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You want to travel to the magical island of Bali but you don’t know where to start planning?

Read everything about it in our BALI GUIDE. We will post one part per week, every Sunday!

PART ONE // what to prepare and how to get there

The Flight

Once you’ve made the decision that your next destination will be Bali, the island of the gods, one of your first steps will be the research for a flight. It’s recommendable to book early because the prices might increase depending on the season, so it pays off to be an early bird. Our favorite website for research is Skyscanner but also check fluege.de, opodo, kayak, momondo and the websites of airlines like Emirates, KLM, Etihad and Qatar.

Here are some example routes departing from Germany/Europe to Denpasar, Bali.

  • Emirates: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Amsterdam, Geneva, Zurich via Dubai
  • KLM: Berlin, Bremen, Cologne/Bonn, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Stuttgart, Munich, Nurnberg, Geneva, Zurich, Vienna, Brussels, Nice, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Lyon, Mulhouse, Paris, Toulouse, Strasbourg via Amsterdam/ Singapore
  • Etihad: Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Brussels, Zurich, Geneva, Amsterdam via Abu Dhabi
  • Qatar: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Vienna via Doha
Airplane

For example, you can fly with Emirates from Hamburg to Dubai (6hrs), have a short stopover (2hrs) and continue with a 9hrs flight to Denpasar, Bali. Depending on where you stop over you might want to spend a few days in for example Singapore and continue your trip with a cheap flight with AirAsia or Jetstar from Singapore to Denpasar, Bali (but don’t forget Singapore is an expensive city). The route from Hamburg to Amsterdam (1hr) to Denpasar (16hrs with transfer in Singapore) with KLM is also great but depending on where you live in Germany the flight duration to Amsterdam may vary. It can easily take you up to 22hrs or more of travelling, so sometimes it makes sense to pay a bit more for a convenient flight connection without long or too many stopovers.

Depending on the season, prices vary between 550 – 1.500 Euro p.p. return. You can get from Hamburg to Singapore with British Airways for 450 Euro return and get another flight from Singapore to Denpasar for 100 – 150 Euro with AirAsia or Jetstar (don’t forget to add checked in luggage; starts from 18 Singapore Dollar for 15kg (around 11 Euro)). If you want to bring your surfboard along find out how much the airline charges in order to transport your surfboard and make sure to declare your surfboard baggage during online check-in. Some airlines also only transport short boards. We would recommend you to rent a board here at the beach (it’s around 3,50 Euro for 2hrs), but if you want to jump into the waves every day (as we like to do) and want to stay longer on the island, you better bring your own. And don’t forget to wrap it properly to prevent any damage!

Zealous Surf Bikinis FW16

Preparations

Like for any other trip, you better be well-prepared when going to Bali. So here is some good advice from us on how to prepare your trip in advance!

Safety first: go find the nearest tropical institute to check on vaccinations that you need when travelling to the tropics. Tell them your destination(s) and the doctors there will know which ones you’ll need. They will also check whether you need to refresh your standard vaccinations, so bring your vaccination card along. Start with vaccinations at least 2 months before your departure because depending on the length of your stay you might need rabies vaccination which is vaccinated in three stages with different intervals.

Good Advice

Read here which vaccinations you should have and how often they need to be refreshed:

  • Mumps (Mumps), Measles (Masern) & Rubella (Röteln) [standard]
  • Poliomyelitis (refresh every 10 years)
  • Tetanus (refresh every 10 years)
  • Diphtheria (refresh every 10 years)
  • Hepatitis A (if necessary refresh every 10 years)
  • Hepatitis B (if you stay longer or have close social contacts; if necessary refresh every 10 years)
  • Pertussis (Keuchhusten) (refresh together with Tetanus & Diphteria vaccination)
  • Typhus
  • Rabies (Tollwut) (if you stay longer rabies vaccination might be necessary; needs to be refreshed every 2-5 years if the rish is continuing)

If you fly from Europe to Bali you don’t need the yellow fever vaccination, but if you fly in from areas where yellow fever exists (some parts of Africa and central South America) you have to get this vaccination.

