Travel with Tots in Bali

Bali is one of the top travel destinations for Australians travelling abroad and we are often asked questions about what Bali is like to travel with kids, so we packed up the toddler and a kit full of great products to test and review and headed off to the island of the gods to see how bub was received and would cope with the trip.

  

We arrived into Bali at 9 at night after a 7 hour Jetstar flight, our toddler is quite a seasoned traveller so the flight didn’t really bother him but he was tired as it was well past bed time when we landed. We had prearranged for Bali Baby Hire driver to collect us from the airport and transfer us to our hotel, they pre install the car seat for you so your little one is safe and sound, I was very pleased to not have to negotiate with a taxi driver and risk travelling without a car seat or in a vehicle without seatbelts (which is quite common in Bali). Our driver (Kin) was lovely and kind, we were dropped at our first hotel Taman Ayu in Semiyak with all of our hire equipment for the trip; a pram, car seat and baby carrier back pack. (To see our review of Bali Baby Hire click here.)

We spent 2 nights at Taman Ayu and 3 nights at the Bali Ayu also in Seminyak, we didn’t do a lot in our first few days, letting bub and ourselves acclimatise. We spent our days swimming and wandering around the local area. The footpaths of Bali are somewhat challenging in places so we often chose to put our little man in the backpack carrier as it was easier than trying to battle with broken footpaths or no footpaths. From Seminyak we headed to Ubud for several days, Ubud was slightly more stroller friendly but parts are steep, in Ubud we visited the monkey forest and the markets and took in a Balinese dance show. In Ubud we stayed in a small hotel called Alas Petulu Cottages.

From Ubud we visited the Elephant Safari Park in Taro and stayed in the lodge there (an amazing experience, you can read our review here) before heading down to Sanur. Sanur is perfect for families, it is quiet compared to the hustle and bustle and hassles of Kuta but there is still enough going on that you don’t feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Sanur beach has a great footpath (level and continuous) that runs along the beach so if you enjoy walking or jogging with a pram Sanur is likely the best area for your family. There are many small family run type hotels along the beach front. Sanur was our final stop on the holiday, we stayed in two hotels is Sanur, the Peneeda View hotel and Puri Sading.

We didn’t stay in Kuta but visited several times for shopping and outings. Kuta is probably the best known area of Bali and it contains most of the bars and nightclubs so if you are looking to party Kuta is the area for you. There are also some quieter areas of Kuta that suit families especially if you are travelling with older kids and would like to be right in the thick of things.

Many parents worry about finding supplies for their baby in Bali, there really is no need for concern. If your baby has a certain type of formula or has allergies it would be best to bring what they require from home but supplies like nappies, wipes, powder, shampoos etc. are readily available in supermarkets and even convenience stores like some Circle K stores.

Larger supermarkets and department stores stock various baby foods, we were able to find Raffertys Garden Baby food in several stores (we took our own, it’s the perfect travel food, see our review here) the range available was limited and it was more expensive than at home. Some Heinz products were also available as were cereals like Weet-bix in the larger stores. In Kuta you can visit Matahari Hypermarket, in Sanur Hardy’s Supermarket and in Seminyak; Bintang Supermarket just to name a few of the supermarkets where you can purchase all your baby needs. The new guidebook Bali for Kids has more suggestions on shopping for children’s needs in Bali.

See a doctor before you travel to establish if any shots are necessary for your family, also be aware that rabies does exist in Bali so please be cautious around dogs and don’t let children pat them. Visit our health section for tips from a travel doctor click here

A small first aid kit containing Hydration salts (or the icy pole version), charcoal tablets in case of ‘Bali belly’, paracetamol etc. can be invaluable. Finding a pharmacy is not difficult if you need to purchase medicines but if possible its preferable to have products from home where you understand the ingredients and know that they are suitable for you or your children (I tried to purchase paracetamol for a headache one evening and ended up wide awake after unknowingly taking paracetamol packed full of caffeine and Guarana, needless to say it was a long sleepless night). We took Hydralyte icypoles with us and let our son have one any afternoon where he had had an upset tummy or had been sweating a lot during the day, they really helped perk him up. We were fairly fanatical about covering him to protect against mosquitoes, there are a number of diseases spread through mosquito bite both during the day and at night so always use repellent and cover up where possible.

Let your trip be guided by your little one and how they are coping with the heat, environment and stimulation and you will have a wonderful time. We preferred to see how the day was going and how our son was feeling and then plan an activity rather than book in advance and have to contend with a tired or grumpy toddler. Bali Zoo, the Elephant Safari Park, Safari and Marine Park can all arrange to collect you from your hotel or a private driver can take you and all make for a great day out.

When I ask my husband what he thinks people should know about travelling to Bali with kids he shares the following pearls of wisdom; Take good insect repellent, Don’t drink the water, find a good taxi driver and stick with them and bring a baby carrier backpack!

Bali is actually a very easy holiday for those travelling with kids, in most hotels you will find other children and they can all bond and form friendships in the pool. The Balinese love babies and children, baby sitters can easily be arranged through hotels and its not uncommon at meals for a waiter to take bub and carry them around the restaurant and entertain them while you eat your meal. Quite often when waiting for our order in a restaurant a staff member would sneak our son a cookie, his meals were brought out very quickly and he was constantly entertained by friendly Balinese and several times in cafes a box of toys appeared for his amusement. High chairs are not overly common so a fabric high chair like the Little Beetle Chair is a sanity saver, it’s the difference between a relaxing meal or a toddler let loose and running wild around a restaurant while you chase them trying to convince them to eat something.

Our son loved Bali perhaps even more than we did, he enjoyed the constant attention and smiles he got everywhere we went and loved being doted on, he was often the first of us that was addressed when we arrived somewhere. Swimming twice a day and living on fresh fruit really suited him and he was certainly a little sad to be back home, he is still asking every day to go on a plane to go swimming or see the elephants.

For more details on Bali please visit our Destination Bali page.

We stayed in the following hotels – Taman Ayu, Seminyak, Bali Ayu Seminyak, Alas Petulu Ubud, Elephant Safari Park Lodge, Puri Sading Sanur and Peneeda View Sanur. Read our reviews of the Elephant Safari Park Lodge here and Peneeda View Hotel here

 We used some great services and took some fabulous products with us that made for a much smoother easier trip, Read our reviews of Bali Baby Hire, Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food, Konfidence Swim Jacket, Cloth for Comfort Swim Nappy, Baby Banz Hooded Rashie, WOTNOT Sunscreen, Spatz Dummy Clips, with more being added throughout the month.

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