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If you’re planning an upcoming trip to Bali, you’re probably daydreaming about all the stunning scenery, fantastic culture, beautiful villas, and delicious food you’re about to experience. The magical island of Bali is full of adventure for anyone willing to make the long flight there.
While flights to Bali can get expensive, once you’re there, life becomes quite affordable. Experiences, accommodations, and food can run you a fraction of what similar offerings would cost in the States, allowing you to splurge on things you otherwise wouldn’t. Even all-inclusive day trips and island hopping tours (like this one to Nusa Penida) cost less than a typical dinner in other, more expensive locales.
With all the fun and adventure you’ll enjoy on your Bali trip, you won’t want to worry about forgetting any essentials. That’s where this ultimate Bali packing list comes in handy!
Bali was the first international destination I visited as an adult. I was young and didn’t do a ton of research beforehand. While I had an amazing time and did so many things, I do wish I was a bit more prepared. Now that I know what traveling in Bali is like, I can definitely attest to a few essentials I wish I had!
This Bali packing list will include everything you need to pack for Bali, including some things that may not initially come to mind. We’ll also go into essentials for specific travel styles, whether you’re a pure adventure traveler, aspiring travel influencer, or this is your first time in Southeast Asia.
How To Pack For Bali
Consider Seasons and Weather
Bali is an island in Indonesia located in Southeast Asia. While the island is in the southern hemisphere, it is so close to the equator that it experiences a tropical climate year-round. The climate is excellent for packing as you won’t have to think much about bringing bulky winter clothes since the temperature remains warm throughout the year.
Bali experiences two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season typically lasts from October to February. A rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella is essential during the wet season.
The rainy season can bring anything from light, sporadic showers to a full-on downpour, so it is best to be prepared. It’s also super humid during this time, so a portable fan will come in handy, too.
The dry season is typically from May to early October. During this time, there’s less humidity and blue skies. This season is more popular for travelers, so it’ll be more crowded and expensive. It’s also a great time for surfing as well as scuba diving!
Rules For Visiting Cultural Sites
Bali is teeming with magnificent cultural and religious sites. While the people welcome visitors to enjoy their cultural sites, there is a set of rules and expectations that travelers should know and follow. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Dress modestly. Bali has a tropical climate, so, understandably, you’d want to be in beachwear and flip-flops all day. However, covering up your top (shoulders and chest) is mandatory when visiting temples and sacred sites. Pack an extra shirt or scarf that can cover you.
- Wear the provided sarong at temples (this goes for men, too). While you should already be dressing pretty modestly when visiting temples, most will offer a sarong or scarf to wear during your visit. This is often included in the price of admission and just adds another layer of modesty.
- Don’t visit temples while bleeding. This includes everything from a simple paper cut to menstruation. Similarly, pregnant women may also not be allowed to enter certain temples, as well as women who have recently given birth. This is an ancient belief and is to prevent women from having to participate in working for rituals and fasting.
- Be respectful with photos and videos. There are some places where photos and videos are strictly prohibited, but some do allow them. Ask if you are unsure, and be respectful if photographing any rituals or ceremonies.
Another thing to be aware of is Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence. This is the start of the new year on the traditional Balinese calendar and usually falls in late March. For 24 hours, the entire island shuts down – including airports, restaurants, and public transportation.
See Related: Best Ancient Ruins & Archeological Sites in the World
Trip Duration and Travel Style
When packing for any trip, your trip duration matters. Not only with the amount of clothes you’ll bring, but more importantly, bringing essentials such as medical supplies. Regarding prescription medications, vitamins, and supplements, I always like to bring a little more than I’ll need just in case of delays or flight cancellations.
When it comes to clothes, you’ll probably want to pack daytime clothes and nighttime outfits for this destination. Many of Bali’s top bars and restaurants now enforce a dress code – so swimsuits and flip-flops just won’t cut it.
If you’re planning a longer trip, many affordable laundry services are available that will even pick up and drop off your laundry so you won’t have to wait around for it all day. This option is fantastic for backpacking Bali or those living that digital nomad lifestyle.
Luggage and Packing Essentials
1. Travelpro Maxlite® Air Medium Check-In Hardside Spinner
Travelpro has been a trusted brand of airline crews and frequent travelers for years. The Maxlite® Air Medium Check-In Hardside Spinner is a fantastic travel companion for long trips, especially if you plan to load up on souvenirs from your trip.
The Maxlite Air line is made with a 100% polycarbonate exterior, so it remains lightweight and durable enough to avoid splitting and punctures. The interior is moisture-resistant, so any leaks or messes are a breeze to clean.
