With just six days left until my trip of a lifetime to Indonesia I really should be thinking about getting my butt in gear! I’m sad to say this trip is bitter sweet for me. I’m beyond excited to get on the road again, but this means we will officially be saying goodbye to our home Sydney!
Once our trip through Indonesia ends, we fly back to Australia to immediately begin our regional work. For those of you who are unfamiliar with regional work, it is required to work three months in a regional part of Australia (i.e.: a farm), to gain access to a second year visa. That’s right, I’m delighted to announce Sun Scribes will be sticking around in Australia until September 2018 (once we get the visa!)!!
So it’s with a slightly heavy heart that I begin my preparations for Indonesia. Today I’ve put together a post on the necessities for organising a trip to Bali. From visa eligibilities, to vaccines, accommodation and more, I’m outlining all the steps to be taken for a smooth trip to Bali. Please note, I’ll be doing a more in-depth posts on itinerary and what to pack later!
Indonesia offers visa exemptions (free entry) to 140 countries, for 30 days non-extendible. As I am Irish entering via Australia I was unsure about visa requirements. However, both the Republic of Ireland and Australia have visa exemptions. To find out if your country is on the free entry list click here.
It is important to note, this visa is 30 DAYS LONG, not one month. If you overstay your visa even by a few hours, you will be required to pay the penalty at the airport – 300,000rup, roughly $30 per day. If you intend on staying longer in Indonesia then you must apply for a 60-day visa outside of the country.
I can almost hear my nurse of a mother all the way from Ireland scolding me for this next sentence. No I didn’t get any vaccinations for Bali. There are no essential vaccines for entry to Bali from Western Europe/Australia. However for your personal protection travellers are recommended to consider vaccination cover against Hepatitis B, Japanese B Encephalitis and Rabies.
Now you have a clear idea on visas and vaccines it’s time to book your flights and accommodation! Skyscanner is our absolute go-to for booking flights, it’s reliable, efficient and sends plenty of emails and reminders so you feel reassured. While booking flights, make sure you delete cookies to get cheapest flights and also pick the “whole month” option to see the best deals.
My favourite bit of any trip is always booking the accommodation! I love searching sites and reading reviews for the best spots at the cheapest price! I often research places months in advance just for fun, I just love it that much!!
We’ve definitely spoilt ourselves on this trip with five-star hotels and gorgeous villas. I usually use booking.com, but for Indonesia I was pleasantly surprised to find agoda.com offered cheaper rates. We also looked at AirBnB for accommodation ideas.
We haven’t booked too many places yet. I think it’s important to keep your options open and book closer the time when you arrive. For more exclusive hotels in the likes of the Gili Islands we booked in advance but other than that we’ve plenty of days still not filled.
For the best exchange rates, definitely visit your bank before you go. Be sure to leave enough time as it usually takes a week to order the currency in. We initially aren’t taking much with us, just $500 between us, as we don’t want to be wandering around with all our money on our bodies. Hotels will also usually do a good deal on the exchange and you can of course use your debit cards while there.
One thing I’ve learned the hard way to always do before a big trip is inform your bank you are leaving for Indonesia, so they don’t cancel your card on grounds of suspicious activity!
One thing travelling around Australia has taught me to do is travel light! To save money we opted for no check-in baggage and are only bringing a 7kg carry-on. This will be a challenge! My backpack is small so things I’m leaving at home include: towels, shampoos, make-up, hair dryers/straighteners, excess underwear. I’m making sure to pack a rain jacket as it is coming to the end of Bali’s wet season and we are almost guaranteed some rainy days. Also good footwear as we do love a good hike! Anything heavy I’ll be wearing on the plane, Joey-style!
This is always the biggest question on everyone’s mind: “what do we do when we get there?!” I will do a more in-depth post on this when we return from our trip, but for now our general itinerary is as follows: Bali > Seminyak > Ubud > Mount Batar > Komoda Island > Rinca Island > Lombok > Gili Islands > Bali.
We’ve plenty of things in mind to do like the Monkey Temples, rice fields, volcano climbs, visit the Komodo dragons, snorkel with the mantra rays, and much more. We haven’t booked anything yet though as it’s always better to book on site. You can barter with the locals to get a better price and might meet other backpackers to join in on trips with.
Be sure to bring copies of all your travel documents with you, including your passport, flight information, travel insurance and any accommodation you’ve booked. Keep one set in your suitcase/backpack and another on your person. You can never be too careful!!