Updated: Sep 8, 2019
Part of my job as a travel and lifestyle blogger is to help as many people as I possibly can to have cheaper, safer and easier travels.
Upon visiting Indonesia, I learned a lot. So, I've strung together a list of vital information to know when visiting. I hope that it helps whoever is reading this to make better decisions than I did.
Note : I wouldn't change any part of my fantastic experience in Bali because if I didn't encounter these things on my own then I probably wouldn't have felt the need to write this blog post.
1. Keep your boarding pass handy
If you're like me and discard of your boarding pass as soon as you get on the plane because you no longer need it... then please do not do that when boarding your final flight to Indonesia.
I nearly got in big trouble when I hopped off the plane and had to pass security and visa clearance. They requested to see my boarding pass to Bali, Indonesia. I was so confused because I have never been asked for that before. I scrambled around my bag for ages and even held up the queue in panic looking for my boarding pass.
Thankfully I found it, but that was literally only God and luck. I wish someone had told me to do this at some point on my journey so that I knew to keep it safe. Things could've gone differently.
2. Fill out landing card while on the plane.
I'm not entirely sure about other countries, but I know that if you're travelling on a British Passport to Bali, Indonesia then you will have to fill out a landing card. I suggest you do this while on the plane and keep it handy to make your airport experience nice and smooth.
They will not let you out of the airport without it and it can be very inconvenient and annoying to start filling out once you've got your luggage (if any) when exiting the airport. Take it from me.
3. Most things in Bali are negotiable so make sure you know how to haggle.
In my opinion, one of the best things about Bali is that no price is really fixed, especially taxi's. So learning how to haggle is very important to save you a fortune while in Bali. Money saved is money earned! Don't play yourself.
3. Use the Grab App to get around cheaply
The Grab App is basically Bali's version of Uber. Using the Grab App will serve you well and save you loads of cash when getting around. I wish I had used this app from the beginning of my trip and not just at the end, because when I compared the prices offered on the Grap taxi app to the local taxi prices I'm sure it was nearly half the price all the time.
4. Scary stray dogs
I was totally unaware that there were so many stray dogs in Bali, Indonesia. My first night was spent running away from barking dogs that were chasing me down the street. There was even a time that I/ couldn't get back to my accommodation in Ubud because a scary stray dog was barking and intimidating me as I was minding my business.
Coming from a German Shepherd owner that usually loves dogs, believe me when I say that these dogs are just totally irrational and unnecessarily intimidating... so read the reviews when choosing your accommodations because a lot of previous customers will give you a heads up on the hotels that have scary dogs surrounding them which could make your stay pretty much a nightmare.
5. You will be a millionaire...but not for long
I was so excited to crown myself a millionaire in Rupiah once I exchanged a couple hundred pounds at the airport before venturing into Bali. You'd think that being a millionaire is a great thing, but in Bali that money will go VERY quickly... especially when you're travelling solo.
The Rupiah denominations are very high and range from 100,000Rp notes to 1000Rp notes. So if you think about it, once you've broken into ten 100kRp notes, you have basically already spent a million and it wont be long before you have to make another trip to the ATM machine to withdraw some more.
6. Do your nails before visiting
Guys, PLEASE do not make the same mistake as me and think you’ll be able to get your nails done in Bali to save money and time.
While it’s true that you will save money once you eventually find a place that you trust enough to do your nails, let’s just say that the standard isn’t up to that of your fave nail salon.
It was impossible to find a salon that did acrylics, which I what I usually get. When I did, that salon charged 3x the normal price I pay in the UK.
I settled for gels which was a decent price in Ubud, and thus was he unfortunate outcome.
7. Activities can be pricy
After I visited Thailand in South East Asia and saw how cheap most of the activities were there, I was under the impression that the prices for activities in Bali, Indonesia would be similar but BOY, was I highly mistaken.
Most activities in Bali range from about £30-£75, which was a big difference in comparison to the £10-£25 activities sold by operators in Thailand. Whether you book activities in Bali or before visiting, the prices are a little high if you ask me.
8. Visit Gili Islands solo at your own risk
While I was in Indonesia, I got talking to some tourists and was constantly told to make sure I visit the Gili Islands which is supposed to be party central and the hotspot for tourists if I wanted to have a great time.
Of course, I love a good adventure and once I heard that more than once it wasn’t long before I booked my ticket to Gili Trawangan, where I planned to stay for a couple of nights to see what the hype was about.
It was definitely an interesting trip and I’ll cover it in more detail in another post.
However, I will say that if you get sea or motion sickness, are addicted to using your phone, or get scared of the dark easily...then this may not be the best place to visit alone.
9. What floating breakfast?
Upon visiting Bali, I definitely pictured every single corner I turned to have the famous floating breakfast that I see all over the gram.
The truth is, in my entire 3 weeks of being there I didn’t see even one floating breakfast. I was so concerned that I had to ask my Twitter fam if they knew why this was and they informed me that only very few places offer this and you must actually go out of your way to arrange the floating breakfast.
This would’ve been handy to know since I went all the way there and didn’t end up getting that experience that I was looking forward to having at one point.