Bali is undoubtedly one of the best travel locations in the world, providing endless adventures in some of the most beautiful landscapes. If you’re reading this right now you’re probably traveling to Bali soon! So, read through this whole article and when you’ve finished, you’ll know exactly what to pack for Bali. If you’re looking to run wild on adventures, go cliff jumping, snorkeling, and waterfall hunting, I’ve got you covered. This is the Ultimate Bali Packing List to prepare you for your adventures in Indonesia.
The Ultimate Bali Packing List
Here’s everything you need to know to pack for your trip to Bali. I’ll start with a short introduction to the Balinese climate, religion, and basic travel hacks. Then I’ll jump into the actual list of items you shouldn’t travel without. Finally, I’ll end with a full packing checklist so you can check each item off and cover all your bases as you fill up your suitcase. To sum it up, here’s everything you need to know about packing for Bali.
Weather in Bali
First things first, what are you packing for? As most of you know, Bali has a warm, tropical climate. But it also has two unique seasons which can affect what you bring.
Dry season runs from April to September, and brings great weather, but also great crowds. The temperature averages about 79 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 degrees Celsius, with humidity hovering around 80%. Expect it to be much cooler higher up in the mountains, though. If you’ll be making moped trips to the mountain waterfalls or hiking up Mt Batur, you’ll definitely want warm layers. All around, May through August is considered the best times for a Bali vacation.
Wet season is from October to March, and boy is it wet. January alone receives 1 foot of rain (or 30cm) at the height of the rainy season. It’ll also be a bit more humid, but the temperature only increases by a degree or two. Generally, good weather and sun can still be enjoyed with scattered short downpours in-between. There will be the occasional tropical storm, but for most well-prepared people, this season will have little impact on their daily activities. I’ve visited at the end of the rainy season multiple times and never had an issue.
Religion in Bali
Bali is a deeply spiritual place. The island is the only Hindu-majority province in Muslim-majority Indonesia and was home to mass migrations from the Hindu populations of Java. Many a tourist have accidentally planned a visit during Nyepi, the “Day of Silence” before Balinese New Year, and wondered why everything was shut down.
While the tourist beaches, cafes, and resorts are anything goes, it still does well to dress and act conservatively when visiting more local parts of the island. If visiting any temples, make sure to have your shoulders and knees covered. Both men and women can be required to wear a sarong when entering a temple, and it’s useful to pack one in advance. That said, most locals have a pretty relaxed attitude towards foreigners.
Money (hacks) in Bali
One of the worst things that can happen during a trip to Bali is getting your card details skimmed while using a tampered-with ATM. This is far more common than you’d expect. Or how about losing your wallet during a night out and having no access to your funds, or even as simple as losing your personal sim card and not being able to access your online banking to remove the hold on your account because you forgot to list your travel plans.
I’ve seen all of these happen and they’re mostly avoidable. Firstly, always remember to register your travel plans before you travel. If you do forget to do so, holds on your account can be a pain to remove if they require lengthy international phone calls.
Secondly, always carry some cash with you if you’re traveling internationally. Just don’t bring too much – and try not to keep it all in one place. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have a few hundred dollars stolen from a nice hotel room. Generally, a couple of hundred dollars in USD is useful, and you can usually get a better conversion rate for that than via ATM conversion rates.
That brings us to my next tip, the ATMs. Card skimming is way too common in Bali, and a friend and I both lost a couple of thousand dollars by using the same compromised ATM. One suggestion is to take out the money you expect to use before arriving in Bali, but the more realistic option is to just use ATMs inside banks. If you do use a standalone ATM, inspect it carefully. Particularly the slot where you’ll be inserting your card.
Most ATMs have pretty high transaction fees, however, so I suggest bringing a bank card that refunds ATM fees, and a credit card with no foreign transactions fees. Using a travel credit card with the built-in trip and baggage insurance like the Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty handy, and it ticks the boxes of no foreign transaction fees and great rewards. Finally, bring several cards and keep them in separate places to help prevent the dreaded broke/stranded traveler. No one likes running out of money on vacation for any reason, especially a dumb one.
To sum it up, be smart about your money so you can focus on enjoying your trip.
