On The Plane
If you are travelling with your kids on the plane, you’re going to want to have a bit of a plan to keep them entertained. Here’s a few great online resources with some inspiration on things to do to keep them busy:
At the Airport
Bali’s Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) Airport has recently undergone a significant modernisation and now is a clean, air conditioned and generally fairly efficient place.
The days of getting stuck in airport queues upon arrival for 1.5hrs+ are mostly gone, and unless you happen to arrive with 4 or 5 other planes you will find that local authorities usually have enough staff available to ensure you get through customs and visa processing in under 45 minutes – often even under 30 minutes.
There is a “VIP Service” which some suppliers advertise to bypass customs queues. You should be aware that while authorities have turned a blind eye in the past, that paying to bypass customs queues contravenes Indonesian Law, and not recommended for this reason.
Typically baggage being removed from the plane and transported to the baggage carousels at Bali Airport, often takes between 20 – 30 minutes, so paying expensive VIP fee’s just transports you quickly to the baggage carousel where you’ll have to wait with everyone else. When your bags come off the carousel, there are often airport porters who will offer to assist you with transport of your bags. They can be quite assertive in grabbing your bags to help, so if you don’t wish to use them, just politely but insistently let them know that you will handle your own bags. Typical tips expected by the porters depending on how much they transport for you and how far – would be 50,000 rupiah per porter (AUD$5) for a typical trolley load of 3 or 4 pieces of luggage – taken out to where your taxi picks you up.
Bali Airport has a system whereby public taxi’s are not permitted to pickup from the Airport, and instead a dedicated Airport taxi company handles trips from the Airport. While taxi’s are typically inexpensive in Bali, the Airport is a little unique in that airport taxi touts will negotiate aggressively for a higher fair. You might typically expect to pay say 80,000 – 120,000 rupiah for a trip to Kuta, Legian, Tuban, Jimbaran. For suburbs 5 or 10 minutes further afield (Seminyak, Kerobokan, Umalas) expect to pay 150,000 – 200,000, and for Sanur, Canggu, Nusa Dua – expect to be asked to pay 220,000 – 300,000.
If you are asked for fares a lot higher than this, we recommend negotiating to reach a price in this range at least. You may not get the best offer from the first driver to approach you, so be prepared to walk away if the asking price is unreasonable.
If you are staying at places further afield such as Ubud, Singaraja, Candi Dasar then it’s probably best to arrange a pre-booked airport transfer rather than relying on taxi’s which will be overly expensive.
Our “Airport Transfers” page has options to book your airport pickup or drop off if you wish to avoid the tension of tough negotiations the moment you arrive in Bali (which an be a great way to sour your arrival).
How long before my flight leaves should I catch a cab / transport to the airport?
You should be aware that traffic can vary a great deal in Bali. A trip taking 15 minutes on one day, may take 45 minutes on another if there is a cermony or a function going on obstructing traffic. It typically doesn’t take too long (since the new airport opened in 2014) to checkin and get through customs, so a safe guide allowing for some heavy traffic (barring extraordinary traffic issues), would be:
- 2:30 hours before your flight – for those saying in Legian, Kuta, Tuban, Jimbaraon.
- 2:45 hours before your flight – if staying in Seminyak, Kerobokan, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Canggu
- 3:00 hours before your flight – if you are staying in Ubud.
For long distances, you may contact us for our suggestion on planning your travel.
Bali Taxi’s in General
During the daylight hours, you will find that most Taxi’s will happily use the meter, but check to make sure when you get in the taxi and if the taxi driver wont use the meter, ensure you agree the fare up front to avoid any tense negotiations later. The BlueBird Taxi company has a reputation for always using the meter in Bali and being a good choice for the uninitiated. Some pictures of a BlueBird taxi may be viewed here so you know how to identify them (each taxi company uses a different colour for their cabs). BlueBird has a mobile app which can be used to book a taxi if you are travelling late at night or early morning, but for other trips – taxi’s are ubiquitous and you need only stand for a minute or two on any busy roadside before an empty cab goes past.
Expect to pay <50,000 rupiah (AUD$5) for a 10 – 15 minute taxi fare. This will get you say up to 5 kms due to Bali traffic congestion. For longer trips, you may pay a little more. If you intend to make a trip of 30 – 40 kms or more, it’s likely you are best to look at options to hire a driver. Drivers can usually be hired for half day trips for 400,000 – 500,000 rupiah (around AUD$40 – $50), and around 600,000 – 800,000 ($AUD $60 – 80) for a full day trip depending on the company and the driver.