The spinner wheels make this large suitcase super easy to pull around airports and busy streets, even when completely full. Travelpro offers a 100-day trial to try out the luggage and get a full refund if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. Additionally, each suitcase comes with a limited warranty as long as you register the suitcase with Travelpro within 120 days of purchase.
See Related: Polypropylene vs Polycarbonate vs ABS Luggage: What’s the Best?
2. AWAY The Carry-On
The AWAY Carry-On is my go-to carry-on suitcase for all of my travels. When going on tropical vacations, I can easily fit two weeks’ worth of clothing – especially when I plan to spend most days hiking or lounging at the beach.
This sleek and modern suitcase comes in a variety of colors to fit any preference. There’s a zippered pocket and an open section with interior compression straps. It also comes with a laundry bag and a TSA combination lock.
I’ve had my AWAY carry-on suitcase for over five years now, and it has held up like a champ. It still looks brand new and (luckily) hasn’t suffered any damage so far. It is certainly worth the price!
3. Osprey Farpoint Wheeled Travel Pack
If you’re searching for a bag that can adventure with you through busy airports and in remote areas, get you one that can do both! The Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled Travel Pack offers the comfort that Osprey backpacks are known for with the added option of wheels!
This lightweight and durable pack allows you to fit everything you need for an exciting tropical trip. The wheels are ideal for giving your back a break and are made with rigid materials to handle rolling over tricky surfaces.
While this may seem like a high price point for a backpack, it is made to last for years and years to come. Osprey also offers its All Mighty Guarantee, which covers any damage or repair costs to its products free of charge.
See Related: Best Travel Backpacks & Carry-On Options
4. Tripped Travel Gear The Weekender Set
Packing cubes are key when it comes to packing for long trips. This Tripped Travel Gear Weekender Set is perfect for travelers who want to stay organized while still being able to get ready quickly and efficiently. This set can fit in a carry-on suitcase and can also be used if you’re backpacking Bali or if you’re traveling with checked bags.
Each packing cube in this set of two can fit four outfits. The mesh siding makes it easy to see which outfits are in each cube. These amazing packing cubes are even double-sided, so you can easily separate dirty laundry from clean clothes.
See Related: Our Honest Away Packing Cubes Review
5. Peak Design Tech Pouch
Having all of my belongings organized while traveling undoubtedly lessens the anxiety I experience while traveling. One small and sometimes overlooked thing is having a bag or compartment to keep your electronics and chargers in one place.
The Peak Design Tech Pouch features several internal elastic and zippered pockets to keep your electronics neat and organized. It can also work as a toiletry bag, mini diaper bag, or to hold your everyday essentials.
This sleek pouch comes in several different colors and is water-resistant. Check out our full review of the Peak Design Tech Pouch here!
6. Patagonia Atom Tote Pack
Bali is a good place to keep a day bag with you as you never really know where the day may take you. You could be visiting waterfalls, trekking around stunning rice paddies, hiking through dense jungles, lying on the beach, or all of the above on the same day.
You’ll need a bag that can hold all of your essentials for the day, and for that, consider the Patagonia Atom Tote Pack. It’s a small backpack that won’t get in the way of your adventures.
This pack features a removable tech pocket in case you wanna do some work at a cute cafe (there are tons of them in Seminyak) and a hydration hanger with pass-through access to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
7. Away Travel The Small Toiletry Bag
A toiletry bag is always a must for me, whether I’m going on a quick weekend getaway or a trip across the world. The Away Small Toiletry Bag is a great size for most people and fits everything you could need on a tropical vacation.
This small bag packs a big punch. It has two internal compartments – one mesh and one transparent – each made to hold different kinds of products. There’s also an external pocket to hold anything you may need quickly, such as makeup remover wipes or a Q tip.
Check out our comprehensive review of this amazing toiletry bag here and see just how much it can hold!
See Related: Away vs BÉIS: Which Case is For You?
Essential Clothing For Bali
8. REI Co-op Active Pursuits T-Shirt
Bali has a hot and humid climate, which can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re like me and you hate to sweat (despite loving sunny weather), the best thing you can do in this case is to wear breathable clothing.
The REI Co-op Active Pursuits T-Shirt is perfect in this scenario as it is moisture-wicking and dries quickly. It comes in several fabulous colors, sizes XS to 3X, and in a men’s fit as well! Another great part of this top is that it is made with sun-protective fabric, which is a must in any sunny location.
9. Columbia Windbreaker Jacket
While the weather is warm in Bali year-round, you’ll still run into rainy days or a bit of an early morning chill if you’re planning to do some sunrise hiking. This Columbia Windbreaker is the perfect light jacket to wear in Bali.
