Bali: Tropical Escape
Know Before You Go
For an epic trip with zero stress and infinite holy s#!t moments, get familiar with the information below. Seeing the world should be fun, not stressful, which is why we’ve written this guide for you and are available 24/7 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.
Complete Your Checklist
Before heading to the airport, complete the tasks below and check them off in your Online Account Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-766-2645. We’re available 24/7 to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.
- Travel Documents: In order to enter Bali, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months after the date of re-entry. A Visa is NOT required for Bali unless you plan to stay for longer than 30 days.
- Join the Facebook group: Join your private Facebook group as soon as it opens! It’s how you can meet other travelers and see announcements from your Tour Director. Call us at 800-766-2645 if you’re having trouble joining.
- Request a roommate:: Double check with us and your Tour Director that they have your rooming status on file. We will assign a roommate for you if you do not submit a specific request.
- Personalize your trip: Travel Insurance is not available for purchase on tour, and the price of Optional Excursions increases after departure. We suggest logging in to your Online Account now to add these items.
- Call your bank: Let your bank and credit card company know of your travel plans so you can withdraw cash and use your debit/credit cards abroad. Otherwise, you risk your account being blocked.
Stay Healthy Abroad
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Bali, however it is very common for travelers from the U.S. to experience gastrointestinal issues (nausea, diarrhea) when traveling to Bali. We recommend you consult your physician or local travel clinic, and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) at lease 60 days prior to departure for the latest updates and entry requirements. See more tips below for staying healthy in Bali:
- Local governments may require proof of a yellow fever vaccination (often referred to as a yellow card ) or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine. Visit cdc.gov/yellowfever for more information.
- Drink bottled water only. Avoid tap water even when brushing your teeth or showering. We recommend travelers purchase bottled water when given the chance (in major cities at supermarkets, when the Tour Director suggests, etc.). DO NOT refill your water bottle with tap water.
- Travelers’ diarrhea, or “Bali Belly” is one of the most common illnesses among travelers to Bali. Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
- Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself or wash them in bottled or disinfected water.
- Certain medications (both over-the-counter and prescription) are banned in foreign countries. Consult your physician at least four weeks prior to departure to make sure any medications you want to bring with you are legal.
- Bali is hot and humid throughout the year. Swelling of the feet and ankles is common, as well as muscle cramps. Avoid these by staying hydrated and limiting excessive activity in the heat
- Take proper care with sun exposure, the sun is very strong in some of the areas you are visiting
- Public restrooms in Bali can be quite bare. We suggest carrying bathroom tissue and hand sanitizer with you.
Note: Make sure all medications are packed in their original, clearly labelled containers. If you are carrying syringes or needles, be sure to have a physician's letter documenting their medical necessity. If you have a heart condition ensure you bring a copy of an electrocardiogram taken just prior to travelling.
Pack Like a Pro
Your airline ticket includes one checked bag (typically 27" x 21" x 14") but double check the luggage size requirements on your airline’s website. We recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag. See more packing tips below:
- A light jacket or rain-wear
- A shawl or layer to use when visiting temples or other religious sites where bare shoulders/legs are not permitted
- A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers for long days of sightseeing
- Waterproof shoes or sandals
- 1-2 pairs pants, shorts, or skirt
- 1-2 long skirts or dresses
- 2-3 shirts / t-shirts
- 1-2 nicer outfits for Welcome & Farewell dinners
- Underwear and socks
- Toiletries, medicine
- 1-2 bathing suits
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat. Pro Tip: Bring two travel-size sunscreens in your carry-on
- Reusable water bottle
- Insect repellent
- Phone or camera
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- Adapter / Converter – type “C”, or “F” power sockets. A staff favorite is the universal adapter and a voltage converter.
Note: When visiting temples or religious sites, you must have appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders and falls below the knees. Entrance may be denied if you do not abide by these requirements.
Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. You can check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.
- If your flight is cancelled or delayed: Don’t worry! We design the first day of tour as an arrival day in case of flight delays or cancellations. Work with the airline to get rebooked on the next available flight, then let your Tour Director know your new arrival time
- If you slept in and missed your flight: You should still talk to the airline and see if they can get you on the next available option. Tears may help in this case.
