Essential Bali packing list – not your usual Bali packing guide

Don’t read this post and think you’ll find the things that you usually get in a Bali packing list post. Nope, here you will find actual things that you should pack when travelling to Bali. These are all things that are either very hard to get or extremely expensive to buy in Bali.

For many first-timers in Bali, this can shock you because most of these items are easily bought at home. For some seasoned travellers to Bali, these may just be a perfect reminder of what not to leave at home.

Bali Packing List

Honestly, you won’t need to worry too much about clothes, hats, or shoes, as you can get them so much cheaper over there. If you have a blowout with your favourite thongs, never fear—there are plenty of options.

These are all things that you need to buy and put in your luggage before you leave for our trip to Bali.

a suitcase with some clothes in it, packing for a bali holiday
Don’t pack too much; you need room to buy things in Bali


While you can easily get sunscreen in Bali, expect to pay $20 plus for a small tube. Yep, that’s at a supermarket or even at a convenience store. If you have a specific brand that you use, you really need to bring it over with you.

*This is a friendly reminder that if you bring sunscreen in a large bottle, you must put it in your checked luggage.

After sun gel – spray

Again, you can get this in Bali, but it costs over $10 per bottle. To save some of the issues with leaking, we brought over the Aloe Vera Gel from Banana Boat. So far, it has not exploded in our bag

*We always put ours in the fridge at home and in Bali to help with the burn

Tampons, pads, feminine hygiene products

You can find these in most convenience stores and brands you will recognise from home, but they can range from $9.50 for a packet of 16 Libra pads to $16 for a packet of Libra tampons.

If you even think about it, you may need them. Bring some from home and make sure you have spares in case.

Continence Aides

This is one item that I did not see readily available anywhere. I work in aged care, and for some reason, I looked out for these. If you need continence aides, it is best to bring the ones you need and the amount you need, as well as some spares in case.

Are you blonde?

Now, this may seem like a rude question, but it is a good one. Many women and some men who have blonde hair will find that the chlorine (or the amount of chlorine) in the pools at their Sanur accommodation makes their hair turn a gorgeous shade of blue or green.

a blonde gorl sitting on the side of a pool in Sanur
Enjoying the pool in Bali

It is recommended that people who have dyed hair bring over the shampoo with them to counteract the chemicals in the pool.

*My husband is a redhead with some flecks of grey (more than he would like to acknowledge), and he had this happen to him after swimming. It did not last long, but it was quite noticeable.

Pool noodles, pool toys

Anyone travelling to Bali who would like a certain type of pool toy should bring it in their luggage. We have found that there are floaties for children, pool noodles, rings, and even a unicorn, but prices start at $25 for them.

a range of pool toys to use in Sanur Bali
Pool toys are fun in Bali

You can get some cheaper, but they are of lower quality and may not last the duration of your holiday to Bali. We have recently found a site that rents out pool floatables

*If you can leave the pool toys at the hotel after your trip to Bali, the other kids and even some adults will be grateful to you!

Travel Insurance

While this is not something you would pack in your luggage, you should not, under any circumstances, leave home without it, especially when you visit Sanur and Bali.

To ensure the maximum coverage, you should get an insurance policy that aligns with what you plan to do there, including activities like rafting, ATV tours, and snorkelling.


Ahh, wine. If you love a glass with dinner, after dinner, or with lunch, you may notice a very big difference in the taste and serving of the good stuff.

enjoying a glass of wine at Sanur beach
There’s nothing like a glass of wine on the beach!

You can easily pick a favourite in the bottle shop and know you will get a decent drop. You won’t know that in Bali and will pay a fortune for even cheap wine there.

If you have a favourite bottle, see if you can get a couple in your checked luggage and have them there. Alternatively, you can buy some over there, but it is hit-and-miss.

*I like the Bintang Radler (they taste like Solo), and the ciders over there are quite nice as an alternative to wine, but if you have a fave drop from BWS or Dan’s, you probably won’t find it in Bali

Waterproof phone case

Most people will tell you this is for the water sports or beach time you will have while on holiday in Bali, but for me, it is for the unexpected downpours you find yourself in.

Waterproof phone cases

Vendors would pop out of the shops with ponchos or umbrellas within seconds, but I was always worried about my phone! There was not a time when we did not get soaked through in a good downpour, and undercover areas are at a premium if you are out for the day at the Temples.

Having a waterproof cover for my phone in my bag or backpack was an absolute lifesaver, putting my mind at ease if I got caught.

