6 Essential Tips for Travelling to Bali with Kids
Travelling with kids is often as easy or as hard as we make it – and let’s be honest, most of that depends on either our personalities or those of our kids. Bali is a wonderful place to go to with kids, so to ensure you have the best time possible, we’ve put together some helpful tips based on our own experiences travelling to Bali with kids.
- Pack an “essentials medical kit”
We don’t mean for you to go out and buy bandages and scalpels! What we do mean, is a small bag of items that will really come in handy. Of course there are chemists, supermarkets and doctors all over Bali – but it’s comforting and convenient to have some basics with you. We recommend including some antiseptic spray, band aids, hand sanitiser and wipes, Immodium (or similar off the shelf diarrhea medication – for the grown ups not small children!), sunscreen, insect repellent and Hydralyte tablets. The blackcurrant version of the water soluble Hydralyte is a really handy thing to have around. Bali is really humid and hot, and I found it difficult to get my boys to drink enough. My eldest son particularly felt the heat, but after a quick drink of Hydralyte he was re-charged and coped much better. They also come in handy of course if anyone does come down with ‘the runs’ or has a hangover.
- Pack an “entertainment pack” for small kids
For downtime in the afternoons or a rainy spell, then a pack of cards, colouring or puzzle books or word games can be handy. We enjoy family games of Uno, and lying on a day bed by the pool relaxing and hanging out with the kids having a laugh creates great memories. The majority of villas and a great many restaurants or cafes offer free wifi – so if the kids are hooked on electronic devices then they can easily get their fix. A holiday is a good time to force kids to spend time away from ipads and phones though, so having options is essential. For us, the pool was the best entertainment going – the kids were in it every second they could.
- Don’t worry about the food!
Fussy eaters can be a challenge for many parents and about worrying what your kids are going to eat can be stressful. The majority of restaurants in Bali feature a kids menu, with Western food options like pizza, burgers, chips, chicken nuggets and spaghetti. For the more adventurous kids, the rice dish Nasi Goreng and chicken sate sticks are a great introduction to Balinese food. There are supermakets dotted all around Bali and whilst the packaging or brand names can be different, it’s not hard to pick up some 2 minute noodles or crackers. If your kids are good eaters then they are going to love the food as much as you will. Bali has some fantastic restaurants with really fresh, high quality food. From Mexican to Asian, there is an extensive range of options that are all really affordable but high quality. If you’re staying in a villa, breakfast is more often than not included – so I would order extra in the morning and what ever they didn’t eat I’d pop in the fridge to keep for morning tea or snack. For those that want it, there are of course the regular fast food chains like KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds (which interesting to note do offer a delivery service).
- Do your research and plan some activities
There are some great things to do with kids in Bali and it can be a good idea to have a rough plan in your head of what you’re going to do to get the most out of your time. With young children particularly, the humidity can be tiring – especially if they’re being really active swimming in the pool. It’s hard to be out and about during the full heat of the day, so planning early morning activities can be best. There are 2 water parks, bowling, trampolining, treetop adventures and horse riding – the list goes on. It’s really probably best to decide before you go what kind of holiday you’re after (eg, relaxing by the pool, exploring Bali and it’s culture etc) so that you can plan appropriately. It’s a good idea to aim to mix it up with a few different activities incorporated with plenty of time in the pool. After all, it is a tropical island, so swimming should be a must on your list!
- Grab a phrase book before you go
Teaching the kids a few key words and phrases before you go to Bali is a really great way to involve them in the culture and build their awareness. Communication is a great confidence builder for kids and enabling them to speak in the local language conveys to them a sense of respect and consideration – an important lesson at any age.
- Pack light
The kids really won’t need a great deal of clothes for Bali and it’s very easy to wash and dry what you do have (and economical to use a laundry service.) If you are staying in a villa in Seminyak, Bali the in house staff will do this for you. What you will need is swimmers, tshirts and light summer clothes. Restaurants are reasonably informal (and lets face it, with kids you probably won’t be going to the really formal ones), so kids can easily go in a pair of shorts and tshirts or a simple summer dress. If you do happen to find that you don’t have enough, you can always buy it there – the bonus being that Bali is quite cheap, particularly in the markets and stalls. For boys, there are an abundance of cheap sports (soccer, rugby, basketball) jerseys and for girls a multitude of sundress and sarongs.