What to Expect For Your First Time in Bali

It’s taken me forever to write up this blog post as it’s been four months since we’ve been in Bali – but here it finally is, friends.

Oh, Bali, there are a million things I can say about this beautiful Indonesian island. It’s hot, humid, and HOT, but the views are stunning and the people are incredibly nice. We ventured to Bali for my stepmom’s birthday in November. It was a large group of friends and family that gathered together to spend a week full of shopping, eating, and most importantly, jumping in the pool.

Bali is extremely humid, so brace yourself (and your hair). Towards the end of the trip, the tops of my shoulders and neck broke out into a heat rash, so that was my souvenir. Here’s a list of 13 other things to expect during your tropical vacay.

Expect Your First Time in Bali -Bali Birthday Cake

13 Things to Expect For Your First Time in Bali


1. Travel Time

If you’re traveling to Bali from the US be prepared for a long journey. It was a three day trek for me (technically 4 if you count the time change). First, I flew over to Hawaii to meet up with my family which is a 5.5-hour flight from Seattle. Level: Easy.

Next, we flew directly to Sydney, Australia from Hawaii which is a 10 hour flight and one day ahead. Level: Hard

Then, after meeting up with my aunt and cousins we flew to Bali on Garuda Airlines which is a 5.5 hour flight. Level: Easy

It was rough traveling for that long period of time, but those feelings faded away once we got off the plane and the humidity slaps you in the face lol. But, coming back home was a different story.

2. Everything Is Cheap

Seriously. Bring your spending money and bargaining skills! When your at the markets be prepared for the sales. If you play your cards right you’ll be able to save some money. The best way to covert in US dollars is to take 30% off the price (100,000 RP = $7 USD approx.) or in AUD dollars remove the last four digits.

3. Be Careful Exchanging Money

Even though Bali is a beautiful vacation destination it’s still important to be careful. If you’re needing a currency exchange, be sure to visit one that allows you to see over the counter and watch the clerk counting your money. If not, then there is a chance you won’t get your full amount back. It can be exciting being on vacation in a fun environment, but it always pays to be safe.

4. Their Driving is Different…

There are no words that come to mind that explain their driving style, but it might catch you off guard. Speed limits isn’t a thing there and there are A LOT of scooters.

Yes, they do have traffic lights and stop signs though.

If you haven’t experienced this style of driving just be mentally prepared for it. This was my first experience – I was a bit scared when we were heading to our first villa in Seminyak from the airport, but the drivers know what they’re doing. So trust your drivers! Also, if you get easily car sick be sure to bring your meds and probably sit in the front seat.

5. Villa’s Come with Staff

I’m not sure if all villas come with staff but the two places that we stayed at did (See where we stayed below). The staff at Jajliluna were incredible. They were attentive and made sure that we were always comfortable and taken care of. Their service was held at a standard that was difficult to meet which made it hard for us to want to leave. So you could say we were spoiled lol.

The second place was also great and the view was incredibly breathtaking, but the service was not the same. It wasn’t terrible they just weren’t as attentive as Jajliluna. If Villa Aum was the first place we stayed at, we wouldn’t have noticed the difference. Don’t let that deter you from staying at Villa Aum. It’s worth staying for a few days.

The Villas we Stay at:

6. Taxi Drivers are Going to Honk at You Often

No, it’s not what you think. If you’re wandering around Seminyak and you get a honk from a taxi, they just want your business. It’s like their way of marketing to you in a very odd way lol. It was weird at first, but then there will be more and more honks and them yelling “T A X I” at you. If you’re not in need of one just politely tell them no and they’ll find their next potential customers.

7. Always carry water

You’ll sweat a lot so always stay hydrated.

8. Friendly Locals

It’s refreshing to see.

9. Traditional Balinese Meals are Amazing

At our first villa, the chef created an amazing traditional Balinese meal for us one night. It was delicious! Like mouth-watering good. If you have the opportunity to eat a traditional Balinese dinner you won’t regret it.

10. Save Space and Pack Swimsuits!

To stay cool, you’ll want to jump into the pool/ocean often. If possible, incorporate them into your daily outfits so you won’t have to constantly change clothes. Even just walking around town gets scorching hot so wear tons and tons of sunscreen. Don’t forget to reapply!  

What to Expect Your First Time in Bali - Heart Sculpture

11. Get a Massage

My 80 min full body massage was only $40. That is all.

Also, the spa is short 5 min. walk from the Villa Jajliluna which is even more reasons to stay there 😉 .

Body Works Spa

Body Works Spa - Seminyak, Bali

12. Bring your Camera Everywhere

It’s a beautiful island with photo ops everywhere and your not going to want to miss out. Bring backup batteries for your backup batteries because you’ll need it.

13. Hotel Mexicola

Get dress-up and head here for dinner, then dancing on tables right after. We had SO much fun. The vibe here is incredible and the music was top notch. Any place that allows me to dance on tables after I eat is THE PLACE for me. Just a warning, since there isn’t any AC happening be sure to dress in breathable, comfortable clothing because it will get extremely hot.


If you have any tips from your Bali experience definitely share them below! It was a fun trip that I’ll remember forever. Until my next adventure, stay wild, friend.

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