Bali has been a popular holiday destination for Aussies for years, it’s not too far, the price is right and the nightlife is excellent. However, when you’re travelling with little ones, nightlife isn’t high on the priority list, but Bali has plenty to offer young families.
Sydney mum Katrina Garcia shares her experience of travelling to Bali with her two year old and hubby plus some handy hints and tips on why Bali is an excellent family destination.
Research before taking the family to Bali
‘I wish I had done my research before getting to Indonesia!’ Katrina says, ‘ I managed to do all my reseach once we got there but it would have saved us lots of time.’
Not all resorts are created equal, although most Balinese resorts that are rated 3 stars can be the equivalent of an Aussie 4 star because of the Balinese hospitality and beautiful grounds. However, not all resorts, particularly boutique resorts are family friendly. You’ll need to do your due diligence before booking your accommodation.
Ask for recommendations from friends, other travellers and don’t forget to check out what other people have said on their reviews.
Ask the hotel directly what they offer for young families. Is there a kids club? Do they offer free breakfasts for kids? Do they have pool fencing if there is a pool connected to your room.
‘We stayed at the Villa Kresna Boutique suites. They’re not really supposed to be for kids but they are very kid friendly and you have the option to eat your breakfast in your room on your veranda so that was a good option for us at that time because our son, Juliano was two and toddlers are so unpredictable.’
Where to stay with the family in Bali
Kuta is the central point where most resorts and action reside. You’ll find cheap souvenirs, bali braids etc here. However if you’re looking for something close to the action but a bit quieter, opt for Legian which is a stones throw from Kuta.
Seminyak is known as a bit of a hipster haven and where Bali’s fashion boutiques can be found. The resorts are a bit pricier but worth it to be away from the nightclubs.
Nusa Dua has two sections, the gated and super fancy resorts that are perfect for families as there’s plenty of activities for children, kids clubs etc. The other section is Tanjung Benoa, which is where you can find local shops and restaurants.
Ubud is inland surrounded by the lush flora and of course the cheeky fauna in the form of the monkeys. In Ubud the resorts are beautiful but less suited for a travelling family as these resorts don’t all have kids amenities. However Ubud offers a different side of Bali that kids should experience.
Activities for the family in Bali
Bali is more than just getting Bali braids and hitting the markets. This beautiful destination has so much to offer, from sanctuaries, snorkeling, water sports, zoos, and of course the delish cuisine.
‘A great place we visited a lot was Finns Recreation Club. It has everything inside – a water park, gym for the parents, restaurants and the cubby house kids club,’ says Katrina.
‘You can literally do everything in one place and it’s really nice. The facilities are AWESOME! They’re really clean and new.’
Here are just a few of the activities we recommend:
- Bali Butterfly Park – get up close and personal with colourful butterflies and insects
- Waterbom Water Park – perfect for the older kiddos (8 and older) and the kids at heart who love huge water slides, however they do have an area for younger children too.
- Pirates Bay Bali – Ahoy matey! An awesome cafe/restaurant with a ship that the kids can climb in and enjoy treasure hunts etc.
- Balinese dance shows – these performances tell beautiful stories and mesmerize children with their costumes.
Picky eaters in Bali
The best thing about most resorts for parents of picky eaters is that they offer western meals. You won’t have trouble finding chicken nuggets at any resort. For babies, it’s recommended that you bring the formula you use at home just in case you’re unable to find the brand you use at home.
Avoiding Bali Belly
One of the reasons why parents of young children avoid Bali is the thought of their toddlers or babies getting Bali belly. Avoiding drinking tap water is relatively easy if you carry bottled water. However Katrina shared her own tip.
‘Juliano and I started to get a touch of Bali belly but we drank probiotics everyday to make sure we didn’t get it. You can buy them from most convenience stores. We found it really helped.’
Car seats and travel with kids in Bali
These are not readily available so be prepared to bring your own or travel holding your children. It’s not really something the Balinese worry about, which can be anxiety-inducing for parents.
Getting around with family in Bali
Most families find the best way to get around is to hire a car and driver. It’s cheaper and it’s also nice to get to know a local who can share their own tips and advice. Taxis are available, particularly around Kuta.
Now that you’ve read all about a wonderful trip to Bali, check out some tips on travelling on a plane with a baby, cause god knows we all need this!
Getting to Bali
Look for a great flight deal at Sky Scanner