This jacket is super lightweight yet water-resistant, offering the ideal amount of protection from any rain or wind. Fellas should check out Columbia’s Carbon Hill Packable Windbreaker, which features Omni-Shade sun protection and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
See Related: Top Travel Blazers and Jackets for Comfort, Style, and Practicality
10. Roxy Meadow Flowers One-Piece Swimsuit
No Bali packing list would be complete without at least one bathing suit. If you’re like me, bathing suits will certainly take up the vast majority of your suitcase, but one versatile suit I highly recommend is a Roxy one-piece like this one.
It’s flattering, cute, and you can easily throw on a pair of shorts to wear it as a top when enjoying the cute cafes and restaurants of the island. I love that the straps are adjustable, and Roxy always has the cutest prints!
And for the guys – my husband swears by these versatile O’Neill board shorts. They’re comfortable, quick drying, and they go with everything. You can use it whether you’re surfing off Uluwatu or walking around town.
11. goodr OGs Polarized Sunglasses
Bali is not the place to bring expensive jewelry or sunglasses. It’s not theft by humans you have to worry about – it’s the monkeys! I got my favorite necklace snatched off my neck, so I don’t want others to make the same mistake I made.
When deciding what to pack, definitely opt for a cheaper pair of sunglasses, like these goodr OGs polarized pair. goodr sunglasses are polarized, lightweight, stylish, and come with silicone inserts to eliminate slippage while breaking a sweat. While they’re protective and good-looking, these sunglasses also come in at an affordable price point, so you don’t have to worry on the off-chance that you, too, are robbed by a monkey.
See Related: Best Gifts For International Travelers
12. Columbia PFG Tamiami™ Shoe
When I pack, it’s all about efficiency. A product that serves multiple purposes is a great addition to any packing list in my book. For any adventurous outdoor vacation, I highly recommend the Columbia PFG Tamiami™ Shoe.
Not only is this shoe super stylish and comfortable, but it also doubles as water shoes! These shoes perform in and out of the water, with features like stain and water-resistant materials, non-marking grip, and mid-sole ports for ventilation.
This shoe is great for walking around town, easy hikes (replacing hiking boots on your packing list), and water activities like fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The PFG Tamiami™ Shoe comes in styles for both women and men.
13. Beyond Yoga Spacedye High-Waisted Practice Pants
Yoga pants are the ultimate travel companion for the girlies who love to stay comfortable while traveling. They can go with you from the airport lounge to the gym and almost every activity in between.
The Beyond Yoga Spacedye High-Waisted Practice Pants are both cute and comfortable. Wear them at an aesthetic yoga studio in Canguu or on your long flight to Indonesia. They’re even cute enough to wear out to a restaurant!
These Beyond Yoga pants are moisture-wicking, and the high-rise waistband makes them ultra comfortable. The UPF 20 fabric also protects your skin against UV rays, perfect for enjoying this amazing outdoor yoga class in Ubud.
14. Dock & Bay Beach Towel
A trip to Bali means endless hours of outdoor fun, mostly on the water. This Dock & Bay Beach Towel is the ideal travel towel because it is quick-drying, folds down small, and remains sand-free after use. It can effortlessly be your new favorite companion for hiking to waterfalls, swimming with manta rays, after a day of white water rafting, or any water-related activity on your Bali itinerary.
I love that it comes in so many fabulous colors, making it an awesome gift for the frequent traveler in your life as well. It comes with its own bag and easily packs down to fit in your beach bag or suitcase without taking up a ton of space like a traditional bulky beach towel.
See Related: Best Beach Blankets | Sand-Free Portable Options
15. ALOHA Collection Reversible Tote
The ALOHA Collection Reversible Tote solves the annoying problem of having a beach bag that’s totally soaked and sandy at the end of a fun day. This tote was designed in Hawaii by a pair of frequent travelers, so they know better than most how to design the perfect travel beach bag.
First of all, this tote bag is splash-proof, protecting your belongings from light rain, wave splashes, or even accidental cocktail spills. It features an internal zipper pocket to keep things like your room key and wallet extra secure and is easily packable to fit into your carry-on or checked suitcase.
See Related: Best Travel Totes: Portable Bags & Carry-Ons
16. Aqua Lung Atlantis Single Lens Dive Mask
Snorkel gear is an absolute must in Bali. There’s just as much beauty to behold below the horizon as there is above it! I love my Aqua Lung single-lens mask for snorkeling at home and abroad. The single lens gives you unobstructed views and, honestly, just looks a lot cuter than a normal snorkel.
