Bali survival guide to traveling with kids 

Bali is our pick for family holiday destinations. I love the people, the culture, the weather, the food, the beer, and of course the nannies!  We head over a few times every year and are constantly adding our packing list and travel tips which you can find below.

Here’s our tips to help you when planning and surviving your next Bali family holiday.

General tips:

  • Best times for weather to travel to Bali is May to October (dry season). The wet season falls from November to April and is a little hotter and definitely more humid, with brief but heavy torrential rainfall during the day. July and August are usually the busiest periods of the peak season with many families holidaying during school holidays and the same can be said for the Christmas/New Year period. Off peak seasons are cheaper in an attempt to attract more visitors and some of the best deals can be had between March and October.
  • For budgeting, you can expect to pay around $1.70 for a Bintang (Beer) from a convenience store and up to $5 in a hotel or higher class restaurant. Spirits and wine are similar prices to Australia. Food varies on where you go but you can find nice restaurants and feed the family for around $20-$30 all up and be well fed. Our kids love the local food – Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, Chicken Satays etc but the options are plentiful everywhere you go. There are an abundance of hipster places opening up like at home; some include trendy mexican and burger places, modern fish and chipperies, and awesome coffee places.
  • Don’t EVER drink the water – use bottled water for drinking, and cleaning teeth. Always supervise your children in the bath (goes without saying) – but also keeping a close eye that they don’t drink the water… almost always ends in tears (aka Bali belly)
  • Don’t eat any of the food off the street (for same reason as above). There are some food carts that are safe, but if you don’t know which ones, best to stay clear and eat in restaurants.
  • Check beforehand if your villa or resort provides any equipment for children (portacot, highchair, cots, mosquito nets etc)
  • Always ask for an upgrade where possible
  • In cases where you need to hire additional baby or child equipment (if your villa does not provide) you can hire just about anything from Bali Baby including high chairs, toys, portacots, cots, strollers, car seats, safety gates, monitors etc. Most hotels and villas will provide the basics.
  • Most taxis and vehicles in Bali don’t have car seats or booster seats for children. Check in advance if your villa or hotel provide them, if not, you can hire from Bali Baby
  • As many pools in private villas are unfenced, you can hire pool fencing from here (although probably only a viable option if you are staying long term). If you are unsure about pool access and safety for your little ones, discuss with your accommodation in advance. Otherwise perhaps a Villa without a private pool, or a Hotel would be more ideal.
  • Most villas or Hotels offer transfer services to and from the airport. Some free, some may cost around $30 USD. Highly recommend arranging this in advance with your villa/hotel, as the last thing you want to do after a six hour flight with grumpy kids is organise how you are going to get to your destination. If you are a little weary stepping off the plane, and don’t yet have your bartering skills fine tuned, you may end up paying more than necessary for a taxi at the airport.
  • We always take our trusty Mountain Buggy stroller. You can take it right up to the gate at the airport in most cases, and you can collect either from the gate at arrival, or in oversized luggage. Check with the airport staff where to collect before boarding. We have never had issues with damage to our equipment, and I would not travel without it! Great for walking, and a safe place for the kids to nap during the day or out at dinner!
  • Don’t over pack for the kids. Our littlest one lived in nappies (or naked) the majority of the time.
  • For a list of kid friendly accommodation, places to visit, and places to eat in Bali – check out  Little Bali Love
  • My personal faves for eating out with kids include Potato Head (Seminyak), Old Man’s (Canggu), and Kendi Kuning Nusa Dua.
  • Most restaurants deliver which is great – Favourite in villa deliveries for us: Bali Buda and Green Ginger  for beautiful, fresh and healthy food (Canggu/Berawa area).
  • For best recommendations on places to eat, and home delivery in the area you are staying, you can’t go past Trip Advisor
  • My two fave places to stay would have to be the Conrad in Nusa Dua, and the Intercontinental (Jimbaren Bay). Many of these larger hotels have kids clubs, so mum and dad can have some kid free relaxing time!
  • No matter where you are staying, I recommend hiring a trustworthy nanny/babysitter for an extra pair of eyes, and also so mum and dad can have a little kid-free relax. You can expect to pay anywhere between $6 and $8 per hour if you organise privately. If you arrange babysitting or a nanny through a hotel, it is usually double this Our favourite is Kadek Bali Babysitting. My only complaint is that we couldn’t take her home with us!
  • Almost every major resort or hotel has a Circle K or similar convenience store close by or within a few minutes walk. These are handy and cheap for most supplies – including cheaper Bintangs mixers, sunscreen, water etc. Our tip is to stock up here to avoid raiding the hotel mini bar for triple the price! Watch what the attendants scan through, a common scam is to scan things twice and pocket the money.
  • Supermarkets can be hard to find but are important if you’re staying in a Villa. There are a fair few new ones popping up on the South end of the island, most items are similar price to Australia. There are Pepito’s in Canggu, Seminyak and Legian. If you’re staying near the Canggu Club, the Deli is great. Other places are Bintang and Carrefour. A few more listed here. TIP: Through the grapevine (and not experience), I hear Carrefour stock Huggies nappies!
  • Again, if your staying at a private villa but want to venture out to public places for a day with a pool etc, most resorts, restaurants etc have a minimum spend to laze by the pool but its a good cheap way to spend a day. We love the Bali Equestrian Centre  in Canggu- Pony Rides, pool and playground for a $15 minimum spend to access the facilities.
  • Most ATM’s work fine so you don’t have get ALL your cash from the airport if you don’t want to.
  • Mini Muncher Baby Food Bali in Kerobokan offers a great variety of nutritious and fresh baby pureed meals, which get the tick of approval for our kids. They use only local and seasonal produce direct from the farms in Bali (prepared in a commercial kitchen using filtered water for cooking and washing, and packaged in BPA free containers). You simply order online, and collect on your chosen day – or take advantage of their local delivery service. Saves the hassle of packing a suitcase full of squeezies!

