PACKING FOR BALI: AN EXPERT’S GUIDE BY BESS PRESCOTT

PACKING FOR BALI: AN EXPERT’S GUIDE

I’ve been travelling to Bali regularly in the past five years for yoga retreats, trainings and to bliss out and rejuvenate with endless classes and green juices. Below, my guide to packing for your next Bali trip – the collated result of years of experience, various disasters and moments of “why didn’t anybody tell me to pack this?!” Everything you need for a smooth and happy Bali yogi journey.


WARDROBE

  • Flip flops: great for everything. Leave black Havaianas outside Yoga Barn main studio at your peril – bright and unique is best!

  • Clear glasses if you’ll be riding a scooter – to keep bugs out of eyes at dusk / night riding.

  • Great sunnies for day scootering – on my wishlist: a pair of old school Ray Ban aviators with leather side blinders to keep out the dust. Just like my dad used to wear. Anyone have a pair they want to part with?

  • Light layers for mosquito protection and warmth – long sleeved cotton tops, too many scarves and sarongs. Also: a solid sarong and a modest white top for ceremonies. To buy a sarong: stay tuned for my next blog!

  • Cotton and quick-dry everything, for ease of handwashing.  

  • Jumper for early morning scooter riding – it gets chilly in tropical paradise at 6.30am on the way to the studio!

  • Washing detergent: I take some of my favourite natural powder so I can hand wash my clothes (or pay my lovely pembantu to do so). I can’t deal with the soapy chemical residue from the local laundry warungs.

  • Travel candle: to make my accommodation feel like home. Also helps get rid of any damp or funny smells. Tricky to find good eco candles in Bali so I take my own – or you can use Balinese incense if you’re into that.

  • Ear plugs and an eye mask if you have trouble sleeping.

"Clear glasses if you’ll be riding a scooter – to keep bugs out of eyes at dusk / night riding "


BODY

  • Good natural mosquito repellent - I like Bert’s Bees, it’s not available in Australia so stock up when overseas. You can buy natural stuff over there but I find it’s quite ineffective, especially against those pesky stripy dengue mozzies.  

  • Parasite protection: I take Orthoplex Intestaclear (a natural anti-parasitic) twice daily when in Bali. Black Walnut and Chinese Wormwood are the magic ingredients. It has worked perfectly in avoiding Bali Belly so far! As well as that, you can take your own probiotics but it’s more effective to take local ones - my reasoning is that native good bugs will be better at fighting native bad bugs. Probiotics are plentiful in Bali the form of yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, kombucha, coconut kefir – whatever floats your fermentation boat.

  • doTERRA oils: I bring Oregano (a few drops of that in water will kill just about ANYTHING in your system) and Digest-Zen for when my belly starts making strange rumbles. Effective, safe and natural! Also: On-Guard. All day, everyday. And Serenity for sleep time.

  • Magnesium: great at the end of a long day of yoga and walking to ensure a good night’s sleep. Also helps my body rehydrate – good salts are lacking in the purified water (see next tip).

  • Himalayan salt: I carry a little jar with me to add to said purified water so that my body can actually use the water to hydrate – it’s been so overly purified to get all the bugs out that there are no trace minerals left to help the H2O penetrate your cells. I’ve seen friends severely dehydrated EVEN after drinking water all day, because their body couldn’t absorb it.

  • Superfeast supplies: whenever I travel I take a mix of Reishi, He Shou Wu and Chaga medicinal mushrooms to add to my coffee or chai for boosted immunity, improved cellular functioning and all-round sparkly health.

  • Neti pot: I use mine regularly with aforementioned Himalayan salt to clear out my sinuses after days driving through crazy Ubud traffic.

  • Tongue scraper: I now take this with me everywhere. My favourite Ayurvedic tool to clear out the “ama” (toxins) in the mornings.

  • Nail clippers and file: for some reason, my nails get filthy in Bali. And they grow faster. Daily cleaning and filing makes me feel slightly civilised.

  • Jojoba oil: my go-to face/body moisturiser when I’m anywhere tropical. Light, effective, slips right into your skin without oily residue. Doesn’t go rancid in heat like coconut oil. I add a few drops of doTERRA Frankincense essential oil for that five-star-hotel luxury feel.

doTERRA oils: I bring Oregano (a few drops of that in water will kill just about ANYTHING in your system) 

 

"whenever I travel I take a mix of Reishi, He Shou Wu and Chaga medicinal mushrooms to add to my coffee or chai for boosted immunity, improved cellular functioning and all-round sparkly health"


ADMIN THINGS 

  • Travel insurance! I endured many a stolen laptop, lost bank card and cancelled flight before I made this a priority. See if you can find one that covers scooter accidents (for most you’ll need your Aussie motorbike licence before they’ll cover you).

  • I change plenty of rupiah at the airport – and lock it in a safe with my passport and any other valuables during my stay, dipping into the cash stash when I need to. You can take out maximum 2,500,000 rupiah (about $250) from the ATMs at one time, and you have to pay the ATM fee and the currency exchange fee. Cheaper to have cash on the ready. Hot tip: don’t leave your ATM card in the ATM. Balinese ATMs are tricky because they give you your cash before they return your card. Learnt that lesson the hard way. I always use the Mandiri ATMs because they give the maximum amount (others will only give 1,500,000 rupiah), and because if the machine eats my card I know where the Mandiri head office is in Denpasar so I can retrieve it (always a fun trip).

I hope that stands you in good stead for your next Bali pilgrimage – comment below with anything I missed, or your own Bali packing essentials. Coming up next blog… my guide to Ubud!