I also find that this mask doesn’t fog up as quickly as a traditional mask, so there’s a lot less time spent fussing with it and more time enjoying the gorgeous underwater views. The only downside is that you’ll have to buy a snorkel separately, but any cheap snorkel will do.
17. Roxy Women’s Bermuda Flip-Flops
The Roxy Women’s Bermuda Flip-Flops is the perfect pair of cheap flip-flops for travel. They weigh barely anything but are slightly elevated above something you’d find at a local souvenir shop. They are durable (as much as flip-flops can be) and comfortable, with the ability to last all day through various types of terrain.
I love my Roxy flip-flops – a pair usually lasts me over a year with continued use, especially in the summer. For the guys, I recommend these Reef Men’s Twinpin flip-flops. The vegan leather straps are super comfortable and don’t cut into your foot after a long day of walking.
Outdoor Adventure Essentials
18. Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
The Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag is an awesome essential to have for adventure travel. This dry bag is super durable yet lightweight and able to fold up nice and tiny. Instead of only having a waterproof phone case, a dry bag will ensure that all of your important belongings will be free from water damage.
I always bring my dry bag along when I’m paddleboarding, kayaking, and even fishing. It’s great to have an extra layer of protection from the elements while avoiding leaving your belongings on land and out of sight.
See Related: Sea to Summit Packing Cubes Review: Are They Worth It?
19. Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Water Bottle with Flex Straw Cap
As someone who drinks a ton of water, using a reusable water bottle while traveling has been a game changer. My go-to is my trusty 32 oz. Hydro Flask (aka my emotional support water bottle), but if a large stainless-steel bottle is too bulky for you, something like a Platypus SoftBottle is a fantastic option, too.
I’m a huge Hydro Flask stan because my bottles have lasted for years and still keep my water cold all day. The straw lid is super convenient while on the go as opposed to taking a cap off every time you need a drink.
Once again, tap water is not drinkable in Bali. However, many hotels and hostels will have a place to fill your bottle for the day. It’s more economical and better for the environment to fill up your bottle than to keep buying lots of bottled water throughout your trip.
20. Badger SPF 40 Protect Land & Sea Clear Zinc Sunscreen Cream
If there’s only one thing that should be on everyone’s Bali packing list, it’s reef-safe sunscreen, like this clear zinc sunscreen from Badger. Sunscreen is absolutely essential for any hot and sunny destination, and Bali is no exception.
A reef-safe sunscreen is a great way to show respect for the ecosystem you’re visiting while also benefitting from sun protection. This Badger sunscreen is made with only four ingredients and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores, and also hypoallergenic.
It was also one of the first sunscreen brands to obtain the Protect Land & Sea certification, which means it doesn’t contain any ingredients that could be harmful to the environment.
See Related: The Complete Backpacking Checklist: Essential Items to Pack
21. Travel Ready First Aid Kit
You never know when disaster may strike, and I always say that it’s better to be over-prepared than under. A Travel Ready First Aid Kit has all the essentials in a small, pre-packed kit. This kit includes items such as bandages, Tylenol, Neosporin, and gauze.
I would also suggest packing any additional OTC medications (along with prescriptions) that you may need. Some that come to mind include Tums, Imodium, antihistamines, and cough drops.
Camera Gear and Electronic Travel Essentials
22. Peak Design Camera Cube V2
It is essential to keep your camera gear safe and protected while traveling to avoid any damage or, worse – lost memories! The Peak Design Camera Cube is sleek, functional, and comes in different sizes depending on how much gear you plan to travel with.
The feature I love the most about this camera cube is the removable and customizable dividers. These protective dividers can be mixed and matched to perfectly secure and fit all your lenses, cameras, and other accessories.
See Related: Best Camera Bags for Travel
23. Peak Design Travel Tripod
A travel tripod can take your typical travel photos to a whole new level. The Peak Design Travel Tripod can easily pack down to the size of a water bottle but is capable of professional-level stability. It’s no wonder it has gotten over 900 5-star reviews!
This tripod comes in a more affordable aluminum option or an extra-durable and lightweight carbon fiber option. It’s easy to use for amateur photographers but still has all the bells and whistles, like a 20-pound weight capacity to handle full-frame cameras and telephoto lenses.
Check out our full review of the Peak Design Travel Tripod here!
See Related: Best Peak Design Products For Travel And Photography
24. GoPro HERO12 Black
While lugging around a DSLR can be cumbersome, one camera that won’t weigh you down is a GoPro. I love traveling with this adventure camera in my bag, specifically to capture underwater photos and hiking photos.
The GoPro HERO12 Black is the latest iteration of this camera and has only gotten even more awesome over time. It shoots in 5.3K60 Ultra HD video and 27 MP photos. This newest version also comes with live streaming capabilities and improved built-in stabilization.
