Bali: Tropical Escape
Know Before You Go
For an epic trip with zero stress and infinite holy s#!t moments, get familiar with the information below. Seeing the world should be fun, not stressful, which is why we’ve written this guide for you and are available 24/7 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.
Travel Documents & Tour Preparation
Complete Your Checklist
Before heading to the airport, complete the tasks below and check them off in your Online Account Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 617-619-1411. We’re available 24/7 to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.
- Passport: Your passport must be valid for 6 months after the tour return date.
- Visa: U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a tourist or business stay of 30 days or less.
- Travel Insurance: While travel insurance is not required, we strongly encourage all travelers to obtain coverage before departure. Check out cost-effective Travel Protection, designed to meet the needs of EF travelers, here.
- Talk with your doctor: It is highly recommended that you talk with your doctor about your travel plans. If you are taking any medications, be certain to bring enough to last throughout your trip.
- Traveling with allergies? Let your Trip Consultant and Tour Director know of any dietary restrictions/allergies and we will do what we can to accommodate for any included meals.
- Request a roommate: Double-check with us and your Tour Director that they have your rooming status on file. We will assign a roommate for you if you do not submit a specific request.
- Get an international data plan: We recommend getting an international data plan for your mobile device so you can stay connected while on the road. Free Please talk with your phone provider for your best options.
- Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars, though charges may apply and it may be slower than in the U.S.
- Wi-Fi is not available on the bus.
- Get the EF Ultimate Break app: Your trip's group will be able to connect on the app before you meet IRL. Don't miss out! Meet other travelers, get updates from your Tour Director, see flights and accommodations, and more. If you're having trouble, give us a call at 617-619-1411.
Arrival Information & Transportation
Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. You can check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.
- If your flight is cancelled or delayed: Don’t worry! We design the first day of tour as an arrival day in case of flight delays or cancellations. Work with the airline to get rebooked on the next available flight, then let your Tour Director know your new arrival time
- If you slept in and missed your flight: You should still talk to the airline and see if they can get you on the next available option. Tears may help in this case.
- Long Flights: Travel from the U.S. to Asia is a long process (20-30+ hours travel time total). Bring a book, watch a movie (or five), and drink plenty of water!
Arriving in Bali
Congratulations! You’ve landed in Bali, an Indonesian paradise filled with mountains, rice paddies, beaches, reefs, and more. We can’t wait for you to dive in! Before you arrive, your Tour Director will communicate through the EF Ultimate Break app, WhatsApp, or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is an important reason to make sure you have the EF Ultimate Break app!
Note: If you have difficulty finding your group or representative to bring you to the hotel, just give our team a call at 617-619-1411.
Transfers Between Cities
On this trip, you’ll take a private bus between cities which can take anywhere between 2-8 hours depending on distance, local traffic, and bathroom or photo-stop breaks. The beauty of travel is that you get to explore a new place, but note that it takes time and energy to see everything worth seeing! Read on for more must-knows:
- Prepare to walk between 2-5 miles per day, especially when sightseeing
- Remember it will be HOT and HUMID in Bali, so keep your water, hat, and sunscreen close!
Note: If you are prone to sea-sickness or motion-sickness, we recommend bringing Dramamine for drives between cities and activities.
Fact: Travel is exhilarating. And FOMO is real. So, we understand why you don’t want to miss a second of the action. But there’s a difference between maximizing your time and spreading yourself too thin. Here are some tips to stay healthy and happy on tour:
- Sleep: Flying across the globe, changing time zones, and being constantly on the move can take a toll on your body. Make sure you get the rest your body needs. If that means missing a night out for some well-earned rest, or having a little afternoon nap, so be it. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Be prepared: We recommend bringing a small first aid kit including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
- Take time for yourself: Group travel is an amazing experience, and there’s nothing quite like exploring a foreign country with a group of like-minded people. That said, it’s okay to take time for yourself to relax and reflect on your experience. Here are a few mindfulness apps you can take with you on the road:
- Insight Timer: Meditation apps are very in right now. This one is especially amazing because there are 80,000 free daily meditations to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress.
- What’s Up: If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed, What’s Up can help you manage these feelings with interactive games, forums, and a thought tracking diary.
- Talkspace: No need to make appointments or commute to a therapist’s office. Talkspace gives you 24/7 access to real, licensed therapists. You can talk, text, or video chat with them right from your phone.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Bali, however it is very common for travelers from the U.S. to experience gastrointestinal issues (nausea, diarrhea) when traveling to Bali. We recommend you consult your physician or local travel clinic, and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) at lease 60 days prior to departure for the latest updates and entry requirements. See more tips below for staying healthy in Bali:
- Local governments may require proof of a yellow fever vaccination (often referred to as a yellow card ) or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine. Visit cdc.gov/yellowfever for more information.
