
A decent camera
If you’re traveling to Bali, Indonesia, you should bring your camera! With this amazing coastline, rice terraces, huge waterfalls and epic sunsets there are photography opportunities every single day!
You might want to consider investing in a camera before your trip to Bali! One of the most popular cameras on the market right now is the mirrorless Sony Alpha range. As new models keep getting released, the slightly older (but still amazing) Sony Alpha A6000 can be bought for less than $500.
An action / underwater camera
If you’re planning on going on a motorbike road trip, surfing trips or snorkeling/diving adventures while you’re in Bali I suggest investing in a GoPro camera. The slightly older GoPro Hero 4 is what I use and see no need to upgrade to the more recent models, especially as it’s almost HALF the price of the newer ones!
Perfect if you plan on jumping off boats or waterfalls and don’t want to lose your precious camera – or you’re looking for some neat accessories to attach your camera to your motorbikeI recently purchased some great GoPro accessories from a company called Sandmarc that actually specialises in drone and action camera accessories.
A tripod is always useful for long exposure shots and for time lapses. The Joby Gorillapod is what I use. It’s super sturdy and very affordable. It’s probably not for professional photographers but does the job for me! You can even get a nifty one to use with your smartphone!
Battery Pack/Power Bank
If you use your phone a lot and plan to be out all day I suggest bringing along an extra battery pack to charge up your phone/camera. They are normally affordable and could save the day!
Bali Packing List: Bits and Bobs
Now that you have managed to pack your bag for Bali, or at least have a decent idea of what to bring along with you, here are a couple more things you should keep in mind to make your trip memorable!
Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok Guidebook – a great resource for planning your trip, deciding where to go in Bali and some top recommendations on places to eat and drink as well as top places to stay around the island.
Be SURE to purchase travel insurance before your trip. I am always reminding all of my readers on the importance of travel insurance and how not purchasing any could seriously ruin your life. Dramatic, I know, but also very true. I always use World Nomads as they are best for backpackers and long term travellers. For shorter trips, you might find a good insurance provider in your home country.