The fact I have now been to Bali over 18 times somewhat describes my love and passion for the place that I can only describe as something incredibly magical.

I started coming to Bali as a child with my family.
However growing up in a household of surfers meant we only holidays at spots were the sets rolled in- so we never stayed long on Bali itself and would venture over to the islands
(Nusa Lembongan, and the Gilli Islands).

Since then, I have come back numerous times as a full family, romantically with just Nath and I and with the twins along and with the boys along.

After this many trips we have done all the ‘sightseeing’ tours there is to do, and now when we come over we come over with one intention- to relax.
No shopping, no bartering, no sightseeing.

We have stayed in resorts previously and they are great for families with children who want to make friends, swim in a large pool and play with their new friends.
Hhwever not so great for relaxing and really seeing Bali for Bali.

My favourite places to stay are in private villas.
They’re cheaper than a resort, are private, and usually have full staff who tend to be amazing.

At the moment, we are staying in Villa Saudara 1 (as I type this I am currently lying on the ledge of the pool, sweat beading on my back drinking fresh young coconut and fruit salad whilst the full time staff are playing with the girls on the grass next to me).

Let that sink in… my idea of HEAVEN!

 

Sophie Guidolin at Villa Saudara in Bali wearing a black bikini

 

This particular villa is owned by Australians, and the entire booking procedure has been a breeze.
We arrived to a pool fence (they offer cots, high chairs and strollers also!), numerous toys for the girls and fresh welcome drinks.

The location of this villa is next to none. It is NEXT DOOR to Kudeta– I mean literally next door- the closest villa to Ku De Ta.
So it’s an easy walking distance to all the great food places I will list later on!

When we travel we always use our pop up porta cots, as the girls are familiar with them so go straight to sleep happily in their own surroundings.
We bring our own strollers when we visit and donate them upon departing (umbrella strollers from Kmart are $20AUD)

This trip we bought slightly more expensive ones that also lie flat so the girls can sleep when we go to dinner…. BUT this villa has BABYSITTING!! Haha
I was VERY nervous to go next door for dinner leaving the twins. However, we put them to sleep first, they give you a villa phone and call you to update you. Its beyond amazing!

This is Ekka, she helped us with the girls for breakfast each morning!

 

Villa Saudara in Bali with a baby and one of the staff

So here’s my OFFICIAL GUIDE TO BALI.

Banana pancakes, made fresh in our villa and even fed to miss Evie! 😀

I am going to try and break this blog down a bit into sub headings for easy reference and so that you can refer back to if needed about all of my do’s/don’ts travelling to Bali with young ones.

 

Before You Come

Probiotics!

When I would come to Bali I just got used to the fact that ‘Bali belly’ was in fact a part of the whole experience.
One day before coming over, I went into the chemist to get some gastro stop. He asked why and I told him ‘Bali’.
That’s when he explained that you can actually prevent it rather than cure it.

PROBIOTICS!!!
This is what we do:
We use them every second day for 7 days before leaving (normally we would take 2-3 times a week anyway) then when in Bali, every second day also.
Not once since then have I had ANY sign at all of any Bali belly, kids included.

We use these probiotics for the whole family, we give the twins and the boys half a packet each though, not a full packet.

I have a discount code for $10 off for your first purchase – 845768.
They’re fairly expensive, so perhaps use a different email with each order to use the code more than once! LOL

Natural Mosquito Repellent

To be perfectly honest, we use Vicks vapour rub for when the twins are out and about and the porta cots with the netting.
We keep them closed when they’re not in there and have not had a problem.
The repellent is heavy duty over here and I wouldn’t use it on my kids.

Flights

The best flights (for us) have been the night time flights.
The kids all sleep and it’s the best case for a 6 hour flight. You can often pick up super cheap flights ($130 one way from Brisbane is not unusual!).

 

What To Bring

  • Rashies!!!
  • Suncream
  • Umbrella prams (if you have babies- avoid double prams here- you will understand why once you come!) We donate the prams when we leave!
  • Swimmers
  • Loose dresses, shorts and t-shirts
  • Thongs/flats  (no heels- even ‘out’ at clubs et.c)
  • After sun stuff (we use that magic soothing cream that Nath wont share! LOL!)