* There is not much point in taking your own raincoats or umbrellas. Hotels will sometimes provide umbrellas for short walks, and raincoats can be bulky. The downpours don’t usually last long, and if they do, it’s a great opportunity to sit in a little cafe until they ease.

Ziplock bags

If you don’t want to get a watertight phone case, grab a packet of Zip Lock bags from home. These are so versatile, and you can use them for so many different things.

Things we use Zip Lock bags for when we visit Sanur:

  • To put over the bathroom tap (stops you from using the water to brush your teeth)
  • Separate our daily budget into daily amounts (we are budget travellers, and this helps us stick to our budget)
  • Put your phone in when it rains, or you go on a boat for the day (just an added protective idea but not one to use in the water for protection)
  • Sim storage (we get Indonesian sims when we are there, and we need to keep our Australian ones safe)

Good walking shoes

Good walking shoes are a must if you like to walk or run. Even if you are spending the day walking for shopping, it’s a great idea to have good footwear with you.

The footpaths in Bali are notorious for being uneven, wobbly, and, at times, dotted with holes that are a real hazard. They can also become slippery when it is raining.

* You can buy sneakers or sports shoes over there both in the market shops and at bigger centres like Discovery Mall, but you will find that they are either ‘genuine fakes’ that are not durable and don’t last or the same price as at home

Shampoo and conditioner

We use Salsun Blue and tea tree-based shampoo, which are not stocked in Bali. If you use any specific hair care product, it is best to take it. This can also include hair gel, wax, or spray.

* Many people will stock up on Indonesian hair care products like Elipse and Miranda, but if you are set on what you like, bring it with you

Bali Checklist

Do you chaff?

If you chaff at home, you will most certainly chaff in Bali. It can be the most uncomfortable thing when it doesn’t have time to heal.

Some of the chaff prevention items we have tried are:

  • Chub Rub (this worked well to try and prevent chaff)
  • Women’s anti-chaff underwear (went well under my short dresses)
  • Men’s anti-chaff shorts (husband found them a bit restrictive when wearing them with shorts, too)
  • Vaseline (soothes the chaff if you already have it)

* If you find that you are having trouble soothing the chaff, it gets very red, starts bleeding or develops a crust you will need to see a doctor


If it’s not on, it’s not on anywhere in the world, but in Bali, condoms are again a very expensive item, and if you need them, you need them. Be safe and not sorry. Bring some from home.

Earbuds for swimming

If you plan on swimming a lot and you have any ear issues whatsoever, bring these from home. There is nothing worse than an ear infection in Bali, and it can quickly bring a brilliant holiday to an end.

swimming at Sanur beach
Enjoying Sanur Beach

Many people find that their ears are extra sensitive if they have had issues in the past, so pop some in your luggage.

Ice Cube tray

We absolutely love this and do it wherever we go. Our favourite thing is to grab a bottle of Baileys at Duty-Free and enjoy a glass of ice when we first arrive.

We pack silicone ice cube trays and put bottled water in them as soon as we arrive.

These are lightweight and stay in our bags for future trips, but remember they have to be filled with bottles of water so you don’t get the dreaded Bali Belly.

Cable ties

Now, this may seem like a silly idea, but if we have to leave our backpacks or suitcases anywhere while we are transferring hotels, we usually use them to secure the zips or pockets together. Usually, the front desk will have a set of scissors for you to use to cut them when you return.

We have also used them in another country when our hotel room didn’t lock, and we were waiting for someone to come and fix the door to secure our bags to the bed.

It wasn’t the best hotel we have stayed in, but at the time, we didn’t have much of an option. Our daughters were hungry, and it had been a long day.

* I also have a small set that stays in my handbag if we do this, but you have to remember to take them out when returning home as they will be confiscated at security

Shower cap

This is great for families on holiday in Sanur. We used to take a shower cap for our daughters so they didn’t get their hair wet every night. Some of the hotels will supply them in the toiletry packs, but they are flimsy,

I also used one on the way home to cover my shoes. I needed to get at them quickly, as I had walked to a waterfall and had gone through farmland. This was when there was an outbreak of foot and mouth.

* If you want to limit the amount of time your hair gets wet in the pool or even in the shower, another good idea is to wear a swimming cap.


One of my absolute essetails for when we travel to Bali. For many, constantly buying new bottles of water every day is an issue. We buy large bottles and use the funnel to refill smaller ones for days out or walks.

You can also use the funnel to fill the ice cube trays from a larger bottle, and if you are travelling to Sanur with kids, you can fill milk bottles as well.

