Bali is, and have been, a very popular travel destination for some time now. “Everyone wants to go to Bali”. Bali is supposed to be an easy destination to travel to, and so it is, but I still learned that there are a few things that might be good to know before going there – and in this post, I will be sharing my 5 best tips for first timers in Bali!

Bali for first timers - my 5 best tips

1. You’ll need cash money

Bali is a destination where you will need to have real cash with you, as a lot of shops and cafes/restaurants don’t accept credit cards, and neither does most taxi drivers. Cash is also needed if you’re gonna do some haggling at one of the gazillions of “tourist shops”..!

My best tip is to withdraw money at the airport when you arrive in Bali. There’s a ton of ATM’s to choose from at the airport, and I suggest you look for the one where you can withdraw the most (you’ll see a sign on the ATM’s telling you the max withdrawal amount for each ATM machine).

2. Bring an umbrella – if you’re going during rain season

Now, this is a tip that might come in real handy… We were there during the rainy season, and let me tell you – an umbrella would’ve been great to have! When it rained, it absolutely poured down. Sure, most hotels will borrow umbrellas to guests, but if you’re staying at a private villa – you might be left without one.

The rain season is said to be between October to March each year – so if your trip is sometime between those dates, do bring an umbrella!

3. Get yourself a driver you can trust

When we first arrived in Bali, we had no idea how the transportation “system” worked. We had no idea how to get a taxi. And well, we were kind of screwed and simply decided to trust the lobbyist at our first hotel to arrange a taxi for us. Turns out we were fooled on a lot of cash that went straight into his pocket… Luckily we found ourselves some regular drivers we could trust, later on, that drove us anywhere we wanted to at reasonable prices.

So, my tip to you is to get yourself a driver you can trust! Ask around if anyone knows a good driver, or check with friends who’ve been to Bali recently – if they had a driver they could recommend to you. Nowadays it’s also easy finding drivers through the internet, as a lot of drivers have own websites and/or Instagram-pages.

4. Buy the Hungry in Bali book – it’s a time (and money) saver

If you’re thinking about buying a guide book to Bali – this is the one you need! The book is PACKED with amazing food places (trust me, we tried out a lot of them!), and also includes a discount for every place featured in it. How great? I had the book with me in my backpack every single day during our Bali-trip, and I’m so thankful for having it with me. It was a true life-saver, seriously! It helped us through so many hangry moments trying to find a good place to eat at, haha!

If you’re interested in the book, check out their Instagram page here.

5. Stay in Ubud for peace & quiet, and avoid Kuta

What I hadn’t expected about Bali, was that it was incredibly busy! Sure, I knew that there are a lot of tourists and expats… But I had no idea what to expect, and I was so shocked when I discovered that the island is PACKED with people (or at least in the regions where we stayed and explored; Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, etc.). Ubud is the exception though, as it’s a lot calmer than the areas by the popular west coast!

Ubud is located in the middle of the island of Bali, and as it is surrounded by volcanoes and the jungle – it’s an incredibly green and lush area! And luckily it’s not as packed with tourists as the west coast… Ubud does have some traffic and tourists, but I’d definitely say that it’s far quieter! Here you can relax and unwind, and experience the beautiful green nature.

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