What luggage to pack for Bali
This topic has been covered a lot by Bali packing lists for some reason. Personally, I’ve been traveling the world for 6 years with a backpacking bag and a carry-on camera bag and never had an issue. Unless you’re heading straight from the airport to a private car to a resort for the duration of your trip – I’d generally recommend the backpacking bag for everyone.
Just having one large backpack means you don’t have to lug your rolling bag over dirt roads or nicely manicured lawns. It also means you can catch a moped directly to the airport and skip the traffic which can unexpectedly add an hour to your international commute. I’ve included a write-up for the Gregory bag I use in the complete Bali packing list below.
Aside from your backpacking pack, a day bag is an essential part of the Bali traveler’s kit. It works hard as an adventure bag for waterfall hikes and cross-island missions, it doubles as a grocery bag and incognito drinks carrier and serves as a mobile office for co-working cafe days. Since the majority of people get around by moped, it’s much nicer to carry a backpack than worrying about purse straps sliding around.
Anyway, that’s it for my travel advice on Bali. Now let’s get into what to pack!
The Bali Packing List
Let me begin with a list of must-have items to pack for your trip to Bali. Not everyone has the same itinerary or the same intentions while traveling, but hopefully, everyone can find some use for this Bali packing list. I’ll include a comprehensive packing checklist at the end so you don’t forget any essentials for your Balinese holiday.
Accessories For Your Bali Packing List
These are a few items and toiletries that can make or break a trip to Bali. Don’t get caught without these simple things in your bag.
Grayl GeoPress Water Filter
This item is first on the list because it’s a literal lifesaver. Bali belly is an unfortunate part of Indonesian travel and one that most people experience. Yes, you need clean water, but pretending to be an earthy boho traveler while buying multiple plastic water bottles a day is pretty crass.
I’ve been using this Grayl filter for the past few years in the most remote places in the world, and have never gotten sick. In one press and less than 8 seconds, you have pure, filtered water that goes wherever you go. A pretty awesome thing, if you ask me.
- Removes viruses & bacteria
- Activated carbon
- Purifies and filters in 8 seconds
Reusable Water Bottle
Now the Grayl also stores the water you’ve just purified, but if you won’t have access to flowing water for a bit, or just like to keep your cool beverages cold, this vacuum-insulated Hydroflask is a great idea. I like to carry a liter of water with me for most adventures, so the 32oz option is great to pack for Bali.
- TempShield™ vacuum insulation
- Food-grade stainless steel
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
Anti Diarrhea Tablets
Despite your best efforts, this is an item you may unfortunately need. Diarrhea in Bali is an inevitable truth, so the best thing you can do is to prepare. These tablets work quickly and effectively so your bad stomach days take up as little of your time in Bali as possible.
- Fast-acting relief
- Relieves cramps, bloating, and gas
Did you know that Bali is found in the Coral Triangle? It’s part of one of the most ecologically important marine environments in the world, meaning we as tourists should visit as responsibly as possible. While most snorkeling around Bali is done on one of its neighboring islands, Gili T – getting in the habit of using reef-safe sunscreen is great for the local environment.
This Raw Elements sunblock is reef-safe and non-nano Zinc Oxide, making it safe for you and the coral. It also stays put for up to 80 minutes in the water, making it economical as well.
Mosquitos in Bali are more than just annoying. They also carry the risk of Dengue fever, which is a great way to ruin your vacation. Pack a DEET-free mosquito repellant to safely prevent bites. If you prefer an option with DEET, this is a great alternative.
- DEET free
- Repels mosquitoes, ticks, & flies
- Doesn’t harm gear or equipment
- Low-odor, non-greasy lotion
Clothes For Your Bali Packing List
Here are a few can’t miss clothing items for your Bali packing list. Aside from your usually active and resort wear, make sure to pack a few of these items.
Whether you’re getting in the ocean, a waterfall, or getting caught in the rain, not having to worry about damp and stinky clothes is huge. Plus for minimalists like me, being able to pack a pair of shorts that triple as sportswear, swimwear, and loungewear is pretty great.
With the hot and humid Bali weather, a few comfy t-shirts should be staples in your wardrobe. These hemp blend t-shirts go above and beyond by boasting UPF 30 sun protection and anti-odor properties. As a bonus, they’re also modest enough to wear while visiting temples.
