BALI AND BABIES.

The comments I have been receiving from others whilst being over here in Bali have blown me away..
“Bali is not a safe holiday destination for babies or kids- how irresponsible” etc. etc.

Firstly, I will start by saying that I am very much a ‘if there is a will, there is a way’ type of person.
Nothing is ever too big of a task or mission for me.
I love exploring and discovering the new and unknown – I can get bored easily with everyday routine.

I have been to Bali 14 times previously (this trip being our 15th) and I know the island fairly well having travelled it so many times.
I’ve done all the different kinds of adventures.
I say different adventures because I have come over numerous times with family (who all surf) and done the islands, sleeping in hammock style vacay, versus the luxurious retreats and resorts getaway.

So what things do I consider before I jet off to one of my favourite places in the world?

Bali Belly:

Before I came over 5 or 6 years ago, I went into see my local pharmacist who is also a naturopath (for those in Adelaide, Brighton rd. opposite the Brighton bistro!) he is amazing.
I went in to purchase gastrostop and explained we were off to Bali.
He mentioned that prevention was far better than cure, and told me to start probiotics immediately in preparation for the trip.
This was the first trip where I had no symptoms of Bali belly or an irritated stomach.
I have done this for every trip since and have had no problems at all.
The whole family including the twins slowly increased theur probiotics dosage to daily the week leading in and during our stay.
This is a must do when travelling to Bali.

Water:

The next thing that is a a concern, is the water. Everywhere you stay, bottled water is next to the sinks.
You need to use it to brush your teeth and to drink- that’s it. Rather than bathing the twins, we have just been swimming every day and showering off the chlorine at night.
This caused no problems in the two weeks we were there.

Accommodation:

Depending on the type of holiday you’re after, you can do Bali so many different ways:

Hotel:

A hotel will provide you with cheaper rooms (from $50AU), however not as many facilities at the room/venue.
On the plus side, hotels are often closer to the city centre.

Villa:

A villa is essentially your own private house. Most have amazing pools and include a breakfast cooked in your own kitchen.
If you look around, you can find an amazing 3-4- bedroom villa for around $200AU a night, all inclusive.
There are villa websites (Cantik and Elite Haven to name a couple) however are often cheaper direct through Air BnB or Tripadvisor.

Resort:

A resort is ideal for kids who want to go to kids clubs, slide pools and to play with other kids.
There are so many fantastic ones in Bali to stay at.
The resorts are usually more expensive than a villa, but you can often go and spend the day at the resort pools and use their facilities.

Our final choice was to stay at a villa.
We choose to stay in villas for a few different reasons.
Our family liked having a private pool to ourselves where our kids all play together.
We could cook our own food.. the space.. the price- so many reasons!

Dining:

When eating out, you will know the difference between a dodgy Warung (local eatery) and a nice and clean restaurant.
Tripadvisor is a go-to for recommendations and reviews from those who have travelled to Bali.
My all-time favourite place to eat is: ‘Petitenget’. The last two times visiting Bali, we have spent most days visiting again and again (best food ever!).
Everything from their breakfast to their dinners is divine. They don’t have a view, but the food is worth it – I promise!

Some other delicious places include:

Baby Supplies:

Finding baby food and formula in Bali can be tough- so ensure you bring enough with you.
Keep in mind that it is SO much hotter and muggier than Australia so babies will probably need more fluids and food compared to usual.
Nappies and wipes are readily available for roughly the same price as Australia (Noting that they don’t sell Huggies, etc.).
Swimming nappies are almost non-existent over there so ensure you bring some.

Activities:

Whilst we have a million and one ‘must do’ things to see and do in Bali, most of them only need to be done once.
Travelling as a family obviously means things will be quite different to a romantic getaway.

Here are a few of the activities we have enjoyed as a family and would love to do again:

Family Activities

Waterbom ParkYou can barter down the price at a ticket seller before going there, otherwise everything is in USD.
There is a kid’s park inside which is perfect for little ones.

Snorkelling

Hire a driver for the day (for around $30) to take you to Sanur and get a boat out snorkelling.
You can even have your own glass bottom boat for you and your family. 

Whitewater rafting

Depending on the age of your children- this is so much fun,
There’s quit a few steps and will require an entire day.

Finally, you have the ‘everything else’ list which we have previously done that I don’t personally rate as highly as the above (monkey forest, rice paddys, elephant safari.

 

And if you do get a chance to have some alone time..

Romantic must do’s:

Rock Bar inside Ayana resort, a must do at least once.
Arrive early and keep in mind it is very hot and a dresscode applies.

Couple massages

You can get massages in your own private villas!
1 hour massages ranges from $7AU- $19AU.

Surfing

At Finns in Canggu.
If you or your husband enjoy surfing, I would highly suggest Finns in Canggu.
Grab a cabana and relax whilst watching on or enjoy the surf with hubby!
Go across to Nusa Lembongan, Gilli Meno or Gilli Air and enjoy a seriously tranquil experience.

For our stay, we spent the first half at J Villa in Canggu and the second half at Hidden Hills Villas in Uluwatu.
Our first villa, whilst incredibly amazing, was set out at Canggu.
Canggu is now known as ‘the new Seminyak’ however, from where we were staying, getting to any cafes or shops would take between 30-90 minutes in traffic.
We would usually hire scooters however with the twins it made it difficult to get around. I would suggest getting a villa closer to Seminyak if you’re wanting to shop and eat out.
Besides that, the surf beach was 100m away and the staff were incredible.

Now, as we arrived in Uluwatu, it was truly something out of a movie.

Let me paint you a picture; it is balmy, the smell of Jasmine is floating through the air and the ONLY sound we can hear is that of water running.
Looking up, you see nothing but greenery and the ocean.
Sounds like heaven? That is Hidden Hills Villas right now.
We open the double wooden doors into an open planned villa that looks over the whole of Uluwatu.
Our three bedroom villa with an nfinity pool and four (yes, four!) bathtubs (including outdoor bath!) is something that dreams are made of.
This is a family vacay dream, a honeymooners dream and everything in between.
In-room dining is offered from 8am-10pm meaning you don’t even need to leave.
If your idea of the perfect holiday is to swim in the sun, watch the sunset from your pool and avoiding cooking –
I highly recommend staying here. It is set away from all the hustle and bustle and you’ll truly feel like you’re the only one on the island.

Whilst there is a lot of hype around Bali and a lot of negatives that surround travelling here (dengue fever, dirty water, unhygienic food)..
There are so so many amazing positives that truly outweigh the negatives!
A lot of comments on my social pages have said that people saw Bali as a place simply for ‘getting drunk and partying’ which is certainly not us. LOL.

We love Bali and will continue to come here for our family holidays.

The other key factor to consider is that in many cases, a family holiday to Bali is often cheaper than an Australian holiday.
I just love that we can get real R&R at a breathtaking location at a fraction of the price you would pay for at other places.

All in all, Babies in Bali has been fine- it has obviously been hot and humid, and at times stressful but no different to travelling to any other tropical destination.
I highly recommend travelling with your babes and please please please don’t stop travelling because of a few bad reviews!
Bali is beautiful, the people are delightful and the island still has a lot of secluded, undiscovered beauties 😀