21 Bali Backpacking Tips

That Will Surprise First-Timers

bali backpacking main

21 Bali Backpacking Tips That Will Surprise First-Timers

There’s a hell of a lot to be excited about when you’re traveling to Bali for the first time.

Whether you’ve been to Bali almost a hundred times or if you’re a Bali first timer, there are some things you need to know to enhance your Bali backpacking trip!

Read this list of 21 helpful hints for your Bali backpacking adventures.


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1. Check for how long you’re allowed to stay in Bali

devils tears nusa lembongan

Be sure to do your research before booking flights to Bali to find out how long you’re allowed to stay in the country!

Most countries are allowed to travel to Bali for 30 days for free without a visa.

If you’re planning to stay longer you can pay $35 USD for an extendable Visa on arrival, or purchase a 60-day Visa before you arrive.

If you overstay your welcome even by one day, you will be fined as the best-case scenario!

And we all know extra an unnecessary expenses is the last thing we need as backpackers on a budget.

Click here to check out Bali’s Visa requirements for your country.

2. Bali Belly

If you’re travelling to Bali for the first time and aren’t aware, you cannot drink the water in Bali!

Strictly bottled water only.

You can however brush your teeth with tap water.

Just be sure not to swallow it, and can I suggest rinsing your mouth with mouthwash to be safe!

Bali Belly is VERY common and it is definitely not a memory you’ll want to have of your first time backpacking Bali!

Other Bali Blogs

Top 5 Breathtaking Bali Waterfalls You Absolutely Must Visit Before You Die

Tegenungan Waterfall Bali {Everything You Must Know}

Tibumana Waterfall Bali {A Stunning Ubud Hidden Gem}

23 Most Intagrammable Places In Bali {The Updated Guide}

The Ultimate Backpacking Bali Travel Blog {Updated Expert Guide}

Where To Stay In Bali {The Best Bali Accomodation}

3. Legs must be covered when visiting temples

things to do in nusa penida

When visiting sacred, holy places like temples you will need to have your legs covered.

So shorts and dresses are not an option.

And yes, boys too!

Most temples will have sarongs you can rent for 10k IDR, otherwise feel free to bring your own.

4. Fried Banana might be the greatest dessert ever!

This might be my favorite tip on this list for Bali first timers.

When you’re passing by some street food with a sign that says ‘Pisang Goreng’, make sure you stop!

Fried banana is the best little snack when you’re busy exploring Bali.

Save “21 Bali Backpacking Tips That Will Surprise First-Timers” For Later?


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5. Kuta is dangerous

Let’s face it… Kuta’s time is up and there are so many more places to stay in Bali that are so much more cultural and just downright magnificent.

So be sure to do yourself a favor and skip the dodgy area of Kuta all together.

Check out the best places to stay in Bali here.

6. The Gili Islands are not to be missed!

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If you’re going all the way to Bali you may as well check out the neighboring Gili Islands.

The Gili Islands consist of Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno.

These islands are extremely freakin’ beautiful, the partying is like nowhere else in Indonesia and there’s no doubt you should take a quick ferry to enhance your Bali backpacking experience!

Gili Islands Blogs:

How To Get From Bali To Gili Islands {Literally Everything You Need To Know!}

The Ultimate Gili Trawangan Party Guide To Bali’s Most Sinful Island

7. Very dangerous to ride a scooter in Nusa Penida

Riding a motorbike is dangerous, period.

Riding one in Nusa Penida is almost a death wish.

In Nusa Penida the roads that get you to the most beautiful locations are not paved therefore we don’t recommend riding a motorbike in here if you’re not a confident rider.

Instead just look into renting a private shuttle for the day with your own personal driver.

Prices can cost anywhere between 400k IDR and 700k IDR for the entire day!

Nusa Penida Blogs:

9 Things To Do In Nusa Penida Travel Guide {The Ultimate Itinerary}

The Most Beautiful Beach in Bali {How To Get To Kelingking Beach}

Suwehan Beach {The Most Underrated Beach on Nusa Penida Island}

The Best Place in Bali To Snorkel With Manta Rays { Manta Point Nusa Penida }

How To Find The Rumah Pohon Treehouse And Thousand Islands Viewpoint

8. Alcohol poisoning

gili trawangan party jiggy boat party

We love to party in Bali, but you do have to be careful of alcohol poisoning!

The best way to avoid this is to go to the supermarket and buy your own alcohol to mix your own drinks.