Too often, people pack for a tropical vacation and are completely blindsided when freezing on a rainy day, in the mountains, or even during the cold plane ride over. If you’re planning to hike Mt Batur or any of the neighboring volcanos, definitely pack warm layers. Even driving around in the evenings can be much more pleasant with a warm hoody in your pack.
As mentioned earlier, a sarong is necessary to enter many Balinese temples. For ladies, carrying one that doubles as a wrap skirt or beach cover-up is useful. For guys, a sarong can double as a beach blanket or extra layer, and you can choose your own over a local temple rental.
I said it before, but I’m a minimalist, and these Teva sandals are a traveler’s dream. They’re comfortable and non-dorky casual wear. These are designed to be used as water shoes, and also tackle hikes extremely well. They’ll certainly tick all the boxes and leave room for more items in the Bali packing list.
Waterproof Your Bali Packing List
These next few items will be dedicated to keeping you and your gear dry! As mentioned above, Bali enjoys a tropical climate and visiting at certain times of year requires some preparation.
Lightweight Rain Jacket
First up is a rain jacket, which is always in my adventure backpack. From late-night moped rides to protection from torrential downpours and waterfall spray, you’ll be happy to have one of these in your bag. They’re also useful as an extra layer for the Mt. Batur climb. Find a great option here.
- 3-layer H2No® Performance
- Self-stuffing pocket
- bluesign® approved and Fair Trade Certified
If you’re traveling to Bali in the rainy season, this could be simple insurance against a waterlogged camera. A sturdy dry bag with backpack straps is also great for keeping your electronics safe on waterfall hikes or boat tours. Meanwhile, this Sea to Summit dry bag provides a more budget-friendly option and is all most travelers need.
- 100% waterproof
- DrySeal™ roll-top
- Removable straps and hip-belt
- Exterior bungee system
Even if you’re planning to stay at a resort with unlimited beach towels, it’s handy to bring your own travel towel. To start, they take up very little space for how useful they are. They fold much smaller than regular towels, meaning you’re more likely to throw one in your bag for an adventure day.
Also, they’re extremely versatile. Take one to a yoga class, the outdoor gym, or to dry off after a jump in a mountain waterfall. These travel towels come in a handful of colors and prints.
- Absorbs 4x its weight in water
- Antimicrobial treatment
- Variety of sizes & colors
- Travel pouch included
Waterproof Phone Case
Whether you’re island hopping or tip-toeing behind the enormous waterfalls of Bali, it’s a wise investment to get yourself a waterproof phone cover. Not only do they keep your phone safe from water damage, but you’ll be able to take photos too.
- Touch-screen & camera friendly
- Flexible pouch fits most phones
- Adjustable lanyard
Electronics For Your Bali Packing List
The next few items on the list are all electronics to simplify your travels. As nice as it is to unplug and unwind on our travels, most of us will need to charge at least a cellphone or camera.
The next few items on the list are all electronics to simplify your travels, starting with the travel adapter. A few newer hotels will have universal outlets, but for the most part, this is an essential item. This universal travel adapter features 2 USB outlets as well as a universal plug. Essentially, you can charge 3 devices at a time, in up to 150 countries. That’s a pretty great deal for a couple of bucks.
This is another item I always travel with. Carrying a power bank is especially helpful in places that occasionally experience power outages, or in countries with different power outlets to your own. I sometimes can’t be bothered to find my travel adapter and charge directly from my power bank. However, you can only top up indiscriminately if your power bank has a massive capacity like this one.
Bali is one of the best places in the world to bring an action camera. Whether you’re learning to surf, visiting the raging waterfalls, or filming your floating breakfast (lol), having an underwater camera on hand is a great call. For this, the GoPro Hero 10 is my top recommendation. With HyperSmooth available in slow motion and ultra-high definition, dull, shaky footage is a thing of the past.
- Waterproof to 10m (33ft)
- 60fps ; 4K resolution
- 120fps ; 2.7K resolution
- Hypersmooth 4.0 stabilization
Here are a few accessories for the GoPro. First off, don’t be ashamed of using a selfie stick. They capture some of the best and most engaging angles. I personally use the Sandmarc GoPro Pole. It’s longer than the name-brand GoPro stick and is a simple telescoping pole. It’s a robust accessory for getting the shot and should be included in any aspiring content creator’s kit.
