We at bali have compiled a list of ways in which you can save money/time and stress. I’m going to try and put it in some sort of order or sections, and we with your help as well, will be adding to the page as we find more ways to save you hassles and to help make your next trip to Bali/Indo a bit easier. I’ll start the ball rolling with buying the ticket. Don’t forget to send any tips you may have into us by clicking on the contact us link.
1. It’s all about the internet these days, check out one of the many comparison sites out there and then go to your local travel agent and haggle a deal. Or just book online!
2. Try hunting for cheap tickets on the internet
3. Don’t forget about your frequent flyer points, they are well worth your while.
4. Did i mention the internet?
Bali Travel Insurance
1. This is a must for people travelling to Bali, one good provider is World Nomads as they cover travellers from over 150 countries around the world and they have good prices. Click here to check out World Nomads for a Quote.
What to bring with you to Bali:
1. Really you should try and pack as light as possible especially for coming to Bali. The weather until you get accustomed to it will be very hot, so light clothes are the go. If you run out of clothes to wear it’s cheap enough to go and buy some new ones, and everyone buy’s new t-shirts and boardies over here.
2. It’s cheaper to buy all your sunscreen needs at home than here.
3. Don’t forget to pack your favourite hat, but don’t worry as there are more hats for sale here in Bali than anywhere.
4. If your flying in from a winter climate try to have some light clothes in your hand luggage to change into before landing in Bali. Same goes for returning back to a cold climate.
5. If you are a surfer all you need is you boards/sunnies/hat/boardies/t-shirt/wax/wallet and thongs.
6. Bring a first aid kit! You don’t want to be cutting your holiday short due to those injuries.
Pre Flight Check in:
1. They say you should check in at least 2 hours early for your flight, I like to get there earlier. It makes sure you get to score a window or isle seat, plus you also get to have a good look around the airport hmmmm.
1. On the flight over you will be given a small white card from the nice people at immigration to fill out. You will be given back half of this card once you have been granted entry into Indonesia, make sure you don’t lose the other half, put it with your passport and ticket. As you will need it to help speed up your departure (when the time comes)
Boarding the plane:
1. If you wait until just about everyone else has boarded the plane, it allow’s you a choice of all the remaining seats, and first in first served. As soon as you see a couple of empty seats act on it!!
2. Don’t forget to ask if there are any upgrades available, you never know.
Warning: Denpasar airport is pretty easy going but like all international airports the customs staff are always looking for illegal material.
1. Don’t take your time getting to the Immigration checkpoint, the more people that get there before you, means the longer you have to stand in the very humid air.
2. Unless you want a luggage porter to help you carry your bags (and are prepared to work out a price for his assistance) politely say no thanks when offered or if your bags are just suddenly picked up for you.
3. When you exit the arrival terminal, you will be surrounded by locals holding up name/hotel signs. There are phone booths close and handy also, or plenty of taxis available for a set price depending on where you want to go.
The Bali 500:
If you plan to be independent while your in Bali you will need some type of wheels so…
1. Make sure you head into your local roads authority and pick up an international driving licence before you leave home.
2. If you don’t have a motor cycle licence at home your international licence won’t cover you for one here in Bali either, and also indicates that you should stay right away from riding motor bikes.
3. When renting a car you should give the chosen mobile a good inspection for dings, damage and make sure everything that is supposed to work does. Don’t just pay the money, sign the form and drive away!!
4. If you are the owner of an international drivers licence and the car/bike your using has the required registration papers you are street legal and unless you break one of the few road rules there are here you don’t have to pay the police anything if your stopped for a licence check.
5. Traffic lights, now these little buggers can get confusing.At some locations you are permitted to go through red lights if not turning right. At others you can make left turns on the red, so you really have to look for signs/lights and watch and see what the other drivers are doing. If your unsure just stop at all red lights, someone will let you know quick enough if your blocking the flow. Make sure you don’t cross over the faintly painted white line at all traffic lights if stopping.
6. Please note: Traffic conditions here in Indonesia are very different from what your probably used to at home in your country. It is like imagining your worst ever traffic jam or driving scenereo and then taking away any rules that may have been in place.
7.From one of our readers (Levi Snowy) – “G’day Slim , not sure if your aware, and no – one tells you in OZ , but international drivers licences need to be endorsed by the local police in Indo to be legal. Almost all street cops are unaware of this, but its actually not legal without it (the Indonesian Police endorsement stamp), and it may implicate someone legally
incase of an accident or medivac insurance claim ( in a bad way ) if the endorsement wasn’t done. All thats required is the licence is to be presented to any police station, where a RP15,000 admin fee is paid and they will put the endorsement stamp on the front of the international licence for you. Better to be safe than sorry if shit was to happen.”
NB: Surfers traveling on the roads around the Bukit (Uluwatu area) be extra cautious as this area is becoming a ‘black spot’ very quickly.
1. When you’re out and about shopping…do not tell them where you are staying (its hard to bargain when they know you are staying at a 5 star hotel!) we just mentioned that we were staying at some little inn down some lane up near Tuban.
2. always say that you are staying longer than what you really are, as you will be hassled beyond belief if they know you are heading out that day and you haven’t bought anything from them!!