Over the years, I have compiled a comprehensive packing list with my essentials, and the ‘just incases’ for traveling to Bali with the kids – Download our checklist here in a printable format.

  • Enough  nappies for at least the night times (nappies overseas are ok for days, but not as absorbent for overnight). I always take enough Huggies to last the nights and a few extra for the plane
  • Hydralyte icy poles and/or tabs
  • Formula – Many Australian brands are not available in Bali, and are very expensive.
  • Bottles and/or sippy cups
  • Evian bottled spray, or spray bottle – hydration on plane and when hot
  • Australian Bush Flower Essences: Travel Essence & Solaris Essence
  • Milton Tabs (for sterilising dummies, water bottles etc.)
  • Baby monitor
  • Breast Pump
  • At least one converter (Indo to Australia) & a Powerboard
  • iPad or similar for flight entertainment (and for White noise)
  • White noise machine (if you don’t have iPad)
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Sleeping bags & swaddles (0.5 and 1 tog)
  • Aden + Anais muslin or bamboo wraps – great for covering the pram (face or knees) for sleeping babies to block out sun, for swaddling, as light blanket for cot or plane
  • Black out blind or alfoil with sticky tape/blu tac (to darken kids rooms for day sleeping)
  • Lots of snacks of the plane & heaps of squeezies (until you can place an order with Mini Muncher)
  • Dummies (if you use them)
  • Swimmer nappies/bathers
  • Sun suits & hats
  • Baby sunnies
  • Floaties
  • Stain remover & washing detergent (very hard to find in Bali, and Laundry service in hotels and Villas can be expensive). I usually hand wash what we can, and soak the kids stained clothes before handing them over to be laundered (we have had many clothes come back permanently stained as some instructions are lost in translation)
  • Wipes – for plane and until you can find a supermarket that sells them!
  • Sudocrem
  • Suncream
  • Kids toothbrushes & toothpaste
  • Kids shampoo & conditioner
  • Comforters
  • Kids books for plane and night time
  • Probiotics for the family
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Homeopathic travel kit including pillules for malaria, Hep A, typhoid, bali belly, food poisoning
  • Tea tree cream (bites of any kind)
  • Mosquito Bands (can pin to baby’s clothing, cots, pram etc to repel mozzies)
  • Mosquito spray
  • Aloe Vera
  • Citronella candles (Bunnings) to burn at night if outdoors to repel mosquitos
  • Panadol & Nurofen
  • Viburcol or homeopathic remedy for colds, teething, fever, etc
  • First Aid Kit
  • Vicks vapo rub
  • Coconut oil – moisturiser and for bath to keep skin nice and soft
  • Nail clippers (little nails love the hot weather and grow at super speed!)
  • Baby carrier (especially for airport transit)

Download our checklist here in a printable format.
If you have traveled or are traveling to Bali with your family, I would love to hear your tips and recommendations for places to stay, visit, eat, drink, or items to add to my pack list!

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