Another essential GoPro accessory is the dome port. You can use these to create awesome over/under shots, and the double handles on this model provide more stability underwater. If you didn’t invest in the Axis GO housing for your phone, I’d highly recommend a cheap dome port like this for your GoPro.
Organizing for your Bali Packing List
The last few items on my ultimate Bali packing list are all organizational hacks. These items save you space, time, and keep all your belongings safe and sorted.
To start, my go-to way to travel is a solid backpacking bag, like this. I live out of my bag, so the 75L capacity is great for me. For you, it might mean you can overpack to your heart’s content. If your trip to Bali includes backpacking through Southeast Asia, however, this might be the perfect size for you.
Perks of this bag include 2 separate zippered access points to the main compartment, plus top draw-string access, and plenty of zippered pockets, clip-on points, and water bottle holders. It also includes a very lightweight day pack that’s served me well on many an adventure.
- 3 adjustable torso sizes
- FreeFloat hipbelt system
- Polygiene® Technology
- Hydration sleeve
Travel Day Pack
As mentioned above, a day pack is an essential part of the Bali traveler’s kit. You can carry your camera, food, and water on an adventure day, or safely carry your laptop to your co-working space on the back of a moped. This backpack is also the perfect carry-on size for your flight into Bali, and can comfortably fit your laptop, electronics, toiletries, and a change of clothes.
Even if you’re not living out of your backpack, using packing cubes is a major travel hack. You can separate your gym clothes from your nicer outfits, keep your swimwear separate, or if you’re really kooky, color coordinate everything. It’s the closest thing to traveling with a wardrobe, and for me, a must-have item on the Bali packing list.
- Durable Ripstop Nylon
- Water repellant finish (DWR)
- Expansion zippers
- Top and side handles
I’ve had multiple friends lose track of their passports, forgetting them here or there or leaving them behind on a random island. I’ve never had that problem because I’ve always used a passport wallet. They protect your passport from damage and spills, and it’s great to have your spare cards and vaccine record all in one place. I like to store this separately from my other things just in case.
The money belt is the cooler little brother to the ’90s fanny pack. This one is made of satin so it slips seamlessly under a shirt and stays cool. It includes 2 zippered pockets and an adjustable waistband, and of course, peace of mind.
That’s it for this section of the Bali packing list. I hope you found one or two items you didn’t know you needed. Next is a full checklist so you don’t leave any important items behind.
The Complete Bali Packing Checklist
The following is a comprehensive list of items to pack for Bali. Go through the list and check it twice to make sure you haven’t forgotten any essentials!
Clothing for your Bali Packing List
- Quick-dry shorts (1-2 pairs)
- Breathable t-shirts (2-3 pairs)
- 1 pair of full-length pants (natural material)
- 1 hoodie/ warm layer
- Rain jacket
- Activewear for hikes, yoga, and adventures
- Bathing suits/board shorts (always have spares while used pairs dry)
- Beach cover-ups & sundresses for women
- Button-up shirts for men (Resort casual is enough to get you into most places)
- 1 dressier outfit if going out clubbing
- Casual, cute outfits for hanging out
- Sarong for temple visits
Footwear for your Bali Packing List
- Hiking/walking shoes
- Flip flops
- Water shoes (optional but recommended)
- 1 dressier shoe (optional)
Toiletries for your Bali Packing List:
- Reef-Safe Sunscreen
- Lip balm (SPF)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Insect repellent
- Feminine hygiene products
- Travel-sized versions of your favorite toiletries:
- Shampoo & conditioner (optional if hotel/local products suffice for you)
Electronics for your Bali Packing List:
- Power bank
- Travel Adapter
- Charging cables
- Memory cards
- Spare batteries
- Camera accessories
Miscellaneous items for your Bali Packing List:
- Backpack or bag for daily adventures
- Reusable water bottle/water filter
- Packing cubes
- Dry bag
- Money belt
- Passport wallet
- A good book
There it is, the most extensive Bali Packing List. Have a blast, enjoy the raging waterfalls and be sure to send it off a few wild cliff jumps for me. P.S Don’t forget to wear a helmet on the moped.