3. Leave your gold jewellery at home or in the hotel safe….again, its hard to bargain when you are dripping with the gold stuff
4. Happy shopping and don’t forget….Saya hunya lihat lihat!!!
This is a fairly common occurance over here in the tropics and is also often mistaken for “Bali belly” amongst other things. Lets get this clear though, I’m not a doctor I’m just talking (typing) from personal experience. I’ve been hit by too much sun twice in just over 6 years of living here in Indo, and I can tell you it’s a disabling sickness. Some of the symptoms are deceiving and make you think it’s not from too much sun. The main symptoms are a series of hot and cold sweats, nausea and the need to remain close to a toilet. You don’t want to eat and just about all you are good for is lying on your bed and moaning, not a good holiday look. Symptoms can stay with you for up to a week, depending on whether or not you go to a doctor and get some medical assistance. What you really have to remember to avoid this sickness is not to take the tropical sun for granted. Try and find some shade if your planning on hanging out at the beach, thats what the warungs are for. Actually I’ve seen sun baking girls go to stand up after baking in the sun for an hour or two and fall straight back down on their faces, another bad holiday look. Wear a hat, and if you are after a tan try to get your doses of ultra violet bit by bit and keep the water levels up internally.
Reef Cuts / skin abrasions:
These are another thing all together, and not always obtained from surfing. The main thing to remember here is that if you are only in Indo for a short holiday eg: 2-4 weeks don’t let a “cut” worry you too much if it’s not turning green. Try and keep it clean and just go surfing, you can heal up better and quicker when you get back home. But if you are here for an extended 4-8 weeks plus type holiday you had better take good care of every single little scratch you get or else you will be spending the last half of your holiday on the beach and not in the water. A tropical infection can start from the smallest of scratches and believe me a small nick anywhere on your legs especially the feet area can get nasty. So my belief is that it’s best to heal up any thing larger than a half centimetre wound. Which might mean staying out of the water for a couple of days. But by giving up two days surf is better than eventually having to stay out for a few weeks. Treating reef cuts is something you get used to after a while, but let me tell ya. If you hit the bottom at say Uluwatu, at 3-5 foot it’s not the little bit of blood and the reef claw marks you will wear as a remembrance tattoo that’s going to hurt !! It’s the impact of hitting an stationary solid object at speed that bloody hurts. Everytime I’ve hit it normally ends up in a couple of days of hobbling around with a bad back, shoulders, hip, head etc. Much more suffering than reef cuts. But for the reef cuts you have to make sure you get all foreign material out of the wound for it to start to heal, this can mean using a soft headed toothbrush dipped in Peroxide for the job (One of our readers, Tony a US navy medical guy based in Okinawa Japan recommends using lemon juice then soap and water with a scrubbing brush) . There are so many different types of cremes and antiseptic ointments/liquids to choose from it’s not funny these days, so what ever works for you at home will work for you here. I simply use Betadine and it works fine (another comment from Tony – if using betadine, you must make sure that all coral is out of the skin as betadine is made from shellfish and that actually feeds the coral, making the situation worse). If you require a stitch or two on larger cuts don’t be afraid to go to a Doctor here in Bali. I mean we are in the 21st century here as well you know and by stitching the wound back together it will heal heaps faster than just leaving it open and oozing. Normally a visit to the quack for stitches costs around Rp200,000 for tourists (US$20.00).
A tip from sumatra on urchin spines- throw a lime into the hot coals of a fire and when the skin is slightly charcoaled pull it out of the fire,cut it in half and vigorously rub the cut lime into the area where the spines are.They disappear in minutes. (Bruce from Sumatra)
Ian Shadbolt has the follow helpful tip regarding getting to and from Ulu’s: We were told by our hotel staff & then the taxi driver that you had to get the taxi to wait for us at ulu’s as you wont get a taxi back. After several trips we discovered that if you simply get dropped of at Tides restaurant and then come back to there after your surf you can get (Gilligan) the guy behind the bar to ring a cab no problems. Have a beer or three with what you save in cab fares, problem solved. Cabs are not expensive but you can leave when you want and not feel like you have time restraints, hell have a second surf, you are back in phillip island 12c water all to quickly.
ATM’s in Indonesia, Travel tip, when you use an ATM here in Bali make sure there are no suspect characters hanging around, if there is ask them to move away. Also in Indonesia when you make a withdrawal from an ATM your cash comes out before your card, so remember to wait for your card before going to spend that money, it’s easy to forget especially when your used to your card coming out before the cash. It always pays to have a back up credit card linked to your savings account and or some cash dollars.
Other handy tips:
1. Try to learn a few words
2. bring plenty of bluetack and cable ties – bluetack for earplugs, putting pics up on losmen walls and stashing stuff – cable ties for anything from fixing your muffler to holding your suitcase together.
3. Don’t veg out during flat spells, get out and look around.
4. Drink plenty of beer – hmmmm beer. (make sure you buy SLIM a beer when you’re in Bali)
5. Be FRIENDLY in and out of the water.
6. Beware the Bali belly, eat and drink sensibly
7. Watch out for scammers trying to pinch your wallet or scamming you in currency exchange deals
8. Pack a small calculator to check dodgy currency exchanges
9. You are only legally allowed to bring 3 surfboards per person with you into Bali or you will find your hand having to go into the back pocket for a substantial fee.
10. If you bring U.S. currency make sure the notes are not circa ’96 or have any pen or ink discolourations what so ever or you won’t get em cashed. You need notes in almost mint condition !
11. Visa Travel cheque are also not accepted at some money changers etc.
12. Taxi drivers are suppose to use their fare maters, make sure they turn it on or get back out.
Ok crew, this is just a few to start with and don’t hesitate to send us in any of your own! and I think I read in a surfing magazine a long time ago “that your not an experienced traveler unless you can say sorry I don’t have enough money for my departure tax in 7 different languages!”