As most of you know, I recently took a trip to Bali, Indonesia with my husband and daughter. A chance to travel, explore, see new things, and have fun as a family. However, what we planned for our vacation, and what actually happened during vacation, were completely the opposite. While I imagined Bali to be a relaxing, enjoyable, peaceful trip, what I discovered was stares, vomit, Bali Belly, rip-offs, and sunburns. Here are our 8 travel tips to teach you, all about Bali.
All About Bali
Long, Windy Roads
The roads in Bali are narrow, and windy. Full of cars, trucks, chickens, and an abundance of motorbikes. Going small distances takes a long time. And you are stopping, starting, speeding and slowing. All. The. Time. Now this may not be such a bad thing, for tried and tested travelers. But, our daughter isn’t at that level yet, because the 2-hour drive from airport to hotel, was met with non-stop vomit. While we still don’t know for sure if the windy roads caused the vomit, that was definitely where it started.
Adding onto the car sickness, one must consider the possibility of Bali Belly. Just like Delhi Belly in India, this sickness leaves one nauseous and chained to the bathroom. Stuff is either coming out one end, coming out of the other, or you are too exhausted to even move. No matter which way you spin it, none of it is fun. My husband suffered, I suffered, and so did our daughter. Only recommendations: eat toast, drink coconut water, and get lots of sleep!
Outside-Outside- and More Outside
Most of the activities and things to do in Bali are outside. Beaches. Snorkeling. Boat Trips. Bathing Palaces. Basically, if our daughter wasn’t napping, we were outside. And even some of her naps were outside. This led to sunburn, windburn, dry skin, dehydration, exhaustion, and pain. My husband sprained his ankle- outside. I fell asleep outside, and got myself sun blisters. My daughter, not used to the outdoor terrain, tripped, fell, and stumbled, leaving her covered in “owies”. So, prepare yourself, or save your body a little, and spend some time indoors!
Oh yes! The spas!! There definitely isn’t a shortage of spas here. Basically, one out of every 3 stores, is a spa. And since it is one of the few things we can do inside, we decided to check it out. My daughter got a pedicure, my husband got a massage, while I experienced a massage and facial. And lets’ just say…… you get what you pay for. Our massages were 40 minutes, instead of an hour, and the facial products I bought became the joke of the trip. I always naively believed, that in Bali, we’d see fresh, natural, Balinese products. So, I bought this great scrub they used on my face. Only to find the exact same product in a grocery store for 1/3 of the cost. Jokes on me!
My toddler throws tantrums. Occasionally. All the time. Now this may not just be a Bali event, but being in Bali definitely made it worse. We had people staring at us. Frowning. Giving disapproving looks. And clearly communicating that our child was ruining their time and vacation. I hated this feeling, so over and over again, I did whatever I could to calm her, control her, or contain her. But parenting while in vacation mode, is difficult. So, I accepted the tantrums, laughed, smiled, and handed out treats! To myself and her!
Dinners with a toddler can be difficult. Anywhere. But especially when the environment is unfamiliar and fancy, with no high chairs, booster seats, or kid meals. Tables covered in glassware, waiting to be dropped. Delicate table cloths, wanting to be ripped off. Luckily, none of that happened. But what did happen, was more vomit. Twice. My daughter got sick, right in the middle of eating. Right at the table. Right in all of our food. So then, we had no food to eat, and fewer restaurants that would even want to have us back.
Oh, how I wish we had brought more snacks. Snacks kept us going. Before meals. In between meals. On long trips. And whenever else we didn’t feel like eating rice and vegetables. Or didn’t want to risk making our Bali Belly worse. A snack could get us by. However, I have become accustomed to my own snacks: granola bars, yogurts, fruit snacks, or healthy homemade options. But in Bali, I never found any of that. We had to survive off Oreos, weird tasting potato chips, crackers, and every form of liquid drink. And all I kept thinking was… we should’ve brought more snacks!
Our hotel, and most others in Bali, are equipped with a swimming pool. Since it is warm here all year, a pool gives guests something else to do at their resort or hotel. And we definitely took advantage. Every. Single. Day. We were in the pool. Rain, shine, storms, or wind, we were there. Nothing can refresh, renew, or remove stress, like water. Even our daughter loved it, she became known at the hotel as “water girl”. It was the one place where we all had fun. And none of us could get into too much trouble!
Now that I’ve provided information, all about Bali. While also showing 8 interesting tips that my family experienced while travelling to Bali. Please know that this wasn’t the whole basis of our trip. We still relaxed, had fun, and enjoyed Bali. And we will still continue traveling, despite the setbacks. These mishaps are just funny things to look back on and laugh at. Things that show how important travel is to us, because despite the struggles, we still travel!
I’d love to hear about your family travel stories! And if you need more travel inspiration, here is what life in Japan is like!