Here is a very casual list of things to pack for a trip to Bali or any other hot climate destination.

In General:

My bag weighed 44# when I left home. It’s good to have room to bring extras back as you will be tempted by many wonderful choices. My bag weighed 48# on departure from Bali. My carry-on was relatively compact. My second carry-on (ie purse used only for flight) was mid-size but chosen to hold immediate needs such as neck pillow, meds, iPod, iPad, slippers, chargers, etc. You do not want to have to access your carry on once you’ve boarded.

I have **** items which I recommend packing in your carry-on.


OTC – Immodium, Pepto Bismo, Gas Relief, Neosporin, Ibuprofen, Cortisone crème, Mucinex (take immediately if you feel chest or head congestion), and anything else you anticipate needing

*Prescriptions – remove from bottle. Pull off label and put onto small ziplock jewelry bags – saves tons of space. Reduce supplements to bare necessity and dump all into one bag.

*Bring a list from your physician of all prescriptions you take plus supplements (note, Indonesia is a stickler for drug use and imposes very harsh penalties so don’t even think about bringing in anything suspicious)



I recommend ONLY taking gauze clothing. Linen is too heavy and can be stiff, unless it is hanky weight linen. Two recommended companies for purchasing are: Oh My Gauze and Gauzeway. You can order online or check see where their shops are.

I found dresses to be the coolest along with short skirts.

Do not bring cotton knit dresses, t-shirts (unless thin thin thin) or shorts. They don’t breath and are too hot.

For two months, I used two gauze blouses, one hanky-wt linen tank, two short gauze pants, two thin linen capris, two short light-weight knit skirts, two gauze dresses. I had two knit tank tops. I normally do not wear tank tops, however, in the heat of Bali, I guarantee you will change your mind.

*I traveled in comfortable (layered) warmer clothes as planes can get very cold. I packed a gauze outfit for changing into on landing or, in my case, in Singapore which was the prior layover.

For nightwear, I had one very light weight short nightie, one spaghetti strap nightie and for sitting around my unit or on balcony, one tank-topped baggy comfy short dress…or buy a sarong on arrival for a couple $$ and tie it on.  In this I could be served my breakfast, talk to my neighbor, etc. but not wear out in public. Remember, you need two as one will be on the rack drying…..

Bring at least 4 bras if a woman, and half dozen thin undies. These all will get washed daily.

On request, you should be given a bucket for your room in which you will rinse out your clothes almost daily. There should also be a drying rack on your balcony.

One can send things out to a laundry but I was hesitant as I didn’t know what facilities they had, whose clothes would be mixed with mine and if I would get them back! (confusion not dishonestly)

Soap – you can buy laundry detergent there or bring PLENTY. Ask someone the correct names of products you are going to buy and bring with you to the store.

Bathing suit (no towel; bulky)

*Shawl for plane and evenings – no jackets or sweaters are necessary.

*Slippers for the plane



*Visa if staying longer than 30 days. Otherwise, if 30 days or less, have $25 in CASH to purchase on your arrival. You can get VISA extensions after you arrive but you may have difficulty boarding if your ticket reads for longer. An extension is also more expensive when purchasing in Bali.

*Two different charge cards although Bali is a cash society so don’t expect to use them much (make sure you’ve called your charge card company to inform them of your trip)

*Bank cash card – you will use this all the time for cash withdrawals. Ck with your bank to see if there are int’l charges. Consider getting a duplicate in case the strip fails. Notify bank of your travel plans so it’s not rejected.

You do not need any other money except maybe $30 for travel sundries while in route.

*Strong supportive neck pillow for flight (mine is molded firm spongy foam and I love it)

*Feather bed pillow (that compresses if you have it) for both flight and your room. I LOVED having mine.


*Readers and glasses

*A few bags of beef jerky and/or trail mix

LOTS of deodorant

Hair clips – even if you don’t use at home (I used the small snap ones and carried in my purse.)

Shampoo – twice what you’d expect as shower often

Shower cap


Two mirrors – one handheld and one suction cup magnifier if you need it

Small notebook and pens (easy to buy there; I got one that I rolled up in my little purse so I could journal wherever I was)

*Eye shade and earplugs (many earplugs for airplane and rooster noise). I prefer the soft waxy ones from Walgreens. They are more effective and comfortable.

Six pack of tissues/Kleenex


Moleskin for possible blisters

Small scissors – be sure to check in suitcase

One knife, fork and spoon – can be plastic (for snacks/lunches/fruit in your room)

Wash rag……best is one of each: long, meshy one for body and to stretch across back while showering and one soft one for face.

Suntan lotion – at least UV30 for face, 15 for rest. Don’t ever go out without it!

Sun hat – I always bring but rarely used as very hot to wear hat. You may prefer, however.

*Two cameras always and at least 3 16GB memory cards. On my first trip to Bali, my SLR broke on the first day. I was so relieved to have a backup or I would have been without photos. Photography in Bali is challenging because of the intensity of the sun. Make sure you have studied your manual (and bring with), especially relating to exposure and white balance settings. I always bring a minimum of three memory cards, preferably four. Again, something can go wrong!

A smallish cross-chest purse or bag which is large enough to hold tissues, point and shoot camera, coin purse or SMALL wallet, collapsible umbrella and one or two other things you don’t want to be without. It’s too hot to carry a large purse so leave it behind.

Umbrella – small, collapsible. You will be carrying this almost every day for the quick unexpected afternoon shower.

Rain cape – if you decide to use a motorbike, this is useful providing it doesn’t take up a lot of room.

Watch – you won’t wear one

*Jewelry – one pair of basic earrings. Maybe your favorite inexpensive ring. Silver for purchase is everywhere and it’s too hot to wear much jewelry.

*Wet ones – a package. I use to wipe down plane seats, trays, buckles. Also to stick in purse when out. You often don’t get napkins and skuzzy fingers are common.

Reading material (I had many books on iPad)


Two pair of water tolerant, comfortable walking sandals (Chacos, Tevas, Merrells)

One pair “nicer” sandals for going out (must also be able to walk in)

Flip flops or whatever you want to wear around your room


Technology and Electrical:

*iPad or laptop

*Old phone for which you can buy a Telkomsel SIM card to text or phone in Bali. I purchased $10 card and only used half in 2 months. I did not call outside Indonesia however. Used Facetime and Skype for calls.

If you bring your Smartphone, make sure you understand all charges!!! I just used my iPad and local phone.

If you don’t have old phone, you can purchase a cheap one there

*Camera accessories, ie thin, waterproof sack for cameras (Granite Gear). Can be purchased at REI or on line. You will need if you go out on motorbike or are out walking and a rain comes up. It fits right in your purse.

*Cords for recharging cameras, phone, iPad

EXTENSION cord – imperative!

Do not bring power strip – they do not work and will blow the power out

*Two-round-pinned plug ins – bring two

*Power converter if you have electrical items that are not dual. Most cameras and computers NOW are.

Immersion heater coil if you can still find them for heating water in your room (remember, NEVER remove from the water while plugged into the wall. Unplug first or you will blow it out). I used mine constantly!

Tall melamine heat-resistant cup for same (you can now make tea, coffee, mei goring, etc. in your room)

*If you are going to transfer photos from your camera to an iPad, you must have a cord/converter to do this. Can be purchased through Apple. You can also purchase a Sandisk WIRELESS flash drive (much cheaper than Apple’s version) onto which you can back up your photos if too many for iPad or laptop and/or you can bring movies on the flash drive to watch.

Follow up:

I may have forgotten a few things as I mistakenly unpacked before creating this list. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR BALI will be forthcoming so stay tuned.



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