What to Wear in Bali: The Ultimate Packing List

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Bali, Indonesia sits at the top of many bucket lists and for good reason. It is a place that offers a beautiful blend of nature, beaches and culture. Booking your trip here is only the first step. Next, you need to figure out what to wear in Bali for your vacation and of course, put together your Bali packing list.

That said, it is not uncommon for travelers to have no idea what to pack. Packing can be one of the most stressful things to do before a trip.  But don’t let that hinder your travel excitement. Let us help you!

Most areas of the island are surrounded by coral reefs and the northern and the western beaches tend to have black sand while those of the south tend to have white sand.

In addition to great beaches and reefs, you can also spend some time hiking around the active volcanoes of Mount Agung and Mount Batur.

With all of these spectacular and very different things to do in Bali, you need to be sure you are prepared properly.

Lina Stock in Bali Indonesia - What to wear in Bali

How to decide what to wear in Bali:

  • What will the weather be like? Luckily, Bali is a tropical climate and warm temperatures are fairly consistent.
  • Will you be doing laundry and repeating basics or will you need to bring enough clothing for the entirety of your trip? Depending on the diversity in activities you have planned will greatly affect how much clothing you bring. Laundry services are fairly cheap in Bali if you want to drop them off, otherwise, you can always wash in the sink of your hotel and hang to dry. (For more information, check out our article: Your Guide For Doing Laundry While Traveling.)
  • What type of activities will you be up to? Bali has a lot to offer. You can experience beautiful sandy beaches, an abundance of water activities and several great hikes around Mount Batur and Mount Agung. Planning your itinerary ahead of time will help you determine what you need to pack.

Ultimate Bali Packing List

Sunscreen

Odds are you will experience nothing but warm weather and many sunny days while traveling in Bali. It is very important to bring a great sunscreen with you.

Try to opt for a sunscreen that is waterproof and contains zinc oxide. We really like Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50 and REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen. 

Both of these sunscreens go on easy and are non-greasy. REN Clean Screen Mineral sunscreen comes in a completely recyclable bottle with a recyclable cap.

Always bring a sunscreen you are familiar with, as you don’t want to bring one you haven’t tried and either hate it or end up having some adverse reaction. If spending a lot of your time in the water, don’t forget to reapply every 80 min!

Lina Stock in Bali - Packing List

Swimsuit

You can expect to spend quite a bit of time in and around water on your trip to Bali. It is always a good idea to bring at least two swimsuits with you so you always have a dry one. If you plan on being quite active in the water it may also be a good idea to bring a rash guard.

A rash guard will help protect you from the elements in the water and if you choose you can buy one that also includes UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). UPF rash guards provide you protection from the sun just like if you had sunscreen on, without having the pesky repetition of reapplying every 80 minutes.

Opt for the highest UPF rating you can find (50+).

Women’s Swimwear:

Men’s Swimwear:


Sun Hat

Everyone needs a good sun hat when traveling to a warm, sunny destination like Bali. A good sun hat will help protect your neck and ears from the sun and provide some much-needed shade for your face. Luckily for everyone, sun prevention is becoming popular which will make finding a sun hat you like much easier.

As mentioned above, it is best to find a UPF sun hat if possible as they are lightweight, breathable and provide protection from the sun. They are also easy to pack as most keep their shape no matter how you pack it. Wide brim UPF hats (3in brim or greater) provide the best overall coverage of your face, neck, and ears.

Women’s Sun Hats:

Men’s Sun Hats:

Ultimate Bali Packing List

Sunglasses

No matter where adventure brings you, it will most likely involve copious amounts of time outside exploring Bali. You can find many options available for sunglasses but always make sure your pair have UV protection. If you can opt for a pair that are polarized.

Polarized sunglasses reduce the glare from the sun making your view through the lenses more clear. However, polarization does not increase UV protection.

Women’s Sunglasses:

Men’s Sunglasses:

Kindle

On every vacation, you will inevitably end up with some time to relax and sometimes that means diving into a good book! You can find several different E-Reader options on the market today but personally, nothing beats the Kindle Paperwhite. Which is now available in a waterproof version!

This particular E-reader has a battery life of up to 8 weeks on one single charge. The Kindle Paperwhite also has several different display settings to be easily adjusted for reading in the sunlight without reflection or glare.

In addition to great daytime reading settings it also offers great dim settings for easy reading at night.

Alternatively, you can download the Amazon Kindle app for your phone. However, this will drain your battery and you will not get the added benefit of no reflection or glare.

Our top recommended E-Readers:

Tegalalong Rice Terraces - Bali Indonesia

Hiking Footwear

When you think of Bali your immediate thought may go to beaches but you can also get some incredible hiking done while on your trip. Mount Batur and Mount Agung offer up plenty of hiking trails and beautiful scenery you won’t want to miss.

If these hikes are on your list don’t leave home without a great pair of hiking boots. You will want to opt for an ankle-high boot for support during your hike. We find Salomon and Merrell hiking boots to be great quality and they are quite comfortable.

Be sure to buy your boots ahead of time and make time to wear them in a little before tackling hikes in Bali. You want to make sure they are comfortable to wear for longer periods of time and make sure you don’t get blisters from an improper fit.

Women’s Hiking Boots:

Men’s Hiking Boots:


Comfy Sandals

No packing list for a trip to Bali would be complete without a suggestion for the best sandal. Since it is likely that you will be spending some or all of your time around beaches and water it is a good idea to pack a pair of sandals.

We like to choose sandals from Merrell or Teva. These sandals provide comfort, protection, and support. The best part about this is many of these “sporty” sandals can double as water shoes as they are quick-drying and have good tread on the bottom of the shoe.

