10 Things NOT to do on your Bali family holiday

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It’s always daunting the first time you travel anywhere for the first time with young kids. Bali is no exception!! Here I share a few of my thoughts on things NOT to do on your Bali family holiday.

Plan too much

So you see all this cool stuff to do while you are in Bali and you want to get the most out of your holiday. It is always tempting to over plan and try to fit too much in. Trust me, it will often go to shit if we try too much. Cranky kids = Cranky parents. Many Bali family holidays have not gone to plan due to planning too much. The heat of Bali really does take it out of you. Expect them to need more day sleeps than at home and it’s so handy to have a nanny to sit in the hotel room while they sleep and you enjoy some pool time. So for your next family trip to Bali, plan for days of doing not much but swimming in the pool.

Bali Family Holidays
Charlotte hot and bothered during our visit to Ku De Ta in 2012

Assume if you stay in a villa with a pool it’s not safe for kids

There are some fantastic companies out there like Bali Pool Fence Hire or Bali Baby Hire that will erect a sturdy pool fence at certain villas. Some villas even have permanent pool fences so if you think that a villa might suit your family don’t rule them out. Of course nothing beats adult supervision but having a pool fence gives you that extra piece of mind. If you are still concerned there are also villas that have enclosed living spaces and the doors can be locked to prevent little ones from escaping. Check out our post on Canggu villas that are suitable for families.

Bali Pool Fence Hire
Bali Pool Fence Hire at Villa Kawan during our stay in 2016

Think that a quick day trip to Ubud from the south areas will be easy

I love Ubud but I find day trips up there extremely tiring with kids. You spend a lot of time in the car due to traffic and what can seem like not far on the map can be met with tourist buses in grid lock. I highly recommend spending a few nights in Ubud so you can enjoy the peaceful sunrises and sunsets once the bus loads from Nusa Dua have gone for the day. We loved our stay at Padma Ubud Resort and even though not right in the centre of Ubud, it was easy access to Ubud central.

Ubud with kids
Ubud early morning near the Ubud Royal Palace

Stay in Seminyak only because everyone tells you to

I love Seminyak. It’s restaurants, coffee, shopping, sunsets, the list goes on!! But with young kids it’s not quite as good. Why, well there’s not as much to do in Seminyak with young kids compared to other areas. The paths can be tricky with strollers, there’s no beach path like Sanur or Benoa and fun things like Waterbom or Splash are at least a 30 minute drive. Don’t get me wrong, we have stayed in Seminyak before with young kids but I found we were always in taxis to get to places as it was so hard to walk with the kids. It is still a great spot to stay but just be aware of its limitations. You can also check out our post on family friendly villas in Seminyak or our list of family friendly resorts with kids clubs in Seminyak.

Seminyak with kids
The paths of Seminyak streets

Not carry a vomit bag in the car

Ok so we are well rehearsed in this issue! I’m not sure what it is, maybe the lack of sitting up high in a car seat, the heat or goodness knows but every trip, but the last one, the kids have spewed in the car. First time was in Ubud when Charlotte was 22 mths old and resulted in me losing my Dad’s video camera as I was too busy trying to help our driver clean up her spew off his vans floor! Then there’s the good old Waterbom curse where of the 5 times we have been, one of the kids has spewed in the taxi 3 times!

Take a large pram or no pram at all

We often get asked about how prams and strollers cope in Bali. I love taking a stroller as big prams are just too heavy and too wide to handle the paths. We have previously used the Mountain Buggy Nano and the Quicksmart stroller. Both fold up to go in the overhead plane lockers and handle the Bali paths well. The Nano would definitely be my pick due to storage space and quality. Strollers like the Baby Jogger City Mini would also be great for the streets of Bali and a bit more robust. Just remember a shade cover like CoziGo or Snooze Shade Plus when you go as it can get warm in the sun. Also a fan for the stroller is a great idea especially with babies that can heat up easily.

Mountain Buggy Nano
The boys taking a nap at Waterbom in 2015

Think that you have to take car seats with you

When in Bali on short trips the traffic travels quite slowly so the kids just sit on our laps or when old enough put a seat belt on. The laws aren’t the same in Bali as in Western Countries, you might even see a whole family travelling on a bike! There are some great drivers out there that have car seats for their vans so this can be one way to travel around especially on long day trips. Check out our post on recommended Bali drivers with car seats.

Bali drivers
Charlotte in 2015

Cancel on a nanny at the last minute that you have pre-booked

I am often left in disbelief when Bali nannys, that we are good friends with, tell me that they have had clients cancel their bookings the night before they are supposed to start work. This is how they earn money and support their families. Of course sometimes circumstances change for unexpected reasons like a cancelled flight or sick kids. This can’t be helped but when their clients are telling them the night before that they have decided to just get a friend to help out it’s not good! If you give the nanny enough notice hopefully she can find other work for that time. Check out our post on Bali nannies that we recommend.

Padma Ubud Resort
Our gorgeous Bali Nannies

Stress about your family getting Bali belly

On my 8 trips to Bali I have spewed once. Well not exactly true, a couple of other times self induced from drinking too much Arak when I was 19! Charlotte has been car sick but majority of the time we have been OK. They are kids, there is every chance that they or you could pick up gastro back in Australia and though not ideal on holiday, there are options if it does happen. Try some gastrolyte icy poles, keep the water up to them as much as you can and ease back into bland foods once they are feeling better. If they become lethargic or can’t keep any fluids down take them to one of the medical clinics or hospitals. BIMC is one that comes highly recommended, just make sure you have travel insurance. Check out our post on what we pack when we go to Bali with kids.

Travel to Bali without travel insurance

This is something that no one should ever do, not just to Bali but anywhere internationally. If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. We recommend Covermore for travel insurance and as soon as you book anything related to your travel you should purchase travel insurance. You never know what can happen in the lead up to your trip, a family member could suddenly become ill or you need to change your dates. (Please note that currently as of 30/6/18 no travel insurance company is covering Mt Agung Volcano events. Unless the policy was brought before September 2017 you will not be covered for the volcano) Also if you are pregnant be sure to check out what the policy covers.

Hope this helps and if you have any questions feel free to message me through Facebook or Instagram. Also our Facebook group is a lot of fun so come join us if you are a Mum and Dad planning your trip to Bali with kids.

Kate xx

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Comments

    • Nat Le Fevre
    • January 11, 2017
    Reply

    GREAT advice, Kate!!!

      • Kate
      • January 11, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks Nat :-)

    • Mel Layley
    • March 7, 2018
    Reply

    Please!!!!! Very overwhelming. Would love a good desrination for 3 adults and 3 children aged between 4 and 13 years old. Would love to be near everything but dont want a huge amount of hustle and bustle. Your suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

      • Kate
      • March 8, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Mel, I highly recommend you come and join our Facebook group which has lots of tips and advice in it https://www.facebook.com/groups/929686690500672/ Cheers, Kate

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