- Drink bottled water only. Avoid tap water even when brushing your teeth or showering. We recommend travelers purchase bottled water when given the chance (in major cities at supermarkets, when the Tour Director suggests, etc.). DO NOT refill your water bottle with tap water.
- Be prepared. Travelers’ diarrhea, or “Bali Belly” is one of the most common illnesses among travelers to Bali. Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
- Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself or wash them in bottled or disinfected water.
- Certain medications (both over-the-counter and prescription) are banned in foreign countries. Consult your physician at least four weeks prior to departure to make sure any medications you want to bring with you are legal.
- Bali is hot and humid throughout the year. Swelling of the feet and ankles is common, as well as muscle cramps. Avoid these by staying hydrated and limiting excessive activity in the heat
- Take proper care with sun exposure. The sun is very strong in some of the areas you are visiting
- Public restrooms in Bali can be quite bare. We suggest carrying bathroom tissue and hand sanitizer with you.
Note: Make sure all medications are packed in their original, clearly labelled containers. If you are carrying syringes or needles, be sure to have a physician's letter documenting their medical necessity. If you have a heart condition ensure you bring a copy of an electrocardiogram taken just prior to traveling.
With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. But, it’s equally important for you to maintain your health and safety while abroad. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner, drink plenty of water, get sleep when you can, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your Tour Director or your Trip Consultant if you need a helping hand. Keep these extra tips in mind so you can #travelsmart:
- Keep your bag/purse in front of you and your phone zipped inside when you’re not using it. Leave your laptop at home, store valuables at the hotel in locked luggage or the safe deposit box. Refrain from carrying large sums of money or wearing valuable jewelry.
- Bali’s drug laws are very strict and should not be taken lightly. There are harsh penalties such as life imprisonment for possession, or worse. Please walk away if you hear any whispered solicitations for drugs in crowded areas, and abide by the country’s laws.
- Do not smoke in public areas. A “smoke-free” bylaw went into effect across Bali in 2011 and smoking is now forbidden in most public areas.
- The most honest taxis in Bali are marked “Bali Taxi" (also known as Blue Bird Taxis).
- You’ll see a lot of monkeys and they may seem cute, but they’re actually quite rude and sometimes aggressive. They may try to grab your belongings looking for food, so keep a strong hold of your stuff if you see a monkey nearby! You should also be prepared to see many stray dogs during your trip.
- Use the buddy system. Stay in groups and watch out for each other, especially at night—no one gets left behind!
- Before you go out, grab a business card at your hotel so that you always have the address handy for getting back later.
- At the end of a night out, use trusted transportation like a licensed taxi, and always have cash on hand.
- Be smart about alcohol consumption. Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t leave the bar alone with someone you just met.
- Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411
Though Indonesia's track record on rights and treatment for the LGBTQ+ community is quite poor, Bali is generally considered to be a liberal haven where travelers don't need to exercise that much caution. That being said, public displays of affection from couples of any orientation are frowned upon in Bali, so discretion is advised.
Your airline ticket includes one checked bag (typically 27" x 21" x 14") but double check the luggage size requirements on your airline’s website. We recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag. See more packing tips below:
- A light jacket or rain-wear
- A shawl or layer to use when visiting temples or other religious sites where bare shoulders/legs are not permitted
- A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers for long days of sightseeing
- Waterproof shoes or sandals
- 2-3 pairs pants, shorts, or skirt
- 2-3 long skirts or dresses
- 3-4 shirts / t-shirts
- 1-2 nicer outfits for Welcome & Farewell dinners
- Underwear and socks
- Toiletries, medicine
- 1-2 bathing suits
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat. Pro Tip: Bring two travel-size sunscreens in your carry-on
- Reusable water bottle
- Insect repellent
- Phone or camera
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- Adapter / Converter
In Bali, you'll need type “C”, or “F” power adapters/converters. Or, Amazon has universal adapters and voltage converters (if you plan on using your own hairdryer).
Money & Tipping
The currency of Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (Rp), and you’ll notice that the currency has many zeros on the bills! Some stores in Bali will take credit cards, although cash is still an important form of payment for shopping, transportation, and food/drinks.
Budget around $50-$60 per day for meals, drinks, souvenirs, and tips or extra activities.
Remember that you know your spending habits best and not everyone’s spending habits are the same. These recommendations are based on a traveler who says yes to any and all activities while on tour.
- We recommend you mostly carry cash. It will come handy when you decide to buy a coconut, grilled corn on the cob or a sarong on the beach. Tipping the staff at the hotel, spa and restaurant is also usually done in cash.
