Travelling to Bali with a toddler
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
It's been a month since we came back from Bali and I promised you I will share our little 10 days trip and give you all my tips.
Well I am not a super organized mama, I mean I started packing up all our stuffs probably the day before we left and to be honest our trip was booked three weeks before, yeah I know what you think, but I guess this is how things work in our house, last minute is the best and we are completely stress free, well, I am because Lucas is actually always super anxious.
We traveled back to France only few months ago so it wasn't Ambre's first overseas trip and everything went well on a 25 hours flight (well 3 flights to be exact) so I was pretty confident for a little 5 hours flight this time, the only difference is now Ambre is crawling and walking and I was just afraid she won't stay still in the plane but none of that happened, she slept and played peekaboo with other passengers. The five hours actually felt like two.
Bali is definitely one of the best place for a little family holiday, whether you want to chill out, enjoy the beach or travel around, there are few beautiful spots easy to access and not too far away. We actually did both but a lot of exploring and eating. We went to the restaurant everyday, three times a day we just didn't take the time to cook and let's be honest, the Balinese food is amazing.
WHAT TO PACK ?
We traveled with Jet Star and the baggage allowance was really light, 7 kgs only per person and babies are not allowed to have any luggage if under 2 so we paid an extra 20 kgs check in luggage for $60 otherwise it was completely impossible to bring everything we wanted to bring. Babies are only allowed to bring a nappy bag, so if your nappy bag is big enough you can probably fit all the clothes and everything in it, the weight for that one does't matter, and you can also bring a pram and a car seat free of charge.
Make sure to bring only light weight clothes, Bali is rarely cold and during the wet season it is super humid and hot. Don't bring too much as you can easily wash your clothes there, either giving them to a laundry to get them wash for $1 or wash them yourself, that's what I did, I bought some washing powder and washed few of our clothes in the bathroom sink.
Ambre is wearing the same nappy brand since she was born and I didn't want to use any other brand so I packed 50 nappies, which actually let some room at the end of the trip to bring goodies back. Also took enough wipes for the all trip for the same reason, I always used Eco by Naty and just swear by this brand but you can easily find everything you need there if you don't care about using any brand. Don't forget to bring swim nappies, because obviously you will go to the swimming pool or the beach (even if Ambre was naked most of the time)
For the snacks, and it was my number one thing to bring because Ambre is eating all day, I packed some little squeeze pouch like fruit puree and soup and some little packets of biscuits and always had some with me in case she was hungry. Otherwise she was eating what we were eating, the Indonesian food is super healthy and most of the restaurant have a kids menu.
Don't forget your sunscreen (super expensive there), hats and medicines (Panadol, Nurofen) and also maybe warmer clothes just for the plane, it is sometimes super cold.
I didn't pack any soap, shampoo or conditioner, you can find some there and if you rent a villa it will probably be all included, only took some for Ambre in little travel bottles because she has her own soap and I don't want to wash her with dodgy products.
We took a travel pram with us (Edwards and Co), the one we have is just perfect to travel, it fits in a little bag once folded and you can keep it in the plane with you as it fits in the overhead compartments and also super lightweight, we even took it on the motorbike with us sometimes. We were super happy to have it even if the pavements are not always the best to ride on.
When not using the pram, we were using our baby carrier (Tula), truly essential, if you don't have one you definitely have to invest, we honestly took it everywhere with us and used it on the motorbik too.
We didn't bring any car seat simply because we rent three different villas and didn't want to have to move too many things every time. And we knew we will be travelling around with a motorbike so no need for a car seat.
WHERE TO STAY ?
As I said we booked three different villas because we wanted to stay in different places, we really wanted to see Ubud again, we love the atmosphere there, and you can visit the rice terraces, it is absolutely beautiful. You can even try one of their swings if you want a beautiful photo of you flying on top of the rice fields.
We stayed the first three nights in Ubud at Rumah Tyang in a one bedroom villa (well more a wooden bungalow) with a big bathroom and they kindly gave us a cot for Ambre, so she was sleeping with us. She really is an easy sleeper, she sleeps everywhere and was happy to share our room. Breakfasts were included every morning which is quite convenient as you don't have to go out to have breakfast, one of the guy there was coming every morning at 8am to cook some pancakes, scramble eggs and prepare some fresh fruits.
