Part One: Preparing for a Trip to Bali: Updated Tips and Essential Information

Part One: Preparing for a Trip to Bali: Updated Tips and Essential Information

Part One: Preparing for a Trip to Bali: Updated Tips and Essential Information

Part One: Preparing for a Trip to Bali: Updated Tips and Essential Information

Most of you reading this who have followed for a while will know that I love Bali and am a regular visitor there, usually spending about a quarter of the year on this beautiful island. I’m about to visit for six weeks, and with heaps of changes since my last Bali blog, I thought it would be a good idea to write an updated one with lots of handy links so that you can be well-prepared.

You're probably thinking 6 weeks is a long time (it definitely is LOL), but thankfully I can work from anywhere in the world so it doesn't make a huge difference where I work from, but I do love my various "offices" in Bali, so it's an easy choice for me. I am doing the first two weeks with my besties, a week on my own and then my kids are flying up for 3 weeks of school holidays. Boy will I be happy to see them!

I will be documenting the trip daily on my personal Instagram account if you'd like to follow along (@how_lou_lives_). Be warned, sometimes it's me acting like a fool after a few cocktails and it always involves some dance moves that are out of this world! (STUPID). 

The old VIP treatment for Fast Tracking you through the airport is unavailable until further notice, so you need to do it yourself. If you do not enjoy doing all of this or get easily frustrated with good friends from On the Way offer a variety of services and can arrange all of this for you...mention Kooshy Kids/Louisa Williams and you will get the best possible rates. 

1. Bali Tourist Entry Fee

From February 14, 2024, all international visitors to Bali must pay a one-time tourist entry fee of IDR 150,000, which is approximately $15 AUD. It's recommended to pay this fee online before your arrival to avoid any delays at the airport. You can do this easily through the Love Bali website.

After payment, you'll receive a tax voucher with a QR code that you need to present upon arrival. I save this in my photos and make it favourite for easy access. 

2. Customs Declaration

To streamline your entry process, complete your customs declaration up to 3 days prior to your arrival in Bali. This will generate a QR code which you should screenshot and keep on your phone for easy access when you exit the airport terminal. (Again I save it as a favourite on my phone). 

You can complete your customs declaration at it when you are there is a waste of time...precious cocktail by the pool time! 

3. Visa Application

A Tourist Visa is required for entry into Bali. Each applicant must have a unique email address, so you may need to create new email addresses for your kids. Apply for your visa/s online at This process is relatively straightforward, but ensure you complete it in advance to avoid any last-minute issues.

I have noticed that there are a few extra things to complete on the application, so before beginning make sure you have the following handy:

Passport photo (saved as a PDF) and accessible so you can attach it from the divide you're completing you Visa on.

Selfie, headshot of yourself. Similar requirements as a passport photo, although not that strict. Again have this as a PDF on your device.

Return travel ticket. The page of the email confirmation that contains your name, date, airline, flight number on it - must be a PDF. 

If you are unsure how to change to a PDF you just press print at the bottom press save as PDF). 

Google your hotel/Villa address. Copy and paste the address where it asks...

HOT TIP: if you enter the postcode first, the rest of the address details will auto-populate so this will save you some time working out the provinces etc. 

When you are doing the final checks on the Visa application, ensure that your passport dates are correct - you must have entered the date is was issued as well as the sate that it expires - REMEMBER that you must have a minimum 6 moth validity on your passport for entry into Indonesia. This applies to children as well as adults.

4. New e-Gates at DPS Airport

Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) has introduced new e-Gates to expedite the immigration process. These e-Gates are designed to reduce waiting times and make the arrival process more efficient.

However, you can't use the e-Gates if you have children under a certain age (usually under 14), and you must have completed your e-visa and paid the tourist levy before arrival to be eligible. Follow the signs and instructions at the airport to use these facilities if you meet the criteria.

5. Airport Experience and Transfers

Denpasar (Ngurah Rai) International Airport can be quite busy, and wait times can be long (like 3 hours long) if you're not well-organised.

Upon exiting, it can be overwhelming with the hustle and bustle, so it’s always best to have a transfer booked in advance...especially without the option to Fast Track anymore.

I highly recommend using On the Way for reliable and affordable airport transfers. You can book your transfer through their website or visit their Instagram and mention Kooshy Kids for special rates. Look for your name on a sign to avoid the chaos...they'll take really good care of you. 

On the Way also offer a heap of other services including tours...and a heap more. Anything you need organised, they can help you out!

6. Mobile Connectivity with eSIM

Stay connected while keeping your same number by using an eSIM from AirAlo.

What is an eSIM and how does it differ from a regular SIM card?

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular/mobile plan without needing a physical SIM card....and you don't need to change your phone number!

Unlike traditional SIM cards, which you insert into your phone, an eSIM is built into the device. This allows you to switch carriers and data plans directly from your phone's settings and ensures you’re always connected.

You can choose a Sim for your destination and choose the amount of data you want (you can always top up if you need more). Because I travel so frequently, I choose the 365 day one for Global coverage. It's flexible and I can turn it off and on whenever I am visiting different countries. 

Key Differences:

  • No Physical Card: eSIMs are embedded in your device, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card.
  • Convenience: Easily switch between carriers and plans without swapping SIM cards.
  • Data Only: eSIMs are typically used for data only, allowing you to keep your existing phone number on your regular SIM card.

You can use my discount code LOUISA5194 to get a $3-$5 credit. 