Transporting prams and equipment with Taxi’s
Bali Taxi drivers are fairly helpful with prams and other equipment, and the average taxi will fit up to two prams / strollers into their boot with few issues. Bali taxi drivers are also very tolerant, and so will usually allow you to fill the taxi with kids and equipment and anything else that will physically fit in a cab! (although given how inexpensive taxi’s are in Bali, and the obvious safety issues – its usually best to just grab a couple of taxi’s if you are travelling with a larger party).
Things to do with the kids
Bali is full of fun and interesting things to do with the kids, here are just a few:
- Waterbom Park – Watersports
- Bali Marine & Safari Park – Wildlife and Water Park
- Pirates Bay Bali – Nusa Dua kids playground, kids friendly dining, and events / activities, and of course a pirate ship!
- Bounce & Strike & Splash at the Canggu Club. Waterpark, Bowling, and trampoline fun for the kids- a full day of activities available here.
- Ubud Monkey Forest – always a favourite with the young ones, experience the cheeky monkeys (but hold onto your sunglasses!).
- Beachwalk Bali Cineplex Cinema – regular and premier (gold class) cinemas, weekday reduced rates.
- Ripcurl Surf School has beginner and intermediate surf lessons which are a favourite for those with older kids.
Shopping for Baby Supplies
Some places where you can purchase baby food, nappies, wipes and other essentials:
- Bintang Supermarket
- Jl Raya Seminyak, Seminyak
Bintang is a local super supermarket with some great bargains to be had, and a moderate range of baby suppliers, formula, wipes, nappies and all the essentails. As large as a mid sized Australian supermarket, but not as clean and with a more limited range, it’s a great convenient location to pickup baby supplies if you are staying in south east Bali ie Kuta, Tuban, Seminyak, Legian, Kerobokan.
- Carrefour Sunset Road
- Sunset Rd, Legian
Carrefour is more what western visitors would expect as a large, modern supermarket. It has a large range of baby food and grocery items, and carries a more limited range of baby equipment and accessories for purchase.
- Locations vary
Clandy’s is a local franchise chain which carries a good range of local Baby food, grocery and accessories. This may be of use to those who are staying a little further afield as Clandy’s has outlets in some of the more distant (non-touristy) parts of Bali.
In many central tourist locations, Hotels and Villa’s, mosquitos are kept under control well in Bali but if you are travelling further afield or staying or dining near water, or forest locations then the tropics of Bali can result in some unwanted visitors in the form of mosquitos. Malaria is not a significant problem in Bali (checkout the Fit For Travel malaria map), and anti-malarials are generally not recommended given the low risk, however other mosquito born viruses such as Dengue Fever can be transmitted by Mosquito bite. While Dengue is also rare for tourists to contract, Dengue Fever can be quite serious if contracted and so it’s recommended you consider bringing some child safe insect repellant. In Bali you may purchase Child friendly Baby Flow repellant patches which are sold at Pepito stores, and some Guardian pharmacies in Bali – which can be placed on or near your child’s bedding.
Bali Bubs provides mosquito net’s when renting Travel Cots to allow your little ones to avoid bites. While we don’t provide them for our prams as standard, we can provide them upon request if you are concerned.
Footpaths and Prams
Bali’s footpaths in the main Kuta and Legian tourist areas, while far from Australian standards, are improving all the time. Mostly there are footpaths and the days of large missing sections of footpath, or uncovered manholes or ditches are mostly over in these central areas. It’s not universally the case however, and certainly as you travel further afield the quality and consistency of footpaths is sketchy so consider this when renting or bring prams or strollers – as if you are likely to end up off the beaten path at all, you may want a jogger pram with larger inflatable tyres such as our Phil & Ted’s single and double.
The Weather and Seasons in Bali
Wet Season in Bali is from around late November until late Feb / mid March. During the Wet Season it frequently rains, often daily. During the Dry Season rain is quite infrequent. Being the tropics, when it rains in Bali, it often rains very heavily but usually for a short period of time. Rain covers for prams are only usually needed if you are expecting to be in a location without shelter, as typically if it rains it’s heavy enough that most Mums with prams will want to take cover in nearby shops or shelter etc.
Something to watch out for is when it rains – sometimes water can fill / cover holes, so you need to be a little careful stepping in puddles as they may be deeper than they first appear.