This place was really a little oasis and we were lucky to be alone during all our stay. If you book the one bedroom villa you share the kitchen, swimming pool and garden with another small villa. If you really want to have your private villa with private swimming pool they also rent a bigger one just right next to the other one, with three bedrooms, it is more like a family villa, I wanted to book that one but Ubud is super expensive and it was out of our budget. I truly recommend that place, the staff is super nice, close to the city center, only 10/15 minutes walking to reach the monkey forest.
After three days, we moved to Canggu in another villa I found on Airbnb, I really wanted to give a go to Airbnb in Bali as I heard you can find some amazing places and really cheap. It is actually very true, it was cheaper to stay in a Airbnb in Canggu for 5 nights that it was in Ubud for three. The villa was called Villa Tropical, I literally fell in love with the decoration. It's a brand new villa not too far away from the beach and some amazing places to eat, drink and party. This is where we rent our motorbike as we really wanted to be autonomous and didn't want to call a taxi every time we needed to go somewhere. The villa has everything you need, if you do a bit of grocery shopping, you won't need to go out for diner or lunch. There is a swimming pool and a really nice outdoor patio with the kitchen. This one was also a sharing villa, there are three bedrooms so you share the kitchen and the pool, but honestly we were always out or when we were there, the other were not so we probably saw them twice. But you can also rent the entire house for yourself if you want and need more than one room.
And for the rest of our trip we moved to the last villa, definitely my favorite, we had this one for ourself. Entire private one with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and of course, a swimming pool. It was called Villa Nido, a bit further in land so you will need to grab a taxi or definitely rent a motorbike to go to the beach (not the best beach though, the sand is black and it is mostly to surf). Such a cool villa with a real Balinese atmosphere, decor is to die for and one of the bathroom is actually an outdoor one.
Something really cool that we had in every villa was a water dispenser with mineral water at different temperature, so no need to buy plastic bottles. You definitely can't drink tap water there unless you want to be very sick.
This is the question I had the most, what is Ambre eating there, did you bring food from Australia?
Well I think Bali is one of the best place to get really good food, I am such a huge fan of Indonesian food, all so healthy and tasty. My only problem is chili, I just hate it so I was really careful when choosing a dish especially because I was sharing my food with her. So this answer the first question, she was eating everything we were eating and hasn't been sick at all, she absolutely loved the food there. She barely had any meat because you never know if it hasn't been cooked enough. She had only chicken and lots and lots of veggies, rice, and fruits.
We did bring some food from Australia in case and few snacks just to be able to take food with us when we were travelling around and don't have to look for a restaurant.
For those of you who don't like Asian cuisine, you can always find some western food, italian, french, german, mexican, indian, korean, japanese, everything.
Canggu has all the best restaurants, we tried probably 15 or 20 different places and some of my favorite were the Give cafe, the Loft, the Shady shack, la Baracca, the Lawn, the Old Mans and the Echo Beach.
PLACES WE VISITED
We are not the kind of people staying in the pool or on the sofa all day and we need to travel around and visit places when we go somewhere. We knew few places already that we wanted to visit again like the monkey forest in Ubud, I just wanted Ambre to see all the little monkeys, but be really careful, don't let your child running around and touch them they are viscous animal, they steal things and you can't get them back without getting bitten. The are super cute but never trust them. Before we moved in Australia, we traveled and lived in Asia for a year and a half and I got bitten twice because I am just never afraid of animals (or just dumb) but with them it is better to be afraid, trust me.
Of course we visited Ubud city, there are so many super cute shops and restaurants and cafes. On our last day we went to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, first time we've been there and it is something to see, it's absolutely beautiful and there's a long walk that you can do (don't forget your baby carrier) in the terraces, it is quite of a workout, you go up and down but totally worth it.
From Canggu, we went to Kuta, I really don't like this city, there is nothing to see really, the beach is nice to learn how to surf otherwise if you can just avoid it. We just met a friend there and stayed only few hours.
We also went to Uluwatu, one of my favorite place in Bali, such a beautiful view from the temple and there's a spot at the end of the peninsula where people surf, there are few restaurants hanging on the cliffs with a perfect view. From there you can go to Padang Padang Beach, beautiful beach with white sand and bright blue water. The beach is super small but perfect to go for a swim and play in the sand.
And lastly, we went to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, just next to the mount Agung, we drove for an hour with our little motorbike, Ambre slept the all time, it was so cold there compare to the coast. That little temple on the water is just beautiful and we were lucky to be there during a celebration, Ambre danced and got photographed probably 100 times.
10 days are definitely too short to do heaps especially with a toddler but we really did chill a lot and needed rest.