7. Travel Insurance

I probably don't have to mention this to you, but please never travel without travel insurance.

Unfortunately I have had to use it more times than I would have liked for trips to Bali. Mainly for medical (once I split open my forehead and opted for a cosmetic surgeon to stitch it up over a regular GP...I'm too precious to have a huge scar on my face (lol) and the insurance company covered his $3500 fee.

I have also lost items and also had them stolen. Remember if this ever happens to you, visit a Police station and ask for a Police Report as you will need this for the claim. 

I always use Covermore and even though I get free travel insurance included with my AMEX, I buy another policy just incase, because I'm not sure how comprehensive the cover is, Whereis with Covermore I have peace of mind knowing that everything that could happen will not result in a huge financial pain. I buy annual family cover. For me, Covermore's claims process is painless and the claims are fast. Check out their options here> your insurance through this link. Remeber to photograph all of your receipts including cash just never know! 

8. Wise Card for Currency Exchange

For the best exchange rates, use a Wise card.I have been comparing travel cards and money exchange rates for years and Wise always come out on top as the cheapest fees and best rates.

HOT TIP: When making purchases or withdrawing cash, always choose to be charged in the local currency (of where you are) rather than to convert, to avoid higher exchange rates. This simple hack can save you hundreds of dollars for the rest of your're welcome.

You can use this link to Wise to get your first transfer FREE. : WISE LINK. 

9. Protecting Against Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is a significant concern in Bali, with many reported cases recently. I personally know a few people who have visited Bali in recent months and they've been unlikely and contracted it. 

If you haven't heard of Dengue (pronounced deng -g-ee).  

It is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding. It's crucial to take precautions to avoid getting bitten because recovery can be painful and take a long time.

I know of a few people who have been unlucky and ended up with Dengue, even though they'd spray themselves often. So...after hearing these horror stories, I went a little cray-cray...and to protect myself, family and friends that I'm travelling with, I’ve stocked up on supplies.

Here is what I bought:

  • Kids Mosquito Wrist Bands: Waterproof and stylish, these look similar to a Fitbit and claim to offer 30 days of protection. Perfect for my trip. Buy them here.

  • Adult Version Wrist Bands: Plain black, perfect for myself and friends. I bought two since I’m staying longer than 30 days. Buy them here.
  • Extra Wrist Bands: Cheap and useful, especially for meeting families who may not know about the situation. Buy them here.
  • Repellent Cream : Cream to apply in the morning and spray for top-ups .Buy it here.

I also invested in some tropical strength mosquito spray. While it contains Deet, I did a risk assessment in my head and decided to go with the Deet option. In case you are wondering about Deet: it is a chemical that is used in many insect repellents. It known for its effectiveness in preventing mosquito bites. However, it can cause skin irritation and, in rare cases, more severe reactions.

DEET-free repellents, while generally safer and less likely to cause skin issues, may not provide the same level of long-lasting protection as I'm going for the DEET. 

My daily plan to avoid being bitten consists of:
1. First thing in the morning, we'll all put the cream on our bodies (the cream is natural). 

2. Then before going out for breakfast we spray our bodies with repellent (with DEET) over the top of the lotion, paying particular attention to our ankles. 

3. We wear the mosquito bands 24/ will. protect us in our sleep and it means that wherever we are, we always have some level of protection. 

Besides using repellents and wristbands, here are some additional tips to avoid mosquito bites:

  1. Wear Light-Coloured Clothing: Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours, so wearing light-coloured clothing can help reduce your attractiveness to them.
  2. Cover Up:  Tight-fitting clothing can help prevent mosquitoes from reaching your skin through loose fabric.
  3. Use Mosquito Nets: Sleeping under a mosquito net can provide additional protection, especially in areas with high mosquito activity. Kooshy Kids has just started stocking these nets for cots and prams. You can find them by clicking here.  
  4. Avoid Standing Water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so avoid areas with stagnant water and ensure there are no containers around your living area that can collect water.
  5. Use Fans: Mosquitoes are weak fliers, so using fans can help keep them away from your immediate vicinity.
  6. Use Air Conditioning: Mosquitoes are less likely to enter cool, air-conditioned spaces as they prefer warm, humid environments. I have mine blasting!

Additional Tips

  • Photograph Your Luggage: Take photos of your luggage open and closed before leaving for insurance purposes. This can be very helpful if your luggage is lost or damaged.
  • Use Apple AirTags: Insert an Apple AirTag into your suitcase to track its location. Even though some airlines, like Virgin, offer tracking services, having a backup is always handy. I also put one in my shoulder bag when travelling in case I get taken by surprise! You can buy a 4-pack of AirTags here.

  • Health and Safety: Chat to your GP about vaccination recommendations and carry any necessary medications. Most of you will know how our trip this time last year was plagued with illness. My daughter ended up with Typhoid Fever and then both kids tested positive for Influenza B. It was not fun!

By following these tips and preparing in advance, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Bali. Don't forget to take advantage of the links provided for seamless travel arrangements and savings. Happy travels!

Stay tuned for Part Two, where I'll let you know about the things Ive been up to. You can also follow along on my personal Insta account @how_lou_lives_





This blog contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you. Additionally, many of these links may provide you with a discount, making it a win-win situation. I only recommend products and services that I genuinely use and believe will enhance your travel experience. My reviews and recommendations are based on my honest experiences and preparations for Bali.