You want to make sure that you have all of the Bali travel essentials before you make your way over to the island. Luckily there are only a few things you absolutely need and the rest you can pack for fashion or comfort!
This Bali packing list breaks it all down for you from the amount of clothing to bring to the must-have items for your upcoming Bali trip.
If you’re heading on a big Southeast Asia trip I have a guide specifically on packing for Southeast Asia.
Weather in Bali
There really isn’t a bad time to go to Bali as the weather is warm year-round. The island does experience two seasons though, dry and wet.
The dry season runs May-September and the wet season is October-April. While there will definitely be more rain in the wet season Bali is lucky to have short periods of rain, usually not lasting for longer than an hour.
So while you may have to hide from the rain it will only be for a short while, just enough time to grab something to eat or a drink, before you can get back to the beach or get back exploring.
The best time to visit Bali is in the shoulder seasons, March-April and October as there is less rain, it’s still warm and there will be fewer crowds.
The temperature ranges slightly with the hottest average temperature in May being 28°C and the coldest 26°C in January.
If you’re backpacking Bali then it’s important to invest in a proper backpack. More expensive backpack does not necessarily mean that it is a better backpack.
Look for quality, some of the best brands are North Face, Osprey, Gregory and Deuter. But don’t brush off the store brand packs as they are generally cheaper and of the same quality.
Backpacks are made for both men and women and it’s a good idea to try some on in store to get a feel for what is comfortable on you. In store weights are placed in the bag so you can tell if there are any areas that don’t feel good.
Do some research beforehand by browsing backpacks on Amazon so you’re better prepared. REI is your best bet to find a pack in the USA or MEC in Canada.
Below are some recommended packs that are around 50 liters, I don’t recommend getting a bigger pack because you really do not need it. Some are slightly higher than 50 liters and that’s because they have a removable daypack (a bonus I personally have and love)!
If you’re backpacking for a month or less I would suggest getting a smaller backpacker (30-40 litres should do).
Packing Tips for Bali
- Less is more!
- Roll everything (sorry I’m a roller not a folder!)
- Pack items around the edges of your pack to save space
- Packing cubes to stay organized
Use the following sections to create your own personalized Bali packing list.
What to Pack for Bali
There are a few things you should not travel to Bali without!
Reusable Water Bottle
You should really be using a reusable water bottle for everywhere that you travel to avoid using plastic. Bali is not the most eco-friendly destination, however, there is an effort being put into cutting down on plastic.
As so much garbage gets washed up onto the island you will see first hand the extent to which plastic is building up. Most accommodation and restaurants in Bali will have filtered water for you to fill up so it won’t be an issue.
Mosquito Repelling Bracelets/Mosquito Spray
Seriously, do not forget this! If you opt to bring a spray make sure it uses DEET but if you want to avoid the oily spray then get some mosquito-repelling bracelets that you can wear on you wrists and/or ankles to stop the nasty buggers from biting you all the time.
Chances are that you’ll be going into a few temples while in Bali. I highly recommend bringing a sarong.
It can be used for the beach to lay on the sand and to cover your legs or shoulders when you enter a temple. It’s lightweight and easy to pack so it should be a no brainer to bring one.
Activated charcoal is a life saver. Bali belly is, unfortunately, a very real thing (basically food poisoning) that many foreigners get when visiting Bali. Activated charcoal helps an upset stomach.
It is available in Bali but I recommend taking some with you on your travels so you’re not running to the pharmacy feeling like you might shit your pants.
Do yourself a favour and get an adapter that is good around the world, they’re decently priced these days and you’ll never have to worry about looking for or buying an adapter again.
What to Wear in Bali
Bali is obviously a hot destination but it’s also a religious destination. Locals you will always find covered up and tourists are sometimes wearing next to nothing.
The appropriate choice is to cover up but it is totally acceptable to wear shorts, crop tops and tanks. This is not okay when entering temples though so be sure to have a sarong, at least one top that covers your chest and long pants or skirt.
Many people roam around in bathing suits (though I would say it’s more appropriate to cover up) but always put on clothing before riding a scooter because if you fall you will get road burn!
This Bali packing guide will give you an idea of what to pack for 2 weeks without having to do laundry or longer if doing laundry. Laundry is very affordable in Bali so you could also cut down this list to only have 1 weeks worth of clothes.
Clothes to Bring to Bali
- 1-3 tanks
- 1-2 t-shirts
- 1-2 workout tops if you plan on doing yoga
- 1 dri-fit shirt (optional, excellent for when trekking or getting active)
- 1 lightweight sweater, long sleeve shirt or windproof jacket (for when driving in the mountains on a scooter or hiking early in the morning)
Be sure to mix in one or two cute tops for nights out. Some of the clubs and lounges in Bali are higher end.
- 1-2 shorts
- 1-2 legging/yoga pants (whatever is comfortable to wear on the plane and for hiking and/or yoga)
- 1-2 dresses and/or skirts
Bras and Underwear
- 14 pairs of underwear (maximum)
- 2 regular bras
- 1 sport bras
- 1 bralet
- 2-3 pairs of socks
I always like to bring lots of underwear because it takes up so little room and that means I can get away with doing laundry less!
- Travel scarf (I always travel with one no matter how hot a destination is)
Other Must-Pack Items
- 1-3 bathing suits
- Hat (for long days in the sun)
- 1 pair of running shoes (or appropriate shoes for hiking)
- 1 pair of travel sandals
- 1 pair of flip flops
What to Take to Bali for Toiletries
Don’t worry too much on packing toiletries because it is easy to pick them up if you run out. And don’t take full bottles, use minis! I’ve used minis for 4-month trips before!
- Shampoo (I recommend a shampoo bar)
- Shower gel or soap bar
- Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss
- Tampons or menstrual cup (I highly recommend the Diva Cup)
- Tweezers, nail clippers and nail file
- Travel Medical Kit (see what you’ll need here)
READ MORE: What to Pack in a Travel First Aid Kit
As a digital nomad I tend to pack more than the typical traveller so go off of what you need and the less the better because these things get heavy and it’s nice to not worry about any valuables.
- Laptop/Tablet + charger
- Kindle + charger
- Phone (unlocked) + charger + waterproof case
- GoPro + charger
- GoPro accessories
- Extra GoPro battery
- Portable power bank (this one is perfect because of its size, small enough to fit in your purse)
- Universal adapter
- Grid-It (to keep your gadgets altogether)
READ MORE: 8 Easy Tips for GoPro Beginners
Packing for Bali Travel Essentials
All of the miscellaneous things that you don’t normally think of that make travelling so much easier. If want your pack or suitcase organized don’t go without packing cubes, they are a game changer!
- Small purse
- Water bottle
- Packing cubes
- Ziplocks or reusable zip up bags
- Microfibre towel (for hostels)
- Rain cover for your backpack (if backpacking)
- Locks (for your backpack and to use on lockers)
Don’t even try and go to Bali without travel insurance! I’ve personally used travel insurance in Asia (when I got sick in the Philippines) have friends who have been hospitalized and have read too many stories to not travel with travel insurance. I personally used and recommend World Nomads, but if you’d like to do your own research you can use this guide to help you pick the right one for you.
READ THIS: A Guide to Choosing Travel Insurance
Must-Read Bali and Packing Posts!
- Bali Trip Planning Resources
- How to Pack a Carry-On Bag Like a Pro
- The Ultimate Worry Free Pre-Travel Checklist
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