Bali, Australia’s favourite international holiday destination. Something about the Indonesian island’s kaleidoscopic colours, gentle culture and magic beaches draw endless numbers of Australians to its sultry shores each year.
Young backpackers, sprawling families and grey-nomads, Bali has a way of entrancing each of the diverse travellers who come seeking its enchanting lifestyle. However, with 1.2 million Australians landing in Indonesia each year, we tend to assume we know what to expect of the island holiday; beautiful beaches, verdant rice terraces and welcoming locals. Yet in contrast to the short and no-fuss experience we have when visiting Australia’s tropical island equivalents, Bali requires a little more preparation and awareness – it’s almost easy to forget that the Indonesian island is a foreign country.
For first-time (and returning) visitors, we’ve compiled this short guide to the 5 most common mistakes made on Bali holidays and how you can avoid them.
1. Inadequate Research
You know the name of your resort and your package inclusions, you’ve googled the closest beach and have envisioned yourself poolside, cocktail in hand; but do you know how far you are from the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary or whether you’ll have enough time to visit the famous Gianyar Night Market? Failing to research not only means you may not be able to visit some of the amazing places you’ve been told to see but it also means there’s a very good chance you’ll miss out on some of Bali’s top attractions due to avoidable ignorance. A couple of hours researching the length of your stay, location of your accommodation and compiling your Bali bucket list will ensure you leave the Denpasar departures hall without regrets.
2. Evading Local Foods
While it’s important to take note of the hygiene practices of the local ‘kitchen-carts’ before purchasing food from the street, travellers should not discount authentic Indonesian delicacies outright. Indonesia is renowned for its small number of delicious traditional meals and they’re not to be missed. It’s also worth stopping in at a local ‘Warung’ or ‘Rumah Makan’, where travellers will find authentic foods served from roadside kiosks and cafes, a unique cultural experience we highly recommend.
3. Attempting Too Much In Too Little Time
Bali is surprisingly large and often catches new travellers off guard when they arrive expecting to conquer the island in a week. As Bali is so close to Australia, it’s actually a great place for a short stay provided visitors arrive prepared. If you want to visit for a week or so, do a little research and pick out 2 – 3 things within a short drive of each other that you’d really like to experience. Find accommodation nearby and take it slow as you explore each attraction – your holiday is not a race and thanks to the number of budget airlines now travelling to Bali, you can always return to see more.
4. Failing To Research Trip Timing
Obviously, the best time to visit Bali will depend on your travel style and the things you’d like to do. However, if you’re hoping to miss the crowds (and young Australian school leavers) we suggest avoiding a Bali holiday in December - which also happens to be the height of the rainy season. From August to October travellers will find optimal weather conditions (a warm and dry climate) with minimal tourists. Take time to research the best places to experience in Bali during the time you wish to visit.
5. Not Purchasing Travel Insurance
Whether you’ve claimed in the past or not, Travel Insurance is essential to any overseas adventure and may save you thousands should you need to use it. Whether you’ve planned an intrepid scuba diving tour or a poolside retreat, insurance will help you in the case of lost luggage, unexpected cancellations, illness, injury, fatality and a whole host of other circumstances. If for no other reason than peace of mind, travel insurance is worth the cost.
About the author:
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