Bali is an Indonesian island known for its temples, beaches, and perfect surfing waves. It’s laid back island vibe is what attracts tourists and expats alike to visit for a holiday or obtain long-term residence. As with many frequented tourist destinations, it has its ups and downs which come along with the territory.

Bali has been popping up on my radar for almost a decade since Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray, Love took to the big screen in 2010. Since then, the picturesque beaches and lush rice paddies would flood my Instagram feed in greater frequency than ever. I knew that my long-term travels wouldn’t be complete if I did not incorporate this island into my itinerary. The island’s extensive offerings is enough to create the ultimate Bali Travel Guide to confidently discover where to stay, what to eat and things to do!

After spending a little over a month on this beautiful island, I’ve discovered tips to learn before traveling to Bali. For those considering a retreat to this dreamlike destination, let’s review the ups and downs of navigating the island.

The Upside

1.Affordable Lodging & Food.

While the cost of a plane ticket from the States to Bali is higher than a trip to the Bahamas, expenses are offset in a number of ways. The going rate for lodging in Bali is relatively inexpensive. I’ve seen 5-star hotels run between $80 – $90 per night and have personally stayed in resorts that felt like 4-star hotels for $30 per night. Similarly, food is quite inexpensive and delicious! The fun beings when taste-testing exotic fruits, beverages and dishes. Trust me, it’s good.

2. No Visa fees.

Researching a country’s visa requirements is crucial to building your vacation budget. While most countries will welcome you with open arms at no cost, some countries require an entry fee. Overlooking this important element of travel may land you in a compromising position if do not prepare ahead of time. Depending on your passport, Bali has no visa requirements for many tourists vacationing for 30 days or less.

3. Vaccines are not required.

Although Bali does not require specific vaccinations for entry, when traveling to developing countries be sure to update your immunizations to any destination. As a safety precaution, visit your doctor, ideally 4-6 weeks, before your trip to receive the vaccines or medicines you may need.

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The Downside

1. Taxi Cab Haggling.

Getting around Bali can be a bit tricky. From the moment you land, as a traveler you need to prepare to bargain. If that’s not your thing, expect to pay the quoted taxi rate which is typically higher. Whatever you do, be sure to request the meter before stepping into a cab.

2. Travel Distance.

Are we there yet? Depending on where you call home, Bali may seem just as far as an alternative universe in a Marvel Comic book. It’s imperative that you build in travel time into your itinerary along with vacation time. This will allow you enough time to adjust to the time difference upon arrival and departure. Neglecting to allot additional time may put a damper on your itinerary, giving you less time than you anticipated.

3. Bottled water is your BFF.

Don’t drink the tap water. Repeat after me, “I will not drink the tap water as Lisa advised”. Like most (read: the majority) of countries in South East Asia, consuming tap water is rare among travelers and locals. If your trip to Bali is brief, I recommend using bottled water to brush your teeth to avoid becoming bedridden. Restaurants serve filtered or bottled water to patrons. The kicker is the unsuspecting ice that may be in your beverages. Many times, the ice is boiled tap water which has been purified. If you’re not comfortable with the idea, simply request a chilled beverage from the refrigerator to refrain from consuming the ice.

Remember, these observations are from my own personal experience. There is a plethora of reasons to visit Bali that I could go on and on about!

Is Bali on your bucket list?!

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Forever a thrill seeker for aspirational looks and global experiences, Lisa Barber is the creator of which explores her love for fashion, travel and wellness across the globe while championing a minimal lifestyle abroad. She believes that the body offers the greatest artistic medium as the ideal canvas for beauty and style. The Fashion Institute of Technology alum has leveraged physical canvas since 2010 as a creative platform to discover new designers and attend Fashion Week in New York, Singapore and New Zealand. Given her love for culture, she embarked on a lifestyle change to pursue full-time travel by selling her home and resigning from her career to see the world. As a woman with a wanderlust for travel, she hopes to inspire others to pursue their dreams. Follow her journey as she navigates her way from Rochester, New York to unique destinations around the world (@PhysicalCanvas).
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