There is so much more you can do and see, so here is a little list of few things that you might find useful.
Places to see in Bali: • Mount Batur sunrise trekking • Sekumpul waterfalls also rice paddies on the way. Trek duration 3-4hrs difficult but amazing!! – North Bali • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces (can do on the way to Sekumpul) • Tagalalang Rice Terrace can either trek round it or just look from a vantage point. (Lunch: Kampung restaurant on the way back) • Banyumala waterfalls 15min hike down – North Bali • Tibumana waterfalls - easy hike- North Gianyar • Tirta Empul - water temple – beautiful experience. Walk through the water and get blessed by the holy water coming out of the mountain -Gianyar • Tanah Lot Ocean Temple - easy to get to from Canggu • Taman Ujung bali - big temple with Kings gardens around 3hrs round trip - East Bali • Batuan temple • Hidden canyons Bali • Tukad Cepung Waterfall – North East (popped to this on the way back from Gilli islands)
Things to Do in Bali: • Monkey forest • Balinese Farm Cookery School half day course – kitchen to garden experience. Pick food then cook it and then eat it! I loved this day. • Natural dye workshop Tarum- Make your own/ print using natural dyes. http://www.indonesiaorganic.com/natural-dye/tarum-natural-dye • Cliff jumping – Aling-Aling Water Fall • White Water Rafting - Ayung River Ubud - starting price 300k ($20) • Handara Golf Club - Golf in a dormant volcano – North Infinity pools over looking jungles • Hanging Gardens of Bali Ubud – amazing hotel with infinity pool. • Royal Pita Maha Infinity Pool • Tamam Bebek – so beautiful Beaches: • Balian Beach – Black sand beach 1.5hrs west of Wedding venue • Green bowl beach – White sand beaches - past the airport directly south to Uluwatu • Balanang Beach – white sand beach – along the cost from the airport – South Kuta Islands to visit: Super easy and super cheap to get to. Suitable for a day trip. Day trip can include three location snorkelling trip. Boat tickets normally include pick up. http://marlinfastcruise.com/ Fast boat 25mins. (amazing snorkelling/diving - swim with Manta Rays) • Nusa Lembongan • Nusa Ceningan - underwater Buddha • Nusa Penida Bit further than Nusa Lembongan around 1.5hrs drive to Padangbai port. Then 1.5hrs on the Boat to Gili’s.
Suitable two days or more. Boat tickets normally include pick up. (amazing snorkelling/diving - swim with Turtles) • Gili trawangan – party island • Gili Air – Quiet island • Gili Meno - Bliss Where to eat in Canggu?: Most restaurants cater for vegans Breakfast Shady shack – vegetarian but amazing Betelnut Watercress Milu by the Nook Two trees eatery Ruko Motion Milk and madu Kembali
Lunch Betelnut La Calita Shady shack – vegetarian amazing In The Raw Monsieur Spoon Motion Cafe Watercress campur asia canggu –super cheap but delish Japanese style Tuna Poke bowl Milu by the Nook Two trees eatery Dinner La Brisa Ulekan The Slow Ji Restaurant The lawn One eyed Jack Savage Macan Da Maria Sunset Dinners and drinks La Brisa The Lawn La Laguna Old Mans – cheap as chips turns into a party after sunset Finns Beach Club Ku De Ta Potato Head
Where to Party Da Maria – dress up Omnia - Cliffside Super club/restaurant bar/pool – dress up Old mans – wear what ever The Lawn – wear what ever Ubud restaurants: Locavore Five elements Spice Wamm Mozaic Kubu at the Mandapa Pica Cucini Uma by Como Must have SPA treats Canggu • @MariaCurau_bali - Most amazing fun nails designs done with non toxic polish. You will be totally spoilt here. (no acrylics) • Amo spa – Batu Bolong for massage, sauna with ice plunge pools • Spring Spa – treatments, massage • Super Cheap Massage Amy's Spa • Massage at your Villa - http://www.casabalispa.com/ • Nail bar/treatments Think Pink Nails • Nails/ eyelash extensions - Colors beauty Salon
Hope that little blog answered all your questions, otherwise don't be afraid to ask.
We really had the best time there, 10 days was definitely not enough but we will be back to see more and eat more of that delicious Balinese cuisine.
If there is one advise I can give you over and over it would be to check Airbnb if you want to rent a villa, you can find the best deals, a week will probably cost you the price of two nights in Australia, no even joking.