- Long Flights: Travel from the U.S. to Asia is a long process (20-30+ hours travel time total). Bring a book, watch a movie (or five), and drink plenty of water!
Pro Tip: Travel from the U.S. to Asia is a long process (20 – 30+ hours travel time total), so be prepared. Download movies ahead of time, bring that book you’ve been meaning to read, and get some sleep! When flying, we suggest occasionally getting up to stretch, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Arriving in Bali
Congratulations! You’ve landed in Bali, an Indonesian paradise filled with mountains, rice paddies, beaches, reefs, and more. We can’t wait for you to dive in! Before you arrive, your Tour Director or Trip Consultant will communicate on Facebook or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group!
Note: If you have difficulty finding your group or representative to bring you to the hotel, just give our team a call at 800-766-2645.
Meet Your Tour Director and Fellow Travelers
Your Tour Director will also tell you best way to communicate with them during the trip; they will be with your group from start to finish so if there is anything you need, connect with them. Concerned about international cellular data and staying in touch with your group? Check out “Phones and Electronics” further down in this guide.
Phone, Internet, and Electronics
We recommend you get an international data plan from your cell phone provider. The most common options are the Travel Pass with Verizon, or purchasing a personal hot spot with your carrier. Read on for additional connectivity must-knows:
- Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars, though charges may apply and it may be slower than in the U.S.
- Wi-Fi is not available on the bus
- For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will also need a converter/adapter.
Note: In Bali, you’ll need type “C”, or “F” adapters / converters (two-pin plug, round). A staff favorite is also universal adapter and voltage converter
On The Ground
Money and Tipping
The currency of Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (Rp), and you’ll notice that the currency has many zeros on the bills! Some stores in Bali will take credit cards, although cash is still an important form of payment for shopping, transportation, and food/drinks. We recommend you mostly carry cash, but bring a debit/credit card with you, which you can use to withdraw cash at local banks if needed.
- Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
- While better exchange rates are usually found overseas, it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive
- Always carry a bit of cash with you. It will come handy when you decide to buy a coconut, grilled corn on the cob or a sarong on the beach. Tipping the staff at the hotel, spa and restaurant is also usually done in cash.
- Bali’s currency has a lot of zeros. There are coins in Bali with the value of Rp. 50, Rp. 100, Rp. 200, Rp. 500 and Rp. 1,000. Paper notes are available at Rp. 1,000, Rp. 2,000, Rp. 5,000, Rp. 10,000, Rp. 20,000, Rp. 50,000, and Rp. 100,000
- Budget around $50-$60 per day for meals, drinks, souvenirs, and tips or extra activities
- We recommend tipping your Tour Director $44-$66 at the end of the trip, plus additional tips for local guides.
Note: “Money Changers” are very common in places like Seminyak and Ubud, and they’re essentially quick-stop currency exchange stalls. Most of these stalls are legitimate, but when using these money changers make sure to check exchange rates before approaching a stall, count your money before you leave the stall, and only use stalls that are located in a trusted building.
Transfers Between Cities
On this trip, you’ll take a private bus between cities which can take anywhere between 2-8 hours depending on distance, local traffic, and bathroom or photo-stop breaks. The beauty of travel is that you get to explore a new place, but note that it takes time and energy to see everything worth seeing! Read on for more must-knows:
- Prepare to walk between 2-5 miles per day, especially when sightseeing
- Remember it will be HOT and HUMID in Bali, so keep your water, hat, and sunscreen close!
Note: If you are prone to sea-sickness or motion-sickness, we recommend bringing Dramamine for drives between cities and activities
Optimize Your Free Time
If you did not purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip began, you can log into your Online Account and do so on tour. You can also talk to your Tour Director on tour and they can help you get enrolled. If you’d like to plan something else during your free time, connect with your Tour Director before doing so; they sometimes arrange extra activities for the group during free time. Prices for these optional excursions will increase on tour, so please check your online account for available add ons.