Accommodation

Villas

(these are just ones we have personally stayed in and have loved the location of, staff and services)

Other Villa’s that look amazing (haven’t stayed in) and are close to everything:

  • Villa Jodie
  • Layer Villas
  • C151 Smart villas (super expensive and next door to Villa Saudara)
  • Maca Villas

If you’re heading over for a week or more, I would strongly advise catching a boat over to Nusa Lembongan. It is quiet, but so beautiful with amazing surf.

 

Eating Out

My favourite part about Bali!

Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch

Pettitenget

This was our ALL TIME favourite restaurant- anywhere in the world.
Usually when we come to Bali we go for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but they’re currently CLOSED (my heart sunk!).
I am hoping this is just for renovations!

Sisterfields

UHHHH-MAZING!!!!
It is Australian prices, and incredibly busy. They also don’t do reservations so you often wait for 15-20 minutes but it is REDIC good!

Strawberry Fields

Great for breakfast, smoothie bowls and coffee.

Earth café

Vegetarian deliciousness. Great juices, smoothies, salads, healthy food, raw treats and produce.

Sea Circus

Great quirky food, amazing coffee and smoothie bowls.

Nalu Bowls (different locations) 

Amazing smoothie bowls. I would just go-jek these!

The Savage Kitchen

The most amazing coconut crushed chicken! You choose your protein, side and dressing. Its amazing. This is in Canggu.

The Revolver

The best coffee hands down. It’s down a dodgy alleyway, but once you’re inside, keep walking and its amazing.

 

Dinner

La Luciola

This could be both romantic and family. Located on grass and directly on the beach for the perfect sunset!
The best Italian food at amazing prices!! They don’t have an online booking form, however speak English so either call up to book, or rock up at 5:30pm for a walk in table.

Ku De Ta

Australian (expensive) prices, but great drinks and the very best location.

Settimo Cielo

The location isn’t very nice- but the food was delicious.

(Nath rated this 9.5/10 haha)

Metis

French and very fancy, on the expensive side but so good!

Zibiru

(Italian- Authentic)

Set in a beautiful garden, playing live Jazz. There was lots of families here too- but so so romantic.
We actually came here twice for dinner it was that good!

The Bistrot

French. Set in a super chic restaurant- not like Bali at all! LOL

 

Our favourite ‘things’ to do in Bali

Besides the ‘luxury’ lifestyle of pool side food deliveries and massages, there are some amazing tours to do! 

  • White water rafting
    There are a few different types of tours for this. Ask for the scarier version and always barter the price down. It is a full day trip so be prepared with food etc.
  • Nusa Dua Snorkelling
    Find a good English speaking driver, (you will pay around $20 for a full day in a driver) they will barter you a private boat.
  • Ubud
    Numerous things to do in Ubud (if you don’t choose to stay in the mountains)
    From volcano hikes for sunrise, to wood carvings, the amazing bike rides and more.
  • Shopping
    There are quite a few unique Bali finds in Seminyak that stock the most incredible homewares, jewellery and clothing (bikinis!).
    If you decide to purchase from a market, the rule of thumb is to half the amount they start the bartering with and go a little less.
    If you purchase more than one, go even lower. Never purchase anything on the first few days of arriving!
  • GO JEK!!!
    Similar to Uber eats but a million times better!
    You need this app! It is amazing!
    All the good restaurants are on there, you can order from the menu and get it delivered to your door of your villa!
    Nappies, wipes, baby toys, all groceries etc. can be delivered.

 

Little baby eating Balinese food from top view

 

As I am sure you can imagine, I love Bali.
I love the people, the culture, the food, the memories and the climate. Even if it is raining, it is still warm and enjoyable.

Whilst many people only experience the ‘Kuta’ side to Bali- I truly hope that you too can experience the side to Bali that we love!
Venture out to the islands, read reviews, take probiotics and be street smart.

Sophie x

 

Sophie Guidolin in Bali wearing a leopard print bikini and wearing sunglasses