GoPros are built to last and built for adventure. I’m forever loyal to the GoPro brand, but there are other worthy contenders worth checking out here.
See Related: Best Cameras for Travel Blogging
25. Gear from Lensrentals
Bali is absolutely gorgeous, making it an incredible place to visit for those who love photography. If you have some shots in mind but don’t currently own the proper gear to execute them, Lensrentals could be a lifesaver.
Lensrentals is an online photography gear rental service that offers everything from SD cards to single lenses to full photo or video packages. This is also a great way to test out new gear or brands, especially now with Lensrentals’ direct purchasing option!
Renting photography gear from Lensrentals is an affordable way to dabble if you’re an amateur looking to pick up a new hobby or if you’re more experienced but looking to try out new systems, lenses, or accessories.
See Related: Best Travel Lenses | Our Favorite Portable Camera Lenses
26. TESSAN Type C Outlet Adaptor
There’s no point in bringing all of your most-used electronics without having a way to charge them! Bali uses Type C and Type F outlets – the same ones you’ll find in most of Europe. This means you’ll probably need an outlet adaptor to plug in your electronics.
I have a few TESSAN Type C Outlet Adaptors since I’m an American currently living in Europe, and I still have a few electronics that only have US plugs. It’s super convenient to not only have the US plug option but also have two USB outlets built into the adaptor
In addition to a power adaptor, you may also want to bring a voltage converter. The US operates on 120V, while Bali uses 230V. This TESSAN outlet adaptor converts both the plug and the voltage all in one.
Bali Travel Tips
Now that you’ve finished making the ultimate Bali packing list, I’d like to share a few tips about visiting Bali.
- Hire a private driver during the duration of your vacation. Driving is super intimidating on the island, and having a local driver was terrific. My driver brought me to so many unique places I didn’t even know of, including incredible local restaurants, and we still keep in touch today!
- Purchase travel insurance ahead of time. Between the loads of adventure to partake in, unpredictable travel interruptions, and the possibility of getting sick, it’s better to have it and not need it than vice versa. Check out TravelInsurance.com to find a plan that works for you.
- Get up to date on your immunizations. The World Health Organization recommends being immunized against Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Rabies before traveling to Bali. But Bali does not have any vaccination requirements.
- Avoid drinking tap water in Bali. Stick to drinking filtered or bottled water only, and avoid things like ice in drinks and even brushing your teeth with tap water. While I personally haven’t experienced it, ‘Bali belly’ is definitely a thing, and I would recommend taking every precaution to avoid it from ruining your trip.
- Research where you’ll stay beforehand. Where you stay in Bali can make or break your trip. For example, Kuta is known as a party town, whereas Nusa Dua is more of a resort area, and Canguu has a relaxed surfer town vibe.
Plan Ahead For Activities
Bali is an island full of fun and adventure. I spent almost two weeks on this beautiful island and could have stayed a month and not seen and done everything I wanted to.
Your packing list for Bali will slightly differ based on your interests and activities. Here are just a few of the top activities I recommend:
- Enjoy the stunning views of Tanah Lot Temple. This can be done on your own, or you can book this private tour.
- Check out the Ubud Monkey Forest – and don’t get your necklace stolen by a cheeky monkey like I did!
- See the most breathtaking waterfalls of Bali on this exciting tour.
- Go on a guided sunrise hike of Mount Batur. This guided hike includes a stop at some beautiful natural hot springs and a light breakfast.
- Take a tour of Bali’s most Instagram-worthy spots. This includes impressive destinations like the Lempuyang Temple and Tegalalang Rice Paddies.
- Enjoy amazing scuba diving on the northern and eastern coasts of Bali. The best time for diving in Bali is from May to November. Later in the season, you may even spot the famous Mola Mola or Oceanic sunfish.
What is the dress code in Bali’s temples and cultural sites?
Modesty is key when visiting Bali’s temples and cultural sites. Wear a top that covers your shoulders and chest. Most temples will provide all visitors with a sarong to wear on their lower body during their visit.
What are the must-have items on a Bali packing list?
Must-have items on a Bali packing list include swimsuits, sun protection, lightweight clothing, flip-flops, and a packable beach towel.
- About the Author
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Brittney is a lifelong traveler from Oahu, Hawaii. She has visited more than 35 countries and is continually researching new places to explore – even though she hates flying. Her favorite destinations have one thing in common: they’re warm. With expertise in French Polynesia, Hawaii, and the Mediterranean, you can follow along as she checks out the cleanest beaches and clearest water on the planet. Brittney is currently based in the South of France.