I often get asked whether I think travelling to Bali with kids is safe. As safe as travelling anywhere I would think. But of course you can make your trip as safe as possible by taking some precautions. Now before I give you my little tips to think about while planning your family holiday, I do have a fairly significant admission to make – I don’t have kids. So all these tips are either things I have witnessed experienced family travellers do or things I have learnt from friends with kids.
Sanur Beach, waiting for happy travellers
I know the temptation is to book cheap flights when travelling to Bali and if you are coming from Perth, which is a short flight, you might even as an adult, not purchase the meal option. BUT all my friends with kids swear by ordering the food because it keeps kids entertained for a while, unpacking and unwrapping and analysing who got what for lunch. You might also think about bringing snacks to keep them occupied and lollipops to help with little eardrums and altitude. Some of the cheaper flights also don’t have movies so come prepared with books, iPads, assorted toys and activity packs like colouring-in books. No point starting your holiday off feeling exhausted from the flight if you can help it. If that feeling couldn’t be avoided however, remember you are about to holiday in the land of $5 massages and cheap cocktails so a remedy is nearby!
Do not risk drinking the water. As adults if we choose to rinse our toothbrush in the water, that’s our choice. But having gastro or upset tummies with your kids on holidays doesn’t allow anyone to relax and enjoy themselves. Used bottled water when brushing teeth or making baby formula, and make sure kids know not to drink the water when in the shower. Some resorts however have their own water treatment systems but they will let you know if you are safe to drink the water. These days most good restaurants use bottled water to wash all foods and to make ice. But if in doubt, ask them.
One of the great things about staying in beautiful villas like Kejora Villas-Suites is that they will arrange pool fences prior to your arrival. Obviously let them know upon booking that you do need a pool fence. Just one less thing to think about while you are relaxing by the pool.
And most villas and hotels will also have high chairs for you to use so you don’t need to take up luggage capacity bringing them. Leave the luggage space for shopping I say! There are some great family hotels, like The Padma Resort or Club Med in Nusa Dua, have kids clubs or play areas designated to keep the younger family members entertained all holidays. I had my hair braided and learnt archery when I went to Club Med as a kid with Mum and Dad. Not a hair style I’ve worn since nor a skill I’ve used since but seriously good fun at the time!
Regular travellers have preferred nannies they or their friends have been using for years. But many villas and hotels will also have their own list of trusted nannies and helpers. If your nanny is with your family all day or on outings with you, make sure to buy them lunch and pay any entry fees to parks or wherever you go.
Bali braids at Club Med Nusa Dua
If your child finds sweet chilli sauce spicy and hot, a holiday is not the time to get them to try Balinese sambal…it will end in disaster…for all concerned and nearby. Also consider any allergies your child may have. Indonesia is a country that uses peanuts, a lot. And even though the food you order may not have peanuts in it, there is a chance it has been cooked in peanut oil, or near nuts, or even with something that that touched peanuts prior to cooking your food. If in doubt, stick to foods you know are safe or have a higher chance of being prepared away from peanuts. And carry a medical certificate and any medical requirements with you at all times in case an allergic reaction occurs. And when all else fails, there is always a kids menu with spaghetti, margarita pizza and fish and chips and tomato sauce -kids faves and good fun holiday food!
Depending upon the age of your kids, Waterbomb Park is an essential to a Bali holiday. Same too if you are staying at a beach resort like Hai Tide Beach Resort on Nusa Lembongan, it’s a great time to banana boat ride until the sun goes down. The water temples and rice field tours are also fun because they are so different from anything your kids see at home. There are also great websites like Bali Kids Guide that offer a big list of things to do and what’s on in Bali for family fun.
I’m a nervous nellie on a motorbike and only ever ride as a passenger. Usually with my eyes closed. If you are venturing out on a motorbike with your kids, please please please get a good kids sized helmut for them. Even if you are just having fun riding up and down the quiet street your villa is on. And if you have smaller children who require car seats, you can bring them from home or pre-arrange a driver who will hire car seats for your journey. most hotels have a preferred list of drivers so let the hotel know what you need.
Bali is the perfect spot for a family holiday with great villa and resort options that can take care of of almost everything you need. There is always something new to do every day to keep your kids entertained, and who knows after an action packed day you may even get kids going to sleep earlier or….sleeping in! Both scenarios making one more evening cocktail for parents a great possibility!
If your family are seasoned travellers to Bali, please feel free to add comments to this blog or to our Facebook post about the blog for other travelling families. And if you are travelling to Bali and need any help or suggestions on where to stay and things to do, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Happy Travels to travellers of all ages!