When you’re already out partying and want a drink, don’t try and buy any alcohol off the street, even if it is that little bit cheaper than buying it out in a bar.

Be careful when buying at the bars too, Bali is known to be pouring methanol laced alcohol as a way of saving money.

So if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you want to learn more about the dangers of Methanol Poisoning on Gili T be sure to Click Here.

9. You can ball on a budget

where to stay in bali nusa dua

There are so many things to love about Bali, and cost of traveling here is one of them!

You will pay next to nothing for a gorgeous villa with a private infinity pool.

So for all the travelers who usually stay at hostels, you’ll have the chance to live in luxury when you’re backpacking Bali.

10. Bartering Is An Art Form

When shopping at markets, buying a tour or hiring a motorbike for instance you can barter to negotiate a better price.

Lots of people that are traveling to Bali for the first time will feel shy to do this, but bartering is normal in Bali so no need to feel shy or embarrassed naming your price.

However please don’t forget that the Balinese are just trying to put food on the table at the end of the day so be mindful of this when negotiating!

Furthermore, once you haggle for an agreed price it is considered rude not purchase.

11. Cash Is King!

This applies not only to Bali, but also to Southeast Asia entirely.

You can’t just pay by card everywhere like you can in the United States or Europe.

Here you will need to carry cash and pay with cash at most places.

Obviously hotels, hostels and most restaurants will accept card payment, but you will always want to have cash on hand.

Luckily, everything is cheap in Bali so you won’t need to be carrying wads of cash at one time!

12. Get travel insurance

uluwatu temple

Bali is not the place you want to travel to without travel insurance!

Between the possible motorbike accidents, pickpocketing and methanol poisoning you’ll want to be covered in case anything goes wrong!

13. Get your laundry done from shops on the street instead of your hotel!

This is a handy Bali backpacking tip that’ll save you some money!

When you need to get some laundry done it’s cheaper to get it done from the locals at their shops instead of getting it done by the hotel.

Laundry should cost you around 7k-10k IDR per kg.

14. Go-Jek and Grab is Bali’s version of Uber!

Unfortunately, Uber is banned from use in Bali however luckily for us there are two other ridesharing apps.

One is called Grab and another is called Go-Jek.

Bonus: they even deliver you food just like Uber Eats!

Download Go-Jek here on the App Store

Download Go-Jek here on Google Play

Download Grab here on the App Store

Download Grab here on Google Play

15. Monkeys aren’t your friends

ubud monkey forest 2

Bali is absolutely full of cute little monkey you just want to cuddle all day long.

But don’t.

They’re not as friendly as you imagine them to be and they quite possibly might attack you if you get too close.

Monkey’s LOVE sunglasses, jewelry and anything shiny so if you’re visiting to Ubud’s Monkey Forest or happen to be around monkeys in the wild be sure to put away anything shiny to avoid it getting taken from you!

The people who get bitten are usually the same people who push the boundaries and attempt to grab the monkeys.

And needless to say, if you do so happen to be bitten by a monkey you will need to get a rabies shot.

Read our complete guide to visiting Ubud’s Monkey Forest

16. European Power Plug

Just so you know, Indonesia uses the same power plug as Europe! Not Asia, America or Australia like you all may think.

17. Don’t get into fights

Rumor has it you can get into some serious trouble if you start a fight in Indonesia.

Don’t expect the police to be on your side when you find yourself in a nasty situation.

This is something most people don’t know if they’re traveling to Bali for the first time.

18. Vaccinations

Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date before starting your Bali backpacking adventures! The risk of Malaria is pretty small, but I’m not a doctor so don’t take my word for it!

Read more here about what vaccinations you should have before travelling to Bali for the first time.

19. Illegal Substances

Most people know this already, but for the Bali first timers, carrying or trafficking illegal substances results in the death penalty in Indonesia.

Not saying you’re the next Schapelle Corby, however I can’t imagine it would be fun getting caught with any illegal substances on you in this particular Southeast Asian country.

20. Tipping

Being on that Bali backpacking budget means that money is sparse, so just know you’re not expected to tip in Bali, but it is very much appreciated. Keep an eye out for the restaurants that charge a service fee because you won’t need to tip at these restaurants.

21. Above all have fun!

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Bali is an otherworldly backpacking opportunity that is enriched with so many unique and life-changing travel experiences.

Just be sure to remember these simple guidelines and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life!


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