7 Tips When Visiting Bali, Indonesia
1. Change money, carry a credit card with no foreign transaction fee, and download the currency app so you know the exchange rate! I guess traveling to the Caribbean spoiled me a bit, because in places like Aruba, Barbados and Jamaica everyone gladly accepts USD. This was my first time traveling oversees so I had no clue and didn't think to ask anyone beforehand (oopsies). Taksis (no typo, that’s how they spell taxis) did not take credit cards, and some actually preferred local money. Also, it’s easier to negotiate with local vendors when you have local money.
2. Researching beforehand is a major KEY. Bali is huge and if you know what you want to do, it would help tremendously to stay in the vicinity. We stayed in Seminyak and all of the activities we were looking forward to doing were in Ubud which was a 2 hour drive away. That said, we had to hire a driver and be ready at 6am in the morning to visit the Bali Swing and Rice Terraces. After sitting on a plane for nearly 26 hours, no one wants to ride in a car for an additional 4 hours to complete an activity. Some activities we skipped because of the driving distance.
3. Communication can be challenging. I was trying to find a payphone or some sort of phone to dial a local number and couldn’t explain this to anyone in the mall for the life of me. It was difficult, so difficult that I gave up and just cut on my phone and will deal with the charges later. Most Indonesians knew keywords and assumed my intent. For example: when I asked for pay phone or courtesy phone, they heard phone and assumed I needed to buy a SIM card. When I asked the driver to turn the air conditioner down because I was cold, he heard air conditioner and turned it up. *keep your hotel or AirB&B address with you at all times, most drivers know the major attractions there, but without having an address written down, it might be difficult trying to navigate them elsewhere.
4. Mosquitos - bring or buy something to keep them from biting you. I got about four bites over 4 days and I’m always getting bit. Our Air B&B lit these candles in our room that helped tremendously and we purchased some insect repellent from a local store that we used daily.
5. Snacks! Oh what I wouldn’t give for some original Lay’s potato chips or some nacho cheese Doritos. The traditional U.S. snacks we take for granted are not out there, everything is seasoned with a zesty or spicy flavor. You might want to pack some snacks in your luggage if you have space. The soda and juice even had a sweet syrup taste to it. I stuck to fresh squeezed mango juice while I was there because it’s my fav!
6. Do NOT let the drivers take advantage of you at the airport. The first person to approach me told me the cost to get to my villa was $40 USD because it was 45 minutes away (seemed decent right). NOPE, the second one gave me a rate of $30 USD which seemed like a steal! I finally decided to work my way through the crowd and go to the actual taxi stand (with a rate chart) and the actual cost of my taxi was about $14 USD! Taxis are really inexpensive out here, but ofcourse it all adds up.
7. Eat. Eat. Eat. Food is really inexpensive so take full advantage! I paid $41 for a huge dinner for two people.
Thank you for reading and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below!