You have probably heard about Malaria… If you want to travel to Lombok or other islands east of Bali you can bring anti malaria pills (e.g. Malerone) along. But be aware that these pills, if taken prophylactic, have strong side effects. Usually you might just take them when you got bitten by a mosquito, feel uncomfortable and sick and can’t reach a hospital within 24hrs. The risk of acquiring malaria in Bali is extremly low, though not possible.

Travelling from one destination to another in Bali is easiest done on a scooter. So don’t forget to bring your international driver’s license. Just google where to get it e.g. at your city office. You will get an appointment and they will usually hand it to you straight away (costs around 17 Euro). Don’t forget to take it always with you when driving a car or scooter, the police does road blocks sometimes and without it you will get a ticket or will have to pay a bribe.

Another important advice is to have a good travel & health insurance. Check out HanseMerkur, ADAC, Envivas or HUK-Coburg (We read in Bali facebook groups about people being injured but not having travel insurance on a weekly basis. Their families set up crowdfunding pages to raise money for medical treatment and sometimes they end up with thousands of dollar hospital bills.) Save the hassle, stress and maybe even dangerous situation. It’s not expensive to get a good travel insurance for your holiday/travels (We pay only 120 EUR for almost 5 months at Envivas or 190 Euro for 6 months at ADAC). Double check what’s included. Does your insurance cover sea rescue and extreme sports (they categorize surfing as extreme sport)?

PS: Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 more months.

Arrival

As you might know, you need a Visa for Bali and the rest of Indonesia. It’s not difficult to get a tourist Visa. You can either get the free tourist Visa which is valid for 30 days (day of arrival counts as day 1) and not extendable or you can get the Visa on arrival for 35$ which is valid for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days. When you step out of the airplane follow the other passengers. They will lead to you to a big hall with payment booths. This is where you need to go if you want to stay longer than 30 days to pay the fee of 35$ (bring cash, you can’t pay by card). Have your passport and boarding pass on hand. After that continue to the Immigration counter. Here they will check your passport and might ask how long you will stay. Now pick up your baggage and go through customs.

Congrats! You survived the flight and got your money and luggage! So let’s go on!

If you didn’t bring any Indonesian Rupiah you might want to withdraw money from the ATM. The ATM is located just behind the sliding glass door which you pass right after customs. ATMs can be used in English or Indonesian and it can be cheaper than exchanging money at the money changer. Good to know: check the actual exchange rates online (Euro / 0,000071 = IDR and IDR x 0,000071 = Euro based on info from 11/01/2017), download the XE App or print a small conversion table.

From the airport you can either get a taxi (just when you get out in the arrival hall, after passing the last duty-free shop, there’s a taxi booth from BlueBird Taxi with fixed rates. Rates are around 300.000 IDR (17- 21,3 Euro) from the airport to Seminyak/Canggu area but they add 50.000 IDR if you bring a surfboard.

After passing the last duty-free shop taxi drivers from uncertified companies will try to sell their services on ridiculous rates, be careful. You can check if there’s an Uber, you can use it here as well. Uber drivers are very friendly and helpful. But make sure not to mention in front of anyone that you’re using Uber, as they try to ban it on the island. Just say you already have a driver picking you up. Exchange the phone numbers when you book a driver in advance and send an SMS with what you wear so that you can find each other. Also text him whether you wait in the departure hall or upstairs at the arrival. Drivers from hotels will use a sign with your name on it. Make sure to write down the address of your hotel/homestay so that the driver understands you. It’s even better if you have a screenshot of google maps to show in which area the place is located because Bali’s infrastructure is not to be compared with ours back home and not every little road is at Google maps or has a name sign yet.

Good 2 know

There’s also a Telkomsel (mobile phone company) booth before the last duty-free shop at the airport, selling local sim cards. Prices are higher than on the street, but they will explain everything very well and wait until your new SIM card works. It’s also possible to only book a data package, so that you can use the internet, what’s app and navigation (plus: very good if you want to go for Uber). Because of the traffic during peak hours it can take quite long to reach your Hotel/Homestay. But don’t worry, you already paid a fixed price at the counter and don’t have to tip the driver later.

Happy planning! 🙂

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