Travelling to Bali with your kids- the ultimate guide!

Travelling to Bali with your kids- the ultimate guide!

Yes yes I know, you've probably heard- we went to Bali recently! We had an amazing time, but honestly there a few things that I wish I knew before going. I'm going to share all my "Bali mum" advice, so if you are planning to go, you can be prepared!

(I've actually posted all my advice and tips in reels and posts on Instagram, so if you can't be bothered reading go watch them instead!)

First of all I think I speak for all parents when I say that travelling with your kids can be painful! Especially if you aren't well prepared. We have travelled a lot with our 3 kids, and I think I'm finally starting to get good at it!

Before you go:

  1. check passports are current and valid
  2. complete your Indonesian arrival declaration online- this will save heaps of time and you wont need to be mucking around trying to fill out lots of arrival cards on the plane
  3. pay your tourist tax fee online- this will save HEAPS of time and hassle, as the queues to pay this are long! 
  4. book a driver/ taxi/ hotel car service to collect you from the airport when you land

So, if your travelling from NZ to Bali its about an 8 and a half hour direct plane trip. Here's what I recommend you take on the plane:

  1. Nappies!!!!! My kids always seem to poop and pee more on planes, I don't know why! I've been caught short many times and only just escaped total disaster towards the end of the trip. NOT a good feeling.
  2. Disposable change mat- the plane toilets have a teeny tiny fold down change table, so for comfort and hygiene your going to want to take a disposable mat.
  3. Disposable nappy bags so you don't accidently smear the lid of the tiny toilet bin as you shove a soiled nappy in, yuck!
  4. Snacks snacks, and more snacks! I took a couple of things like muesli bars, sultanas, and squeezy pouches for my baby. I avoided taking things like chip packets because they are filled with lots of air that you cant squash out.
  5. Bibs and wipes. I used a disposable nappy bag as a place to keep dirty or wet bibs until we arrived, but you could also take a wet bag for this.
  6. A little note book, stickers, and washable markers for my older kids
  7. Suction fidget spinners for my baby that I could stick on the window for him to play with
  8. Kids tablets, fully charged and with their fav programs downloaded so they didn't even need internet to watch them
  9. Kids wireless headphones
  10. Leg hammock for kids. These hammocks attach to the back of the seat, and to the tray table in front, so that your kids can have their legs up for a sleep or comfort. I bought some really cheap ones from Temu, and they were great!
  11. Neck pillows for everyone. Air NZ does actually provide pillows and blankets for every seat, however the pillows aren't amazing.
  12. A change of clothes for everyone because it will be VERY hot when you land. I'd recommend getting everyone to change quickly just before you start landing.
  13. Water bottles
  14. Sanitizer

Great, you've survived the plane trip! Only have to do it one more time, on the way home!

Now that you've arrived safely in Bali, checked into your hotel and had a cocktail to unwind, you can start planning a few activities.

We realized pretty quickly after a few days of trying to cram as much stuff in as possible, that this just wasn't going to be work. Our 2 youngest kids still have day naps, and being on the go all the time in the hot climate just made for an extremely miserable and stressful time for everyone when these guys got tired.

You've likely booked a resort, or villa with an incredible pool, room service, air conditioner, and maybe a kids club! Use it! Plan 1 or 2 things to do as a family each day, and spend the rest of the time relaxing, using the facilities at your hotel, and allow your kids to have a restful nap, or even just some chill time.

When you go on holidays with young kids, you really do have to just live in their world. They are like your little dictators basically. That sounds awful, but what I mean by that is that, you can't place these expectations on them based on what you want to do. If you can let go of some of the expectations you have for yourself, it will make your holiday seem far more enjoyable, your kids will be happier, you and your partner will be happier, and you'll just generally enjoy it more as a family.

Work as a team with your partner. Maybe mum or dad, and one of the kids can pop out and cruise the streets and do some shopping, get a massage or a pedicure, while the other parent relaxes with the kids who are napping. This way everyone is having some much needed down time, and getting to do a few things they want to do as well. I loved taking my daughter to get out hair braided while the boys all napped at the resort.

Lets talk babysitting and nanny services in Bali. I was very skeptical, and hesitant to hire a nanny because its a foreign country, you don't know anyone, the regulations and rules are probably not as strict as NZ when it comes to hiring the right people. So as you can imagine, I was a bit nervous at the idea. However, after speaking to one of my best friends from Perth, who travels to Bali a lot, and recently went with her 3 kids who are similar ages to mine, she reassured me that a lot of her friends had used the nanny services in Bali, and that they highly recommend them.

So we got in touch with Bali babysitting which had heaps of great reviews, and organized a half day so that me and my husband could go to the beach club and have a little time to ourselves. I did set some boundaries based on what I felt comfortable with. I asked the nannies to not leave the resort with the kids, and if they were going to swim, they had to be in the kids pool only, and the kids had to wear their floaties and floaty vest (even though our daughter can swim). The pools at the hotels and resorts are so accessible for kids, its scary. 

Our overall experience with this nanny hire company was amazing. They showed up on time, they bought play dough and balloons with them for the kids, and they were just lovely friendly ladies. Not to mention cheap in comparison to NZ! We felt very comfortable leaving out kids with them, and they had a great time.

We hired a driver before we arrived, so that he was waiting for us at the airport when we arrived. Having a driver was the best decision we made for this trip. He was easy to contact via whatsapp, and whenever we needed him he would be there within half an hour. He would wait for us if we wanted to stop in somewhere to eat, or shop, or do something with the kids. His car always had fresh bottles of water in it, and crisp air conditioner! He was also so amazing with our kids! Balinese people LOVE and worship kids. He was always making them laugh, or comforting them, being an extra pair of helping hands for me and my husband, and even giving them his phone to watch when times were tough! We will definitely use him again when we go back to Bali!

Well I think I've covered most of the important stuff without writing an absolute novel! Like I said I have popped up some videos on our Instagram page which covers a lot of things as well, so check these out for more helpful advice!

I will list the places we stayed below, as well as some of the activities we did with the kids!

Places we stayed

  1. Legian Beach- Melasti beach resort
    This resort was on the cheaper side, the rooms were furnished with all traditional wooden Balinese furnishings, we had an interconnecting room with 2 singles for the kids, and a huge bed for me and Marty, the also provided a cot for our baby. The air conditioner worked really well, the service was outstanding, the pools were lovely, the beds were comfortable, and you could walk straight across the road to the beach
  2. Ubud- Harmony Villa
    This was the most beautiful villa set down a little lane in Ubud and surrounded by rice fields. The villa was not sealed so we found that the kids did get bitten quite a lot at night by mosquitos, however all the beds had mosquito nets on them, they even provided one for the cot. They cooked us breakfast every morning, and bought it to our villa, and also cleaned the villa everyday. There was a stunning infinity edge pool overlooking the rice fields, and it was lovely and quite.
  3. Nusa Dua- The Sakala Resort
    This was a big resort just across the road from the beach in Nusa Dua. They also had a beach club which did an amazing BBQ on Saturday night with live music, and had its own pool. We stayed in a villa, which was 2 story and had its own little pool. The villa was very comfortable, had amazing wardrobe and bathroom spaces, and the service was incredible. They also had a buffet breakfast every morning which was divine!

Activities/ places we did or visited

  • Uluwatu monkey forrest and temple
  • Tembaksari Turtle sanctuary
  • Mason elephant park
  • Bali safari and marine park
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