You will only need to pack one pair for your trip and as with your hiking boots, make sure to wear them ahead of time to make sure they are a good fit. You wouldn’t want to bring them as your only sandals and get blisters on the first day.

Women’s Sandals:

Men’s Sandals:

Surfer at sunset in Bali - Packing List

Casual Clothes

Hot, humid weather always calls for comfy tops and shorts during the day. In general, for a tropical climate, it is always a good idea to purchase clothing that is breathable, dries quickly and is comfortable as you will be spending many sweat-filled days in them.

We are always advocates for UPF clothing. Not only because they provide sun protection but also because they are so lightweight and breathable. I like to pair a breathable tank top with a pair of nylon/spandex shorts and then a UPF long sleeve over top.

If going the UPF route, you will want to buy the highest rating which is always located on the tags of the clothing. The highest UPF is 40-50+, which blocks 97-99% of UV radiation. Columbia now makes a line of clothing called Omni Shade-Sun Deflector.

These items are designed for use in Hot and/or humid conditions where you will be getting extreme sun exposure. All the items in this line: Deflect sunlight away from the body so you feel cooler and stay protected, block damaging UVA and UVB rays, are made of breathable fabric and wick away sweat.

Try your best not to pack cotton tops or bottoms as they do not have UPF, do not dry easily and do not breathe.

Our top recommended Women’s Items:

Our top recommended Men’s Items:


Travel Towel

It is a good idea to pack your own quick-drying towel for your adventures in Bali. Instead of packing a regular towel from home that can be thick, heavy and slow to dry or a beach towel that can be even larger and thicker consider buying a microfiber travel towel.

Most microfiber towels come in multiple sizes and pack down very small. It may be nice just to have one with for you more strenuous adventures to wipe the sweat from your brow!

The material is designed to be anti-odor and anti-mildew which will be great for all-day outdoor activities as they also dry up to 10 times faster than cloth or cotton towels.

Our top recommended Microfiber towels:


Dry Bag

It is always a good idea to bring along a dry bag if you will be participating in several outdoor activities while on your vacation in Bali.

It is nice to have either a comfortable shoulder bag or backpack for you to carry items like water, towels, binoculars, camera, ID, etc. while out exploring.

Opting for a dry bag instead of a regular bag will ensure your items remain dry during the water adventures.

Our top recommended day pack:

Lina Stock on a beach in Bali Indonesia

Cover-up

Bringing along a sarong or scarf as a cover-up is very handy when visiting a tropical climate. They are great to have around as a swimsuit cover-up or to use as a cover for your shoulders if visiting any temples during your trip.

Bring a lightweight fabric cover-up that can be easily packed in your bag.

Top recommended Cover-up:


Water Bottle

Bringing your own water bottle is a good way to save money and stay hydrated on your adventures in Bali. Bali does not have drinkable tap water, but it is likely that the place you choose for accommodation will have a clean water tank for you to fill your bottle for the day.

Our favorite is the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle which is a great space saver. Once you have emptied the bottle you can roll the base up to the lid for storage.

Our top recommended water bottles:


Electronics Organizer

Odds are you will be bringing several different electronic items and chargers with you on your trip to Bali and an organizer will be very helpful in keeping everything together.

Most organizers contain multiple elastic bands and mesh pockets for small items like slender cables, earphones, flash USB drives, SD cards or wall chargers.

Our top recommended Electronic Organizers:


Plug Adaptor

Depending on where you are traveling from you may need to consider buying a plug adapter for your trip. The standard used in Bali is a two-pin plug (round) which is the same as the European two-pin plug.

Our top recommended Plug Adapters:

Beach chairs in Bali Indonesia

Camera Gear

During your trip to Bali, you will have several fantastic photo opportunities. Bali is beautiful and lush with great scenery and wildlife. Be sure to bring your favorite camera and accessories along to get the perfect shot.

Whichever camera you choose to bring along always pack extra batteries so you are always ready to get the best shot. To learn more about the type of photography gear we carry, check out the Ultimate Travel Photography Gear List.


Buff

Buffs are a must-have accessory for every adventure and any destination. The Buff has many functions. You can wear it as a bandana, ponytail holder, sun guard, scarf, hat, or neck gaiter.

They come in many solid colors as well as fun designs and are made of 100% polyester microfiber. It’s durable, soft, wind-resistant, breathable and moisture-wicking. Buff headwear is Seam-Free so you won’t have any irritation from seams. The light polyester microfiber is washable and it dries in minutes!

Our top recommended Buff:


GoPro

If you are into action and adventure shots don’t forget to pack your GoPro with a grip. If you are interested in bringing your GoPro into the water with you then make sure you buy a waterproof case for it and a dome port to get those awesome above/below water combo shots.

GoPro cameras are also very handy for getting more panoramic shots as they have a nice wide-angle lens. Do not forget to pack extra batteries and memory cards, this is a must when traveling.

We recommend always packing at least 3 extra batteries.

Our top recommended GoPro & Accessories:

We hope our ultimate packing list has provided you some relief as you pack for your upcoming trip to Bali.  


Not finding what you are looking for? Check out our favorite places to go shopping for travel gear.

  • Shop Columbia – The industry leader in outdoor apparel and products; You can find anything from great jackets, gloves, hats, shirts, and travel pants.
  • Shop REI – They offer some of the best outdoor gear around. We love REI since they have a year Love it or hate it no questions guarantee.
  • Shop Moosejaw – Has a huge selection of outdoor gear at killer prices.

More on Bali:

More on Indonesia:

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TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES

Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!


Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? We use Skyscanner to compare prices and book flights. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our custom-built hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.


About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA



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