What to pack when travelling to Bali with kids? I remember the first time we were packing for Bali and I was nervous about forgetting or not having the right things packed. We survived and once we arrived I realised that we could buy most things over there that we needed. There are a couple of must takes like sunscreen, swim nappies, medications and night nappies. I always take these with us as they can be more expensive to buy in Bali if you do find them. One option for bigger items like strollers and portacots are to hire them when you get to Bali. Bali Baby Hire is one company and even though I haven’t used their services before as I take our own Mountain Buggy Nano stroller and Baby Bjorn portacot, friends have and they have loved it. Below is our packing list for Bali and what I packed for our family holiday last September for 2 adults and 2 kids for 2 weeks. You can definitely pack lighter, I know of some families that travel with carry on only, but I have yet to achieve this packing feat!!
Change of clothes
I always take them in our hand luggage with the kids! Goodness only knows what kind of mess can happen at the airport or on the flight but a change of clothes for the kids and a top for us are a must.
A flight would be very long if we couldn’t take a fully charged iPad. How did we travel with kids before them?? Hats off to the parents who did or still do!! Also put in a charging cord as most planes have a charging dock to ensure they don’t go flat. Headphones are a must as well to keep everyones sanity. We also love the Junior Flyer logbooks as a way to keep the older kids entertained on the flight. Another book that is perfect for travelling to Bali with kids is My Awesome Bali Adventure. It is a fantastic travel journal for kids when they are in Bali.
Lots of them!! Having food and drink for kids on the flight is a must. We usually pack an empty water bottle and then fill it up once through customs. Be aware that in Bali they will do another bag check just before you board the plane so any fluids that are purchased after customs will be confiscated. You will need to get your water bottle filled on the plane which I have never had any trouble doing. If you have a baby and you are concerned about how much formula is ok to take on board check out this link that explains it here for Australians. Other countries check your relevant authorities websites.
Ok we learnt this the hard way on our last trip to Bali. As we navigated immigration and after we had checked in ALL our pain relief, Mason hurt is elbow. I think it was a pulled elbow which a lot of young kids can get but I had nothing on us to help him!! Luckily near our gate was a lovely Australian mum who had some Panadol on her and very kindly gave me some to give to him. Within half a hour he was running around again, always pack something.
Pack these in for the kids when the plane is taking off or landing. Kids ears can be very sensitive to the change in pressure so always handy to have.
A must when travelling overseas but also just a reminder to have 6 months validity left from the date of departure from Bali on your passports. They won’t let you fly to the country if you don’t so make sure you check. A pen as well for any forms that need to be filled in.
Large cotton wraps
I find these ever so useful and can be used as pillows, blankets or to contain any dirty clothes. A plastic bag is also a great thing to pack as is a small travel pillow.
I take enough nappies for at least 12 hours as delays can happen with any airline. Wipes are always packed even if the kids aren’t in nappies still.
We always take our Mountain Buggy Nano stroller on the plane with us as having Mason contained is a must! We haven’t had troubles taking it on the plane with us but always have it in the carry bag to board the plane and when checking in. A carrier can be a fantastic way to carry bub around while having hands free so could be an option too.
Checked in Luggage
Dresses, shorts and bathers are a must when travelling to Bali. We usually pack about 5 days worth of clothes as the laundries are so cheap and easy to find. We take a couple of big plastic bags, like the ones from Aldi, and after we have filled it with 3-4 days worth of clothes we take it to a laundry and they usually have it ready to be picked up by the end of the day. We also take 2 sets of bathers so when one lot is drying there is still another pair to wear. Be sure to put in a hat each as well. Try not to pack too many clothes as less is best. I love this post on downsizing your kids wardrobe, it has helped me so much!
I love taking Charlotte’s Saltwater sandals and a pair of sandals for Mason. Then it’s usually a covered pair of shoes like their Walnuts. For us I always take my runners as I love going for a walk each morning, then a pair of sandals and thongs/flip flops as well.
I always pack 2 Huggie nappies per day (or ones you use at night at home) Nappies are easy to come by in Bali and I tend to buy the Mama Poko ones for day use once I arrive. They tend to not be as absorbent as the Huggies ones I use so having some packed in our luggage is great. Wipes are also easy to find but if your bub uses particular ones as they are sensitive to different sorts make sure to bring them too. Makes for lots of room in the luggage to bring home your shopping ;-)
BABYBJORN Travel Cot
This was a must take for us when the kids were younger. So easy to set up and as the portacots aren’t counted in your luggage weight on most airlines, you can also put nappies, wipes etc. in the middle of the bag.
I always pack a couple of cotton bags, like from Cotton On, for when we go to the supermarket or out shopping. Plastic bags are a huge issue in Bali and the rubbish can be quite confronting at times. Try to reduce waste by using your own bag.
We have a hard drive with both kids and adults movies for the times we just need to chill out in the hotel room or villa. Most TVs have USB points.
If you have a fussy bub or one just starting solids be sure to pack a few squeeze packets into your luggage. They can be harder to find in Bali and are great to have when out and about with the kids. We also love Mini Muncher products to order for the kids when we arrive in Bali, check out my review post for all the details. Like wise if your bub is on formula it is best to pack a tin if that’s the only sort they have tried or like. Getting stuck with no way to feed milk to your baby is stressful and even though formula can be purchased in the bigger supermarkets there is no guarantee that it will be available. You can take food into Bali but you just need to declare it when you arrive.
We always pack Nurofen, Panadol, Zyrtec and Ethical Nutrients Travel Bug. The travel bug is to help keep Bali belly away. It is kept refrigerated before you travel and then can be kept out of the fridge for up to 4 weeks. You take it once a day and the contents of the capsule can be dissolved in milk or water for younger kids. The kids haven’t been sick for our 4 trips to Bali except for a quick vomit from becoming car sick. Last trip I suddenly felt ill and vomited but felt better and ate 2 hours later, the next day I was fine. Probiotics like Yakult are also a great idea and are readily available in Bali. A small toiletry bag with all your medicines kept together is a great idea and we also add in bandaids, mossie repellant, hand sanitiser and a cream to help with things like burns/bites. You can buy a lot of this in Bali so can find it if need be but the last thing you want to be doing is shopping for things like this if you need it desperately!
The usual suspects like toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser, lip balm, brush, sunscreen, baby shampoo and milton tablets. I use milton tablets in the bath to help sterilise the water when the kids have a bath. I have check previously with Milton and half a tablet can be put into the bath water then wait 15 minutes and it’s ready to go.
A must have, as you will be in the pool a lot, is to bring things like inflatable baby rings/wings or a Wahu swimming jacket depending on your kids age. These have always been fantastic to take and don’t take up much room in your luggage. A lot of villas and resorts will have them and you can buy them in places like Bintang supermarket Seminyak or Hardy’s Sanur, but again having your own that you don’t need to go shopping for can be so handy.
We always take vomit bags for the car trips around Bali. Both kids have had a good old vomit while traveling in cars in Bali so they are the first thing I pack! I also use the wraps that we take on the plane in the car that can act as sun shades, pillows or even towels to wipe up any mess!
Our friends at Smith’s Holiday Road have some great tips on what to pack if you only have hand luggage so check out their blog post here. I’m yet to fly with the kids with only hand luggage, I must try it one day!!