- Still bring a debit/credit card with you, which you can use to withdraw cash at local banks if needed.
- Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
- While better exchange rates are usually found overseas, it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive
- Bali’s currency has a lot of zeros. There are coins in Bali with the value of Rp. 50, Rp. 100, Rp. 200, Rp. 500 and Rp. 1,000. Paper notes are available at Rp. 1,000, Rp. 2,000, Rp. 5,000, Rp. 10,000, Rp. 20,000, Rp. 50,000, and Rp. 100,000
- “Money Changers” are very common in places like Seminyak and Ubud, and they’re essentially quick-stop currency exchange stalls. Most of these stalls are legitimate, but when using these money changers make sure to check exchange rates before approaching a stall, count your money before you leave the stall, and only use stalls that are located in a trusted building.
- We recommend tipping your Tour Director $44-$66 at the end of the trip.
- Bali doesn't have much of a tipping culture.
- Many restaurants include a service charge on your bill, but that doesn't always necessarily go to the servers. So for exceptional service, consider tipping your server an additional 5-10% in cash directly to them.
- At bars, leave the bartenders a few coins per drink.
- In taxis, simply round up the fare.
Due to the popularity of tourism in Bali, many locals speak English as their third language. And as a part of Indonesia, the majority of locals speak the national language, Bahasa Indonesia. But Bali also has its own language, Bahasa Bali. If you'd like to try out some Bahasa Bali with the locals, check out some phrases below:
- Hello: Swastiastu
- How are you?: Engken kabare
- Please: Tempat
- Thank you: Suksma
- Yes: Nyak
- No: Sing
- How much does this cost?: Ajikuda niki
Note: Download Duolingo or some language-learning podcasts to practice your skills, and use Google Translate to help you while on the road!
Bali is tropical, gorgeous, and incredibly serene. What more could you want?! Here are some expert tips to help you understand the ins and outs of Indonesia, and feel like a true local:
- Tri Hita Karana: This Balinese philosophy translates to the "Three Causes to Prosperity", which are harmony with God, nature, and community. These principles have deep roots in the culture of Bali, from special rituals to everyday life.
- Hinduism: Though the majority of Indonesia's overall population is Muslim, the large majority of Balinese people practice Hinduism.
- Clothing Etiquette: Dress modestly before entering temples in Bali. Your shoulders, waist, and legs should be covered by long pants/dress, a scarf, or sarong respectfully. Beachwear isn’t always accepted in higher-end bars, restaurants or clubs.
- Shoes: You will likely be asked to remove your shoes in certain homes, restaurants, or temples. It is a rule of etiquette to abide by this request.
- Street Food: It’s safe, and it’s delicious! Try to stick with vendors that have a long line to make sure you’re getting the best of the best.
- Bargaining: Bargaining is the norm in markets. Try starting at about 50% of the initial price offered and if you'd like multiple items, consider buying them in one place for a better overall deal.
Food & Drink
Guaranteed to put your local Asian-Fusion restaurant to shame, prepare to dive into a gastronomic paradise of ancient tradition and modern practices that is Bali. Read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you must try.
- Nasi Goreng: Arguably titled the national dish of Indonesia, this is fried rice usually served with pork, veggies, tofu, and a fried egg
- Satay: Pieces of grilled meat threaded onto skewers. This can be found in fine-dining restaurants as well as street food vendors!
- Babi Guling: An iconic dish in Bali, Babi Gulin is suckling pig with a spice paste of coriander, lemongrass, lime leaves, chilies, and ginger.
- Nasi Campur: Nasi Campur is a mix of food and rice usually with an assortment of meat, veggies, and yellow or white rice
- Martabak: A famous street food, this is a ball of dough fried and filled with eggs, vegetables, and chicken, then molded into a cube!
- Pepes Ikan: This refers to a method of cooking using a banana leaf as a food wrap, which steams the meat for a delectable result.
- Dadar Gulung: A Balinese dessert, this is a treat of crepes filled with coconut and palm sugar. If you’re lucky, it will be served with a dollop of ice cream!
If you did not purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip began, you can log into your Online Account and do so on tour. You can also talk to your Tour Director on tour and they can help you get enrolled. If you’d like to plan something else during your free time, connect with your Tour Director before doing so; they sometimes arrange extra activities for the group during free time. Prices for these optional excursions will increase on tour, so please check your online account for available add-ons.
We’re so glad you chose to travel with us and are now part of the EF Ultimate Break family! We'll look for your post-card in the mail, and your #thisisultimate tags on Instagram. Cheers to the Best. Trip. Ever.