10 Mistakes People Make on Their First Bali Trip

Common Travel Mistakes in Bali

These 10 mistakes people make on their first Bali trip include some of the most common slips and oversights, which even though may seem trivial, can diminish or even ruin your holiday. We’ve listed these with some goals in mind: to allow you to better plan your Bali holiday ahead, to enjoy your time while you’re on the island, and to inform you of common pitfalls.

Some of these mistakes are quite generic and straightforward, and could apply to travelling anywhere around the globe. But Bali, as a major island destination, has its own appeal and has progressed rapidly – Kuta’s traffic a decade ago will most probably be totally different when you next visit. Or, you should reconsider that Bali is not just about Kuta and Legian – there’s so much to discover, and you might want to plan on staying in more than a single area.
Find below some of the most common travel mistakes people make on their first Bali trip.

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Travelling preferences vary widely among travellers, and although Bali is a tropical destination where you can expect sunny days most of the year, it’s good to know when you can experience most of it, without too much of the heat and humidity. Between May and August, humidity levels are usually at the lowest, making it much more pleasant for overland sightseeing, with clear blue skies. It’s the months between October and April that feature occasional downpours and overcast skies. It’s also good to check out when you could see some rare cultural events, such as the Bali Kite Festival, which is normally held during the windy months, between June and August. Read More...

This is a common travel mistake, particularly on trips to Bali. Reconsider packing your woolly jumpers or fancy shoes, you most likely won’t wear them here. In fact, seasoned visitors often travel lightly. And if you need a change of shirts, shorts or sandals, Bali has so many shopping options that add to the convenience. Furthermore, especially at the art markets and souvenir shops, haggling can be a great part of your holiday experience. A different case though, is if you’re travelling with little kids, who usually require more gear including their favourite toys or books. Read More...

Another common mistake among first-timers to Bali is changing large amounts of Rupiah at generally bad exchange rates in your home country. There’s really no need for this since the exchange rates in Bali is almost always better. Furthermore, ATMs are widespread and most hotels and restaurants take credit cards, with Visa and MasterCard being the most preferred. Also, you won’t sacrifice your convenience with bulging wallets, or your peace of mind on losing all your cash. Read More...

Whenever you exchange your cash at a random money changer, just be sure that you’re happy with the rates (it’s good to check online for updates and comparisons), and most importantly - double-check your money after exchanging. Beware of small roadside money changers who often con their way with sleight of hand – you might end up with a shortage of bills in the end, if you don’t recount your money in front of them! Be sure you’re the last to handle your bundle of cash after the recount. Read More...

Traffic in Bali has become notoriously busy over the past decade. It’s most apparent in the crowded southern resort areas with its narrow streets and branching routes, the likes of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Kerobokan. Most of the roads in Bali are quite narrow and busy. When you plan to go out, get your bearings right; ask about the routes and time estimates from your hotel concierge or a local beforehand – there might be temple procession on a certain route at a certain time that only locals know about. Same goes when you need to catch your plane for your flight home. Consider also road safety, when you hail for a taxi, some drivers might pull over at the most convenient spot for you, but not so for the other traffic. And if you hire a scooter, bring your license, and most importantly, wear safety riding gear – a helmet is a must, and riding around shirtless is frowned upon. Read More...


Not having travel insurance

Simply, don’t travel without it. There are too many cases where travellers must seek help through Facebook or GoFundMe just to pay for their hospital bills following an accident – it could happen to anyone!

As we’ve previously mentioned, Bali is not just Kuta or Legian. There are so many other places worth visiting in Bali, including remote areas such as the central highlands, the rugged eastern coastline and the quiet north. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan your itinerary with your hotel’s location and estimate overland travel times taken into consideration. Or, if you’re looking forward to staying longer, you can consider booking separate hotels for a more enjoyable experience. Read More...

It’s self-explanatory, really. Roaming calls and international mobile data connections aren’t cheap. While you can enjoy Wi-Fi easily at your hotel, you might need to navigate your way through Bali’s rush hour with Google Maps, or check out the latest currency exchange rates during your outbound travels. It’s always a great idea to switch your smartphone’s home SIM card to a prepaid local network provider’s. SIMs with call and data credit values start from IDR 100,000 (USD 8) and are sold at the airport, at convenience stores and in supermarkets. Read More...

Shopping in Bali can be a fun part of your whole holiday experience in Bali, where you can put your haggling skills to the test at the many art markets and roadside stalls. While fixed-price shopping outlets abound, bargaining for that wooden statue, painting or curio that caught your eye, can be an exciting process. Rule of thumb is to start at half (or even a third!) of the initial offered price, then start your way up – politely. Use your instincts, avoid being offensive, and don’t fight too hard as your line may break and you’ll lose the big fish. It’s not uncommon where shoppers are shooed away for being too persistent. Read More...

A no-brainer; you should take heed of any rules or restrictions upon any visit to a place of worship. Visiting the Vatican has its dress code, and entering the temple grounds of Besakih or Tanah Lot is no way different. For temple visits in Bali, the most basic dress code applies: a sarong and a sash around the waist at its simplest. When there are prayers in progress, you might be tempted to take a rare photo of the scene, however walking around during this is considered discourteous. If you wish to take angles of inner courtyards, there may be areas off-bound to non-devotees – it’s best to ask your guide, a local, or the temple priest. Read More...

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