Portable Charger

We must take these, especially when travelling to Sanur with teenagers. Travelling in Bali and around the Island on daily trips can be lengthy, and having a portable charger is a lifesaver.

charging your phone with a powerbank
Keeping your mobile charged is important

You’ll also find that you can take an unimaginable amount of photos some days, and this also helps you keep your phone going if that is the only device you take with you

Power board

We always have numerous things that need charging at the same time. We take a large power board with a power surge protector to protect our devices.

Having one of these ensures that you can charge numerous devices simultaneously, and if there is a power surge they are safe. Having one with USB plugs is also a must now.


If you travel to Indonesia, you will find that the power plugs are different. It is rare that anywhere in the world has the same type as we do, which means you need an adapter to plug into the power.

Indonesia has types C and F. This plug has a 2-pin socket and a plug design that is the standard European plug. If you don’t come from a country with this type, like Australia, you will need to buy an adapter.

Anti-theft handbag in Bali

There have been instances of handbags, backpacks, and small purses being cut from people’s bodies in Bali. This is an extremely scary experience, but you can try to prevent the situation with an anti-theft bag. Some of these will make cutting the bag from the wearer’s body nearly impossible.

a lady in bali with a pacsafe antitheft bag
A Pacsafe anti-theft bag

Some high-quality anti-theft bags are made by companies such as PacSafe or more can be found on Amazon.

* Please, if someone tries to grab your bag or pull it from your body, let it go. It can be a confronting situation but whatever is in it can be replaced. Getting hurt can be a much more serious situation.

For sensitive skin: Bushman’s repellent

Mozzies: they are everywhere, but not all the time and like at home not in all places. If you have sensitive skin or have a reaction from mosquito bites, you should take the Bushman Repellent or whatever you use at home to keep these little blood suckers at bay.


If you are a larger lady like myself, take your bathers with you. I found that there was a large array of bathers that went up to about a size 14, but anything over that, I struggled to find anything.

a plus size lady in the swimming pool
Finding larger bathers can be a problem

Worse case, grab an old bra and a tank top and go for it, which I’ve also had to do one day when my bathers were wet, and it was like trying to wrestle a two-year-old trying to get into them.

So these are all the things we have found hard to get in Sanur and Bali. While you don’t obviously have to take them all, these may prompt you to take a few things that will save you in the end, whether it is time searching for them or money shopping for them.

Things you don’t need in Bali

Most Bali packing lists require you to check that you have t-shirts, underwear, and even socks, but honestly, there isn’t anything you can’t get over there that they sell at home.

When shopping in Sanur, a T-shirt or a pair of shorts are cheaper, the only issue is that sizing may be an issue. In all seriousness, you can get clothing on every corner if you have a huge blowout. Also, the durability may not be as good as at home. Some items of clothing may only last you the time you are in Bali.

Best time to go to Sanur

The best time to visit Sanur and other spots in Bali, Indonesia, is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is generally sunny with low humidity, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as walking, swimming, snorkelling, and reading a book while lying by the pool.

April and October shoulder seasons can also be good times to visit Sanur, as the weather is still pleasant but with fewer crowds. Pack your suitcase and book your flights for one of the best periods to visit attractions such as Bali Zoo, Waterbom and the Monkey Forest.

However, if you don’t mind the occasional rain shower, visiting Sanur during the wet season from October to March can also have advantages. The lush greenery and cooler temperatures can be refreshing, but ensure you have a waterproof bag and umbrella for your outings in case of a downpour.

It’s worth noting that Sanur in Bali is a popular tourist destination, and the peak season for tourism is from June to August. Planning your visit outside these months is best if you prefer to avoid crowds and higher prices.

For more accommodation options in Sanur Bali, click through to our places to stay page or search Agoda or Luxury Escapes.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post about Sanur Bali! We hope you found it informative and helpful when planning your trip to this beautiful region. If you’re looking for more information about things to do in Sanur, recommendations for places to eat, or where to go from Sanur, be sure to check out our website.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and accurate information to make your holiday planning as smooth as possible, from finding supermarkets to choosing accommodation and a renting a scooter. Once again, thank you for reading, and we hope our articles continue to be a valuable resource for your travel plans.

Things to do in Sanur

Things to do in Sanur and its content is created by two Australians who have been to Sanur many times. We have enjoyed food and drink on the beach, we have sipped coffee on Jalan Danau Tamblingan. We have stayed in homestays and hotels in Sanur and made day trips to see the best of Bali. Not only that, but we aim to keep the information fresh by continuing to visit Sanur and getting first-hand information off our Balinese friends.

Bali Checklist

Bali Checklist

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