Bali is exotic, tropical, and extremely historic. What more could you want?! Here are some expert tips to help you understand the ins and outs of Asia, and feel like a true local:
- Clothing Etiquette: Dress modestly before entering temples in Bali. Your shoulders, waist, and legs should be covered by long pants/dress, a scarf, or sarong respectfully. Beachwear isn’t always accepted in higher-end bars, restaurants or clubs.
- Smoking: Do not smoke in public areas. A “smoke-free” bylaw went into effect across Bali in 2011 and smoking is now forbidden ins most public areas
- Strict Laws: Bali’s drug laws are very strict and should not be taken lightly. There are harsh penalties such as life imprisonment for possession, or worse. Please walk away if you hear any whispered solicitations for drugs in crowded areas, and abide by the country’s laws.
- Toilet Paper: It’s a good idea to bring a small container of tissues or toilet paper with you in case you’re faced with a squat toilet or a bathroom without amenities you’re used to.
- Shoes: You will likely be asked to remove your shoes in certain homes, restaurants, or temples. It is a rule of etiquette to abide by this request.
- Street Food: It’s safe, and it’s delicious! Try to stick with vendors that have a long line to make sure you’re getting the best of the best.
- Taxis: The most honest taxis in Bali are marked “Bali Taxi" (also known as Blue Bird Taxis)
- Animals You’ll see a lot of monkeys and they may seem cute, but they’re actually quite rude and sometimes aggressive. They may try to grab your belongings looking for food, so keep a strong hold of your stuff if you see a monkey nearby! You should also be prepared to see many stray dogs during your trip.
Wine and Dine
Guaranteed to put your local Asian-Fusion restaurant to shame, prepare to dive into a gastronomic paradise of ancient tradition and modern practices that is Bali. Read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you must try.
- Nasi Goreng: Arguably titled the national dish of Indonesia, this is fried rice usually served with pork, veggies, tofu, and a fried egg
- Satay: Pieces of grilled meat threaded onto skewers. This can be found in fine-dining restaurants as well as street food vendors!
- Babi Guling: An iconic dish in Bali, Babi Gulin is suckling pig with a spice paste of coriander, lemongrass, lime leaves, chilies, and ginger.
- Nasi Campur: Nasi Campur is a mix of food and rice usually with an assortment of meat, veggies, and yellow or white rice
- Martabak: A famous street food, this is a ball of dough fried and filled with eggs, vegetables, and chicken, then molded into a cube!
- Pepes Ikan: This refers to a method of cooking using a banana leaf as a food wrap, which steams the meat for a delectable result.
- Dadar Gulung: A Balinese dessert, this is a treat of crepes filled with coconut and palm sugar. If you’re lucky, it will be served with a dollop of ice cream!
Note: Vegetarian options will be available, but make sure to inform your Trip Consultant and Tour Director ahead of time in order to accommodate any dietary restrictions.
Stay Safe Abroad
With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. But, it’s equally important for you to maintain your health and safety while abroad. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner, drink plenty of water, get sleep when you can, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your Tour Director or your Trip Consultant if you need a helping hand. Keep these extra tips in mind so you can #travelsmart:
- Keep your bag/purse in front of you and your phone zipped inside when you’re not using it. Leave your laptop at home, store valuables at the hotel in locked luggage or the safe deposit box. Refrain from carrying large sums of money or wearing valuable jewelry.
- Bali’s drug laws are very strict and should not be taken lightly. There are harsh penalties such as life imprisonment for possession, or worse. Please walk away if you hear any whispered solicitations for drugs in crowded areas, and abide by the country’s laws.
- Use the buddy system. Stay in groups and watch out for each other, especially at night—no one gets left behind!
- Before you go out, grab a business card at your hotel so that you always have the address handy for getting back later.
- At the end of a night out, use trusted transportation like a licensed taxi, and always have cash on hand.
- Be smart about alcohol consumption. Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t leave the bar alone with someone you just met.
- Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411
We’re so glad you chose to travel with us and are now part of the EF Ultimate Break family! We'll look for your post-card in the mail, and your #thisisultimate tags on Instagram. Cheers to the Best. Trip. Ever.